Junction 2 Festival has become synonymous with great sound, high end production and an obsessive attention to detail. The festival which enters its third year merges natural beauty, rambling rivers and hidden enclaves with striking industrial features complimenting its solid electronic music policy. Ahead of the 2019 edition, organisers LWE and Adam Beyer arranged a day-time launch party at Tobacco Docks.
As expected with Junction 2 events, the talent offering was exceptional. Dixon, Amelie Lens, Adam Beyer, Fort Romaeu and Mind Against all had extended sets. LWE and Junction 2 pride them self on giving its guest DJs the opportunity to play extended sets. The increased play time tends to get the best out of each artist. It allows the DJ to create an experience. Opening the door to a multitude of soundscapes. In a world where club nights boast the same size line ups as festivals, it is a welcome move in support of the music rather than commercial pressure. A move that The RRP is 100% behind.
On arrival at the venue at 15:30 we realised the rest of the party had arrived for the start of an exclusive UK b2b between Âme & Rødhåd. Fortunately the organisation at Tobacco Docks is second to none and we were at the front of the line in less than 10 minutes. After negotiating the over excited and very ‘touchy feely’ bag check we were in, heading upstairs to Âme b2b Rødhåd. Whilst cuing we had been discussing the direction we expected the set to follow. Would Âme move towards Rødhåd’s heavier industrial sound or would we see the opposite. Rødhåd ‘softening’ and playing more melodic Innervisions techno? The answer neither.
Instead we witnessed a superb 3 hour set spanning the full techno spectrum. Heavy kick drums, stripped back 4/4 and melodic vocals were found through out and the crowd reacted accordingly. Arms were raised and unusually for an english crowd there was a welcome lack of phones on the dance floor. These had instead been replaced with raised arms and swaying heads engulfing them self in the music.
Âme & Rødhåd had set the bar high and it was up to Belgium sensation Amelie Lens to build on the momentum of the night. It was clear after the first 10 minutes why she has built such a formidable reputation. Her mixing was flawless and she belted track after track of unadulterated techno to the baying crowd. Around 20:15 we left Amelie Lens thundering sounds and moved towards Dixon for the closing set.
Over the years Dixon has cemented his position as one of the most talented DJs around. Year after year he perched himself at the top of various DJ polls. Unbelievable sets are the standard and this one was no different. A combination of seem less mixing, unreleased tracks and a symbiotic relationship between decks & dance floor. His ability to move the minds and bodies of entire dance floors creating a unifying force is as impressive as it is talented. Even by his lofty standards this set was a cut above the rest and bought an end to a day of quality music.
Each and every DJ bought their A-game and only increased the value of both their own and Junction 2’s stock. If the artists that return for the main festival in Summer. The likes of Maceoplex, DJ Koze, Daniel Avery, Bicep perform even half as well as those at the launch party we will be in for a real treat.