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Review: Privilege Opening Party 2013

A roving Technicolor odyssey of freak.

The largest club in the world, Privilege, celebrated its 20th Anniversary to the rhythm of a deliciously ludicrous fanfare. Two decades from the re-birth that spawned the gargantuan layer, the archetypal super club has come to embody a unique and chimeric allure. Since its inception the club has assumed a somewhat benevolent relationship with its patrons, acting as a chain-bound, duct-covered shelter to all those in the world that feel reality has lost a certain murky pizazz.

To mark its 20 years of kaleidoscopic expression a varied and calculated line-up reflected the club's long standing policy of coupling local luminaries with industry heavyweights. The main room hosted a glistering audio-visual celebration of the club's 'more than a dancefloor' heritage which saw a lone violinist high above the crowd execute an electric rendition of Tiesto's version of 'Adagio For Strings' flanked on all sides by a spangled cohort of Adonis figures and performers a la Cirque-du-freak.

Tomorrowland veterans W&W began post show proceedings with an energetic mix of electro-tinged trance against a veritable tour de force of explosive production. It was the teaming of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike however that produced the morning's anthemic rapture. Thick, solidly produced sound met a twisting net of vocal licked house and darling classics.

The Vista Club, hosted by Barcelona specialists 'El Row', and utilising Funktion 1's celebrated dance stacks, seemed to embody the pulsing crèche of the clanking adult playground. Awash with hypnagogic scenes and phantom characters a pantomime sports team with sickly red wigs vied for attention amidst a flock of human birds, a troupe of acrobatic scarecrows, and the crowd themselves who stood coated in a tantalising array of adornments. The marriage of giants M.A.N.D.Y and DJ T made for a slightly jarring set before El Row resident de la Swing captured the crowd with a chugging techno motif layered with undulating chord washes.

Steve Lawler delivered a coherent kick-driven performance, goading his expectant troupe into a state of jubilant delight with a poignant vocal loop that alas is not suitable for publication. Finishing on the haunting, lurching crackle of jolting fairground keys Lawler gave way to Raul Mezcolanza who - with his dynamic, double step techno brought the room to its colourful peak. Julian Jeweils' 'The Gang' with its spooky off-key synth met the streaming sunrise with gentle defiance, it seems Privilege lies in an electric nether land beyond the frivolities of time.

As a creepily pleasing mix of dark and stuttering vinyl cuts, courtesy of island hero Nightmares on Wax, rang to the rising sun from within the icy shades of Vista Blue, the heretical past of the club and its patron seeped like a comforting shroud from the youthful philanthropic walls.

Privilege aims to cultivate and celebrate the inner flashes of ‘weird', which, since the end of the previous century, have been methodically buried under a banner of modernism and conformity. Wisps of the club's darker past hang like emblematic trophies from every glowing surface and whilst some view the shift away from a more explicitly erotic oeuvre - towards a more musically-orientated exploration - as a partial submission to the outside world, in my opinion Privilege retains it's founding heroism: to open every mind to hedonistic, unorthodox possibilities regardless of preconceptions or trends.

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