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Review: Enter, 22nd August

Richie hosts return match in techno's monster swap over.

Last night's Enter saw the second big swap of the week and another huge night of the season. After Monday when Richie Hawtin graced Amnesia's Terrace as Sven Vath's special guest at Cocoon, Richie returned the hospitality, handing the reins to Sven at his Thursday night residency at Space.

Immediately you could feel in the air it was going to be a big one. It is normally relatively busy early, thanks to some unmissable names in the Sake Bar and a relaxed vibe that can transition you from ‘just a quiet one' to a full blown boogie in the Discoteca. Last night was definitely to turn into the latter, as Paco Osuna, who we normally see smashing it in the main room later on was playing the Sake Bar, playing Latin-infused techno to a sea of Sake cocktails and early starters, and I don't think I've seen the Sunset Terrace as busy since the first Enter when Richie himself played his first set of the night there.

It was an early start for Richie, as he opened the Discoteca, which was unsurprisingly packed. Hawtin's choices of tracks left me feeling like it should've been hours later than it was. A huge Enter dot loomed ominously behind him, leading us all to our techno fate as he played a set full of heavy bass and Gaiser-like trickles that can only be described as what techno would sound like if it was rain trickling down a drain pipe. For me, Hawtin will always belong in Space. Unlike the full booth he played in at Monday's Cocoon, this time he was alone, meaning no distractions, and a constant focus, resulting in four hours of exceptional music.

Huxley opened up the Terraza, playing his brand of real house and garage and to my delight dropping Box Clever really early on. Maya Jane Coles was a Terraza highlight, starting her set with ethereal tones contrasted with the dub step elements she's applauded for. Interestingly she took the room back to a house groove later on, playing tracks such as Darius Syrossian's I'd Do Anything. This was a perfect example of how Maya takes risks on the decks that always seem to pay off as the room was buzzing.

The moment we had all been waiting for crept upon us- Sven's second appearance in Space in a long eleven years. The transition was seamless from one master to the other, but instantly Sven fed the crowd his dark distinct sound. The room was a sea of bodies lapping up his relentless driving techno, with creaking build ups and monsters climbing out of each eerie drop. Octave One's Black Water filled the room with dingy heavy thudding bass. The Space dancers defied gravity, spinning and cart wheeling in the two huge fans on either side of the decks, and the Enter backdrop was now lit up like a golden eclipse. I caught a glimpse of a huge teddy bear being thrown above the decks and I felt I'd been transported to Amnesia Terrace right at the end of a particularly mad Cocoon.

In the final few hours of the morning Sven took the Discoteca to some diverse and ecstatic musical reaches, progressing from a manic techno onslaught to a creative exploration of warm, trance likes synths as in Superpitcher's remix of MFA The Difference It Makes, funky basslines like Lauer's Trainmann (Tensnake remix) and an unusually high representation of featured vocals from the emotionally moving (Adam Port and Here is Why - Our Fate) to the grooving (Tempations – Papa Was A Rollin' Stone, Jazzy Jeff and Pete Kuzma remix). Trust me it's worth looking those tracks up - the Discoteca had never heard anything like it.

Last night was definitely one of my favourite nights of this summer. With DJs quite literally playing musical chairs all over various venues this summer, sometimes a swap doesn't pay off, but this was a great example of a hugely successful marriage of two huge nights and names. I can only hope that we'll maybe see more of Sven behind Space's decks as Enter continues to exceed all expectations.

Photography by James Chapman

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