Boris of Berlin. (berghain-opening-set-february-2013.) w Matt Vaughan and Ben Drayton. House of Mince, Civic Underground, 24 April 2013. For Amanda.
Lifting, growing, droning out of cold tones of nothing on the empty concrete floor, cold beneath 18m ceilings, this set is easy to imagine in its Berlin home. People are there early. Lots of people from elsewhere, happy to get in but dressed like they were expecting to, some here because they can’t party all night, some because they want to hear Boris open the party that will outlast them. He lays out the landscape, he gently stretches open what we will experience. No one is far into their trip into the night and out the other side into morning sets that help to keep exhausted bodies in that space of trance, sex, sweaty exhaustion, love, bliss. This opening set will become the structure of the night. If he is too rough at first, they cannot go any deeper. He needs to be deliberate, careful in exposing some of the raw pounding that will follow, but hiding it among the soft caresses of the folds of electronic tones that shimmer and excite and make one lose one’s head again and again. He rubs against us. He can’t show that he is too excited. That raw drive that will carry everyone through the night has to be awoken slowly. It has to entice the people who are keen enough to be there – ready to lose themselves, but needing to be returned to the club much later in the night. Boris cannot fuck them to pieces with pounding bass that they can feel deep in their guts that will keep the moving the next day, a simple harmonic motion; he needs to keep them aroused on the point of excitement for the next DJ. They will lose themselves and let the music in deeper and deeper, but he can’t do it to them yet or he will destroy them. Boris has to leave them well-used but still so desperate for more. He has to stop without letting them realise fully their desires.
Not so, away from Berghain, away from setting sail for hours away along a techno superhighway that doesn’t have to end anywhere as long as the passengers are alive and dancing and moving forward in non-linear paths that converge in perfect dark holes on the dance floor. Not so in Sydney, at Civic, at a straight club heavily infused with a queer crowd that were still there at the end. It was a perfect party. A new space for me. A mix from lots of different worlds, some known better than others. It was here I could follow Boris’s playing wherever it would take me – not needing to worry about what was next because what was next was not going to be techno. Boris was the end point. The point where he ended his set and the day started again.
To take us there were moments of seamless bliss – transitions after transitions that gripped and massaged me from track to track, pulling me in deeper. The beats enveloped everything they touched, everything was receptive and the scattered lights linked everything together. On the dance floor, leaning back into the speaker, when I closed my eyes geometrical explosions refracted in the lights in front of me. When I opened them a thousand copies of myself stretched out in every direction – and still the music pounded in me, deeper, more constant, growing, I was unable to move, and felt myself implode and release and become nothing and come back as Boris’s beat climaxed through the darkest parts of the club. I was not sure what was happening. When my blackened eyes open, I realised that I was in such a perfect moment, and with such a perfect DJ playing. I was being played like a machine that I did not have to control. There were no limits.
Over and over that night there were perfect moments. Peter Lovertits puts on a great party.