Our Review: Watergate 15 Year Anniversary

Well, what a party that was for one of the best and most famous clubs in the capital of Germany, the nation of Techno, Watergate.

Over the years, the club has hosted some of the world’s best DJ’s from techno’s various sub-genres as residents. These include the record-breaking Dixon, holder of the top spot of the prestigious Resident Advisor’s Top 100 for four years running; Ricardo Villalobos and Zip with their quirky yet fantastic ‘Kids on Acid’ residency; Heidi; Lee Jones; Tiefschwarz and Sebo K. Pan-Pot have also used this exceptional venue as a stepping stone before reaching for the stars which they are currently orbiting.

The club is split into two floors, the main floor with the seemingly endless row of pulsating colourful LED’s; and the water floor with the best feature of the venue, an entire glass facade facing the Spree and Friedrichshain. The sound system on both floors is set up absolutely immaculately, with no high tones going AWOL amongst the powerful subs bellowing out the lows.

On the 15th anniversary, they cooked together a delicious line up ranging from their long-term residents: Matthias Meyer, Sebo K and Jimi Jules – in addition to Frank Wiedemann, the genius producer and live performer of the stunning duo Âme. It was never going to be average celebrating such a big anniversary for this club, was it?

We got to the door at 4:45 am and were inside within twenty minutes. We made our way to the main floor upstairs where Robag Wruhme was playing a rather melodic set capturing the fantastic mood. The fully packed and very hot floor was floating through the highs of his house infused set, while the road of LED lights on the ceiling lit up sections of the dance floor as it moved from the booth to the stairs and exit. This all

This all lead to a trippy atmosphere, with many ravers being seen with their eyes closed flying along to this wonderful musical journey. And what a long journey it would be. Wruhme was closing the floor, meaning at least a seven-and-a-half-hour set! The highlight of our time spent upstairs has to be the mind-boggling track “Nasty Woman” by ‘Valesuchi & Matias Aguayo’.

The vocals brilliantly capture the current climate in which our society finds itself, all while making your mind think about your life while still keeping you moving and grooving through its gripping and wobbly baseline and offbeat claps, which disappear while breaking down into a wonderful, not so subtle female vocal distain against Trump and other right-wing and oppressive uprisings seen worldwide in recent times! In a city as politically left and open to all cultures, sexes and beliefs as Berlin, this track got the ravers moving like a shepherd and their flock of sheep!

Curiosity got the better of us after a while and we decided to see what Jimi Jules had to offer downstairs. This was to be our first time seeing him play, and we can assure you it will not be the last! Right from the first record we heard we were sucked in by his energy he was submitting to the dance floor through his wide ranging track selection. To describe his mixing style as brilliant would be a severe understatement.

Jimi’s tracks ranged widely in BPM, energy and genres from deep house to techno. He was at times fading two tracks for over three minutes, while also restarting his set on several occasions to applause that could compare to the decibel levels heard at a football match! To add to his sublime set was the magical moment of the sun rising behind him through the before mentioned glass façade while playing the ‘Purple Disco Machine Vox Mix’ of ‘Keep Pushing’ by Boris Dlugosch.

These hours turned out to be fantastic as we went even deeper into his varied record collection. At roughly 10am, everybody just turned to each other, squeezed their face together, followed by a loving smile as he mixed in ‘Land Before Time’ by Love Over Entropy and the high notes came through those exquisite speakers.

He knew he had just released some wizardry onto us and was in full control. The smoothness of the different high tones, mixed with the very deep bassline made for a truly amazing track perfectly suited for a set with the morning sun behind him at this landmark soirée. Unequivocally our favourite track of the night, and probably of the autumn so far! As if this wasn’t enough, Jimi went one further and mixed in Alan Fitzpatrick’s remix of ‘Don’t Stop’ by Dimitri Nakov & John Monkman over a few minutes.

Both as smooth as each other, while the latter takes one back into the direction of techno, with its prominent and typical Suara style kick drum so subtly followed by the offbeat claps, slightly distorted vocals and pretty much complete breakdown before re-firing with even more vigorous energy. These were 15 minutes which we never wanted to end, and which truly put this set up with one of the best we have heard in 2017! Dancing until 11am has rarely been this pleasurable.

If we are to take a few things away from this it is that Berlin captures the spirit of why we love this music scene so much. Freedom and an open mind are two of the most important criteria’s the notoriously tough door staff keep an eye out for, and for very good reason. Watergate you have proved to us why you are one of the most sought-after and famous clubs in the world once again with this majestic party! Not that you needed too after 15 years, but its always nice cementing ones’ status…

November 17, 2017