Review – Daniel Avery + Volte Face

Daniel Avery’s second appearance in Leeds this year was a sell-out, owing to his ever-dynamic sound (as proven by recent releases ‘Sensation’ and ‘Clear’), the additional presence of Volte Face (50% of ‘Rote’) and the mystery of the new venue, Headrow House, and how it would deliver a night of techno. The sets spanned from 10pm to 5am, during which the restless studio experimentation of both Avery and Volte Face was reproduced.

2015 marks Volte Faces’ first forays into production, featuring on a Daniel Avery remix 12” alongside Rodhad, and releasing a debut EP on the newly minted BleeD imprint in April. He showcased his sound and mixing ability to an increasingly packed out room, which upon entering clearly proved to be a versatile setting.

When the words ‘Taste it, kiss me again’ rang out in isolation at 1am, the beginning of Avery’s set was unquestionable. Repetition of lyrics from ‘All I Need’ on Avery’s 2013 album Drone Logic inspired both tension and anticipation, intercepted by snippets from the recent release ‘Sensation’. From this starting point of steady thumping and modulation, the set delved further into shifting atmospherics and determined beats. Despite the absence of a single track from Drone Logic being played in its entirety, the audience was not left disappointed. Instead, the opening of his set acted as a blueprint, Avery continuing to tease listeners with samples and remixes from the album.

Avery’s second newbie of 2015 (released 30th November), ‘Clear’ fitted into the mix seamlessly. It encapsulated the sense of paranoia and euphoria of the music and was received with enthusiasm. Perhaps more exciting though, was Avery’s back to back mixing with Volte Face from 3am: the sounds became darker but importantly ensured a dynamic, synonymous finish.

Techno did not present a challenge to Headrow House; in fact, space and sound were in perfect unison. All night long eyes remained fixed on the alcove in which the decks stood, where the lighting was concentrated and projected outwards. Essentially, the venue aided the progression of Avery’s set by creating a cinematic experience that induced the trance effect that so defines techno, complete with 5am curfew signified by the fire alarm… Unmissable.

Natalie Layng

(Photo credits: Phantasy)

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