It was perhaps unsurprising that No Way Back’s first event at Wire started in a slightly sluggish fashion. Wednesday’s techno exploration was unfortunately scheduled the night following Halloween, a heavy night for many with the likes of Roman Flügel and Fort Romeau in town. Despite this, a number of dedicated music lovers shook off their spooky hangovers and welcomed the eclectic, techno driven sounds of Bristol based Laksa into Wire’s hedonistic basement.
On descending the familiar steps to the dancefloor, silver, tinfoil shapes emerged, glittering out of the darkness. The decorations held a DIY sci-fi vibe that echoed the nature of the night, experimental fun. The crowd appeared to constantly move from smoking area, to dancefloor, to bar, in loops as Ed Key and Croma warmed up the sound system, delving in and out of slow percussive tempos and ambient synths. It was at 1am that Laksa emerged, finally pulling the crowd from all corners together into a bunch of enthusiastic grooving limbs.
The bass peaked as Laksa proceeded to venture through genres with complete control. Acidic squelches merged into garage and break beat with nods to grime and electro breaks. From those genres mentioned, Laksa’s sound is vehemently grounded in UK influences. Rarely did a standard 4/4 beat enter the fray of shifting tribal rhythms. Laksa’s own productions echo the sentiment of pushing techno into new shapes and sizes, having released on consistently solid labels Ilian Tape and Timedance. The left-field elements of Laksa’s track selection provided a perfect auditory trip for the core message behind No Way Back, transporting the audience into new and original places. The night closed with a small but jubilant group of dancers on the floor.
It seems, following the departure of techno promoters ALTER to London, the space for new exciting techno sounds has been snapped up with enthusiasm. Nights from Ossia, Walking Through Sound and now No Way Back, are certainly keeping Leeds on the map for rougher, more challenging beats.