Re-Textured at E1 – Review

The inaugural edition of Krankbrother’s Re-Textured festival took over London back in March, and for its second night brought a number of techno heavy-weights to E1.

As a conceptual, city-based festival, Re-Textured fills a much neglected void in the UK festival landscape. Despite leading the way in the European scene, for example through Krakow’s Unsound or Berlin Atonal, festivals seeking to promote underground club culture are seldom seen on our shores, and it was this fact that made Re-Textured feel so refreshing. 

Given its emphasis on big names in electronic music, the night I attended at E1 felt like something of a safe choice when compared to the more experimental, boundary-pushing events happening across the festival’s four-night programme. Whilst arguably befitting for Re-Textured’s mantra – both modern and industrial – the same can be said for the choice of venue, E1, which was largely symptomatic of the current problems facing London’s club scene.  

With the majority of the DJs packed into just 5 hours across two rooms, the night itself felt somewhat rushed and a great deal of time was spent drifting between acts, rendering it difficult to catch a full set. 

American producer Aurora Halal was the first to impress, delivering the perfect warm-up for Dr. Rubenstein in the more atmospheric second room. Pitted against Objekt for the latter half of her set, Dr Rubinstein delivered with her signature style of relentless, punishing acid-infused techno.

Despite playing to a smaller crowd than perhaps expected, Objekt was at the peak of his powers, traversing a broad spectrum of old school dance music. This was epitomised by his selection of the ethereal 1990s trance track, ‘Peschi’ by Reload, which invoked a rare moment of introspection in the club’s main room. By the second hour, UK garage had become the focus of his set, giving the impression that this was a sound a London-based festival should have featured more of. The strength of the line-up was evident right-up until the end of the night, as Lena Willikens and DJ Nobu closed out either room.

With murmurs of Batu and Nina Kraviz shelling it down elsewhere across London, there was an overwhelming sense that Re-Textured had delivered on its aims of providing a city-based festival with a clear emphasis on quality of art. Inevitable teething problems aside, I’m sure Re-Textured will ultimately be deemed a success, and that big things are to come for next year’s edition.

(Image: First Light Media)