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Timewarp(-ed) 2011 Review

Look back on Mannheim's annual techno family gathering. Stivi and Grego report.

Papa Sven and his masses

Stivi gives the overview.....

For the second consecutive year I travelled to Mannheim on the first weekend of April. My first Timewarp last year was absolutely amazing and so I decided to give it another go this time around. Saturday was a really busy day for me, I was working until 4pm and only took the train to Germany at 7pm. On the train I teamed up with two friends of mine and the journey to Mannheim was a perfect opportunity to relax for a while. We arrived at Mannheim some time past 10pm and walked over to our hotel, which was located just 5 min. walking distance from the train station - very convenient! We checked in, left our bags and left the hotel again soon after. Took a cab and finally arrived at TW at around midnight. There were big queues, but everyone got in quickly.

We first headed to floor two, where Dubfire just had begun his set. The sound was hist trademark "dry" tech sound. People loved it and we had a warm up boogie. Soon we changed over to room 3, where Ricardo villalobos was playing. Now I'm normally not the biggest fan of his, but he played a very decent set. Really groovy (including "Good Life") and not the weird sh*t he often plays when he plays early in the morning...thumbs up for Ricardo!

Then we ventured off to floor 4, which is not the nicest (it's a tent), but Seth Troxler did an amazing job. His set was really funky in a motherfunkin' good way and people went bonkers. His set was really one of the highlights of timewarp 2011 for us. We stayed in the same floor for another while when magda came on and she didn't disappoint neither.


But then we went back to room three and enjoyed Luciano and Carl Craig who played b2b from 3 till 7. Now I know that lately Lucien Nicolet got a lot of bad feedback on the forums and I simply want to say that some of the comments in THAT thread are beyond ridiculous, nuff said. All of our group heavily enjoyed their set and actually everyone on that floor did. It made me grin when towards the end of their set they played a housey version of Black's Wonderful Life - big smiles and reminder of cocoon closing 2009, when this (the original) was the very last track on the terrace.

Luciano and Carl Craig

In the morning we got a bit of Nick Curly (on floor 4 again) and then some of Marco Carola and Loco Dice (floor 3). I enjoyed all of this and I especially enjoyed meeting so many people again. TW is always full of Ibiza faces and so it was a big reunion of people from all over Europe. I guess knowing many friends would come was one of the main reasons to do timewarp again (apart of the fact it's more than 12 hours of quality music). The only thing I personally didn't like that much was when we went into floor 2 for Richie Hawtin's set (he was playing from 8am till 2pm). We got there a bit before noon and floor two is massive. It's a really big hall and it was still very busy (but in a comfy way). But it was SO dark in there and together with his music it all felt so industrial, anonymous...i don't know. Maybe it was just my state of mind but I couldn't stand it for more than half an hour (that said, richie's set was OK, it was more the feel of the room that I didn't like at that time of day). So I went back to floor 3 where Josh Wink was playing the closing set. Much better - and I loved it when he played his own classic Don't Laugh towards the end of his set.

So after dancing for more than 12 hours timewarp ended at 2pm. We were lucky and got a cab straight away. We got back to our hotel, had a shower and slept for about one and a half hours, before we got up again and, with new clothes, made our way to the afterhour, which was held at a small and intimate club in Mannheim (again just 10mins. Walking distance from our hotel - great!). we got in fine thanks to the wristbands we had and after some jagermeister shots we continued partying and dancing until 9pm. The after hour was really nice, again with some familiar faces and good music (I'm not too sure, but I think seth troxler was playing again at some point), a few of the dj's partying along (Carola, Dice, Kruse) and a really cool vibe in the whole club. Definitely an afterparty worth going!

Then we went back to the hotel (forced us to eat something on the way back), fell into our beds and slept for 12hrs straight. On Monday, we got up, checked out at 12noon exactly and dragged our bodies back onto the train to Switzerland...

Looking back it was another great timewarp with a lot of fun overall! Due to the fact Seth troxler and Luciano & Carl Craig played so well I unfortunately completely missed Sven Väth (who apparently really played well!) as well as Henrik Schwarz and Laurent Garnier...but else - no regrets! It was also nice that the weather was all sunny and warm on the Sunday. Like this you could go out every now and then and get some fresh air (last year it was really cold still). Bring on the summer season now!

More thoughts from Grego......

It's for good reason Ibiza is regarded as a true centre of electronic music (if not the centre) but rarely would such a concentration of techno-ness be gathered on the island in one go, as was the case for Timewarp 2011. Quite simply, everyone from the techno scene was there, DJs, promoters, agents and, of course, some 10, maybe 15, or even 20,000 clubbers. Perhaps the only obvious exclusions were some of the Detroit old guard, but 2nd wavers Carl Craig and Richie Hawtin, along with fourth waver Seth Troxler, represented Motown strongly.

Stivi has given his overview of some of the different offerings but I'll try to put that into context a bit. Firstly, the scale of the event is mindboggling. As someone accustomed to large rooms and clubs in Ibiza, the dimensions of the biggest arenas here really hits you and they were all full. Moreover, having taken a 'planes, trains and automobiles' journey to get to the event, I can vouch for the truly international flavour of the clientele that were filling these massive rooms. An overwhelming latin presence of Spanish and Italian clubbers and unsurprisingly, it was the names of the big guns who you most often heard them mention; Sven, Richie, Dice, Marco. The Cocoon influence at Timewarp is palpable.

As at any festival like this, there is too much choice. At any given point, at least 3 or 4 DJs who you'd like to see would be playing simultaneously. In situations like these, you have two options: either stay in one place all night or try to see a bit of everything but fail miserably and actually see nothing. Yep, I foolishly fell much closer to the second category, although I did see large chunks of Sven, Seth Troxler, Nick Curly and the last few hours of Richie Hawtin's closing set.

Sven played a total rip-snorting set, which kind of displayed all the best virtues of the maestro, ranging from aethereal, trancey interludes to what I'd call his trademark throb.

Floor 4 was definitely a favourite for me, not least because I spent most time there, but also because there was a much housier feel to the programming and the daylight that filled the space by morning was almost Amnesia-esque. The DJs weirdly played inside a metal cage, which - despite killing any crowd interaction - did look cool by night, but mainly it kept the booth monkeys at bay and instead forced them onto the dance floor...god forbid!! Seth Troxler and Nick Curly excelled and, as mentioned, added some depth to the more traditional banging techno to be found elsewhere or the en vogue Carola/Dice loopy house-boom techno that is so popular currently.

I think also, the light and vibe on Floor 4, in contrast to the darkness and power of the other main floors, just seemed more suited to 10am on a Sunday morning when you're busy tucking into another Jack Daniels for your breakfast.

What else? Well, it was a shame to miss Laurent Garnier play, but you simply couldn't get into his (relatively) small 600 capacity room and the chillout floor I didn't really want to find (c'mon!!). Floor 3, which had Ricardo, Luciano, Dice and Marco Carola, I missed almost altogether, largely I think due to the fact I wanted to see other things and I've seen lots of all them recently.

At about 11am, after what must have been a couple of hours sat frazzling in the hotter-than-Ibiza sun of Mannheim outside the back of one of the arenas, where half the techno world seemed to have congregated around a portaloo and some building site materials, everyone came together for the last part of Richie Hawtin's 6 closing set. The M-nus boss churned out his customary Traktor magic - like a farmer doing a wheelie whilst ploughing his fields - and teased with familiar loops and beats before dropping Ricardo Villalobos' Easy Lee at 1pm, in all its original, stripped down glory. Yikes!

In contrast to Stivi, the tiny, dingy, sub-ground level location of the after party acted as the worst tonic possible after the highs of the main event and I was not even there long enough to sink a Jagey. In pensive mood, as I wandered back to my temporary home through a bustling Mannheim city centre - on what was a marvellous Sunday afternoon, it again struck me the length people go to take part in these events. Timewarp 'rocked like a bastard', as Mr. C would say, and testifies to the continued vibrancy and strength of this scene, both for old faces and, more importantly, those with a more recent interest. Next stop Ibiza!

Here's another great video from of Seth Troxler's set:

DanceTrippin 203: Seth Troxler @ Time Warp (Mannheim) from on Vimeo.

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