Going Through a Time Warp - 25th Anniversary Edition

December 4, 2019 -

Fadi AbuZaineh

Whether you are a casual or seasoned fan of techno, then the name Time Warp should sound familiar to you. The world renowned gathering that normally takes place in Mannheim, Germany had decided to bring its energy to the USA once again (for the first time in a few years) along with a fully stacked lineup featuring some of the latest and greatest in the ever expansive world of techno.

Taking place at the New York Expo Center located in The Bronx, the area and venue provided the perfect industrial vibe that will keep attendees going inside 2 dark warehouse like rooms until 7 in the morning.

We began the weekend by arriving right on time for the latter half of Mind Against's set, a group that I had personally been trying to see again since stumbling upon their set at Nocturnal Wonderland in 2016. If there was one quality to their set I would say is a definitely highlight and reason to see them, it is definitely the abundance of arps in almost every track they were playing. Modulating from key to key, paired with progressive buildups and the kind of bass that hugs you, it was surely an ethereal and floaty experience that never got repetitive.

Photographed by Off Brand Project.

Photographed by Off Brand Project

We then made our way to the second room, where Sonja Moonear was playing some proper breakbeat and acid infused beats, which set up the crowd for the highly sought after legend Ricardo Villalobos. After arriving slightly after when he was supposed to start, he went right to it and started playing funky latin style house (on vinyls of course). We had cut our time there short to leave and see Pan Pot, but on our way out we noticed the exceedingly large size of the crowd, and noticed security guards preventing attendees from going to the stage as it most definitely was at its capacity.

Going back to the first stage to see Pan-Pot, the energy was on a whole other level. We went from a groovy vibe to a total pile driving set as Pan-Pot did not let off the gas with all the heavy techno heaters. The energy kept going as Richie Hawtin stepped up to the decks to play a mind bending set, using his live peripherals in tandem with DJ equipment to warp tracks like you never could imagine. He is a true master of techno, or sensei, if you will.


Photographed by Off Brand Project

After another round of crushing techno sets from Amelie Lens and Joseph Capriati, we wrapped up the first night of techno-tivities. They had an after party featuring a 3 hour set from Mind Against as well, but we decided to rest up before returning for the second night.

As the second night began, we grabbed some chopped cheese sandwiches (a true NYC staple) from a local bodega and made our way back to the expo center.

One particular DJ I've been trying to see for what felt like ages was Denis Sulta, and boy did he not disappoint. I've always appreciated his eclectic style, both in his aesthetic and his mixes. His sets are usually all over the place, but in the best way possible. He also has one of the best (if not THE best) stage presence of any DJ I've seen. From techno, to disco, to breaks, back to techno then wrapping up his whole set with I Remember by deadmau5 & Kaskade, needless to say it was nothing short of perfection.


Photographed by Tyler Blomquist

Following Denis's artfully curated performance was time for one of the OG's of techno to take the helm, Sven Väth. His all-vinyl set featured a lot of unique house and techno tunes, including Jump Ship by Dirtybird & Drumcode artist Rebūke. Seeing him perform was a long time bucket list goal for me, and I highly recommend catching him if you ever get the chance.

The end of night 2 contained sets from Maceo Plex & Loco Dice in the first room, and Peggy Gou & Nina Kraviz in the second room. This certainly was a polarizing decision lineup wise, since you basically had to make the tough decision on who to close out with. But I believe we made the right choice in sticking around for Maceo Plex and splitting time between Loco Dice and Nina Kraviz. There was simply no way you'd be disappointed with either closer.


Photographed by Tyler Blomquist

Overall, Time Warp USA was probably one of the best (if not THE best) all-techno events I've attended in the states. The lineup was perfectly curated, the production and sound were mind blowing, and the energy from the crowd was perfect. Special thank you to the entire team at Teksupport for bringing such a monumental event to the US, and supporting techno culture for us who can't quite be in Europe as much as we'd like to be.

We really hope that it makes a comeback for 2020, otherwise we'll just have to head to Germany!


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