With 303 firing on all cylinders Getintothis’ Ste Knight heads down to the Williamson Tunnels for a diverse night of bass and beats with Josh Wink.
Back in 1810, when Liverpool philanthropist Joseph Williamson began work on his now famous project, the Williamson Tunnels, it’s a sure bet he had no idea that 215 years later they’d be playing host to some of the biggest names in dance music.
It is also a dead cert that he didn’t realise that the acoustics in the tunnels are perfect for firing hurricane force techno right into your face. But then he would almost certainly have been smashing out romantic era classical music by Beethoven or Haydn, not blistering breakbeats.
Whatever Joseph Williamson‘s intentions, though, it is fair to say that by far the best use for the Edge Hill landmark has been realised by those lovely lads and lasses at 303. Forever putting on sickeningly awesome parties, usually in the tunnels, the gang did it again on the 26th of September when they rolled dance royalty Josh Wink into town.
It is fair to say that Wink‘s set was somewhat different to the usual straight up banging techno that the 303 crowd are used to. He did play some absolute storming techy tracks, granted, but his set was a more diverse journey which showcased his talents as a true ‘selecta’. Dropping his 2014 dancefloor destroyer I’m Talking To You sent everyone apeshit, and for good reason – the track is a full on acid assault with clattering, frenetic percussion, TB303 acid bassline and some mind-bending vocal chops and cuts. Classic Wink.
Occasionally he dropped the tempo down to play some badass funky breaks. These weren’t everyone’s cup of tea but it really went a long way to allow Wink’s set to peak at several points so they provided a great breakdown to then build upon.
One such occurrence was when he teased in his acid-breakbeat smash Higher State of Consciousness. Not content with just playing the record, Wink sent the crowd into a complete frenzy as he played his trademark track out live. It. Went. Off. People will be picking fragments of brick out of their hair and eyes for weeks as Wink‘s performance of his classic blew the tunnels apart.
Technically, Josh‘s set was outstanding and it is plain to see why he’s such a stalwart of the dance scene with a diverse sounding career spanning a quarter of a century.
The 303 rezzies provided us with a fantastic warm-up to Wink‘s set. Gemma Muir, as always, got things going in her own inimitable fashion with some stepped up bumpy house to start proceedings, which she then switched up to the techie side of things while the tunnels filled up. Her sets are always on point and this occasion was no different as she got the crowd sweating from the get go.
Stuart Hodson was next up to the plates and he didn’t allow any respite as he played a full-on techno set with tracks from the likes of Technasia, Adriatique and Jay Lumen. There’s one thing you absolutely can take for granted with Stuart‘s sets – they’re going to be back to back bangers and make no mistake. He really had the crowd whipped up by the time Wink came to take over. You can listen to Stuart‘s mix below.
Definitely worth of a mention is the production we saw on the night. Awesome visuals and lighting effects (strobes are always great for making you feel like Alice in Wonderland and forgetting which way is ‘up’) and in particular the counterpart to some of Wink‘s more trippy, delirious techno was the giant Buddha who appeared while everyone was totally psyching-out. It was fucking rad.
So as 303 continue to establish themselves as one of the biggest and best acid and techno promoters in the city, we can only sit back and wait until their next huge party which, very aptly, is techno and electroclash pioneer DJ Hell on Halloween. Keep an eye out on Getintothis for more news on the upcoming event.