Steve Angello’s Printworks show proves landmark moment in dance music history

When Steve Angello‘s Printworks appearance was announced, eyebrows were raised. A grimey disused warehouse set across an industrial estate in East London, you’d be forgiven for associating this setting with anything other than the glitz and glamour associated with EDM’s biggest acts. Primarily a strictly techno-only venue, Printworks has been used as a home for the likes of Paul Kalkbrenner, and Jamie Jones, since transforming into a 6,000 capacity dance music location, with the weekly Saturday afternoon events playing host to mammoth all-day raves.

Lacing his more recent productions with a darker, more brooding feel, Angello’s dynamic musical journey is now evidently leaning towards the more biblical and spiritual; an entirely separate direction to the more commercial path treaded by his former Swedish House Mafia colleagues Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. And so, on a chillingly cold Friday night in a wintry Surrey Quays, thousands of ravers made their way through fields of fog to the isolated building, hoards of steamy breath puffing out into the sub-zero degree air as they strode into the venue.

The first thing that immediately strikes the first-time visitor to Printworks is the true unique nature of such a venue within Great Britain. Whilst more central London locations pride themselves on the decadent VIP table service of iconic clubs like Ministry of Sound, here lies a building that echoes eery haunts of Berlin’s iconic Berghain, and the minimalistic German techno genre which has dominated the city for decades.

Piling through the former loading bay, where lorries would pick up freshly printed newspapers from the now slowly-dying newspaper print trade, the crowds made their way through a converted cloakroom and into the grungy, yet staggering, main room. There are few venues across the world which can leave attendees in open-jaw awe for the first hour of the night – Ibiza superclubs included – but Printworks is certainly a pioneer; a hidden gem of East London’s suburbs, that shines brighter than even her most glitzy English cousins.

Striding into a main room so long, yet narrow, it could easily be mistaken for a steel-clad Cathedral, Printworks prides itself on what appears to be a mile of space between the floor, and neck-strain inducing high-ceiling. Where most rivals would fill this void with 3/4 floors of Mezzanines and VIP balconies, Printworks is a drawback to the days of old. A place to dance, and nothing more. So simplistically brilliant, that it is surely now setting the tone for every competing venue to learn from.

Through the darkness, a star shined bright. And this particular star is sparkling in such glory right now, that his glimmer could even illuminate a total city-wide blackout. Corey James has propelled himself from the depths of those millions of bedroom producers worldwide, to the cusp of the A-List. His hard-work, talent, and passion for his genre are all qualities that ensure that the sky – even this Shard-rivalling Printworks roof – are the limit for the Liverpudlian, who we recently caught up with ahead of his performance at Third Party’s Release showcase night. Spinning his anthemic ‘Back In Time’ to the rabid crowd, Corey – under the watchful eye of his great mentor Steve – has truly arrived at the big time, and having signed to Angello’s legendary SIZE label, we cannot wait to see what 2018 holds in store for this most prestigious of talents.

On this occasion, the meat in a SIZE sandwich, came from Sosumi boss Kryder, who recently teamed up with We Rave You for his ADE Boat Party. Warming up the thousands in attendance to the point where they were soon oblivious to the -3 celsius waiting for them on their departure, the highlight of his vibrant set came when dropping his brand-new Erick Morillo collab ‘Waves’, a simply momumental production which instantly transports the listener to those sunniest of Ibiza days spent lounging on Bora-Bora beach.

And so, with all lights now off, and the crowd plunged into a sea of anticipation, a voice came from the shadows. “Good evening London,” – cue ripples of cheer – “My name is Steve Angello.”

The Boss had arrived. And if his native Stockholm is one of the few places colder than a London winter, the fire had now truly arrived. Beginning with his moving, and intoxicatingly powerful ‘Rejoice‘, an apt score for the spinning wheels of a car commercial if ever there was such a sound, Steve soon began to up the tempo, whizzing through a flurry of popular cuts from his own back-catalogue such as the timeless ‘Knas’ and modern day classic, ‘Cola’ from Camelphat & Elderbrook. Fusing Teamworx‘s gigantic ‘Never Stop’ with his SHM-favourite ‘Save The World’, Angello wasn’t afraid to dip his toes between the murky darker waters, and more gold-and-glitter EDM sounds, and vice-versa, displaying a highly varied mix as he tore through the first hour of his 120 minute set.

With the light-rigs of Printworks lowering, and spinning with every drop in an Omnia-esque manner than even the great Las Vegas superclub would have been proud of, each melodic chord of ‘Opus’ was met with a roar, whilst the now-sweat soaked crowd thrust their hips to the breakdown of Angello’s Axwell collab ‘Tell Me Why’ from their Supermode days. Mixing in that man Corey James‘ ‘LMSY’ with Will K, Steve saved the best for last; paying homage to his former ‘Greyhound’ pals with first Ingrosso‘s ‘Reload’ and then Ax’s mix of ‘In My Mind’, as well as his own reworking of 2010 Pendulum classic ‘The Island.’

But his pièce de résistance came in the form of ‘Payback Vs Wasted Love’; a stunning mix of two of the SIZE maestro’s greatest hits, leaving his worshipping attendees in raptures. As the crowd began to filter out, all before the 11pm curfew, with a full evening of after-parties ahead of them, Steve Angello’s work here had left a lasting footprint on not only the Londoners in attendance, but the venue as a whole, proving that Printworks, and Steve’s music, is not confined by genre, or by consumerist expectation. Good music finds a home anywhere, and for that reason…

“I will rejoice.”

(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews.

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