For this episode of Residents’ Hour, we’re heading back to the German musical hub of Hamburg. Having first discovered the city with RVDS (resident at the soon-to-reopen Golden Pudel), this week sees us wandering into the city’s borough of Karolinenviertel, where PAL’s resident DJ Marc Schneider takes us under his wing.
Marc’s provided us with a recording of his opening set for Blawan and Sven Von Thülen, giving us some insight into what a typical warm-up set at PAL sounds like. He also explains what it is that makes the opening set crucial to the overall club experience.
“PAL first opened its doors in November 2014. Since then, it has steadily become an important German address for contemporary dance music, booking artists that reflect much of what is happening in the world of house and techno. PAL also takes risks by inviting artists that are still building a name for themselves within the community. The overall mindset is to be a witness and enabler of the movements happening on techno and house’s global stage.
“Alongside other Hamburg-based talent, I have my monthly night where I really love the experience to open up, see these transitions and hand over a dancefloor that’s cooking and shaking. Then I get to hang out, listen and dance while the next DJ has the freedom to take the warmed-up crowd in any direction they choose. I find that very thrilling.”
“The opening set is a free form moment of casualness and experimentation. People are slowly trickling in, getting a drink, chatting, warming themselves and the room up for the incoming crowd and sound. It’s casual – and I get to play an ambient, meandering soundtrack in the meantime. Playing ambient and experimental tracks in a half-empty room from artists like Biosphere and Aphex Twin, or some dubby techno from Rhythm & Sound and Basic Channel, emphasises the beauty of the opening set. This is exemplified best when the club is at its most cavernous.
“It’s a slow narrative, a prologue. Each track is a brick, building the foundation of a dance party. I really enjoy the structure of bringing to light what will eventually be a slamming dancefloor. A dead pulse that slowly grows faster and firmer – and everything that can happen in between.”
Our next instalment of Residents’ Hour comes in from one of Manchester’s finest. Stay tuned.
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