It’s hard to believe that Detroit techno is well and truly an adult, having celebrated its 25th birthday last year with an epic line up at the Miami Winter Conference. It also seems incredible that it was 20 years ago when Carl Craig set up Planet E Communications, a label that would go on to release records by Moodymann, Kevin Saunderson and Kenny Larkin. Alas Planet E (almost) comes of age this year, and much like anyone that awaits a milestone anniversary there’s been a buzz in the air for months regarding the warehouse party to be held at the 1,000 capacity Ewer Street Car Park.

Carl Craig’s quasi-legendary status always seems to bring people from all walks of life together, whether it’s due to his penchant for crossing over into jazz, classical, and more recently dipping his big toe into dubstep, or whether he’s simply so famous now even most non-electronica fans are aware of him. Regardless, Planet E’s 20th birthday party has amassed punters young and old – literally in their masses as Arch 1 begins to feel decidedly cramped during François K’s opening set. There is much pushing and pulling until around 2 am, when Craig appears behind the decks and the crowd stands to attention, wondering what will happen next. Rather than regale the audience with a simple selection of his greatest hits (which could so easily be done at a birthday party), he sticks to hard, pure, techno grooves; when a song is recognisable it is treated with reverence by both DJ and listener – a choppy version of ‘Good Life’, his remix of Faze Action’s ‘In The Trees’, and a momentous closer with ‘Falling Up’. A three hour masterclass in Detroit techno; let’s hope the rumour of this being Craig’s only London date this year isn’t true.

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