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The Review - Junction 2 Friday

19/06/19

Friday presented some tough decisions for festival-goers – having to miss one of the clashing sets of Craig Richards or Ben UFO proved something of a disappointment. However, these clashes were not due to poor programming, but borne out of the breadth and quality of artists that LWE had compiled for this weekend of music. This may stem from a combination of careful crowd management and the rapid respect that the Junction 2 team have gained in being able to attract so many of electronic music’s leading names.

 

One such name, delivering one of the weekend’s most diverse, awe-inspiring sets, was the goliath Berlin-based Objekt. Mixmag’s DJ of the year treated everyone at The Warehouse stage to just over 2 hours of intense breaks, techno and electro. One track played not only by Objekt himself, but also by Call Super and Ben UFO, bore similarities to Objekt’s ‘Theme From Q’. Drawing animated reactions from crowds, it has been rumoured that this track was the original that Objekt had sampled, made by a Detroit-based producer who was a particular favourite of Objekt and Call Super (but don’t quote us on that!). Friday’s stand-out sets included rRoxymore’s stellar house set, Carista’s soulful cuts at The Stretch and of course Ben UFO’s finale in The Woods. We are all massive fans of Ben at Emergency Room and having seen him play regularly over the past few years, we are starting to think he simply never has a bad day.

2019’s Junction 2 was a genuinely special affair – the day splits allowed for a diverse yet mammoth line-up, perfectly accompanied by top of the range sound and an overall extremely efficient and relaxed festival experience. Aside from the music stages, the Relentless Energy Synth live set-up was a fun and interesting touch, again demonstrating the festival’s ‘music over everything’ attitude. As electronic music fans, we simply could not have asked for more from Junction 2, and cannot wait to see what next year has to offer.

Edited By Louis Holbrook

Friday 7th June saw the return of Junction 2 to Brentford’s Boston Manor Park for its fourth year, the first to span two days since its inception in 2016. Despite the 28-acre estate’s urban location, characterised chiefly by the looming presence of the M4 which dissects the park itself, Junction 2 offers far more of an idyllic rural feel than many of today’s city festivals. Meticulous planning shone through as J2 utilised the park’s potential in its entirety, providing a surprisingly secluded setting for fans of dance music’s heavyweights to descend upon.

 

This year’s line-up saw more variety than previous years, with Saturday remaining true to the festival’s techno-driven origins, and Friday offering an alternative dynamic consisting of house, electro, and a more leftfield curation. Junction 2’s emphasis on variety highlights the festival’s broad appeal, forward-thinking mentality and its ambition to showcase the best that dance music has to offer. Supported by a hand-picked selection of affiliates, such as Fabric, Phonica and Drumcode, Junction 2 affirmed their commitment to high calibre organisation and an experience for music purists. The experience of organisers London Warehouse Events (LWE) was never called into question, with minimal queueing, clear signposting and an experience free from overbearing security ensuring a captivating experience for the diverse range of festival-goers drawn from far and wide.

 

Stage design is paramount to the Junction 2 experience, with the unique identity of each stage neatly reflected in the day’s running orders. Variety is key – from the industrial backdrop of The Warehouse, which played host to such heavy-hitters as Daniel Avery and DJ Stingray, to the open-air atmosphere of the Main Stage. The understated simplicity of The Woods, curated by Ben UFO and FACT Magazine, is testament to the ability of the festival’s organisers to create a magical, remote atmosphere so close to London’s busy streets, complete with a crisp 4-point sound system perfectly tuned to avoid the loss in sound quality often associated with outdoor spaces. Opened by re:ni, and followed by rRoxymore and Shanti Celeste, a strong female DJ presence was noticeable; such a refreshingly balanced line-up was a welcome change from many festivals.