Skip to main content

Time Warp 2018: The tracks that defined Germany's most iconic techno festival

Look, you don’t need us to tell you that a warm-up set is a special sort of skill that requires patience, an experienced ear and of course, some restraint. And while we have nothing but the utmost respect for such selectors, sometimes the occasion just calls for strictly peak-time flavours. Time Warp is one such obvious example. An event where even those kicking off are practically encouraged to go hard from the get-go, it’s a sensory feast like few others — and one where only the biggest tracks are suitable. Even so, with six stages on offer, missing some big moments is an unfortunate inevitability. That said, we still noticed some pretty iconic tracks being laid down at Time Warp's 2018 event. Some were new and some were old, but each one had the desired affect.

Here, we run through some of the most memorable we had the pleasure of encountering over the course of the weekend...

Age of Love 'Age of Love' 
Played by: Dorian Paic 
Where: Room 6
Is there a better - or more iconic - trance track than Age of Love’s self-titled monster? The answer to that question is of course, no. A track that sounded frankly astounding on Time Warp’s giant soundsystem and one that got the night off to a blinding start. Dorian Paic’s set was one of our favorites from the weekend, and this track (which he closed with), brilliantly captured the madness of the whole event. Spine-tingling stuff. 

Einzelkind 'The Boom Bap'
Played by: Apollonia 
Where: Room 4
Apollonia are nothing if not crowd-pleasers, so kicking off their set with a track by Einzelkind on Nick Curly’s now (unfortunately) defunct Mannheim-based Cecile was always a smart move. A few years old this one may be now, but it still boasts oodles of personality.  

Planetary Assault Systems 'Desert Race'
Played by: Sven Vath
Where: Room 2 
Under his Planetary Assault Systems alias, Luke Slater is without doubt one of contemporary techno’s most exciting producers. This one went down a storm when Papa Sven unleashed it over the weekend. An unfurling beast of a track, it’s pure peak-time fire of the type that’s best handled with care. In Sven’s more-than-capable hands, it proved a high point in a set that was bulging with absolute anthems.  

Rod Malmok 'Detran' 
Played by: Sven Vath
Where: Room 2 
Under his ROD and Rod Malmok aliases, Dutch producer Benny Rodrigues has earned a reputation as a man with a knack for crafting elegant techno. ‘Detran’ is a case in point. A melodic banger of the type that’s Sven’s long fawned over, it was another robust cut that played a prominent role in the Cocoon man’s incredible set.  

Depeche Mode 'Strangelove (Pain Mix)'
Played by: Ricardo Villalobos b2b Raresh
Where: Room 6
Any self-respecting Ricardo fan knows all too well that the man is a Depeche Mode obsessive, with his remix of ‘Sinner in Me’ a DC10 classic from yesteryear. Arriving at just the moment when we were craving something a bit different, it brought a smile to the face of everyone in Room 6. Predicting what sort of Ricardo will turn up is part of the man’s allure, but with Raresh in tow he more often than not can be relied on to bring his best. 

Carl Craig & Laurent Garnier 'Demented (Or Just Crazy)'
Played by: Nina Kraviz
Where: Room 2
As if this pair would ever release something that’s not absolutely brilliant. With reserves at their lowest and the finish line firmly in sight, trust Nina Kraviz to ensure the energy never faltered. 

DBX 'City on the Edge of Forever'
Played by: Seth Troxler 
Where: Room 5
Seth Troxler was a busy man over the weekend. Aside from playing at Time Warp and the afterparty, he also played at Robert Johnson in Offenbach where we caught him on Friday. A highlight from his set that night was Daniel Bell’s Peacefrog classic, ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ and he duly repeated the trick at Time Warp, where the track sounded equally emphatic. Regardless of where it’s dropped, this one always earns a reaction. 

Christopher Kah 'Flush' 
Played by: Laurent Garnier 
Where: Room 5
Each room at Time Warp boasts its own individual merits, but Room 5 really does possess that little something extra magical. With the sun pouring into the room from outside, it really took on a whole new dimension. In such situations, the likes of Christopher Kah’s ‘Flush’ really do adopt a whole new level of brilliance.  

Fingers Inc 'Distant Planet'
Played by: Seth Troxler
Where: Das Zimmer, Mannheim
Hosted in Das Zimmer, the Time Warp afterparty is an intimate affair with a vibe that was electric all Sunday. What’s more, it emphasises the festival’s family vibe among the artists and industry, and among others we spotted at the bar were Dixon, Robert Dietz, Butch, Sven and Marco Carola. Seth was in charge of the tunes when we arrived (a number of the aforementioned also took care of proceedings at different points), but our pick from his set was Fingers Inc’s ‘Distant Planet’. An undoubtedly classic, ahead-of-it’s-time tune that signed the weekend off on a suitable high.