Live Transmission: Dustin Zahn, tRibe x Jolt, 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool

As tRibe and Jolt brought a touch of American class in the form of Dustin Zahn to Liverpool, The Waveform Transmitter’s Jack Threlfall was at hand to absorb a blistering techno assault.

The parties that tRiBe have curated over the past year have hosted some of the best talent that techno has to offer. With bookings that include the landmark names of Cari Lekebusch, Lucy and Cleric there is no doubting that The Natives of tRiBe are way ahead of the curve when providing intimate club experiences.

Now, with the reputable assistance of Jolt, the two Liverpool techno cornerstones were able to showcase some real American mettle in the shape of Dustin Zahn. His arrival at 24 Kitchen Street was one that further contributes to a mounting set of evidence that proves Liverpool’s techno scene is thriving.

It was only 11pm but the atmosphere within the industrial confines of Liverpool‘s 24 Kitchen Street was already resembling a storm. Jolt resident Lewin took no notice of the time and harangued the nascent crowd with throbbing basslines and razor hi-hats; the sounds sliced through the jungle mist and infiltrated their very vertebrates.


The native Merseysider dusted the air with resonant cries of “yeah” and turned the ignition on steamroller baritones to flatten the room. Pensive violin stabs sparked the crowd like a broken power pylon and forced them to focus on the raw power of the soundscape being built.

The stabbing sounds began to take on a classic tone as they quickly transmuted into Surgeon’s Atol. By this time, the post-modern jungle aesthetic of the room was illuminated by ballistic strobes; the décor was shaking like tuning forks and the crowd were stirred beyond the borders of their minds.

As the clock struck 12, the jewel in the tRiBe resident crown, Tom Page, gained control of the decks and decided to reset the room and allow the rabid crowd a short respite of transcendental techno; sparse bleeps and echoing digital sounds settled around the warehouse space and soothed the volatile atmosphere.

Once the crowd had finally stopped bouncing and had settled into a magnetic sway, Page cast his trajectory upward and began to taint the sublime sounds with mischievous acid. The 303 inspired sounds began to gain momentum as the cut off filer was cranked all the way the right; the full repertory of undulant vibrations were in full effect.

Once the crowd were suitably roused again the Liverpool DJ allowed himself to showcase a muscularly cogent approach to his set. This was Page’s time to elucidate a cultured techno coup d’œil.  Torpedo basslines and flashing ride cymbals bestowed an unquenchable appetite for juggernaut electronic arrangements on the crowd, reinvigorating them into a stampede of wild nomads.

Tom Page

The tRiBe resident soared forward with the robotic force of the Head Front Panel remix of Mark Broom’s Upside Down. Thick 909 claps and crisp snare patterns decorated the ensemble and orchestrated a shining example of stomping synchronicity within the feet of the insatiable horde.

Time after time, Tom Page delivers the perfect tonic of electronic music to whatever crowd he plays in front of. This writer has had the privilege of seeing the Disjointed Reality head honcho twice in the space of two weeks, and it is clearly apparent that his skill behind the turntables is one that is both adaptable and completely immersive.  So, it is no surprise that his handover to Dustin Zahn was seamless. You can listen to Tom‘s mix from the night, below.

As the American entered the fray he immediately responded to the electrified audience with a prescient and powerful techno onslaught. Punishing kick drums loaded the room and they collided like a battering ram with every ear drum in attendance.

Zahn’s perceptive acknowledgement of the musical themes that Page had established only an hour ago were in full swing, as the Enemy Records stalwart reminded the audience that his penchant for the futurist industrial was far from slumbering. The vision that was being revealed to the Kitchen Street faithful called forth sounds that are usually reserved for those that enter the illustrious halls of Berlin’s Berghain. There was no room for compromise here.

As the set moved inevitably further into the night Dustin Zahn moved into tech-trance territory with underwater vocal samples and regimented woodblock samples. The unrelenting undercurrent within the heart of the set was driven by visceral basslines; they raced around the crowd and plunged them into a state of hypnosis. Arms levitated and legs swung in rhythmic compliance.

Zahn clearly played up to the tribal theme of the night and laid down, what this writer can only describe as, ritualistic beats. The crowd reacted in a cult like manner as their limbs pumped in perfect time with the repeated tom drums. Suddenly a cold vocal sample was introduced; the noun “process” was robotically enunciated over a rattlesnake acid lead and inspired many in the club to repeat the vocal back to themselves as they danced with their eyes firmly closed.

The already rapid BPM was increased even further as Orlando VoornIn Da Jungle (Chocolate Puma Miami Cut) jackhammered around the intimate space. The tsunami trashcan snare drums caused a sonic claustrophobia within the acoustic set up and finally let loose a wave of ubiquitous power causing all those in attendance to scream with delight.

The American had treated the crowd to a tour de force of infallible techno and he knew it; humbly handing off to the tRiBe x Jolt tag team of Bob Guest and Jimmy Allen, Zahn walked off stage with a wry smile and the knowledge that he had reaffirmed the crowds’ crazed appreciation for the hard and fast.

The B2B pairing ended the night with a set of lively and primal techno. They moved through a plethora of highly vocal electronic music that involved a remix of Moby’s Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad and then powered through into Alcatraz’s Give Me Luv to really set the mood. The pairing continued to traverse an eclectic soundscape and engineered a precise but wholly danceable atmosphere; a pure example of tRiBe’s ethos.

Author: Jack Threlfall

A loquacious disciple of electronic music and the written word.

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