Innervisions – A Reflection


Techno labels such as Innervisions justify the legendary status honed upon them. Surpassing the forward-thinking bracket and executing a cutting-edge, sumptuous smorgasbord of creative energies, events such as the Innervisions: An Evening At The Cabinet of Dr Callagari decrees the genre and the brains behind it as technical creations truly of the highest order. 

The Innervisions session at Camdens Roundhouse merged aural art perfectly with visual, marrying the two and employing an arguably ambitious London venue to encapsulate the talents of the minimalist industrial designer, Ron Arad, for one huge feast of treats for the senses.

Electric and moody at once, the atmosphere had genuine opulence to it. The vastness of the vicinity means when one enters it takes a moment to adjust the senses whilst lulled into the communal shadow of the Roundhouses main atrium. With 5,600 flexible silicone rods cascading from the ceiling typical Arad-extravagance Ive come to learn – the 1920s silent film classic Dr Callgari was projected onto the circular cell housing an intent, acutely engrossed crowd. The centre of this silicone curtain played host to Henricke Shwarz, Ame and Dixon creating the soundtrack, enticing the silent movies evocations with a live cinematic electronic score, delighting from all angles.

The clinical sounds morphing into a soundtrack were seamlessly partnered with a creepily old film it was bizarre to say the least, that where an old building was married with modern art installations, where old grainy images were married with modern, mechanical music it made absolutely perfect sense. 

Slightly creepy, eerie, yet alluring, the live soundtrack was aligned with the projections to a bewitching degree. The hypnotic sounds I have lovingly heard before in Berlin, the Berghain or anywhere deep and electronic were now being intensely drawn into new forms.

And then the delectable club-format of techno came out to play all those cinematic, epic swathes of sonic constructs were now beating fluidly, raising the pace. The aura was at the hands of Schwarz, Ame and Dixon once again, although something special had happened the value of music played in the former part of the event now rendered the latter sincerely precious. The music resonated on a level one wouldnt quite expect it to. Levels of appreciation reached the roof, whilst visuals were still bestowed upon the crowd, courtesy of Berlin-based collective JUTOJO.

The premise of the visual-meets-musical combination has been explored before, but not on this scale or to this quality. Ron Arads Curtain Call runs deeper than a conventional techno / visual night, combining an industrial shell, an expanse of graphic eye-candy and – of course impeccable music.

By conjoining the talents of sound, visual and industrial artists, the music makers and people shakers behind Innervisions transformed the Roundhouse into a physically and mentally engaging evening that proved to delight and engage every passing second. In true Germanic style, irrespective of the evidential effort on a technical basis, it all seemed as though effortless – some sort of perfect accident.

Sophie James