Boris in Tel Aviv

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  • In the hours before Berlin's Boris kicked off a recent set in Tel Aviv, most of the people in attendance at The End had crowded around a long rectangular bar, drinking, talking, and pacing in place to a faint rumble coming from a room downstairs. There was no dance floor within immediate view, but eventually people began pouring to the back of the room to feel their way down a dark set of stairs. What we found was an underground cave lined with coats and scarves abandoned by people already on the dance floor. Eventually, Boris's face, smiling, revealed itself from under a wandering stage light—the Berghain/Panorama Bar resident's energy was then delivered through a diverse and excellent music selection. As such, Pacotek, the promoters responsible for the event, had plenty to be happy about. Boris started with house—a departure from what was expected by someone often gracing the Berghain main room since the club's opening in 2004—but the steady pace made the crowd more receptive to the heavy energy he later delivered. Already known for his extraordinarily long sets, it was no surprise that the majority of the clubbers were still on their feet by set's end. They were expecting it. What they perhaps weren't sure about, however, was how Boris would work in the city. His strength doesn't necessarily lie in a technically flawless mixing. But because of his long time spent behind the decks, he had something just as important: An ability to read a crowd and select tracks—from classic house to tech house and techno—that perfectly fit the feeling in the room.