Kann X Giegling in Leipzig

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  • When I arrived sometime around 9 AM on Sunday, the Kann X Giegling party had already been rumbling on for a good 11 hours. It was a wet and grey fall morning in Leipzig, and the club wasn't exactly a splash of colour. In fact, it feels like a slight exaggeration to call Conne Island a club at all—Google Maps has it listed as a "youth centre," which sounds about right (the multi-building venue also hosts punk shows, freestyle skating and political open-mics). And yet, with its scruffy décor and dress-down crowd, it felt like something close to a rave ideal: egalitarian and concerned with nothing beyond the music and the people in the room. "Go there any time of the night or day," read a message announcing the party. "Plunge into the Freundschaftstaumel"—literally "friendship delirium," or as one German friend suggested, "bromance." As my eyes adjusted to the dark and the smoke, the party looked like a teeming anthill: the space has two levels, with staircases on either side of the DJ booth leading to a second area that looks over the rest of the room. Sevensol was finishing as I checked my coat, dishing out lush, punchy cuts of deep house that culminated in a satisfying rinse of Daphni's "Ne Noya" (he'd spend the rest of the day attempting to crowd surf, with varying levels of success). Up next was a back-to-back-to-back from Kann duo Manamana and Giegling's Konstantin. The trio kicked off with Burger/Ink's dubbed out classic "Twelve Miles High" and drifted through a set that was equal parts peak-time and afterhours. Elli & Chriso blew straight past afterhours and into the realm of afterparty YouTube sessions—Glass Candy's "Computer Love," Grand Puba's "I Like It," Soul Capsule's "Law Of Grace" (pitched way, way down). Though their mixing could be a bit shambolic, they gave us many of the night's most memorable selections, and established an anything-goes atmosphere that DJ Dustin was happy to run with. The Giegling label-head (alongside Konstantin) spent the next two and a half hours playing oblique house records with occasional curveballs like Daft Punk's "Doing It Right" (probably the biggest tune I heard all day). Edward played live next (by now about 5:00 PM) and delivered a thudding reinterpretation of the delicate sound he's pushed on his last few records for Giegling. The rest of the acts I saw that night were all new to me. One that stood out was Olin, a Chicago DJ who's booking Smart Bar now that Black Madonna is busy blowing up. His sound was sleek and colorful, with highlights like Donnacha Costello's "Pistachio" and Minilogue's "Doiicie." And then, very reluctantly, I began plotting my escape—Kettenkarussel was due to play live well into Monday morning, but I had to catch a midnight train back to Berlin. When I left the room was identical to when I'd arrived: a big, cozy, smoky pit—a Freundschaftstaumel I'd have happily stayed in much longer.