Hometown heroes Pan-Pot have been on a red-hot rise to the top in recent years. Along with a longstanding residency at Watergate in their native Berlin, they regularly play clubs like Amnesia for Marco Carola's Music On, and over the summer it was announced that they'd be stepping up for the 17th instalment of the illustrious Watergate mix series.
A particularly well spun mix, it captures the duo's infectious energy behind the decks perfectly in CD format, winning critics over all the while. This weekend saw the duo bring it all together for the Watergate 17 release party at Berlin's famed Watergate, so we headed down to check things out.
After a seemingly endless wait to check our coats, we finally made it into Watergate’s main level at around 2:30am. Curious as to who was on, it took me by surprise when I got close to the booth and noticed Glasgow duo Slam were getting warmed up, as uncharacteristically bouncy tech house pumped from the speakers.
The two eased us into the evening perfectly with sultry grooves like the Memoryman Dub Mix of Ivano Coppola’s ‘Mastermind’, gradually moving into more tech-driven territory like ‘Bewitched’ by Geddes, eventually breaking the techno dam around the 3am with much more familiar, straight laced grooves.
As the duo gathered steam, I was suddenly hit with another surprise when I asked a friend when Pan-Pot would be on and was told, “They’re on right now, downstairs.” Admittedly disappointed at having to split my time between the night’s stars and the legendary Scotsmen, I hurried to the Waterfloor to catch Pan-Pot in action.
Working my way through the sea of bodies downstairs in order to get a closer look, I was struck by the energy in the room – palpable. The German duo was settling into the groove nicely with attitude laden tech house from the likes of André Winter and Hatzler with ‘Mirage’, which had the packed floor pumping in time. From there they worked into the rolling tech house remix of Filthy Rich's ‘Rendezvous’ from Nathan Barato before ripping into the grunge filled bass lines of 'Factory 7' from Max Chapman, which had the crowd screaming for more. Pan-Pot certainly were the night’s main attraction, though the lure of Slam was inescapable, so I headed back up to the main floor to check things out.
Not quite as busy as downstairs, nevertheless the mood in the main room was right on the money as Slam kept a more levelheaded crowd locked in with James Ruskin’s ‘No Trace’, heading over to one of the year’s finest with Floorplan’s Re-Plant mix of ‘Never Grow Old’ – Aretha’s vocal hook never failing to incite shouts of joy – before wrapping up with Berghain favourite, the Rødhåd remix of Benny Rodrigues’ ‘The Choice Is Mine’ as their manager handed huge water bottles to a few faithful in the front.
At 4:45 I headed back downstairs to catch the last of Pan-Pot, and as the crowd had thinned out a bit, dancing was much more manageable. All in attendance took full advantage of that fact, as each energy-filled break saw hands raised up across the room, tracks like the jackin’ Sidney Charles’ ‘Warehouse Anthem’ inciting whoops and whistles from all over the exuberant floor.
It's easy to see why Pan-Pot have become fixtures of Watergate, and were asked to compile a mix CD on the club’s behalf. In my short but productive time here in Berlin, I've yet to see crowds react quite like Saturday night, as on many occasion the duo had the entire room raised in utter joy, bathed in smiles from end to end.