Lena Willikens comes to Mick’s Garage on Saturday 18th August, alongside similarly styled London based DJ Elena Colombi. They are joined by Origins Sound founder DJ Armând and Nicolas Van Peteghem, known as Nick VP. Both are keen on rhythmic, thumping house and techno. Residents Conman and Trebor complete the line-up.
The enigmatic Lena Willikens is characterised by her heavy and unconventional sets. Her tracks have an element of foreboding; the aptly named “Howlin Lupus” from her 2015 EP Phantom Delia has an abundantly dark tone to it. There is certainly an anarchy to her style, a refusal to adhere to the formulaic tropes often attached to techno. She modifies tracks with jarring vocals, looping drones and biting snares. She taps into the elusive no wave genre, and like many musicians of the movement, her music is experimental and dissonant. Willikens has forged for herself an idiosyncratic flair. She is unmotivated in uncovering obscure music for the sake of it; as she puts it ‘I’m not interested in finding the rarest shit’. Instead, she has found a niche in the abstract, her talent recognised by Dekmantel who recently released her Selectors 005 compilation.
Willikens is joined by NTS resident and Italian born DJ Elena Colombi. She indulges in the ambient, her mixes often meandering between the mystical and the melodic. She borrows sounds from the Far East, with her taste ranging from Japanese post punk to unusual mutant disco. Her ability to navigate freely an array of vastly different genres is impressive, from Japanese psychedelic rock to ambient electronic. During an NTS set, she played the song “P.T.A”, composed by new wave artist Nagai Owakare. The ghostly, background female vocals used in Owakare’s song are blended well with Colombi’s selection of ambient tracks. Willikens too takes inspiration from these new wave sounds and redelivers them in a modern form.
Event organiser Ali Mehrkar or Armând joins the roster alongside French producer, DJ and label manager Nicolas Van Peteghem. Having performed alongside Tom Trago, Armând’s upbeat house style will provide variety from the more ambient mixes of Willikens and Colombi.
With Hackney licensing policy becoming more restrictive this is not one to miss, and whilst organisers like Mehrkar are doing well to curate events like Origins 100; it seems that sadly there will be fewer events in the borough running till 4am.
Remaining tickets here.