After a nice weekend with different events organised around Brussels, with the competition of several small sized events in the city centre, it was not easy for Crossroads festival to find its own space into the first Sunday of July. However, the combination of a sunny day, the reputation of Fuse and Resident Advisor who organised together the event and a well-calibrated line up were all decisive ingredients for what resulted in a full success.
Two different stages – plus a small third one fully dedicated to vinyls – were on the menu: the main stage called the Bridge was a full blast of raw, industrial techno while the Pyramid stage had a more soulful, housey and melodic approach.
We started with a few nice mellow tunes by the duo Natv:Men, playing back to back in the small vinyl stage which was a curios attempt to recreate a small cage just at the entrance of the festival. It took a while to realize it was actually possible to get into that cage and start dancing inside it, but it was probably due to our brains working slower than usual after a rough Saturday night. This stage was dedicated to Brussels talents, and it was a nice variation between the two larger ones.
The scenario was great, with the motorway just passing over our heads and the long bar scrolling under it. The main stage was about to welcome Robert Hood and we decided to get closer, just to find a nice chill out area with free fruit for everyone. A kind and thoughtful gesture, much appreciated!
Easy to say, Robert Hood was fully pumped with his energy and charisma. Spacing from classic house and uplifting tunes such as Get Over U by Frankie Knuckles to techno and percussive sounds made of pumping basslines and harsh rhythmic punches. In his own style, capable of mixing a variety of distant sounds while still incorporate them in a coherent musical trip, Robert Hood delivered a killer set which woke everyone up. We were ready to explore the other side now, not before being blessed by We Magnify His Name, what a tune!
I didn’t wanna miss Fred P so we run to the Pyramid stage and it was again a nice surprise by this special New York artist. Well known for his deep and soulful touch, he was able to capture the mood of a sunny Sunday afternoon, offering a sweeping energetic set. While we couldn’t stop to dance, as Fred P was passing from MoD & Staffan Thorsell with Magic Vibe to Deep Dancing by Eddie Hu, we decided to climb the hill just in front of the stage were we could enjoy some rest and a wave to the cars passing by the motorway. I guess they had no idea of the party just beneath us, but that’s their problem.
To be completely honest, the two stages seemed to be too close with each other. The sound of the main one was clearly audible from certain points of the Pyramid, and partially covered the sound of the cage-vinyl stage in between them. I am sure this will be adjusted next year, because it would be a pity to waste the potential of a fantastic full Funktion One system that worked great during the day: powerful, smooth, but also tight and punchy, perfect for techno.
A few minutes of resting after Fred P, and DVS1 started at the Bridge stage, where the crowd was now getting bigger and bigger. From the midwest rave scene, to being resident at Berghain/Panorama Bar, DVS1 has smashed an impressive number of dance floors with his rumbling engine of murky techno with the nicest chord progressions around. This day was no exception, with the crowd responding enthusiastically to his relentless set.
Undecided to close with Pierre, the legendary resident at Fuse, or Mike Servito, we decided to go for the second. Living in Brussels we had the pleasure of listening to the Belgian dj multiple times, while I was quite curios to dance with the American one for my first time. From Perkin Hard by Gene Farris, to Two Together by Tom Trago, passing by Pain Pressure (recently released by Octave One with the album Love By Machine) he skilfully took charge of the closing with two hours of happiness-soaked house music, some trippy techno and intricate rumbles. We danced, we laughed, we enjoyed the sunset with a warm, sweaty and kicking selection.
Crossroads is a nice little surprise in an over saturated market of dance events and festivals. There will be some minor details to overcome next year, but being the first edition, we can safely say that the guys from Fuse delivered a nice party, in an unusual location, with top quality music!
Clubber Confession will be partying again soon with Fuse so stay tuned for the next episodes!