We’ve written about it before, most recently about the dynamic between husband and wife duo Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg, but we’ll say it again: the theory behind a successful B2B partnership cannot be understated. It’s not as simple - or easy - just to crowbar two DJs together behind the decks, no matter how big their individual profile. The best B2Bs rely on trust, understanding, familiarity, compatibility and, if we’re being completely honest, a little to a lot of competitiveness. Down the years, we’ve seen some pretty horrible B2Bs. Couplings that look awful on paper - and sound worse in practice. They’re not difficult to spot.
Fortunately, Junction 2 festival has a lengthy honours list for getting their pairings right. Carl Cox and Adam Beyer in 2018, Sonja Moonear and Nicolas Lutz - TWICE, Maceo Plex and Tale Of Us last summer. All of them won rave reviews and went on to define the festival in their given year. Now Junction 2 has returned with a stellar cast of B2Bs for its forthcoming fifth edition. Four on Friday, four on Saturday. It’s even Stevens. Let’s take a look in closer detail...
First, let’s begin with the ones we half-knew/suspected. Being that they were announced in the first wave of headliners, it would have been criminal to have Hessle Audio play anything but one of their plaudit-stealing B2B2Bs. Ben UFO, Pearson Sound and Pangaea are now confirmed to be all playing together. Furthermore, it will be an extended set. J2 committing to its promise of giving headliners maximum time to do their thing. We think this one has the potential to be one of the sets of the weekend.
The other also takes place on Friday, and sees the Zenker Brothers link-up with label mate Skee Mask. It was of course a given that siblings Dario and Marco would play alongside one another, but when fellow Ilian Tape member Skee Mask was also announced, fans of the Munich-based imprint were naturally left wondering if they might hook up. That transpires to be the case, so expect this three-way to take us from techno, to IBM to jungle.
Our final Friday B2B is one we had hoped to see as soon as we saw both names on the line-up. Dance music’s latest power couple and LGBTQ+ stars Octo Octa and Eris Drew will be doing their thing at J2. The lovebirds toured the US with their collaborative B2B showcase T4T LUV NRG last year to critical acclaim and we’re thrilled that J2 is bringing that energy to the UK.
The final Friday pair is new kids of the block Roza Terenzi and D. Tiffany, who have been announced for the confines of the reimagined Warehouse stage.
On Saturday, we start things off with Seth Troxler and Margaret Dygas, one of the more curious selections, not least because of their contrasting styles. One that is sure to go off in tangents, not even the most seasoned of dance music veterans will be prepared to predict one they’ll take us.
Next is a three-headed beast of Roi Perez, Dr. Rubinstein and weekend resident Avalon Emerson. After she conducts a solo set on the Friday, Avalon spars off alongside two fellow adopted Berliners the following day, in what is set to be a treat for attendees.
Last year, Dax J tore a hole in the ceiling of The Warehouse with his monstrous fast-paced techno. In 2020, he gets to do it all over again, only this time he’ll have a helping hand. He’ll be bouncing off another uncompromising figure in Kobosil. Expect relentless exchanges as these two warheads fire missile after missile in the pressure cooker environment.
If you thought that was something, then we think the final B2B will also tickle your fancy. Champions of Berlin and longterm friends Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann form the final explosive partnership. Although seeing them play together in their hometown is not so unusual, it’s a rarity to catch the spectacle on UK shores and even moreso at an outdoor festival. Such circumstances call for something special. Much like the Dixon and Âme marathon from 2018, Klock x Dettmann gets allocated extended set status. A little piece of Berghain comes to J2 as two of the scene’s most celebrated DJs come together.
With all this and more, J2 2020 is shaping-up to be the most comprehensive edition of the festival in its five year history. We can’t wait to descend on Boston Manor Park and immerse ourselves in the music. It’s clear to see why J2 has become the UK’s premier techno music event.
Friday tickets are currently on fourth release, Saturday on fifth release and Weekends are now sold out. J2 is heading for a sell out once again.