Black Coffee gets Robe boost at Drumsheds
Friday, 14 January 2022
robe-black-coffeeBlack Coffee plays Drumsheds (photo: Lindsay Cave)
UK - Sculpting a fluid and kinetic visual collage aligned with the heartbeat and spirit of rave was a task lighting and environment designer Eran Klein relished for Black Coffee’s recent performance at Drumsheds in north London.
With a rig of Robe moving lights at his fingertips, Eran atmospherically engineered nearly 12 hours of electronic musical experience culminating in a three-hour set by the Grammy Award nominated DJ and music producer. The event was a co-production between Imma.nence by techno visionary Oren Heknin - a long term client of Eran’s - Live Nation Israel, UK promoters Metropolis Music and Shaked Minuskin.
Staged in this newfound space, once part of a gasworks, the gig captured an important moment in time as live in-person events continue enthusiastically following lifting the initial COVID lockdown restrictions in England.
For Eran, the design was more about enveloping the whole space in good vibes and energies.
While the DJ was obviously at the centre of the action with everything radiating out from him across the entire space, rather than Black Coffee being separated and isolated on a stage, the DJ booth was located two thirds of the way down the long narrow space with the VIP dancing platforms immediately behind.
This effective in-the-round positioning enabled everyone in the room to properly connect with the music.
Eran’s lighting design took full advantage of the venue’s 20m trim height, with an impressive 11m diameter trussing circle centrepiece flown immediately above the DJ booth, complete with a ‘jewel’ in the middle and a laser.
Behind this - in the upstage position - he needed a strong lighting presence, so Robe MegaPointes were chosen for this core design aspect, with 12 fixtures rigged on a 6m diameter circle plus eight Robe Spiider wash beams. All these pointed forward adding depth and movement to the picture, blasting purposefully down the room.
Another eight MegaPointes were deployed on vertical trusses beneath the circle truss at varying heights, and two ladders on the upstage walls were each rigged with three MegaPointes for side back lighting and sweeping across the space. These also provided contra-light for the dancers and pin-pointed the main (of several) upstage mirror balls.
All these rear MegaPointes were Eran’s ‘go-to’ fixtures for creating those energising bold slices, streaks and wedges of light and breakup effects shooting through the VIP area highlighting hands-in-the-air and dancing bodies. “I actually had to pull these particular MegaPointes down a bit as they were too intense at times,” he admitted.
The side and lower MegaPointes contrasted dynamically with the luminaires on the circle truss and complimented the centrepiece lighting when that fired up just before Black Coffee took to the decks to get everything pumping for the final three hours of the event.
Another four Spiider LED wash beams were ensconced under the VIP stage shooting forward, while a single Spiider was dedicated to dramatically back-lighting and silhouetting the DJ.
“Techno music is fantastic for making lightshows,” enthuses Eran, adding that the challenges - especially with a Black Coffee performance - are being able to react immediately and spontaneously with the musical flow.
To help light the cavernous Drumsheds interior, Eran devised some special chandeliers each made up from three Robe PATT 2013s with a MegaPointe at the bottom, which were attached to the structural pillars down the room and used to lower the ceiling making the space more intimate at specific times.
Thirty-six LEDBeam 150s deployed on the structural pillars down the room lit up and interacted with the audience, adding to the feeling of inclusion and involvement in this live experience rather than people simply being there and watching a lighting or visuals show.
Eran programmed and ran all lighting on a grandMA3 console. “It was a giant rave . . . like a volcano, rumbling and exploding with molten energy,” he describes.
The event’s creative director was Oren Heknin, the producer was Maya Aviv, Itay Harpaz stage managed and Assa Efrat created the sound design. The scenic and LED pixel integration for The Jewel was completed by OX.

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