2019 was the last time the Herfstdrift Festival, or Autumn Drift Festival, took over an industrial complex near the Waal river in Nijmegen, Netherlands to showcase the old and new guards of cutting edge electronic music. Sporting a stacked lineup featuring Detroit titan Marcellus Pittman, Key Vinyl boss Freddy K, SlapFunk’s Samuel Deep, and more, the single day event promised a whirlwind of high octane techno euphoria. But unless you braved the cold on that fateful Saturday in late-November with some personal recording equipment, Steffi and Privacy’s set as Negroni Nails likely faded into the annals of rave’s past.
Luckily, the set was preserved, and for the first time over the summer, re-aired on Blast Radio, allowing it to once again prowl among the living. Coming off the release of their debut self-titled Negroni Nails EP on Portuguese label Klakson, Steffi and Privacy were in celebration mode. The three song effort stayed true to the hard-hitting Detroit leanings both artists are known for, and on the decks their complimentary stylings merged like twin tornados spiraling to life on the dance floor.
Taking the reins from São Paulo's Cashu, Steffi and Privacy’s set as Negroni Nails kicked off with the darkwave stomper “Milljón Ára” by Reykjavík native Kuldaboli. The buzzsaw bass and ghostly pads gave the duo plenty to work with, as the set spiderwebbed between high low-end acid techno and light-industrial fare fitting for the festival’s chic-ly dilapidated setting. Cuts by the Hacker, Jensen Interceptor, and of course, Steffi and Privacy were interspersed throughout their 2-hour time block that felt like a rocket in perpetual ignition. Gaining steam, the tempo rarely dipped below it’s starting point as the mix ricocheted through various reimaginings of Drexciya-inspired moods and grooves.
Upon re-entry, the set churned on an amped up version of Privacy’s joint “Shove” that slowly decelerated into a sort of gothic dirge, before dropping out entirely. Somewhere between a relic from a bygone era of carefree raving and a rare space mineral that fell to Earth, this set is a crystalline moment in time where the raw and the otherworldly collided, as all those present moved or stood transfixed in the Nordic air. But for those who were elsewhere, take comfort that this experience lives on in its latency, waiting to rise again.If you like Steffi, check out ND baumecker, BLACK GIRL / WHITE GIRL, and Elvin T.