Review – Peer Review Brought a Stacked Headline for One Hell of a Party

On Saturday, September 7, Peer Review hosted their fourth after-hours event. Featuring a line-up comprised of both local and international DJs, and installations from two local visual artists, the party — according to several attendees — was hands down one of the best underground events to have taken place this year. 

Denver-based DJ Paul Fleetwood opened up the bill, warming up the dancefloor with a set that ranged from ambient to blistering techno. To say Fleetwood’s resume is impressive would be an understatement. A co-founding member of the reputable Pittsburgh nightclub Hot Mass, as well as a co-producer and stage director of queer dance collective Honcho and co-producer of Denver’s Great American Techno Festival (rest in peace), Fleetwood’s knowledge of and presence within the underground dance community is invaluable. His DJ set at the Peer Review party, which included heavy-hitters like Clouds’ “Chained to a Dead Camel,” set the tone for a night of dark — and fast — raving delights. 

Local artist Hayley Dixon created an installation for the party. Photo by Dani Lopez-Cruz

Nearly 400 attendees packed the password-protected warehouse, so much so that navigating the various rooms of the space became its own mission. One room off the to the side was filled with cozy couches, giving dancers a space to sit down and recharge before diving back into the dancefloor. A man lifted his shirt and flashed the camera in the photo booth tucked in the corner of the side room. Art installations from local visual artist Hayley Dixon peppered the warehouse, incorporating softly glowing orbs of light and mannequins, which were strategically positioned around the lights. Behind the DJ booth, a massive installation made of old, boxy televisions projected a series of visual artwork — manned the entire night by the artist who created the sculpture himself, John Heenan. At times, even the headlining DJs turned and stood, mesmerized by the videos flickering behind them. 

At two a.m., headliners D. Tiffany and Roza Terenzi took over the decks and delivered a 4-hour back-to-back set vacillating between electro and acid-y techno. One attendee said, “I had heard good things about D. Tiff and Rosa, but they completely blew me away. Their chemistry behind the decks was impressive, and their selections and mixing were refreshing.” Indeed, the pair passed the decks back and forth so seamlessly, if one had their back turned away it would be impossible to discern which DJ was currently mixing. Watching the two match and elevate the prior DJ’s track selection felt like watching two DJs who shared one single, powerful brain.

“I just mixed a DJ Fixx track into another DJ Fixx track,” Roza Terenzi, whose real name is Katie Campbell, exclaimed with a laugh as Fixx’s “Lose Control” blared behind her. She stood for a moment, eyes transfixed on the warping and fractal visuals on the televisions, before turning back to dance and watch D. Tiffany (also known as Sophie Sweetland). 

Campbell, who hails from Australia, has been releasing otherworldly electro since 2016. In 2018, Campbell released a split EP with Sweetland, which served as the premiere release of Sweetland’s record label, Planet Euphorique. Since then, the pair have each celebrated burgeoning careers, picking up steam as they jet-set around the globe. They have played on Honcho’s boat that cruised down the Allegheny river, Finnish power plants, campgrounds, warehouses, and some of Europe and North America’s most high-esteemed clubs. 

Similarly, Sweetland has her hands in a variety of projects outside of running one of Canada’s most groundbreaking underground labels. She produces under a variety of aliases, and with each project, she takes on a slightly different stylistic approach. Ambien Baby, a project she does in collaboration with Thee Oh See’s drummer  Daniel Rincon, has more of a downtempo feel, while the tracks Sweetland releases under her real name, veer towards a more acid-y, slower techno.

Peer Review’s Nico Tobon on the decks. Photo by Dani Lopez-Cruz

Peer Review hosts Nico Tobon and Mansour Al-Amin closed out the party, spinning dubbier techno to a rising sun. Party-goers sat smoking cigarettes and watching the sunrise, or climbing into Lyfts in anticipation of getting home and rubbing their sore feet after a night of ceaseless dancing. And yet many stayed firmly planted on the dancefloor until the party officially ended, pushing the limits of their bodies for the sake of the beat. 

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