decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

September 3, 2008

Winter clubbing…

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music — decoded_ @ 4:26 pm

Usually it’s very quiet for clubbing, events and visiting international DJs/live acts over the Winter period from June till late August here in Sydney, but there have been quite a few things on this year deep-tech/minimal wise, which is a nice change.

However… I didn’t actually get out to many. I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to drag myself out into the cold when the night came along, apologies to promoters.

I missed out on seeing/supporting… Ion Ludwig [live], Ekkohouse [live], Phonique, Charles Webster, Heiko Laux, Quarion [Live], Luca Bacchetti, and recently L├╝tzenkirchen, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of others that I would have enjoyed as well. I only have myself to blame.

I think I’ve also been suffering a bit of depression from ‘this time last year…’ memories of my European summer 2007 clubbing holiday.

I also realise, I’ve not blogged much about some of the things that I did actually get out to, so it’s time to fix that, before I forget it all.

Remembering back, here are some words and thoughts on some past club/dance events I went to.

~ ~ ~

Lost Baggage @ The Cross : 03.05.2008

Alex Smoke [live] played much the same awesome set as he played a couple of nights earlier, that I wrote about here. Playing to a busy party, packed dance-floor this time. I really enjoy his music/sounds. I had a nice chat to him afterwards about music production too. One of the new tracks/moments in his live set I really liked and remembered has just been released on his Vakant label… Whirrfless!

Matthias Tanzmann played in the smaller side room of The Cross, and mixed up sounds more on the deep/house tip than minimal/tech like he played last time I saw him at that crazy little party at the Goethe-Institut Sydney. I wanted to check out some of his other performances in Sydney around this period, but unfortunately didn’t make it to any.

I had a fun night with friends at this Lost Baggage party. Typical messy/rude crowd, no real surprises there, we don’t let it spoil our night. I remember I got quite sick with sore throat after this party, thankfully that cold/flu bug didn’t last too long.

~ ~ ~

We Love Sounds… Stephan Bodzin & Dubfire – Side Show @ Arq : 06.06.2008

Stephan Bodzin [live] looked the crazed, mad scientist at work, performing live, with a blur of white gloved hands, getting busy all over his gear, and waving his arms around like a man possessed. I imagine the gloves are to protect the screen on the JazzMutant Lemur MIDI controller’s screen. He gives a great performance. The music sounded very large! Those typical Bodzin, Rekorder, Huntemann style phat, buzzy, fuzzy, de-tuned, filtered, synths layered over deep, growling bass-lines, shuffled by minimal beats, with the required 808 toms, and white noise breakdowns/builds.

He has some fantastic control over all the elements of sound during live performance, but he tweaked things too much for my tastes. Dropping the beats, and filtering bass-lines and synth patterns into washes of white noise oblivion almost every 16 bars. Not much sustained dance floor pressure really. I guess that’s not his thing. The (young) crowd loved it (dance floor was packed), short attention spans and all that. I have to say, I’m not as much of a fan of this sound now as I was a year or two ago.

Stephan was using an Apple MacBook with Ableton Live, and a bunch of MIDI controllers; A Monome Pad Bank, Behringer BCR2000, and a JazzMutant Lemur which was projected via video camera onto a screen for all to see (like at the Bjork concert). He also made much use of a EFX-1000 effects unit. Another of his MIDI controllers was some bizarre, long, white, plastic tube, custom made no doubt, that he err, rubbed up and down, see clip of it in use below.

Dubfire followed with a DJ set, using an Apple MacBook covered in a shiny red skin. I think I heard someone mention he was ‘mixing’ using Traktor 3 software on the laptop. There were reports of either bad mixing, or people hearing him cue other tracks via the monitors? I didn’t notice. We only stayed for the first 30 minutes or so of his set. I didn’t get much out of it, too many of those long, drawn-out, minimal, plodding tracks, like the stuff you hear from Dubfire, Radio Slave, and on the SCI+TEC label, all played back to back, exactly what I expected to hear, which was the problem I guess, needed more variety to keep my interest. I heard he got better later on, judgements could be questionable.

Arq is a great club, nice sound, it’s my 2nd time there, first time was to see the Detroit Grand Pubahs [live] and Larry Tee. To be honest I didn’t put much effort into being out at this, was not in the right (wrong?) frame of mind, and sat through most of it.

I’m glad I went though. It was a nice warm-up for a busy w/end of clubbing. It also meant I didn’t need to see Stephan Bodzin play at the We Love Sounds Winter Festival event, playing last, and could leave earlier in preparation for heading to the after-party, via a shower, change of clothes and feed at home.

~ ~ ~

We Love Sounds Winter Festival 2008 @ Moore Park – Entertainment Quarter : 08.06.2008

This is a large, multi-area day/night event (I hate calling one day events festivals), with a whole heap of international and local DJ’s, live acts, and live bands.

It’s very cool how you can go from the club vibe of The Forum, to the live band/concert vibe of the Hordern Pavilion, to the huge, mega, warehouse space, rave vibe (complete with big screen visuals and lasers) of the Royal Hall Of Industries, all within 100m walk outside of each other. There are a couple of other areas/venues as well, but we didn’t venture there. We spent most of our time in The Forum, which was the Minimal Fuss minimal/techno area, seeing…

Gaiser [live]. He was the reason we got to this party in the early afternoon, playing at 2.30pm. It was much the same live set as he played at the Lost Baggage party, that I wrote about here. It was very enjoyable once again. Our friend labelled it as advanced class minimal, ie: not for beginners. I think his bass damaged the sound system.

Lindstrom [live] is not really someone I’m that familiar with, but I thought he played a good live set, even though it was all a bit too funky for me, and quite cheesy at times.

Ellen Allien… Wow, she was really impressive! A very eclectic mix, starting with Bjork, and then working her way through a nice variety of minimal, techno, even some early 90’s Detroit sounds, some BPitch Control (her record label) style electro-house/techno, and even some proper electro beats! Perfect on the mix, cute and fun to watch. Along with Gaiser my favourite sets of the day.

Marc Houle really looks bored when he plays live. His repetitive bleeps and beats, that verge on the annoying, didn’t agree with us too well by this time. Some problems with the sound-system didn’t help either. He’s great at what he does, but I think I’m over those sounds.

We also popped into the huge Royal Hall Of Industries to see a bit of Steve Lawler and Dubfire during the event. A very impressive display of visuals, lasers, lighting and massive sound in the Royal Hall Of Industries venue.

Dubfire played much the same sounds that he played on the Friday night at Arq, although more impressive sounding on such a huge sound system in a huge space, with huge visuals, huge! He was playing Radio Slave – ‘Grindhouse” (Danton Eeprom Vocal Mix) at the time.

I had heard that Steve Lawler has moved on from the prog/tribal house sounds into more minimal sounds. What we heard him playing was minimal-ish, but definitely closer to prog, not for us.

Overall, I thought this event was pretty good, very well organised, great production, and we had a nice friendly, hassle free, easy day. It didn’t seem over-crowded, but there were heaps of people there. Musically it was perhaps a little flat, just needed a little more variety of the minimal/techno sounds, Ellen’s set excluded. I’m glad it wasn’t as cold as it was when we went to the last one in 2006, that made for an uncomfortable experience. I heard everything was an improvement on the year before. Like the T1000 says, I’ll be back.

~ ~ ~

We Love Sounds – Official After Party : Numero Duo @ The Cross, The Bourbon, The Bunker : 08.06.2008

I’m not usually a fan of the after-party thing, but this starting at 10pm, it wasn’t much of a stretch. It featured all the same Minimal Fuss area international DJs/live acts from the festival, so had a great line-up.

It was awesome being able to see Gaiser play 3 times over 6 days. He played in the smaller side room of The Cross this time, with it’s new punchy, killer sound system. Much more intensity being in a more intimate environment, much the same set once again, enjoyed as much once again. I had a peak at his MacBook laptop screen whilst he was playing too, I was surprised to see so many full tracks of clips (Ableton Live), considering it sounds like there’s usually no more than 6 sounds in his minimal tracks. I had a bit of a chat with him after his set too, nice guy.

Ellen Allien was excellent once again, mixing up many of the same tracks she played earlier. Tad got her Orchestra Of Bubbles track ‘Rotor’ track IDd for me.

Caught a bit of Lindstrom and Marc Houle both playing live whilst checking out other rooms during the party as well.

Dubfire was originally advertised as playing, but he didn’t. I saw him hanging out partying there though.

I almost forgot that Stephen Bodzin DJd at this party in the smaller side room of The Cross as well. He was laying down some of his harsh, dark, synthetic techno sounds. I couldn’t get into the room at the time, it was going a bit crazy!

I was very impressed with local DJ Selen Parmen, who warmed up for Gaiser. I’d not heard of her prior, or seen her play before. I really enjoyed her set, very similar taste in sounds to me. Check her out: http://www.myspace.com/selenparman. I hope to get to see her play again in future.

I quite enjoyed this night out, hanging with my mates (the girls stayed home), we got up to all sorts of crazy stuff… nah, not really, we chilled.

With this party being spaced out over so many rooms, it didn’t feel very well attended at times, and emptied out early. A lot different vibe to a Lost Baggage party at The Cross.

~ ~ ~

The Pube @ The Civic Underground : 25.07.2008

That’s a err, odd name for a party, it makes more sense if you look here.

Back in the very ubercoolische Civic Underground again, an intimate basement club in Sydney that reminds me of Berlin. Great sound in this club. Drink prices are not very healthy for your wallet though. Not a large turn out of people on this night, which was fine by me, this place is difficult when full, but enough people to look/feel like a party. Caught up with some old friends, which was fun.

Akufen was the special guest at this Minimal Fuss party. I was fearing hearing a set full of glitched up, cut up, disco/funk, micro-house sounds, like on his Perlon releases. But, what we got from him was a nice set of solid, dance-floor friendly minimal/techno, with a nice swung feel at times. A lot of it reminded me of Mark Henning’s productions in sound/style. It was a similar sound to what we heard Matt John play in Barcelona and Berlin last year. We enjoyed it, soaking up the bass whilst sitting at the edges of the dance floor. It was nice to hear Robert Hood’s classic ‘Minus’ too, and Mark Henning’s ‘Sick Note’ about the only tracks Akufen played that I knew. Matt Aubusson & Dave Choe played some great sounds too. I’ve not seen these guys play much at all this year, which is dissapointing.

And, now I think we’re up to date.

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