decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

July 1, 2010

Reflections : March 2010

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music — decoded_ @ 6:09 pm

I only got out to a single party/event in February, which was the fantastic live performance of Orbtial at The Forum, already covered on my blog here, so on to March…

March 2010…

Sven Väth @ Metro : 05.03.10
Photo by Ashley Mar from this gallery on http://sydney.thiswayin.com.au

05.03.10 : Sven Väth, Dubfire @ Future Sideshow – Metro

Another year, another ‘Future Music Festival’ goes by that I don’t attend. I’m always put off by what I’ve heard about the (disrespectful) crowd of previous years, but mostly it’s because there hasn’t been enough on the line up to interest and entice me each year, and it’s such a commercial event now. I would have liked to have seen Richie Hawtin last year, had my hope on a FMF side-show, but it never happened.

So, I was happy when a FMF side-show for German techno legend Sven Väth at the Metro was announced, a chance to see him play again. And I thought I would give Iranian-American digital DJ/producer Dubfire a second chance to impress me… he didn’t.

I’ve seen ‘Papa Sven’ play a few times now over the last few years. Performing at his amazing ‘Cocoon Club’ and at his ‘Love Family Park (2007)’ event, both in Offenbach am Main (outside Frankfurt), had a lot of fun at those. The last time I saw him play was down in Melbourne in 2008, at QBH, with Gui Boratto [Live] and Steve Bug, a line-up too good to miss. I wrote about that night here.

So Papa Sven is known to party hard, and get up to all manner of crazy behaviour when he’s out DJing, giving larger than life performances, feeding off the energy and excitement of the crowd, it’s entertaining to watch. Somehow he still manages to keep it together, tight mixes and keeping the music flowing. Plus he still keeps his business head together, touring the world DJing, running his clubs, restaurants, and Cocoon club nights around the planet, running his record label, booking agency and more, it’s pretty impressive, his empire. I have to wonder if the trash-bag image is sometimes an act?

So, on this particular night, I thought he gave quite a reserved performance. I can only guess, perhaps not enough excitement and energy coming from the dance-floor, or he was tired, jet-lagged or just pacing himself. The following day he was performing at Sydney’s Future Music Festival, then more performances all around the country in the days and weeks that followed. It wasn’t a bad performance at the Metro, just not as crazy and memorable as some of the previous times I’ve enjoyed seeing him DJ, so there was a lot less focus on the fun of watching him perform. I was watching and dancing on the elevated steps in the middle of the venue, kept away from the dance-floor.

Actually not much focus on the stage at all really, four bits of illuminated, vertical, lighting truss is not much of a visual feast. I miss the days when effort was put into parties with stage displays/props, projected visuals on screens, and impressive, well thought out intelligent lighting rigs. I felt like I could count the amount of lights on one hand at this night.

But it’s all about the music… I really enjoyed the tracks Sven mixed up for the first 45 minutes or more, memorable tech-house/techno music, with a nice phonky (I hate the description ‘funky’) feel to it. Some nice melodic and tribal flavours, some big moments. Add a little more house feel to the mix, and it’s the same type of sounds he ended the last 30 minutes of his set with. I knew a few tracks here and there, but mostly it was all fresh to me. I had a fun jump around, quite a few older people in the area I danced, shared some smiles, was nice.

However, the music mixed up for the majority of his set, the middle part, was pretty banging, noisy, brash, loud, hard, relentless, and a little dull. It was techno, but the new kind of techno sound that’s popular now (check out Beatport’s techno charts). I’m not really a fan of it, it’s the ‘heard it all before’ breaks/builds in every track, full of crazy noise/white noise that really bore me, and a lot of the tracks have that shuffled feel. He played a lot of that stuff for almost the entire duration of each record too, it got a bit much, so we sat out a lot of it. Speaking of records, he’s still all vinyl only, no CDs. I knew more of these tracks as I’ve seen them listed in his Beatport charts, and on recent live set track-listings.

I’m glad he dropped back down to more melodic stuff at the end of his set, I was rapidly losing interest, as was the crowd, packed at the start, but 3/4 gone by the end, I guess a lot needed their beauty sleep for the festival the next day, and to err… allow enough time to prepare their slip on canvas shoes, short shorts and over-size tank top outfit, eugh.

Tune spotting, here’s some of the tracks he played:

Ray Okpara (Feat. Nikki) – Brainows
Electric Rescue – Crazy Purple
Levon Vincent – Late Night Jam *
Audiojack – Kicks For Kicks *
Stephen Beaupre – Lotus Eaters *
Salvatore Freda – Tiramisu (DJ Madskillz Remix)
Die Vögel – Blaue Moschee
Dustin Zahn – Stranger (To Stability) (Len Faki Podium Mix)
Alan Fitzpatrick – Face Of Rejection
Steve Parker – Mexilhao
Pan-Pot – Confronted (Adam Beyer & Jesper Dahlback Remix)
Marc Marzenit – Not Assigned
Yousef – Come Home
Lucid Dream – Droeth (Dominik Eulberg Blue-Crystal Remix) *
Peter Horrevorts – Bloody Hands

* I like these tracks

Oh, almost forgot, Dubfire played at this party too, before Sven. I can sum up his set up with one word… boring! So dull, was the same track on loop for his whole set? No idea why he needs 2 x Apple MacBook laptops and those controllers for that performance. There is just no depth or memorable qualities to that type of minimal, the (younger) crowd seemed to love it though.

Luckily a good DJ friend of mine Andrew Wowk was DJing in the front room at the same time, tightly mixing up a set of dance enticing, interesting, memorable, tech-house, melodic techno and minimal music, nice one!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

06.03.10 : Jus-Ed @ Mad Racket – Marrickville Bowlo

Ended up going to this Mad Racket the following night, last minute decision, joining my mate Tad. New York’s Jus-Ed played deep, really… really… deep! Lots of deep-house, and old-school, simplistic (not minimal), prototype, stripped back, deep, techno. Some old house classics, a little disco, even a couple of 90’s commercial dance blasts from the past. He lost me at times though, it was a little erratic flow and mix wise. But, overall I enjoyed it, nice moody moments, lots of deepness, lots of quality music.

He got on the mic a few times, telling us about some of the tracks as they played which was cool, playing a lot of his own productions, should have bought his CD there.

And yes, as my mate Matt Costain pointed out, he looks a bit like Prop Joe from the Wire.

Not a very well attended Mad Racket. There was a lot on that w/end. Dance floor was quite empty a lot of the night, I think 95% of the party was outside smoking and chatting the whole night. The non-smoking thing has really messed with the Mad Racket vibe, although I like not breathing in smoke all night.

A couple of those 90’s commercial dance, blasts from the past he played…

Robin S – Show Me Love

Nightcrawlers – Push The feeling On

A bit of a story about that Nightcrawlers track. I’ve heard that track so many times. I used to hear DJ HMC play it a lot in Adelaide in my 1990’s clubbing days, but I never knew the artist or title. I love the way they have used a bit of the vocal sample as an almost percussive element.

I even heard DJ HMC play it again in Adelaide on Boxing Day at Xmas last year, at a party called Reunion at The Electric Light Hotel, that was a fun night, with Metro (Richmond Hotel – Adelaide) 1990’s crew M.C. Scott T, G.T. (Groove Terminator), and DJ HMC all playing together again, mixing up lots of classic house and techno music.

So, anyway, I didn’t get an ID on that night, or when Jus-Ed played it at Mad Racket, and put it to the back of my mind.

A few days later at work, I hear this catchy little saxophone riff coming from a work colleagues TV speakers, and quickly realise it’s the sax riff from that track, but used in some hip-hop/pop song.

Luckily the music was coming from the AirActive music application on FOXTEL (pay TV) which has text of the artist, title, record label etc. as the song plays. It was…

Pitbull – Hotel Room Service.

I look that up on http://www.discogs.com and luckily the entry has mention of the samples used in that track…

Contains a sample from “Push The Feeling On” written by Hugh Branklin, Ross Campbell, John Reid & Graham Wilson

I go to You Tube, search for “Push The feeling On” and there it is, the clip above.

I love the Internet, sites like Discogs and YouTube are awesome for finding details about and clips of old, classic, music tracks/songs.

I’ve had a lot of these type of things happen in my life with music, wanted IDs coming to me, usually when I put them to the back of my mind. I’m a bit obsessed with track IDs in case you didn’t already notice.

Having a song on my mind, turning on the radio and there it was playing used to happen a lot in my youth, so much so it stopped being something freaky. Radio, that’s something I’ve not listened to for a long time now.

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