decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

June 19, 2010

Reflections : January 2010 : Part.2

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music — decoded_ @ 12:13 am

January 2010… (Part.2)

14.01.10 : Severed Heads [Live], Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire) @ Sydney Festival – Beck’s Festival Bar – Hyde Park Barracks

I find these Beck’s Festival Bar – Hyde Park Barracks events a bit… meh. I like going to them, always catch up with people I know, but the vibe always seems a bit off. People never seem to really let go, and have an all out fun time.

On this night, I enjoyed the 80’s music local DJ Mark Murphy played, warming things up. I hope our SMS track requests didn’t annoy him too much, great to hear The Models.

Severed Heads are legends of Australian electronic music. Their live show on the night was not that exciting though. Tom Ellard and another guy ? (doing visuals?) performed on stage in darkness. So visual focus was on their projected old-school computer graphics, on a screen outside of the performance tent.

I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the music Severed Heads performed live, not sure if it was old stuff or new stuff. To be honest, I’m not much of a fan past the singles really. It sounded great though, staying true to their 80’s/90’s electronic dance sounds.

I enjoyed hearing ‘Dead Eyes Opened’ and ‘Greater Reward’ and a couple of other tracks I knew but can’t remember the titles now. I would have liked to have heard the original versions to the slightly reworked versions they played, but I can understand it’s more fun for the artists to play newer versions of old tracks. I was disappointed they didn’t play ‘Heart Of The Party’, probably my favourite Severed Heads track/song.

We didn’t stick around afterwards to hear what Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire was going to play in his DJ set, so can’t comment on that sorry, I’m sure it would have been interesting. Most of the crowd seemed to leave after Severed Heads finished as well.

Wearing black was the right choice for this night amongst the older crowd.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

23.01.10 : Sebo K @ LadyLux – LadyLux

My partner Joanne celebrated her birthday with a big bunch of friends at our favourite Spanish restaurant earlier in the night. Somehow after all the food and cocktails we still made it out to LadyLux in Kings Cross, to see Berlin’s Sebo K.

We’ve been wanting to see Sebo K play for quite some time, fans of his productions for quite a few years, and we played his ResidentAdvisor podcast RA.055 all the time in 2007.

But, once he finally took over the decks, starting his set late, and got into the mix, we found his DJ set pretty disappointing. I guess we were expecting deeper, minimal, melodic sounds, but what we got was tough, driving, tech-house, with an almost progressive edge. Not much more than bass-lines and beats at times, not many memorable or melodic qualities. I didn’t know much of what he was playing. It’s a similar sound to what Nick Curly played when I saw him last year, who also disappointed me a bit, by playing not what I was expecting. It’s not wrong to expect DJs to play a similar sound to the music they produce is it?

Sebo K was tight in the mix, but we just were not taking much inspiration from the music he played. After an hour it was more of the same, we lost interest and headed home.

The local guys warming things up prior, were also playing a similar intensity (horrible music though), so perhaps he felt (or got told) he had to continue at that level. I have a lot of respect for DJs like Steve Bug who just start deep/slow and then build it from there, regardless of who/what was on before.

I like the new renovations at LadyLux, the venue looks great, the Funktion-1 system sounds excellent. I’ve never been a fan of the type of crowd that go to LadyLux though, I don’t think there are many passionate music people, most seem more interested in being seen there, than getting on the dance-floor and getting sweaty.

I’ve heard management have completely changed the style/sound of the club since, kicking out the more underground house promoters and DJs. Probably looking to recover all the renovation costs with a more commercial direction.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

26.01.10 : Ben Watt, Dixon @ We Love Agwa Yacht Club – MV Starship

Another boat cruise party on the MV Starship. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve been on now. We’ve only missed one, in December last year, being in Adelaide for Xmas.

So London’s Ben Watt and Berlin’s Dixon don’t really play the type of music I’m into, lots of house from one and disco/house from the other, but I still had a fun time at this.

Cruising around beautiful Sydney Harbour on the very modern MV Starship is a great way to spend an afternoon/evening, sitting back on the middle deck, enjoying the view, plus the fun of chatting and drinking with friends. The party/music is just a bonus really.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

30.01.10 : Robert Babicz [Live], Namito, Mic Newman @ Shrug – Civic Underground

A big smile happens every time I remember this night. I only decided to go at the last minute too, and I’m so glad I did. Germany’s Robert Babicz live set was excellent, lots of deep, dark, atmospheric, spatial minimal/techno beats and percussions, with lush melodic layers, and clever synthetic elements. He’s such a perfectionist with his music, covers a nice range of styles/sounds, very talented guy. I had a ball jumping around to almost all of his Ableton Live + Apple Macbook Pro laptop live set. It sounded awesome through the Civic Underground’s Klipsch sound system, such an awesome intensity in such a small room.

Later in his set he really ramped things up with some blistering Rob Acid style techno, full of nasty 303 acid patterns, and banging 909 beats, which was impressive sounding, but a bit much for me.

His track ‘Sin’ does it for me every time. I was impressed he played the Joris Voorn remix of his ‘Dark Flower’ track, such a wonderful remix, that will remain one of my fave tracks for a long time. He also played his new ‘Fever’ remix of ‘Dark Flower’ with it’s break beat and groovy bass guitar lines, check it out…

Namito from Berlin played prior, and mixed up the kind of energetic tech-house music that doesn’t really do much for me I’m sorry to say. I preferred the deeper sounds local lad Mic Newman played prior to him, he’s got a bunch of releases and remixes on a heap of well known international labels now, good stuff.

It was a fun night, great crowd, many thanks to the Shrug crew.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That’s all for January. Coming next March, I’ve already covered February, with my single outing to Orbital scroll down to read.

June 18, 2010

Reflections : January 2010 : Part.1

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music,Reflections — decoded_ @ 4:51 pm

Whoa! We’re almost half way through the year already, that’s crazy. I hope everyone is well, and all is going well.

So, time to dust off the drafts on here, and in my mind, and post up some thoughts and comments about all the techno, minimal, tech-house, DJ, club, party, music things I’ve been getting out to so far this year, let’s head back to January…

January 2010… (Part.1)

360 bar/restaurant Sydney Tower Centre Point

01.01.10 : Ripperton, Matthias Meyer @ Reckless Republic – A Higher State NYE – Sydney Tower (Centre Point) 360 Bar/Restaurant

So being at the top of Sydney Tower in the swanky, revolving, 360 bar/restaurant on NYE was a unique way to start off the year. I guess you could say it’s err… the highest I’ve ever been on NYE… hehe.

Tickets were expensive, but I felt like I got value for money, with the unique NYE venue, fantastic 360° views, the exclusive vibe (it’s all about the vibe… man), lots of excellent finger food, and free vodka drinks for 2 hours (drunk!). Plus non stop house/tech-house music, a couple of international DJ/producers, all shared with a group of close friends.

A bit of push and shove to see the 9pm and midnight fireworks as they stopped the venue revolving. Seeing and not hearing fireworks is a strange experience though. It’s a pity the MLC Centre tower building blocks the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from up there.

The sound and lighting production brought in was pretty basic, but did the job. I knew this was going to be a NYE with a lot less focus on music and dancing.

I really enjoyed the sounds local DJ Linda Merethe Jenssen played early in the night, tech-house, on the techno/minimal tip. I was disappointed with what Swiss international DJ/producer Ripperton played, his set was a bit all over the place, lots of (dare I say cheesy) house and disco. I was hoping for some deeper, darker minimal goodness like he produces, and played last time I saw him. I guess being NYE more up/happy party music was the right thing for the time, fair enough. I’m not sure if German international DJ/producer Matthias Meyer played earlier as I didn’t hear many of his own productions, although to be honest was not paying close attention to the music for a lot of the night, and sat away from the little dance-floor and DJ area.

The space got really uncomfortably hot and stuffy leading up to 2am, making everyone leave, it emptied out quickly. I’m guessing the air-conditioning was shut off to force the end of the party, down and out we went too, to join the (drunken) masses wandering the blocked off to traffic CBD streets on NYE.

Joanne and I tried to get into Home nightclub down at Cockle Bay Wharf afterwards to see Chicago techno/acid legend Josh Wink at the ‘Summanights NYE 2010’ party. But, police had stopped anyone and everyone entering the venue, overcrowding issues apparently, even ticket holders and performing DJs were turned away while we watched and waited. We didn’t have tickets, were hoping to pay on the door. Friends inside told us via SMS, it was emptying out rapidly, and there was loads of space, but with no chance of getting in, we gave up, went home, our NYE celebrations were all over by 4am, an early one for us!

We later heard Josh Wink played to about 30 people, shame.

Leading up to NYE, it was rumoured he was possibly going to be secretly playing at the ‘Higher State’ party at Sydney Tower, ‘Higher State Of Consciousness’ being one of his most well known tracks, but unfortunately it didn’t come together.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

01.01.10 : Tiefschwarz (Ali Schwarz) @ Musik Matters NYD – Favela

Not getting my ‘dance on’ on NYE, I decided to head out again on new years day night, by myself, to see German techno, tech-house, minimal DJ/producer Ali (Alexander) Schwarz mix it up. His brother Basti Schwarz, the other half of the DJ and production duo Tiefschwarz wasn’t on this tour.

This was my first time at night club Favela in Kings Cross. I liked the venue, good size, modern without being swanky, decent sound, friendly staff. Fearing it was going to be busy early, with this night being the after-party to the Space NYD event at the Entertainment Quarter, I got there not long after it opened for the night, but then had the entire venue to myself for almost 2 hours, fail.

The top level room where I spent my night, eventually filled up with lots of party people. They have a matrix of light globes on the ceiling in that room, it’s like a dodgy brothers version of what Watergate in Berlin has.

Local DJ/promoter Ben Morris played some great, deep, tech-house, minimal music during the warm up. I enjoyed his set. He’s a nice guy, came over introduced himself, let me know Ali was running late, gave me some drink cards, now that’s a good promoter.

So more than an hour and half after scheduled start time, Ali Schwarz eventually took to the decks. His advertised 4 hour set wasn’t going to happen now, not that anyone seemed to notice/care. I’m not sure if long extended sets are really his thing anyway, as in my opinion he burnt through all his best tracks in the first hour, some great tech-house, minimal, techno tracks, with lots of rolling drums, tribal flavours and memorable melodic elements. I had a fun boogie. I’ve seen the brothers DJ as Tiefschwarz a few times now, always enjoyable. However, as Ali played on, I became less and less interested in the sounds he was mixing up, it all got a bit too ‘generic tech-house’ for me, hehe, people hate that description.

A few tracks with tribal flavours I remember hearing him play in the first hour.

Roger Gerressen – Hajastan
D Dub – Bomoh
Sebbo – Elephanze Ce Danze
Radio Slave – Orchestrating Manoeuvres In The Dark ( & Patrick Lindsey Remix)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

07.01.10 : Danny Tenaglia @ One Night Only – Nevermind

New York DJ, producer, re-mixer, dance music legend Danny Tenaglia playing a special 6 hour, intimate club gig, on a Thursday night, announced at the last minute. How could I miss this? A chance to see another one of those old-school legends of electronic dance-music.

The last time he played Australia was sometime in the early 1990’s I believe. Not a fan of long haul flights, however he was out here in Australia to play the Fuzzy – Shore Thing NYE party on Bondi Beach and a few other gigs around Australia.

I’m really glad I went along to this. Lots of excellent music, great crowd, fantastic vibe, lots of music passionate punters and local DJs in attendance, showing much vocal appreciation. It sold out in advance, Nevermind was packed, with a long line of people left outside on the night.

With work the next day, sadly we spent this one on the couches, chilling out and just enjoying the sounds/vibe. I think we lasted about 4+1/2 hours of his 6 hour set. The dance-floor was super busy all night, I couldn’t find the energy to attack it.

I love the way these old-school DJs like Francois K, Derrick May, and Danny Tenaglia play their music, and perform to a crowd. Creating excitement, drama, and tension, taking risks in the mix, teasing music in, layering vocals, always keeping it interesting, switching moods, with a journey through lots of excellent, memorable music, new and old, mixing up genres as they go, house, tech-house, tribal, progressive, disco, techno, minimal and more, rocking a dance-floor. It’s exactly what’s missing from so many other DJ sets I hear out. Too many DJs these days just play safe, smoothly blending a set of all too similar music.

My mate Tad puts it into better words here, taken from the massive ITM thread, leading up to and following the night, watch out for all the thread derailments, read at your own risk.

Danny grabbed the mic a few times during his set too (as he’s known to do), telling us things like…

“It’s not about you, its not about me, its about US!”

“OK, I think everyone is in now. We got a party going on in here. CLOSE THE DOORS, DON’T LET ANYONE ELSE IN!”

“Fuck Ibiza I’m coming to Sydney!”

A great review of the night by e_j_montano here on ITM.

Here’s a whole heap of track IDs from the night, thanks to various ITM forum posters.

Note: Some of these tracks were just teased into the mix for seconds, some were vocal acapellas layered over other tracks. Probably quite a few re-edits and remixes only D.T has. Certainly a nice range of music here…

Perc – Submit
Ben Klock (Feat. Elif Bicer) – Goodly Sin (Robert Hood Remix)
ATFC Pres. Onephatdeeva – In and Out Of My Life
Guy Gerber – Stoppage Time (Danny Tenaglia Edit)
Butch – Disco Shhh
Quentin Harris – Haunted
Dubtribe Sound System – Do It Now
Lustral – Everytime (Nalin & Kane Remix)
Kings Of Tomorrow – Changes/Finally
Crystal Waters – 100% Pure Love
Narcotic Thrust – Safe From Harm
Dan March – Sand Dune
Jeff Mills – Present Age
Robert Hood – School
Mark Broom – People (Nick Curly Remix)
Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.
Afefe Iku – Mirror Dance
Stimming & H.O.S.H. – Radar
Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach (Strings Intro)
Danny Tenaglia (Feat. Celeda) – Music Is The Answer
Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
Alan Fitzpatrick – Trendy Wendy
I:Cube – Oblivion
Angie Stone – I Wish I Didn’t Miss You Anymore
Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People (Remix ?)
Nalin & Kane – Beachball
Todd Terry – The Preacher
Chris Korda – Save The Planet, Kill Yourself
Santos – La Pineta

Videos of the night here…

I think Danny enjoyed himself too, from his facebook page the next day…

“Wow! Wow! & Wow! >> Sydney was the Answer << !! I shall never forget this evening for as long as I shall live! Thank you Scott, Brettt, James & everyone that attended @ NEVERMIND! >> xox :-)”

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