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.

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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.

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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.

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