Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oldschool vs. new-school or just Fuse it

Last Saturday there was one of the best gigs I’ve ever experienced: Jeff Mills DJ-ed in the big room of Fuse, plus Mobilee night in the small room of the same club. As you could imagine, it wasn’t easy which room to choose.

Well, Jeff started the first one, so naturally I checked him first. First impressions were rather mixed: he played really nice tracks, but his style of mixing irritated me a bit – he let a track last for some 45 secs before starting a transition which wasn’t that clean in many cases anyway. In fact, I was wondering how he manages mixing on 4 decks. Apparently the lack of precision he compensated by that special feeling of groove and excellent selection. Actually I was expecting much harder techno – although it was quite fast and percussive, music was deep and even soulful. Lots of Detroit stuff etc., quite eclectic, in fact. For example, I was rather surprised when he played out Rej. However, it was a pleasure to hear it on one of the best club sound-systems in Europe, on a dancefloor totally packed with responsive people.

Then I checked the small room, where Exercise One was on. There were two guys behind laptops, controllers and synths, making a solid click-groove. Well, to be honest I was expecting a bit more from these Berlin’s top producers. What I heard was a really nice minimal (or what term shall I use here?), some tracks were simply great, but anyway – after spending there an hour or so – I headed back to the main floor.

Meanwhile, Jeff Mills had started to play even better tracks (or I was just more drunk by that time), and it seemed that he let some tracks play for a longer span. I was standing in the mid of the floor readily absorbing all the vibrations that flew out of the speakers. Some moments were definetely kicking, bringing it that overwhelming feeling of irrational cosmic happiness. One of the peak moments came when he played Strings of Life together with the famous Martin Luther King’s speech. At some point he left just the voice – „I have a dream,” sounded over the crowd before Strings was mixed in again. Truly amazing! A bit later Jeff managed to play the classic Moskow Diskow by Telex, which was obviously a homage to Belgians, followed by some real disco track, then back to techno drums again. The last track was really minimal - nothing but a drum-machine. By the end, I was totally high, thanks to Jeff and the incredible tracks he played.

In another room Anja Schneider – the boss of Mobilee – had already started her set. After Jeff Mill’s banging beats first the music seemed too calm to me, but soon I managed to find a key to this another kind of beauty. Crystalic, spooky still subtle sounds, pleasent beats, perfectly balanced layers... Just immerse yourself and let it go. At some moment I clearly realized that this kind of music was dark, not evil, just dark, being positive at the same time, you know. If it was too joyous it just wouldn’t sound as good any more, I guess. Anja played many things from Mobilee’s catalogue, and many of them on the good sound-system were so good. What a night!

By the way, Mobilee was presented by the local promoters LessizMore – they do some really good events, check their site.

No comments: