10 November 2008

uɐɔ ı ǝsnɐɔǝq

That's all from the upside down-writing gremlins for now.

November 8
The Woods, Newtown

Moe Joe (Kid of Doom)
Future Records
Jacsharp Electro
Data Takashi

VJ: Flikerr
Ever get to a point in your life when you realise that the Woods is the most fun place in the history of the world? I got to that point. I also got to the point where I forgot where I was, but that is beside the point.

Things started slowly, trickles of kids found their way into the dark club like rain water down the back of your neck, and stuck around in the periphials, waiting for some light. Moe Joe, of kidofdoom infamy, showed that he could replace the Hulk that was his drumming persona with a more subtle, laid-back DJ style. LCD Soundsystem also featured heavily, which is always a good thing.

Slowly more people got up to appreciate Moe Joe's prowess, as did VJ flikerr, who's promise to "make your eyes bleed" is never left wanting. Transporting Space Invaders and boomboxes through suburban life at an astonishing speed, he made drying laundry both bad ass and strangely threatening. Yeah.

Through the slowly building crowds came Future Records. I have no recollection of this set.

But then came Jacsharp Electro, and I do recall this set. Firstly because the term "live house music" is an oxymoron. Emphasis on the "moron". But also the singer was super hot. This was not what I paid to see. Granted, entrance to the Woods is free, but all the same, I didn't enjoy whatever was going on up there. The music was smooth and "sensual", which as we all know is a word to describe something that isn't quite sexy enough in a vaguely positive sense. This wasn't right.

Mankazam, I think, came up next with a set that began with a darker, trip-hoppy feel. Like the inside of a sewerage tunnel, things slowly lightened up into... rave. Well, that was the word being thrown around at the time. I was like: "No, this can't be rave!". People assured me it was.

Finally though, we got Data Takashi. Harder and fiercer than ever, like an animal kept caged (lets remember his recent odd timeslots) and then suddenly released, things were stronger and better than ever. Driving electro and a dance floor populated by all manner of strange and wonderful people capped a very nice set. Although, be warned: Whiskey+Data Takashi+Flikerr = Overwhelmed nervous system. But in a good way.

*Thanks to Sam Hill for the photos, they're a lot better than my attempts!

08 November 2008

The Face of a Killer, The Ass of a 17 Year-Old.

31 October
Pixel Pop Halloween

DJs: Commodore64, Marc Latilla, Data Takashi, Sassquatch, Kidofdoom, ManKaZam
VJs: Chinxxx, Flikerr, Sassquatch

For the past three years, Sovereign Academy has pwned Old Halllow’s Eve with an iron paw. Following July’s graduation, though, this Friday the thirty-first was wet and waiting for something – any dam thing – to sidle in there and spook it up, 2008 style. Other than the house party mayhem of Oh The Horror on Saturday, though, nothing sidled and nothing spooked. Pixel Pop, in fact, is organised by one part of SLY – the boys who brought you Sovereign. After a shitty day (it was a dry, dry weekend) and the customary failure to dress up properly, I was weepy, pissy, amped up on Neurofen – and ready to Get Down with all my might.

I arrived to the chart-topping sounds of Marc Latilla. Familiar favourites are a nice way to ease into a party and a few special tracks lifted the set from its otherwise mediocre fug. There’s not much to say about that kind of music; what’s unfortunate is that there’s not much to say about the way it was DJed either. It was pleasant, professional and fine. I sat at a booth and watched 17 year old asses in glitter and velvet shimmy by.

With a crack and a bounce around 9.30pm, Data Takashi hit the decks and coerced the burgeoning party into fruition. It was an unusually early set for the presiding ruler of the 2am crowd, but he adapted to the earlier slot with class and style – a little more boogy, a little less bass. Airy, sweet electro with more than a twist of disco and dirty swelled up from some fairly harsh opening tracks. As the dance floor (if you can call that space between the pillars a dance floor) gradually filled, the beats got sweeter and juicier, a rival to any one of those 17 year old asses. As well as great track selection, Takashi’s mixing for the most part was smooth, unobstrusive and even.

At the same time, Flikerr’s VJ set began (apologies to Chinxxx for missing hers). With his neons and cartoons and stop motion animations, Flicker’s visuals continue to improve and evolve. This Friday, though, a lack of communication between DJ and VJ left the epilepsy-inducing visuals at odds with the smooth sex of Data Takashi’s music. Luckily Sassquatch was next in line to play, also receiving VJ power from Flikerr. The tried and tested (maybe a little too tried at times) punchy pop made sense with Flikerr’s fine touch for the cute, comical and quirky. He may be the newest kid on the VJ block but he’s fast becoming the slickest too. His regular performances (with brother, Email Checkerr as part of Double Adapter) can’t hurt either, making Flickerr easily the most prominent VJ in the scene at the moment. If he can keep up the evolution and effort, we won’t be seeing Flikerr fade any time soon.

With a few transition tracks from DT while the Sass prepared his visuals, it was on to Kidofdoom, Star Trek style. Of course they were epic and amazing, of course Peter Rodda’s lighting was spectacular, of course Sassquatch’s visuals were a sci-fi wet dream.

After a few songs from ManKaZam and the perilous task of hugging the right zombie good-bye, I headed home with fake blood (which stains) on my favourite jersey and slightly sick feeling in my stomach. The illness, for once, was not gin-related. On this goriest of nights, not a drop of fresh blood was on offer. Data Takashi was the only DJ to explore new ground – even the Doomers disappointed! I wouldn’t give up seeing them all in Star Trek spandex (Spock especially) – but maybe space travel can get boring after all. That said, it was still a great party and the best turn out I’ve seen at The Woods so far. The spirit of the panda, it seems, lives on…