Got to Public Life @ 7:55, with a few minutes to wipe off the sweat, grab a water and collect myself before I started spinning. Nick and I split the first two hours of our set into thirty minute chunks. I offered to go first, and struggled a little with battle-style tables and a crazy cross-fader that slid all over the place when you didn’t even touch it. After my first (slow, around 110 bpm, maybe up to 120) set, Nick suggested we move the tables horizontally. Light bulb number one. I played two Moodymann tracks, and Nick played a Theo Parrish remix and one of our mutually favorite Theo Parrish tracks, ‘Falling Up’ (he played the whole damn thing too). 🙂 So I got back on, and felt marginally more comfortable, and a few friends had arrived, and a few others wandered in. Then after that next bit, in which I went properly east coast with my housing (and jacked it up to 125-128ish), and a few fuck ups with the cross fader, Nick suggested we turn it off. Lightbulb number 2. Actually, I had looked all over this mixer for the on/off switch, and it was in a totally unlikely spot in the upper left-hand corner (sort of), just to the left of the Channel 1 EQ’s. WTF??? Anyway. That was sorted. As I got off, most of the posse arrived, and Nick really got into his 2nd half-hour, throwing down some Relief gems and the like. It was really nice. Everyone loves that shit. Then we opted to go two-on/two-off for the last hour, which was fucking wicked. We both had an awesome time, fed off each other, and totally jacked the crowd to hell. It was really fun. Played a bit of techno, but mostly just house with depth and considerable energy, at a pretty fast tempo. Finished with “Who’s Pussy is This”.
Afterwards, Brendan and Guy came on for their Ableton + scratching debut, which was nice. Most of the Brixton massive and the extended family headed off to Lost, leaving Mark, Steve and I there with a suddenly fairly-vacant club. The set was quite interesting, with a ton of great moments, but overall it was far too intense for me in that state. Cutlass Supreeme finished up with a really nice set of ghetto tek, booty and drum ‘n bass, all worked together nicely, with some really good scratching in parts.
Horrible news. Wesley Willis has passed at the age of forty. If you don’t know who he is, I highly recommend the second article below, which should give you an idea of what his music and schizophrenic demons were like. Forwarded from Drew.
Interview from 2000
Rest in your elusive peace
Brett Dancer and Larry Heard played at Barrumba tonight, and their sets were every bit as good as their sets at the Trackmode/Sound Signature party @ DEMF 2001. I hardly recognized any of Brett Dancer’s set, but maybe 30 minutes in he dropped Attend 1, which instantaneously catapulted me into dancefloor readyness. How f*ckin’ good is that song loud??? Must’ve heard it out at least 10 times this Summer and played it countless times at home. It just doesn’t get old or lose anything. Anyway, his whole 2-hour set was tight as hell, some Theo-style EQing throughout, and really got the dancefloor moving.
Then Larry Heard dropped the tempo down to about 110bpm, played some really nice slow stuff for about 20-30 minutes, then it got a bit noodly and ploddish for my taste for the next 20-30 minutes, but then he kicked it back in and all the stops were pulled. Within the next half-hour he played Energy Flash into that crazy wobbly acid song that has something to do with Whiskey. He played this insane track that I’ve heard a couple of times with this nearly Fix Flash style synth line that jocks back and forth between that and deeper pads with a drum ‘n bass style wobbly sine wave sub bass sound that devastates. After that he played a version of John Redman’s ‘People Everyday’ that sounded completely reworked from the original Cajual tune. Throughout all of this Brett Dancer would occasionally grab the EQs and jack away for a bit. 🙂 He also threw in ‘Change For Me’, Cajmere’s ‘Lookin’ For a Man’ and concluded his two-hour set with Plastic Dreams, at which point the mic dude came on.
He made us give it up for Brett Dancer and Larry Heard, which all were very happy to do, then he mentioned the special guest. Had I realized there was one, it may have occured to me that seeing Robert Owens in the DJ booth earlier meant something, or that he was working up to something when he was tearing up the dancefloor, but then they announced that he was the special guest, and it clicked. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. They started with ‘Can you Feel It’, with both Larry Heard and Robert Owens singing in parts, and Robert Owens freestyle singing over the remainder. The second song had a chorus that had something to do with life. I recognized it but I don’t know the name. The third song (I think) was Mysteries of Love, which was a vocal version that he sang on top of, and in response to the existing vocals on the record. Wicked! The conclusion was Distant Planet, and frankly, it was f*cking stunning. Jamie and I were completely gobsmacked throughout.
Am just listening to Andrew Duke’s remixes of me for the 2nd time (first time on speakers). It’s bloody weird hearing someone remix you! The remix of ‘Frosting’ is not the first I’ve heard, since Christian Bloch has already had a go at it, but this one is really faithful to the original, but a nice variation, and about 50bpm slower. It’s really slow. The remix of ‘In Flight Defibrillator’, which he aptly titled ‘Flight 313’ is almost unrecognizeable, and much more dancefloor. I may need to play it out on Sunday. It’s quite driving and dubby with a slightly clicky edge. At any rate, this is cool stuff. Need more time to digest them!