Foundation II, Plzen, Czech

Arrived in Prague around 18:30 and headed straight to the venue in Plzen, about an hour from the airport. On arrival, Ryan told me they’d moved my set to 21:30 (the event started at 20:00), which was a relief, if a bit early. A good compromise for my style though. Checked out the venue real quick. Rallied people for much needed grub. Was told I might only be able to get fried cheese and chips across the road, but when we finally got ourselves together Veronika took us to a wicked Italian place down the street. Got myself an enormous pizza. Ran back to the venue (literally) with 5 minutes to get my shit together and found out my set had been moved to 23:00. Whew! It really couldn’t have been much of a better slot for my first visit. Oh, and get this! Grand total for a six person dinner in a reasonably swank Italian place: £18 (a little over $30).

Everyone else filtered back soon thereafter and we got a chance to get some drinks down us (at around 35p, or $.50 for a damn fine pint of Pilsner Urquel), watched the place fill up, got a feel for the sound, etc. 23:00 crept up quicklyand before I knew it I was well into it. The hour and 45 minute set went by very quickly, except for the last 15 minutes, when I had to sit down for a few seconds to catch my breath. I really threw a lot of myself into it, like you can only do for a big gig. I was really happy with my set and had a hell of a lot more people in there than I would’ve expected when I was going up again Ryan and Stu, who seem to be developing quite a Czech following. My only regret about my set is that I didn’t get to see them – oh, and that one time I knocked the tonearm after finishing a mix. I *always* do that at least once when spinning with those big clunky Stanton 680 headshells. Shame I couldn’t record it – my minidisc chord disappeared the night before. :/ But I can’t end on a negative, since I thought it was one of the better sets I’ve played in public. Here’s some pics of me in action:

The thing that made the biggest impression on me about the main event were how happy everyone seemed to be with their sets, and how open-minded the crowd was. I guess I just don’t often get the same sense of excitement from larger crowds. It still felt very intimate although the venue was fairly big and reasonably full. It’s really hard to pick out a highlight of the evening for me, because I was running back and forth between everything all night. Gutted about missing all of the Blowmen (our sets overlapped). Really really enjoyed what I heard of Rolando. Chris Finke’s drum ‘n bass action was dope (slept through his later set, as pictures will evidence with much hilarity soon). Lee’s set was a particular stand-out for me as well, since we’re on such a similar musical wavelength.

My pics:

As you will see in this poorly translated review, the reaction seems to be fairly positive (or does it)?

original
Na druhé stagi se po Molczikovi gramcù ujal amerièan Tristan Watkins, jehož deep techno mi až chvílemi bralo dech. Od první desky prostì super!! Blížila se jedna hodina a tudíž došlo k hromadnému pøesunu na stage hlavní, kde se již chystala hvìzda svìtového formátu na své první èeské vystoupení.

crap translation
Within species stagnation to about Molczikovi gram ujal Yankee Tristan Watkins, whose deep technologist me when now and then bralo wind. Since prime slabs in plain terms superpower!! Approximated to jedna hour plus accordingly došlo make for hromadnému transposition within stagnation mainsail, where to yet toward star world rule size within své prime èeské appearing.

Apparently I’m the maritime superpower of technologist stagnation! Quite vexing only picking up about 20% of what dude is saying, but there’s no such thing as bad press, as they say, so even in the worst case I ain’t bitchin’. Hope to have a real translation of this soon.

Freelance @ The Cube, Camberwell

During sound check the live PA guys Laz and Steve sounded really great. I mean, I was really amazed how good it sounded in there, and they surprised us by having Laszlo sing! He was really good too. So… after they were done I had a couple of trial mixes to make sure all was in order from our end, and noticed that the left table was impossible to back que on. Like the needle literally flew off the record whenever you spun it backwards. Luckily I had two spares, but managed to kill one of my headshells in the process of trying to replace the other one. What a mess… Haven’t even had a chance to see if I can fix it, since I think I totally nuked the bit where the cartridge goes into the headshell by putting it in sideways. Grrr… No more mixes from me any time soon. But we got it sorted through a combination of parts.

That all sorted itself out around 8:55, just as we were getting ready to start. So Nick went on and played a nice set, then Jamie followed with more goodness, then the live boys came on and sounded sweet. By this point we had probably 60-70 people in there, which is quite a feat for a first night in a new venue in Camberwell! I had been in social butterfly mode this whole time so when Nick came up to tell me the sound was fucked, I was totaly taken aback. When I got to the dancefloor the volume was at maybe 1/3 – 1/2 it’s sound check level, and totally distorted. In sound check the limiter had been steady at one light of 7, and now it was cranked full-on at 7. No wonder it sounded like shit! So I immediately tried to find the sound guy, who said he would be back at the venue by then, but he was nowhere to be found. The bouncer took me back into the sound room, and I wasn’t about to start fucking with all their shit, since I know that’s a really easy way to make an enemy of the sound guy, so we just had to deal with it. Someone told me the barmaid turned it down at one point, which would explain some things. Anyway… the sound dude finally arrived at the beginning of my set, and he sorted it out relatively quickly, but it was still nowhere near as loud as it had been. In short, the mood for my set was seriously compromised by all of this, and it showed. My ill-preparedness didn’t help much either. When it was all over, I had it out with the sound guy a bit, but everyone who worked at the venue was so quick to point the finger of blame at us that it was a totally worthless discussion. May have made a few enemies in the process, and not toally sure if we’ll wind up there again unless I can get some assurance that the staff we need will be on-hand for these sorts of issues. We brought them a hell of a lot of money for a Thursday night, so hopefully they’ll be persuaded to see things our way.

A few new bits of wax

Maxwell / Prince : No One / Sexy Dancer (AMG Remixes) – 12″

Patchworks : Sugar EP – 12″

Randolph : About Last Night – 12″

Soulphiction : Soulphiction EP1 – 12″

Tim Wright : The Ride – 12″

Further info on receipt. Do not sleep on these new remixes of Tim Wright. The Luciano remix is unbelievably good.

March Top 10

1. DKD : Future Rage – 12″ [Bitasweet/2000 Black]

2. Moodymann : KDJ16 – 12″ [KDJ]

3. Joe Dukie & Fitchie / Fat Freddy’s Drop : This Room / Ernie (Live) – 12″ [Best Seven/Sonar Kollktiv]

4. Directions : Busted Trees – Carl Craig Mix – 12″ [Diaspora in Session]

5. Wildchild : Wonder Years Remix – 12″ [Stones Throw]

6. Theo Parrish : The Twin Cities – 12″ [Harmony Park]

7. Skalpel : 1958 – Quantic Remix – 12″ [Ninja Tune]

8. Sixtoo : Boxcutter Emporium (Bad Luck Comes In Threes) / Storm Clouds & Silver Linings – 12″ [Ninja Tune]

9. Nick Wilson : Ligeia – 12″ [Inceptive]

10. Matthew Herbert : On Your Feet EP – 12″ [Soundslike]

434

Finished a rather lengthy mix last weekend that the lovely folks at Emotion Electric have been kind enough to host. Make sure to check the other wicked mixes there as well! Be forewarned, it’s 148MB, so give it some time.

http://www.phonopsia.co.uk/mixes/TristanWatkins434Mix.mp3

Joe Dukie + Fitchie: This Room [Best Seven/Sonar Kollktiv]

Sixtoo: Boxcutter Emporium (Bad Luck Comes in Threes) [Ninja Tune]

Busta Rhymes: Abandon Ship (DJ Spinna Remix) [DJSP]

Tribe Called Quest: Once Again (Life Rexall Remix) [Reworked]

Taleb Kweli: Get By (Blackbeard Rework) [Blackbeard]

Ursula Rucker: This (with Jazzanova) [!K7]

The Source featuring Candi Staton: You Got the Love (House Apella) [Source Records]

S. Ferguson: “Q” (Main mix) [Ferrispark Records]

Inner Life: Moment of My Life (Original Shep Pettibone 12″ Mix) [Salsoul]

Wyndell Long: Klassic Klit II [Paparazzi Records]

Andres: Salvador de Bahia 1 [Mahogani Music]

Moodymann: KDJ 16 (A2) [KDJ]

DJ Kent: In the Bush (Theo Parrish Remix) [Bearfunk]

Kai Alce: M-7 [Mahogani Music]

Moodymann: J.A.N. [KDJ]

Horror Inc.: A Dream Within a Dream [Perlon]

The Soft Pink Truth: Satie (Grey Corduroy Suit) (Herbert’s Walk Free Mix) [Soundslike]

Matthew Herbert: On Your Feet [Soundslike]

Inverse Cinematics: Shot the Pianist (Part 2) [Fluid Ounce]

Freedom Soundz feat. Vanessa Freeman: Feelings [Nepenta]

Trüby Trio: Universal Love feat. Marcus Begg (Âme Rootdown Round Midnite Mix) [Compost Records]

Stateless: Leave Me Now (Brooks’ Fair & Light Mix) [Freerange Records]

Paul St. Hilaire & René Löwe: Faith [False Tuned]

Ibex: Terra Firma [Planet E]

Ani: Love is the Message (For Those Who Didn’t Hear It) [Prescription Records]

Kemetic Just: For Your Love (Brad Peep Remix) [Silver Network]

Pépé Bradock: Cycles [Atavisme]

Joshua: Century 82 [Tweekin Records]

Norma Jean Bell: Dreams [Peacefrog]

Classic Man: Gentle Morning Rain [Natural Resource]

Kerrier District: Let’s Dance and Freak [Rephlex]

R-Tyme: Use Me (M.K. Mix) [Trance Fusion]

Directions: Busted Trees (C’s Spacetramental) [Diaspora in Session]

Urban Culture: Urban Culture (B) [Eclipse Records]

Voices: Voices in My Mind (MAW Mix) [MAW Classic]

KL: Smile (A1) [KMS]

Dan Curtin: Matter of Sound [Peacefrog]

Andres: Trues [KDJ]

DKD: Future Rage [Bitasweet/2000 Black]

Milanese: Vanilla Monkey [Arcola]

Nick Wilson: Ligeia (A3) [Inceptive]