Surgeon @ Plastic People

Surgeon played a fantastic set tonight at Plastic People. Absurdly loud, but all over the electronic music spectrum, including some weird Surgeonized P-Funk track (I think), The Stone Roses ‘Fools Gold’, two Nitzer Ebb tracks, one of which was ‘Join in the Chant’, the Carl Craig’s Drums Suck remix of Dave Angel’s ‘Take Off’ (or is it ‘Airborne’???), some crazy nearly-gabber Aphex Twin, D.H.S.’s ‘The House of God’, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ (the first time I’ve actually enjoyed this out in a club in years), Tres Demented, Kraftwerk’s ‘Home Computer’ (never getting to the vocal), teased us with bits of At Les flute that never culminated in the song itself, loads of electro and IDMish electro, some acidic techno, a lot of Surgeonized edits of tracks that I can’t remember, culminating in some weird gabber/noisecore thing leading into something I can’t remember and then a UR track that has huge strings that reminds me of the beginning of Laurent Garnier’s ‘Dance to the Music’. There were even a couple of housey moments in there. He mixed fast and long throughout, was as tight as you’d expect from Surgeon, with a few tempo changes, sacrificing none of his precision or coherence to the breadth of this set. Surprisingly he played very few of his own tracks that I could spot, which is a complete turn-around from when I saw him in New York in 2001. Somehow he fit all of this into two hours.

A couple of times in the set Regis would get on the microphone and scream like a profane madman. One bit ended with ‘learn your lesson’. Although I didn’t catch it, I’m told he was also whispering things about ‘your daughter’ softly in the background. Also, the Werk guys who threw the party (and the Ghostly party last month) all had nice PA’s to warm things up. The only downside is that there were times (particularly during the gabber and noise bed bit at the end) when the (easily abusable) sound was utterly damaging, and throughout most of the night it was a bit too loud, even if it was still clear. If you haven’t seen him in the last year, run don’t walk because he has absolutely taken his sets to a whole new level, as evidenced by this set and his possibly even better set at ATP this Spring. The man is really pushing boundaries. He, not Hawtin, is the poster boy for Final Scratch, and what it can empower you to do.