Sunday, November 15, 2009
Club-life in Sydney town
Going out to hear techno or house music in Sydney - it's such a weird scene. 20 years here and I've never quite worked it out - why this glittering party town has a hold on me? Why I hate and love it and why it can make me so lonely.
If I make the decision to go to an electronic music event, I must also prepare myself for an ordeal. Sometimes it goes well. Sometimes it doesn't. If it's at night, it'll go all night and if it's in the day, it'll likely go on all day - and usually in the blazing sunshine. Almost always, these events include multiple acts and are akin to endurance exercises. But sometimes, you get surprised and bump into fun.
Sydney's a place where you can be anonymous and just blend in, which is one of the reasons I remain here. Generally, it's a place where people move in, make money, invest money and leave. Other people grow up here and move on. A few of us stay.
Anyway, in the early hours of this morning, I ventured out to the 'Berlin Sessions' at the Civic Hotel.
Walking into the ground-level crowd that was cramming into the space and jiggling to Ame's dj set, my heart sank. Slightly aggressive vibe, too many people. Suddenly, it seems that tech-house is the new mainstream. I moved on and found the 'underground' area, catching Benji Frohlich playing an eclectic set that blended various styles rather effortlessly. He pulled it off, but then the crowd was sufficiently hyped anyway. Initially, I cynically assumed they would've probably kept dancing to an agitator washing machine, as long as it had kick drum breaks. However, Benji's set was consistent enough to win me over in the end.
Next up was the act that had drawn me to this gig - Move D - appearing for his first time in Sydney and playing Live. It was just after 3am and considering the punchiness of the preceding set, compared to the subtle, complex deepness of D's music, I wasn't sure how the (now thinning) crowd would respond. They did look a little confused at first, but slowly warmed (How could they not? They were in skilled hands). I noted that most people were actually listening! And then, when a break came, the crowd was fully reassured and, by now, convinced. It was wonderful, but one hour wasn't long enough. I didn't want this spell to be broken, because it seemed like it had only just begun. I didn't stay for the Ame vs Move D dj set, due to begin at 5am, because I was exhausted (why Sydney must make all-nighters out of anything vaguely techno is truly beyond me and not always appropriate).
And so to home, 'Songs From the Beehive' and bed after another night out in Sydney town.