Monday, March 5, 2007

Digweed review

So Sunday night, I went to bed at 7:30pm and got up again at 10:30pm, puffed a couple ***, and went down to Belo for the Digweed show.

After arriving at about 11:15, to the sight of the tour bus parked right outside the club, I went in and caught the tail end of the warm-up set by MSTRKRFT, a dj duo whose sound kind of reminded of the Chemical Brothers. They don't spin entire songs but do a lot of sampling and swapping of basslines, all with that happier, uptempo spirit of a Darren Emerson-type dj. MSTRKRFT's sound was very bouncy and entertaining, and the crowd, probably about 75% of capacity in Belo's main room, seemed into it.

At about 11:45 Digweed appeared in the booth, and took over the reins from MSTRKRFT at right around midnight. Now, JD's new rock star hair cut makes him look a little different to me...kind of more of a trendy guy than a weirdo who is all about his twisted music. But the set he dropped was purely enjoyable, and because I consumed no *** nor alcoholic beverages, I was able to really pay attention to his technique.

I recognized at least a few tracks from the his latest mix album, Transitions II, including both of my favorite tracks from that mix. For me, those two represented the chief highlights of the set, as they're both pretty intense, and nothing beats when a DJ drops a banging track that you've recently been playing a lot at home. Diggers also kept it interesting at the sets more mellow points. In fact, other than two tracks I would classify as cheesier, Tiesto-type trance anthems, Digweed's tune selection was completely of the sleek, smooth, progressive flavor, with some nice trippy touches and some great peaks. I had at least three or four moments when I was rocking out 100%.

From my sober perspective, I had a much clearer grasp than usual of Digweed's technical style, which generally seemed to be a simple mix-song-A's-outro-phrase-with-song-B's-intro-phrase approach. I ended up hanging until about 2:45, only pausing my dancing during the slower moments, in which I'd relax in the back or grab a cup of water from the bar. In a way, I looked at the night as similar to a workout session at the gym, with special guest trainer John Digweed, and that perspective paid off. My legs were aching like after a stair-running session or something - not that I have never actually done stair-running, mind you.

Anyway, at 2:45 or so, right when I thinking it was probably time for me to head home, the lights came on and it was over...I had made it to the end. For the last half hour or so, the MSTRKRFT guys had returned to the booth and were hanging out in there with their girlfriends, who actually sat down on chairs at times - which was oddly distracting, almost prompting me to suggest that sitting should not be allowed in the dance floor vicinity, and certainly not in the booth.

After the lights came on and the last song stopped, much of the crowd milled around for a few minutes, hoping for an encore. When the music stopped, Digweed had no way of getting out of the booth without walking through the crowd, so he actually crouched down behind the decks, apparently planning on waiting down there until the crowd petered out and it was safe to make an exit.

Outside of a couple bartenders, I had talked to only one person the whole time - some raverish dude who had asked if I had any rolling papers. Despite the relative solitude, it had been quite an enjoyable dance session. I felt like Digweed had come to play on my court, and I had risen to the challenge, giving him my best.
To top it off, the streets of downtown were as empty as I'd ever seen them, and my drive home was illumniated by a big full moon.

1 comment:

John Digweed said...

It was my pleasure to serve you.