Circoloco @ home, Sydney (21/02/04)

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Having been enticed to visit the night by an e-flyer promising crazyness and red wigs, along with quality house music of course, I was slightly disappointed at the lack of additional production and almost entire absence of said red wigs.

Whilst the colourful Circus theme lends itself to multiple interpretations and seemingly endless decoration possibilities, it was left to the same picture of a clown head displayed over the entire selection of downstairs monitors, and to the Circoloco logo to set the atmosphere from the decoration perspective.

Underexploited gimmicks aside, other ingredients of the night – including the main one – the music – certainly did a better job at living up to, and in some cases – exceeding – my expectations.

Jackster had the dance floor over half full by my arrival just before midnight. Busy bass lines intermingled with melodic grooves and a dash of soulful vocals, all of it layered over chunky beats. The pace ranged from a more laid back EBTG
classic ‘Tracey in my room’ to the driving Kujay Dada’s ‘Young Hearts’, yet it all fit together nicely in a smoothly flowing whole.

Alex Taylor picked up the energetic vibe of the last part of Jackster’s set and took it further – winding up the dance floor with thick, chunky, ‘industrial strength’ bass lines. The upfront driving force with which the set was delivered did not ease off for one track, emotion seamlessly flowing from dark and dirty, even sleazy lows to uplifting, invigorating highs. There was no shyness in showing of their appreciation amongst the punters who voted with their dancing-shoes-clad feet and wide smiles. Mine, and judging by the crowd reaction many others’ high point of the set was owed to Chable & Bonnici and their engaging effort – ‘Ride’ (it will be a long while before I get sick of hearing this one!).

The headliner of the night – Jo Mills – chose a slightly different approach to her set, which unfortunately did not seem to agree quite as well with the crowd’s music tastes (here, the judgment was made on the speed and degree of the dance floor departure and disappointed comments of co-punters). The mellow, slower and deeper feeling that ran through greater part of her set seemed to account for loosing much of the vibe built up by the earlier DJs. Nevertheless, she did venture into more upfront, driving, and even slightly tribal territories on more than one occasion, particularly towards the end of her set. These were the times when the extra dancing room was very well appreciated.

Overall, even though the whole Circoloco bit wasn’t quite as crazy as anticipated, the friendliness and up-for-it attitude of the better part of the crowd and quality of the music made it a very enjoyable night indeed! :)

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