Ground Under feat. Slater Hogan & John Larner @ Candy's Apartment, Sydney (19/11/05)
Wed 23rd Nov, 2005 Event Reviews 1510 viewsin
Having not been to a Ground Under event in a while now, and hearing that some of my favourite internationals were playing alongside a top local lineup, I decided to head down and check it out once more.
Arriving there around 9pm I was welcomed by the sounds of Disco Lou, playing the 9pm-10.30pm warm-up set. Naturally at this point in time the club was fairly quiet, so I parked myself down in a chair and had a listen. From start to finish, she kept me bopping in my seat playing a variety of tunes, both old and new, some old favourites, such as a few Swirl People tracks, along with quite a few new ones which I didn’t recognise. Following on from Disco Lou was Porno Combo resident Sam Serene. Picking up the pace a little more, Sam started playing some quite bumpy, quirky tunes by artists such as Jason Hodges, No Assembly Required and more. Nearing 11:30pm the room had started to get a little busier by now and Sam decided to pull out Daft Punk - Around the World, an old disco classic, to bring the people onto the floor and it did just that.
By 12am, the place had really started to fill out as Mike Acetate, who was also celebrating his birthday that night, took over on the decks. Normally, I only seem to see Mike doing closing sets and the music personally isn’t to my taste, however, tonight he was warming up for the internationals Slater Hogan and John Larner, and he did a pretty good job of keeping the music suited to the time slot, allowing the following internationals to take over and keep the music flowing. Playing a set consisting of a US house sound, he took the music slightly more ‘jackin’ than Sam who played prior to him. Obviously Mike had a good idea of what he was doing, as he managed to keep the dance floor up and dancing right through to the end of his set, ready for our headlining act for the night.
1.30am finally arrived and it was time for the internationals to take to the decks and show Sydney what they had to offer. Having spoken to Slater and John earlier in the night, they told me they were very excited about playing as this was only their third visit ever to Sydney and their first time playing at Ground Under and Candys Apartment. We were lucky enough to experience a 3 hour set from this duo, and from start to finish they kept the whole venue up and dancing. Both took turns mixing the tunes, sometimes playing for 20-30 mins each at a time. At other points they were going tune for tune and they took the punters through a real musical journey, continually changing styles to keep it interesting. Throughout the 3 hour set Slater and John played just about every style of house you could think of, creating the ultimate party set.
They played everything from jackin, jazzy, deep, melodic, tetchy, acidic and even some classic – or what some would call ‘big name/ big room’ house tunes. They constantly progressed through different styles, building the music up, and then bringing it back down. They started off with some deeper, melodic and jazzy influenced house tunes before progressing with some more fast paced stuff verging a progressive/tribal kind of sound, before moving into a more upbeat jazzier sound. By this time the crowd was well and truly in party mode with the whole place dancing around. Slater and John continued on with the progression of sounds, moving into a techier and almost acid house type style, with some upbeat, bleepy sort of tunes.
They effortlessly moved the style back towards a more upbeat melodic house sound, lots of piano riffs and smooth vocals, excellent party music, which certainly kept the crowd happy. Continuing on with the progression, they moved back towards a tougher more tribal kind of sound with a tribal remix of “Pump up the Jam”. This wide variety of styles and tunes were all within just the first hour! Closely approaching 3am they began to play a more boompty house style which has become very popular through locals like Illya and internationals such as Derrick Carter, Mark Farina and of course, this duo, dropping a popular classic house track “Bushes” by Markus Nikolai and a few other big tracks currently doing the rounds.
With the wide variety of tunes they were playing, you could bet there was going to be something for everyone, and by the way these two were dancing around behind the decks and singing along to songs you could clearly see that they were having an awesome time and the crowd appeared to be having a great time too. Towards the end of their set, they started progressing through a variety of ‘classic’ or ‘big name’ tunes. Tunes such as Madison Avenue - Don’t Call Me Baby, Armand Van Heldon - You Don’t Know Me, and a more US sounding remix of the Pussycat Dolls - Don’t Cha, to finish the set off.
Overall I found their set thoroughly enjoyable, and for the whole 3 hours they did not once lose the dance floor so I’d say the majority of punters would have to agree with me. Finishing off the night was Jools, and considering the hard act he had to follow he certainly didn’t disappoint. Taking the music down a notch, Jools started off with a fairly deep and melodic track, then gradually built the music back up to another peak, playing tunes by Town & Country, DJ Homewrecker and much more.
Unfortunately, by around 5am tiredness got the better of me and I headed home, however I left the club that morning feeling thoroughly satisfied with the course of the night. Thanks again to Heffo, Justin and the rest of the Ground Under crew for another fantastic night out. I will be looking forward to the next one.