Ultraworld @ St Paul's, Adelaide (15/04/2006)

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Now a long-standing Easter long weekend tradition, Ultraworld at St Paul’s had a fairly heavy skew towards drum and bass on this occasion. London Elektricity headed up the main room early, with Adelaide’s D’n’B massive carving up the dance floor as we came in. Not being a devotee of the genre (great to listen to, but buggered if I know how to dance to it) I could only go by the positive reaction of those who were front and centre, but I also heard a few comments expressing some disappointment that it was only DJ Tony Colman and MC Wrec, not the ’full band’ live performance.

The Space DJz were definitely the highlight of the evening for me, with some pretty full-on industrial beats that had downstairs totally pumped. Having a couple of serious amateur DJ’s with me helped me appreciate their set even more, with their running commentary on the technical brilliance demonstrated by these guys. I can see stylus sales in Adelaide skyrocketing after the bedroom DJ brigade copy their destructive genius style!

Lab 4 went in hard in the main room upstairs at around 2am, nearly blowing the speakers with their first track! I found it difficult to find a comfortable place to listen, with the sound system obviously requiring some tweaking during their set. Eventually settling right at the front, it was almost as entertaining watching Andy J and Co running around looking very concerned about their equipment! An hour set isn’t really enough to do justice for Lab 4 and that would probably have been my biggest beef for the evening. Despite all the online banter leading up to the night, the fact that the dance-floor population dropped by nearly half straight after their set indicated that many people were indeed there to see Lab 4. Meanwhile, the D’n’B fiends had all swarmed downstairs to catch the work of the UK’s DJ Zinc on his first Australian tour, accompanied by MC Verse.

Karim then took over the main stage and, this being my first introduction to him and having heard very mixed reports in the past, I was keen to see what he could do. As far as I was concerned, the set was, well….very mixed! A few old school classics were thrown in, which kept the old train spotters such as myself occasionally happy, with some harder beats intertwined at random. Security probably could have done a better job at crowd control, with Karim practically being mobbed on stage for most of his set.

Saying our goodbyes shortly after Karim’s set, there was a bit of ‘versus’ action happening on-stage, with a different DJ behind the decks every time I looked up. All in all, a pretty good night but a bit disjointed, which made it difficult to settle and enjoy the proceedings the entire night. And will someone please, please, please sort out the air conditioning in the main room?

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