Dust Tones 2nd Birthday @ The Clare Hotel, Sydney (20/10/07)

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Wouldn’t it be great to be two again? Well, that’s a bit of Kevin Rudd style rhetorical question, because your honest answer would have to be, “No, not really.” If you were two years old, you’d need a really, really impressive fake ID to get into fab parties like the Dust Tones second birthday party. And even if you could get in, you wouldn’t be tall enough to see over the bar. So to sum that up then: being two, not so great; getting invited to second birthday parties when you are 2, not all that great (from recollection); going to Dust Tones’ second birthday party, eighteen different flavours of great. For everything else, there’s . . . Whoops, wrong product placement.

I’m glad we got that sorted out. Let’s talk about the party.

Dust Tones has something of a peripatetic (word of the day, comin’ at ya) existence, having graced venues as diverse as Melt, the Hyde Park Barracks, and Manning Bar. Tonight it was back at the Clare Hotel, arguably Dust Tones’ spiritual home. The spirit guide I consulted on the way to the spiritual home foretold funk, a staple sound of Dust Tones (although not, by any means, the only dish on the menu). It was another f-word I had been uttering a little earlier on in the evening as I had watched Sydney FC capitulate to Adelaide in the A-League. Was my night about to get better?

Well yes, thanks for asking, yes it was. I entered the Clare and before I could get a “good to be with you” out of my mouth, I was struck by the warm goodness being delivered by Frenzie and Mark Walton. If the beat is not broken, break it, was the theme that pervaded their set, and if you want to DJs two break stuff in a way that gets you rising from one of the infamous Clare couches and on to the floor, Frenzie and Mark Walton are your guys.

Continuing the “it’s a second birthday so there may as well be two of us” theme, Dust Tones’ top gun, head honcho and all-around-good-guy Bentley stepped up to the decks next with Germany’s Frequento, who has been impressing around the place (especially on Thursday nights at the UTS Loft) during an extended trip here. They took things in a slightly more jazzy direction; what I think might have been an Alice Russell double play ( Heard It All Before & Don’t Joke With a Hungry Man ) was a highlight. It’s Bentley party, and he’ll play if he wants to, and when he’s got such good tunes (and a good partner in crime) everyone else wants him to play as well.

But every birthday party has to have guests of honour and tonight that was more Germans, Marc Hype and Jim Dunloop. Marc had bought some records (and some fairly nifty turntable skills) and Jim had bought a fairly serious piece of keyboard apparatus and for the next two hours they proceeded to put the ‘fun’ firmly into ‘funky’. Dunloop is a classically trained pianist and Hype a former German ITF DJ mixing champion, but more importantly they sparked off one another brilliantly all night, mixing up jazz, hip-hop, rolling loops, and whatever else they felt like. You can do some very-impressive things to a dancefloor when you can dance on the boundary between ‘live set’ and ‘DJ set’ and this was a pairing that could do that, and kept us dancing as a result.

So happy birthday Dust Tones, and many thanks for yet another wonderful line-up – I hope to be raising my glass to you at many more birthdays to come!

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drop said on the 5th Nov, 2007

correction Mr Legal affairs .. the track is by Sunshine Anderson and is the Quantic remix ....