Monster’s Ball @ Bakery Art Rage, Perth (02/11/07)

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The Bakery had been turned into Dracula’s Castle for the Bourgeois Bogan Halloween party, and the BB kids need to be given a pat on the back for the amount of time and effort that been put into the decorations. Skeletons here, coffins there and more spiders web than you could poke a duster at. The Monsters Ball was attempting to build on the success of the very enjoyable Prom earlier in the year featuring Riot In Belgium and Muscles. But when ITM arrived at Bakery it was perhaps overly reminiscent of a ghost town, and it was unfortunate to think what the crowd would have been like half an hour earlier when the Voltaire Twins started their set.

BB DJ’s Turbo, Melt and Dandy might have a combined age of less than 50, but they did get the dance floor started with their blog-house electro interspersed with some mash-ups that included an appropriately dirty remix of Britney’s In the Zone. The three youngsters were humorous to watch behind the decks, simultaneously bobbing their heads to the beat with the lone leprechaun dancing up a storm on the dancefloor with no one in particular when the boys dropped a heavy remix of Scissor Sister’s I Don’t Feel Like Dancing. Finishing with a remix of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the boys had definitely pumped up the atmosphere for the night.

Next up on the stage were Perth electro-rockers Extended Summer Surgery. The four piece play that angular-synth driven new wave rock that has become almost an Aussie trademark through bands such as Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts and Lost Valentinos. Even though the crowd was still small the boys from ESS shot straight into their set and they certainly looked the part as a witch, mummy and zombies. ESS have not reached the refined sound of many of their Modular contemporaries with a lot of guitar fuzz and feedback that detracted from their sound and gave the impression of sounding a lot better on record than they do live. With some promising Wolfmother FX coming from their sampler, perhaps a little more time to develop will see these boys moving up the electro-pop ladder.

As the schedule was running a little behind time, the ‘Super Supreme Team’ of DJ’s Petrosex and Amnesia Effect had to cut their set short to catch things back up. Opening with the brilliant new Booka Shade track Numbers from their DJ Kicks mix, the set got off to a smooth and sexy start. It then moved towards a minimal-electro vibe until the boys dropped for the second time in an hour the MSTRKRFT mix of Justice’s D.A.N.C.E. Always a dance floor filler, it was a shame to see that the boys hadn’t been listening when the Three Musketeers dropped the same remix of the same track an hour before.

The next live act to take the stage was the impressive four-piece Wales. Taking a step back from the electronic genre, the half male, half female rock group sounded a lot clearer after the fuzzing electronics of ESS. Vocalist Angela Flood immediately caught the crowd’s attention with her strong and intricate vocals. Running through some demo tracks such as Flowers, This Is Not, Yuri and the interestingly named You’re a Cunt. Flood certainly had a potty mouth letting obscenities fly left right and center but it not go awry and kept the crowd interested. Drummer Pat O’Brien impressed on Keeping Things and it is certain that Wales are a band certainly on the way up.

The ‘Super Supreme Team’ was back for a brief mix while the stage was cleared and Para One was setting his gear up. Dropping a remix of Klaxons’ recent classic Gravity’s Rainbow and finished off with a dirty mix of Salt n Pepper’s 80’s chart buster Push It.

It seems these days anything or anyone that comes from France these days is instantly hip and cool with labels like Kitsune and Para One’s Institubes at the front of the pack. Starting out as a French hip-hop producer and then moving on to techno and remixing to find his niche in style-of-the-moment electro. Forgoing the Halloween theme, Para One was dressed in typically Parisian chic in white shirt, thin black tie and fitter leather jacket. His setup was like his opening tracks, very minimal, with just a laptop, mixer and sampler/sequencer, no turntables or CDJs. He got the crowd, which was by far the largest of the night, started with a streamlined vibe with nothing but a beat, hats and a bass line. The crowd got into it and so did Para One as he fleshed out his tracks with a shrill that sounded like a horse being tortured and the dance floor loved it. It is always interesting to see how much DJs play their own productions in a DJ set as he released debut LP Epiphanie last year. Dun Dun was the first, and one of the only one of his tracks that he dropped. A great track and it was followed up by more banging electro but unfortunately the crowd started to thin about half way through his ONE-HOUR set. Yes you read it right, an international headlining DJ playing for an hour, it defied belief. He then played some more techie electro and dropped a remix of Bloc Party’s The Prayer, which everyone seems to have remixed thanks to the acapella being released by Triple J earlier in the year.

All in all it was a good evening that could have been great, perhaps a longer headlining set, perhaps a big name Aussie DJ in support. But in the end the crowd and the attitude just wasn’t there which was a big shame as the organisers had gone to a great deal of effort and had put in a lot of time. Maybe its just the genre getting tired after the bevy of similar talent on offer at Parklife.

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Johnny Hotrod

Johnny Hotrod said on the 9th Nov, 2007

para one's set was a LIVE set, not DJ ... hence the one hour length. otherwise, good review :)


designripple said on the 12th Nov, 2007

Yea it was a pretty good night, but that close to end of uni semester meant the crowds energy was down. Staying awake for Para Ones 1am start was a struggle.. or perhaps I'm just getting a little bit old. Either way, with support slots, sometimes less is