Supermayer + Pig & Dan @ Empire, Brisbane (25/04/08)
Tue 29th Apr, 2008 Event Reviews 1128 viewsin
Anzac is a day that is very dear to the heart of all Australians, a time when we remember those who served their country at times of war to earn freedom for mankind. And what better way to celebrate comradeship and patriotism than hitting Empire with a cruisy crew at 3pm, to experience the relaunch of Friday’s freshest party with a ‘cold one in hand’ (after a nana nap of course, if you attended the dawn service). And in an exceptionally masterminded collaboration from the Drop, Colours and BumpNFunk crews, it would have been extremely hard to pass this one up!
Upon entering Empire at 3.15 i nthe afternoon, the bottom bar was already chock-a-block with patrons – no doubt fresh from Anzac Day marches and celebrations throughout Brisbane. I considered that I may be a little underdressed (embracing the relaxed dress code I had) as I walked up the stairs towards the beckoning beats surging out of the Middle Bar. My outfit anxiety lasted only a few moments as I spotted SyFi behind the decks in a very funky casual get-up! SyFi (AKA Simon Maher) played for a solid hour, getting everyone to a chilled out state of mind – with the help of sensational drink specials of the vodka/redbull variety. The set began with smooth and velvety funky house which even had the bar staff moving to the sexy beat. The mood was very similar to the laidback Sunday Roast atmosphere which prompted me to check with SyFi when the next dose of Roast was due – to my elation, the upcoming long weekend on May 4th featuring Paolo Mojo!
It wasn’t long before SyFi moved into a minimal tech feel to set up the progression for the rest of the night. For the punters who were already a little on the weary side from dawn services (or a big one at Tiesto the night before), Simon delivered a punch at the end of his set to perk us all up. To quote one rather tired but admiring fan – “Simon’s set was just what I needed – it was exceptional and really made me feel alive!”.
Taking over at 4pm was pocket-dynamo Fusion who hit us with blends of short, fast synths over a jungle beat. As I sat on the veranda admiring none-other than Fergus flashing his chest hair at us from Brunswick Street, however the drumming beat was snatching my attention back towards Fusion’s energy. Tracks such as Joris Voorn Blank (Deetron Remix) and Daniel Mehlart Wachwerden soon had the crowd eating out of his hands as the nice deep sound had us in the mood. Fusion plays by instinct – judging what worked as he went down the ‘groovy and loopy’ track, as he says. You could say this Gold Coast boy’s serious hobby of serving up delicacies of techno influenced minimal house to minimal techno was exactly what this crowd had ordered on this Anzac Day afternoon. Fusion and his style really sat well with me and I was not afraid to let him know it. But obviously, a modest man, he claimed the acts he was really rooting for were Pig & Dan, SuperMayer and most importantly the local boys who keep the momentum in underground music in this city!
After a bit of funky dancing on my behalf to the energetic sounds of Elliot Clarke, I was overrun by the desire to replenish fuel stocks with a kebab or something similar, after all too many “Let’s Go Boys” drinks can make you hit a wall pretty fast! On return the Spaniards who we had all been waiting for were in full swing in the Middle Bar. I cussed the long wait for a kebab, but soon got into full flight of skipping steps to make up for lost time.
Pig & Dan AKA Igor Tchkotoua and Dan Duncan had every patron veranda to staircase bumping to their electric set. The interesting duo really knew how to read a crowd, stroking, lifting, floating and dazing the packed Middle bar for three hours until we were in a dancing stupor, which says a lot about their ability to play a prime-time 3am set at a timeslot usually reserved for warm-up sessions. As the sun went down, these masters of their trade dished out track after track of quirky house, and swiftly the temperature rose.
As an added treat, we were also the first audience in the world to hear a couple of unreleased tunes, soon to appear under Pig and Dan’s Cocoon label later in the year, which they worked on in Tokyo shortly before landing in Brisbane. The appreciative crowd was so impressed, they demanded an encore as the duo hinted that their set was ending but not wanting to disappoint, we were guided straight into another six minute state of bliss ending with a solid ovation of cheers and whistles.
A quick dance floor change had us lapping up another sensational set by Colours promoter and esteemed DJ Elliot Clarke. Elliot drew us in with tantalising mixes of Azzido Da Bass Dooms Night (Radio Slang Mix), Len Faki _Rainbow Delta_and a beautiful piece of music Elliot described as ‘Harmonic String’. I was really into this set, and a friend commented that this was the most apt set he had heard Elliot play – I agreed whole heartedly, he really nailed the moment! However, the movement towards the stairs indicated that Mag00 had begun upstairs and moving up a level felt like a whole new chapter was about to begin.
Mag00 was already grinning from ear to ear as he laid out Steppenwolf by H.O.S.H., the Anja Schneider remix to a rapidly filling Moon Bar. But with already sore feet from a solid five hours of dancing already, I opted to take in his magic from the comfort of a lounge I could just sink into. Tracks like La Conga by Riva Starr, Plaisir D’ete by Kiko and Nothing at All (Tigerstripes remix) took me to a place of pleasure while my feet regained consciousness. Teardrop by Massive Attack would have to be an all-time favourite track and Mag00 nailed it towards the end of his set, conjuring a spell of greater healing for my feet and a level up in my ability to dance like a mad thing.
A man I had wanted to hear for what seemed aeons was Mr Scotty Walker, as he often had the latest time slot and the old granny in me always gives in to tiredness before Scotty hits the decks. He started off with a deep house/tech house sound with the likes of Son of Raw A Black Man In Space, Williams Kiss of Life and Henrik Schwarz & Amampondo I Exist Because Of You (Dixon’s Stripped Down Version) to name a few. Later on when Mag00 joined in, they continued exploring the deeper sounds as the crowd was really emersed in the vibe. The tempo was picked it up with a good measure of minimal tech for a while before they we moved back a gear in anticipation of SuperMayer who were due to arrive in 45 minutes.
The SuperMayer combo, comprised of Superpitcher and Michael Mayer boys, ended up arriving around 12:30am (after a miscommunication between their touring agent and the Empire confused their set time). Was the wait worth it? The dedicated punters who stayed will vouch that their set was legendary, which had them play until close. When sending their music through the speakers, filled the dance floor and from the first track they brought electronic delights to the people. SM certainly was worth waiting for and many dancers peaked again and again, brought on by the fascinating rhythms and waveforms. The mixing was tight and the programming of their set was smooth with German precision. They played a wide variety of sounds starting with techno, working their way through tech house, minimal and some deep house and in their last half hour they dropped some classic old house like Inner City Big Fun. They interacted with the (almost fatigued) crowd while thoroughly enjoying their Brisbane experience as well.
For those of us with the stamina to last the full 14 hours – I salute you! For those who missed SuperMayer, I feel your pain as for the past few days disappointment was aired through the ITM forums by some poor folk who had to work the next day. For me, this event has changed my life; I will now embrace a new Anzac tradition set by the Drop, Colours and BumpNFunk boys and celebrate this day in the years to follow, though it will definitely be a tough one to beat. Don’t forget to get your next fix of Drop on Friday May 16th featuring Virginia Le (Melbourne) and Sabine Christ (Germany), with support from Mag00 and Scott Walker. May every Friday be a Moon-bar Friday from this day on!