The Likes of You 2nd Birthday @ Brown Alley, Melbourne (09/01/09)

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Even with the cancellation of Eric Prydz, the 2nd birthday of The Likes of You was always destined to be a large and epic party. A lineup that features any of Carl Craig, Oliver Huntemann and Radio Slave is always going to be a good night, but with all three of them on the bill you’re in for a treat!

First up I would like to thank the security on the door as they are always great to deal with at Brown Alley, but on this night they even let me jump the queue for a mention in the review! So here’s evidence of my shameful willingness to pimp myself for whatever takes my fancy. Thanks guys!

Brown Alley is a large place and it was quite full when we got in, not as much as it was at Luciano and Babicz though as you could still walk around easily. The first thing we noticed was the sound, it was louder than I had heard previously but a bit too bright. Gavin Keitel was warming up for Carl Craig and he never disappoints. Whether he is getting things moving or playing a peak-time set, he is always quality. What i like most is what he saves for the end of his set, he always seems to find the most epic winding big tunes.

The crowd started to push towards the dancefloor and that was because Carl Craig started to pop his head up behind the decks. In contrast to Keitel, Craig started funky and jacking. Well, it was Detroit techno after all! The first thing i noticed about the set was the groove, tempo and BPM, it was funky and good to dance and swing too. He then proceeded to get dirty and industrial, there were lots of noises but he still kept that groove going. Then out of nowhere he played Jeff Mills The Bells!

I think what made the set work was the layering, but I guess that’s just classic techno then. Craig looked like he was using Scratch, and he knew how to use it. He would mix songs out, then bring them back in. Other highlight tracks were Audion Mouth to Mouth which on top of it he played the vocal of Sylvester You Make Me Feel, and Inner City Good Life. What he did next, which I love and is what all good DJs do, is take it down a bit and go deeper. This happens about 3/4 into the set and prepares you for the big finale. One of the final tracks was Derrick May Strings of Life.

Up next was Oliver Huntemann. I had seen him play a couple times before and both times they were slightly different. He started along the lines of the tempo that Craig finished but with a more minimal sound. In contrast to Craig’s set where the sound was often cloudy, the music that Huntemann was playing was more seperated and you could hear the individual sounds. He was gradually building up his set, and subliminally too. I like it when a DJ does that and lets you discover the music on your own, rather than pushing it in your face.

The crowd throughout the night was quite reasonable considering how full it was, although they always seemed to be going somewhere. After a solid few hours of dancing I decided to go up to the mezzanine level and hang out with some ITMers, i was glad i did because it was a bit cooler and had seats. Eventually making my way to the third level, I listened to Dave Pham and Mike Callender playing a versus set. It’s no wonder we have such high expectations when it comes to internationals as we can listen to these guys play each weekend.

To my pleasant surprise Radio Slave was starting a bit earlier than the set times had listed. He is one of my favourite DJs and i still regularly listen to his Essential Mix from early 2006. He set the mood from the get go. That baseline and swing, he just locks you into it and it’s quite amazing to listen too. The way he puts together a set and the sounds he uses once to bring in other sounds, the long repetitive tracks where he makes you listen to the whole track and he allows you to appreciate it. He also varies his set to incorporate techno, latin and disco seamlessly, but it always has that baseline and swing.

I was getting tired at this point and decided to call it a night, but from the text messages I was getting right through, it was still going strong and Radio Slave was on song. Its early in the year but i think it will take quite a special party to top this one.

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djschultzy said on the 22nd Jan, 2009