Naked Tourist & Neelix @ Roxanne Parlour, Melbourne (16/05/09)

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On Saturday night Psydology held a party at Roxanne Parlour in Melbourne’s CBD, with a stellar psychedelic lineup. The Aussie DJs and producers all rocked out, and should be commended for their excellent sets. As I was anticipating seeing Neelix for weeks in advance, my expectations were shattered when I was told on arrival that he had cancelled. This was very disappointing from both a punter and promoter’s perspective, but this was not to deter the good times to be had.

On entering, Luke Shamanix was playing on the mainstage with some wicked beats. Psychedelic and edgy, his set was continually driving and fast paced. Being a well established Aussie DJ, Shamanix was well-poised to kick off the night in fine fashion. There is a large LCD screen setup adjacent to the dance floor which offered a nice effect, including the elevated decks that had been pimped out nicely. Walking around the venue, there are a few comfortable armchairs to kick-back in which made for an enjoyable way to soak up the atmosphere. Making my way to the side stage in the next room, Hijacker was playing a great set with smooth progressive beats. Although the room is noticeably smaller, it didn’t discourage the crowd from going all out on the dancefloor early on. With a one-man bar in this room, refreshments were bountiful.

Back in the mainroom, Product Placement was hitting the decks. With full-on psychedelic trance from track one, his set was high in BPMs and high in energy. His buildups with percussion and the rolling basslines were beautifully syncronised in musical unison, and the dancefloor was filling fast at this stage due to his astounding track selection. With splashes of darker psy thrown into the mix, the set was one of my favourites of the evening. Catching a glimpse of Blue MD, his set was also drawing the crowd with more downtempo yet melodic choice of tracks.

At 2:30am, Naked Tourist accelerated the party to fourth gear and upped the ante in the energy stakes. Naked Tourist is a collaboration of German DJ/producer Z-Neo and DJ Iguana. Their psytrance was high energy, particularly their buildups and bassdrops which exploded out of the speakers, literally rocking the rafters. Their set was played live, which always adds another touch of class to the performance for me. Their stage presence was felt through their set with wild sound effects to create a euphoric driving effect. Having never seen Naked Tourist play before, I was impressed with their set.

Tristan Boyle played live in the sideroom at 3am, and also made for a highlight of the night. He dazzled the crowd with his musical talent, playing instruments while DJing. I enjoyed his set with a strange mixture of tunes, utilizing various samples and complex sounding rhythms.

Overall the night was fun and entertaining, yet there were a few concerns. Firstly, the choice of venue could have been better thought out as the party oversold, and while it did make for a more intimate and social environment, it felt cramped and claustrophobic at times. More importantly though, there was some angst over how Neelix’s cancellation had been handled by the promoters, who had failed to communicate this through forums, set times or by any other means, waiting instead for the crowd to rock up then give them the bad news. Arguably, it shows a lack of integrity that we see a lot in the psytrance scene, and it needs to be put to a stop. But otherwise, for the most part everybody had an enjoyable evening with great music, even better people and a grand setup. I look forward to enjoying future parties from this crew, because in spite this one mishap they put on a great event that was enjoyed by all.