Louie Vega @ Alumbra, Melbourne (06/12/09)
Wed 9th Dec, 2009 Event Reviews 1646 viewsin
I arrived at Alumbra at about 5 PM on a glorious Sunday afternoon, only to find it relatively empty and the main room closed for a sound check. The in-house system was pumping out some nice summery vocal house tunes on the terrace, where most of the small crowd had assembled, enjoying the last of the weekend sun.
The main room opened up just after 6, and people slowly filtered in to take in the smooth and soulful Latin and vocal house sounds (did I just hear Ten City?) of DJ Simon Digby. He was followed by DJ Franky D, who cranked things up a notch. At first I thought he may have cranked it up a bit too much for a warm-up set, but he smoothed things out a bit as the set progressed and did manage to warm the room up for the main act. It was also nice to see hands go up in the air for the old-school classic Push The Feeling by The Nightcrawlers.
Louie Vega took to the decks at around 9PM, and started with some pumping New York, workout-style house tunes that immediately got the room about 3 degrees hotter. He upped the anti early with a blistering mix of Mr Fingers’ Can You Feel It expertly interwoven with an Obama speech for maximum effect. You could feel a sense of immanence as the set built and built, eventually exploding in a short-lived frenzy of absolute classic house tunes such as *Lil Louis*’ French Kiss (which, I have just realized, is 20 years old this year) and the MAW classic I Can’t Get No Sleep, before moving into some smooth disco house sounds. The set progressed from disco house to what could only be described as dirty blues style house, which just sunk deeper and deeper into a purely elemental style of house music, with the kind of rolling beats you could lose yourself in for hours. The master then worked things up into a more tribal sound, which leveled out to a solid Latin house groove that saw the crowd through to the end of the set.
Overall, the mixing was top notch, as was the programming; Vega took us all somewhere with the music that night. He moved through the set effortlessly, keeping a certain groove going just long enough for the crowd to be tantalized before moving things along. He showed those of us lucky enough to catch his set what a real house party is supposed to be like. Another thing Louie reminded us of, by effortlessly and seamlessly mixing brand new tracks with old-school classics – pleasing both those of us that were around at the start and those of us that are new to the scene – is just how enduring real house music has been and how relevant it remains today.