Winter Sound System @ Doomben Racecourse, Brisbane (13/6/09)

Image for Winter Sound System @ Doomben Racecourse, Brisbane (13/6/09)

With Future Entertainment’s introduction of an outdoor version of Winter Sound System now occupying Brisbane’s festival calendar, there really is a ‘festival every month’. And with it being winter and the middle of Uni exams, it would be interesting to experience the success of the festival’s outdoor version. Future chose not to release the maps, apparently as they were unsure of final attendance numbers, which left the layout open to adjustment. This move confused many, with plenty left wondering where the ‘other stages’ were. But, a reduced and compact layout actually worked. The main inthemix Dim Mak stage assumed prominence in the outdoor promenade in front of the grandstand. The remaining stages were scattered throughout the various function rooms, boarded up extensively to create the club feel.

The Godskitchen stage upstairs on the first floor was home to Agnelli and Nelson’s, Robbie Nelson who attracted a knowledgeable base of EDM fans. His set included Aly & Fila’s remix of Philippe El Sisi feat. AmindaYou Never Know and Will Holland/Line FroysetThings That Happen (Joe Garnett’s temple One Remix). Although disappointing with ½ of the duo, he did well to warm the crowd up and lubricate their dancing feet. Gareth Emery followed the Irish DJ and continued the progressive/trance theme, including a remix of Tiesto’s Lethal Industry and Simon Patterson’s remix of John AskewBlackout. Rounding out the day for Trance fans, Markus Schulz followed; playing a more varied set than many expected – opening with Wippenberg’s Chakalaka. He moved onto The Swedish House Mafia’s- One where his experienced stage presence was openly displayed. While maintaining his cheesy grin he continued with Markus Schulz feat. Justine SuissaPerception (Cass & Slide Remake) as he moved towards a more darker ‘Dakota’ style of tracks.

Canadian producer Tiga had taken over Planet Turbo. Tucked under one of his trademark military baseball caps, his shy demeanour didn’t t seem to affect his driving and eclectic mix of tracks. Typically, his remix of Tomas Andersson’s Washing Up, You Gonna Want Me and Shoes received play, but the severely high bass levels in the room during his set meant many couldn’t withstand it.

Celebrating ten years, inthemix presented the outdoor Dim Mak stage. With a reference to the headliner (Aoki), and the Bloody Beetroots (who seem inescapable at the moment), it was invigorating to hear Dutch Philo, Laidback Luke and his expertly guided set. He fiddled and fidgeted his way through various genres and tracks, while refraining from spinning a track in its entirety. In doing so, he had the whole crowd and grandstand jumping throughout with many a MOS track including Hey!, his remix of MSTRKRFT and John Legend’s track Heartbreaker and Fredrico Franchi’s Cream. Italian fidget house duo Crookers struggled through early sound issues when their set had come along. After varying levels of success, the techies finally sorted it out for them to bang home various Tons of Friends tracks including the Remedy ft. Miike Snow and their Knobbers EP.

Earlier in the day Joachim Garraud had been floating about the grandstand handing out space invader stickers in a self supported (and successful) attempt at drumming up business for his set. Complete with scantily clad cheerleader when his set began, Garraud didn’t appear to be mixing too much but used his keytar to superb effect. By keying in the track’s melody in ‘rockstar-like’ fashion at the front of the stage, he cleverly hooked in the crowd for them to hear him flick the CDJ into various commercial tracks. Headliner Steve Aoki began with Pendulum’s take on the ABC News Theme, which helped secure a solid crowd. He backed it straight up with Bloody Beetroots’ Warp 1.9, which continued the frenzy. His mic-screaming and crowd surfing only heightened the response from many a young female eager for a feel. He weaved in and out of various Pillowface and his Airplane Chronicles tracks and finished with his I’m In The House.

As the final act to a big day, the Lickit hosted Renaissance Room was featuring Felix da Housecat. After beginning with house and sprinkles of techno, he then dabbled in dirty minimal electro. At this point, some left for home, but many stayed, finding the different avenue of genre surprisingly pleasing. Complete with tequila, trademark thick-frame glasses and party attitude he weaved his way through many of his remixes including his version of MANDY & Booka Shade O Superman (feat Laurie Anderson).

Despite some people wearing their intelligence – complete with fleshed tits, tans and triceps – and forgetting the whole aspect of “Winter” in the festival title, the smaller crowd worked. Despite this, promoters must continue to be creative and refreshing with the line-up and if this occurs: a regular Brisbane winter festival, might just work.

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