Ben UFO @ GoodGod Small Club, Sydney (20/04/2012)

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Sometimes you just want to party. You just want to hear rad tunes. It doesn’t really matter if some of the mixing isn’t super smooth, or there isn’t the sort of meticulous programming of a John Digweed, as long as the tracks are fresh, interesting and feet-moving. Ben UFO delivered exactly that last Saturday at Good God.

The evening’s supports, Preacha, Kato and Max Gosford, although giving us a few moments that felt appropriate for their timeslot, for the most part seemed to overstep the mark and go a little too big a little too early. It’s not that the tunes themselves were bad; indeed, many were great (you’ve got to lot some old school Speed Garage thrown in amongst choppy UK Bass), they just weren’t exactly well-suited to the timeslot and seemed to force the headliner into starting a lot heavier than expected. But then again, the crowd seemed up for just about anything, so maybe it’s just this particular reviewer being too cynical.

When Ben UFO stepped up, that sense of mystery and wonder you can only get from a diverse DJ who says “fuck genres” was definitely in the air. Everyone expected to be educated with fresh dubs and entertained with current big dancefloor bombs, but exactly what that would entail was anybody’s guess. And it seemed as though Ben knew that, taking his set in as many directions as he could possibly get away with. From fun, up-tempo house such as Tom Trago’s Use Me Again (And Again) and Mike Delgado’s Byrdman’s Revenge to classic warehouse techno (Loop by LFO & F.U.S.E. was a pleasant surprise), all the four-to-the-floor selections had plenty of bounce and low end. But there was even the odd warm, floaty melody thrown in for good measure thanks to tracks like Ellipsis, the forthcoming Joy O jam that has just about everyone all hot and bothered.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a bass music party (and certainly not one headlined by one of the owners of Hessle Audio) without some weird, shuffly, broken gear, and crunchy dubstep, and that too was represented in the set. New cuts from Objekt and Addison Groove filled the cut-up and slightly confusing, but still bottom-heavy quota for the set, while the final half hour of straight-up deep, heavy dubstep (none of that brostep nonsense) was a great way to finish and a clever nod to the stylistic roots of Hessle’s current sound.

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