Chris Liebing @ Brown Alley, Melbourne (10/06/2012)

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A day rave on a Sunday… what a Novel idea! Add to this mix sets from one of Europe’s leading purveyors of techno, Chris Liebing, alongside German tech-house duo Kaiserdisco and you have one mean way to spend your Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

The final long weekend until Melbourne Cup Eve madness in four months’ time gave Melbourne a good reason to party it up hard. With a stellar selection of gigs to choose from over the three day break, there were plenty of opportunities to go for a full blown bender. One event that was high on the list was Smalltown and When the Smoke Clears’ “day rave” with Germany’s Chris Liebing and Kaiserdisco. Returning for his first show since 2009, the buzz was big around town for the advertised four hour set from Liebing, bringing that driving German techno that we don’t often get to explore in our club nights. Excitement levels were also high for Kaiserdisco, making their Australian debut. All in all, it was set to be a massive afternoon of techno and tech-house German style, and definitely worth hitting the club post-lunch on a Sunday afternoon for. At 2pm the venue opened and then, it was time to simply to relax and let the fun begin …

Upon arrival, we headed down to the main floor to check out local DJ Quale as he served up a solid mix of past and present techno classics (acid, anyone?) at a suitable speed to warm everyone into the afternoon ahead, before finishing with Emmanuel Top’s Turkish Bazar – what a wicked tune. As the change over to Liebing began, the main floor was filling up with a diverse crowd, it gave off a great vibe and an energy that this was truly a place to dance, let loose and have fun. Then 3.10pm came, Chris Liebing officially hit the decks and we were ready to go.

So where did Liebing take us over the next 3.5+hrs? I can sum it up in three words: blinding, hypnotic techno. We were transported to Berlin, banging driving techno German style blasted through the speakers, everyone dancing like we have no idea what time, day or year it was. It is just now, and it is just techno. Liebing style. And boy oh boy, did the crowd lap it up! The appreciation was immense and as Liebing kept driving up the epic peaks … bang, he’d hit us with it again, and boom, the crowd was right back into it. Subtle drops amongst the builds showed the control that Liebing has behind the decks, as well as his love for not only producing this music but playing it as well.

Track names aside, if you’ve been a regular listener to Liebing’s CLR podcast, then you’d have been familiar with his set, and his energy is infectious. Admittedly though, some of the set was a little bit too monotonous and minimal for some – but if that were your thing, then this was heaven. On top of his DJing skills, the sound was solid and clear wherever you were in the main room area. Unfortunately, at 6.30pm Liebing came to an end, much to the disappointment of the crowd. But as they walked away, I continuously heard people say “wow, that was amazing”, “he nailed it”, “wicked”, and so on and so on. Can’t beat that, can you?

What happened next was probably the only down point of the event. After Liebing’s set, the main floor area closed, lights went on and everyone was forced up the tiny stairwell to the top level to finish the party with Kaiserdisco and the locals banging it up there. Understandably, the downstairs area was closing for another event but it was the lack of communication about what was happening that got to us. The big gap of silence was a party pooper for us so after a quick peek into Kaiserdisco just getting into their thing, moving through the tech, the deep and groovy techno, we hit the road.

That aside, many punters came out chiefly to see Chris Liebing before heading to other gigs, so seeing them responding so well to the day rave concept and having a damn good time as well was awesome. Visuals were top notch, the sound was solid and consistent and the main floor worked perfectly for the Liebing gig, blackened to give the best atmosphere possible. Chris Liebing lived up to expectations, delivering relentless yet layered techno. All in all, it was a fun afternoon! Smalltown and When the Smoke Clears – please sir, we want some more … regardless whether it’s the Queen’s Birthday or not!