Fri, Jun 27
Switching it up
DJ Switch has been at the top of his game the past couple of years as a producer, so there was lots of excitement about his headlining gig at Circa – a makeup gig for his cancelled April show. The UK producer is known mostly for house but was also behind the controls for most of M.I.A.’s last album and has been working on an album of future-dancehall with Diplo, which suggested that his DJ set would span a variety of tempos and rhythms.
Yes, he did occasionally veer away from pounding tech-house, but for the most part the set was all about noisy synths and uptempo beats. Unfortunately, he played it conservative, perhaps intimidated by the large room and club district location into thinking he needed to bang out the obvious hits to connect with the crowd.
Overall, it was a decent set but didn’t live up to the hype.
Sat, Jun 28
Crookers steal the show
Italian production duo Crookers have been absolutely killing it on dance floors all over the world this year, mainly because of their aggressively funky electro remixes, which often get more play than the original tracks.
Even if the term “nu-rave” was originally coined as a joke, it certainly fits the over-the-top acid vibe they pound out, and walking through the wall of steam and sweaty bodies greeting us at Wrongbar definitely felt like something out of the glory days of the “old-rave.”
There was nothing subtle about the vibe they pounded out, and that was exactly the kind of bludgeoning the crowd was up for. This was easily one of the most intense parties in recent memory, which proved that the buzz-saw bass line sound that’s ruled the club scene the last few years is far from dead. That heavy-metal disco attitude still manages to thrill, at least when it’s done as well as this.
Sun, Jun 29
After spending the afternoon strolling around Pride, it seemed like a good idea to follow up with Circa’s big gay party, which featured drag superstar RuPaul performing on the main stage. The place was packed and going off early, and the crowd was well primed by the time she hit the stage in a giant white afro wig.
RuPaul was never primarily about the music, and this was no exception. (Covering Ice Ice Baby? Really?) Kitsch cover versions aside, it was a fun, campy show and overall a good party, although it was missing a bit of edge.
Putting all the alterna-queer stuff in the Bathroom Bar probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but the tiny room and shitty sound system didn’t do acts like punk-reggae icon Ari Up or up-and-coming gay rapper Leif justice.