Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Deep Cuts III: Pinksilver Special at the Mercat Basement

Australia is currently experiencing the biggest influx of international DJ tours the country has ever known and Melbournians are regularly spoilt for choice when deciding what to see on the weekend. However, this has come at a price for a once, supposedly thriving local scene. Deep Cuts is a new Melbourne event geared toward supporting local talent and issued its third home grown instalment with a Pinksilver label special at the dusty and dimly lit Mercat Basement.
Pinksilver prides itself on grooming local and up and coming talent via its internet arm Pinksilver Net; and remains one of the few Melbourne posses to hold down a true DIY ethos. A Funktion-One soundsystem was shipped in especially for the event and after a nervous soundcheck, which involved a series of head scratching consultations, attentive gazes into space and various speaker rearrangements, doors opened.

The night consisted of nine DJs over a seven hour period (including two back-to-back sets), which for the patient listener could pose a potential cause for concern, but each Pinksilver act was given enough time to showcase their individual sound and aesthetic. Lost Few aka David Thompson and Jess Ramsey raised their third Deep Cuts curtain with an hybrid DJ set and visual showpiece.

Thompson layered quintessential Prologue cuts of Cio D’Or and Milton Bradley, over Sendai, Wolfgang Voigt and a mixture of other droning, twitchy and sci-fi sounds. Ramsey's VJing theme shared many parallels with the nostalgic graphics of the29nov Films productions. Thompson’s clever use of pitching down and looping Chris Liebing and Tommy Four Seven’s Bauhaus supported the ominous tensions synonymic with cabalistic techno (listen to Lost Few's set here).

Schooled Melbourne stalwart Paul Agius served the Mercat Basement’s its first real taste of four-four beats, with a stripped back and linear one hour set - Agius also relinquishing the first woots of DJ admiration. Pinksilver’s Sydney arm Trinity (real name Renae Treak), debuted her new live show consisting of a laptop, launch pad, controller and xoxbox. A bobbing Trinity unleashed a wave of proggy, almost trance like techno on Deep Cuts III, substituting beefiness for musicality and soul.

Unlike some of the recent techno nights in Melbourne, Deep Cuts III offered a youthful and more evenly skewed male-to-female ratio, a pleasant change from the usual middle aged techno boffins filling dance floors in tattered Tresor T-shirts and UR hoodies. Another debutant for the night was long time Pinksilver faithful Drew Jugum, living proof that supporting your local crew, rather than spamming inboxes with mixtapes, can earn you a spot on the bill. Jugum played back-to-back with this writers favourite DJ, Daniel Filipovic. 

Watching Filipovic DJ is like watching Swayze make love to Demi Moore in Ghost, only this time it was Filipovic making love with Jugum. Filipovic’s sensual and deep seated house sets are now synonymous among Melbourne DJ’s and house heads, but Deep Cuts III saw Filipovic packing some serious heat. After a short applause for Trinity’s live set, Filipovic discharged some stripped back and percussive techno. Mixing two-for-two, Jugum instantly made his presence know by dropping Roman Lindau’s Ann Aimee slice BornĂ© along with an armoury of other burly cuts.

Filipovic ebbed and Jugum flowed, but it was Filipovic seasoned DJing prowess and impeccable song selection that had him a cut above the rest. Melbourne’s dub techno flag-bearers and parts two and three in the Pinksilver throng; Mark Baumann and Lance Harrison aka Echo Inspectors, delved deeper into dub with their part-live-show-part-DJ set. Baumann, whose resemblance to Australian cricket legend Merv Hughes is uncanny - almost comical - communicated with Harrison via a desk full of laptops, controllers and other digital luggage. A highlight was the Inspectors belting out their own edit to DVS 1’s remix of Darko Esser’s Clean Slate.
A Fuzzy Filipovic and Drew Jugum

Echo Inspector aka Marrk Baumann and Lance Harrison

Well into the early hours of Saturday morning, Pinksilver staples Matic and Lorenzo were assigned closing duties. It was obvious from the get-go Lorenzo was going big - and big he went. His climatic opener continued to build and stubbornly refused to drop. Eventually a brooding kick drum introduced itself and the Mercat Basement’s sound-struck dancers finally had a decipherable rhythm to work with. 

By this stage Matic may have well been questioning what he got himself into, but after a shaky and understandably difficult start, Matic found his groove and succeeded in working in some of the biggest sounding kick drums for the night. After a five minute warning from security, Lorenzo - with a devilish grin - waves Lakker’s gargantuan Spider Silk vinyl to those remaining and proceeds to alert every surrounding orc to arms - one of the biggest and theatrical closers Melbourne techno has ever witnessed.

Pic Credits: Tez Thompson

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