by Shannon Petrick
Venue: Fusion - Atlanta, GA
I was pleasantly suprised when I arrived at Fusion on December 28. This was once again one of those beautiful almost-all-locals events. Those are the best! It brings you down to earth and keeps you in touch with what's happening in your own scene. It's really not Sasha and Aphrodite that make our scene, right? It's our very own home-grown locals. Not only was this night filled to the brim with talent, but there was also plenty of diversity. If you came to Fusion for this event, you experienced jungle, breakbeat, progressive house, trance, deep house...anything your little heart desires.
Unfortunately, there weren't that many people to experience all this delicious music. In fact, the place was almost dead when I first arrived. I didn't have to stand in line and the ticket guy was very nice and talkative.
I was happy to see the familiar faces of Faust and Shortee, Atlanta's own jungle/hip hop extraordinaires. I haven't seen them play in a while and I always love seeing the female DJ at work (and Faust too!). They played in the front room which gave them the option of playing whatever they damn well pleased. And so they did...mellow drum n bass tracks combined with some of signature eclectic tracks as well. For the time I was in the front room I didn't hear either of them scratch which disappointed me because it's mesmerizing when they do.
In the main room, I was caught up in the "new DJ experience." When a new DJ plays that I've never heard before, I sit in a meditative trance, criticizing everything they do in my mind. This time my victim was Ken Harper, the deep house DJ. I didn't have much to criticize though, as he did an exceptional job. I'm not the biggest fan of deep house but I found myself getting into it. He played tracks with driving beats and the typical house lyrics (i.e., "Feel me!" "Heal me!", and so on). As it usually goes, the farther Ken Harper progressed into his set the more trancey the tracks became. He had pretty smooth transitions and the few people that were in the main room seemed to be really into the music.
As the hours rolled by, more people shuffled into Fusion and it actually became quite crowded by 1am. Just in time for Atlanta's beloved Gabriel to start his set! Whether playing progressive house or jungle, he's always been one of our scene's nostalgic favorites. He's known for his unusual taste and flawless mixing skills. And he played the best kind of jungle at Fusion...dark jungle. The kind of jungle with those wicked beats. The kind of jungle that drives deep into the shadowy corners of the mind and makes you lose control. When you constantly hear the weak jungle that so many listen to, you begin to appreciate the sort of music Gabriel plays. He began his set with "On the Edge" by Rantoul, one of those "atmospheric" tracks with rolling amens...the perfect sound to start the journey. Gabriel used this track to let everyone know what they were in store for. In the most climatic part of his performance, he played "Mindscan" (Ed Rush and Optical Remix) and drove it right into the minds of his listeners. We were finally let loose and he started to wind his set down with a track by Magnetex. Sometimes that sort of jungle gets way too intense.
I eventually wandered into the front room and saw Starman on the decks. Then it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't seen Mistykiss play all night. As I began to inquire about this curious situation I found out that Mistykiss didn't show up, according to some of the clubbers there. Oops! Bad DJ etiquette! I'm sure he had a good reason...as all DJs do. I soon forgot about the absent Mistykiss as I began to sink into Starman's melodies. Yet another DJ I hadn't heard! And I was ashamed because he played the most amazing tracks. Starman included progressive house and trance with the occassional tribal sounds thrown in (John Digweed style).
And the biggest suprise of the night...Fusion was decorated! Okay, it was
only a few Christmas lights but for Fusion, that's decorated. Decorations or
not, the night turned out to be really worth it. I was able to experience
all sorts of diverse music and beautiful people. So for all of you that
thought Fusion was a lost cause...think again!
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