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  Liquified Nation 3 9.28.01
Story and photos by Lei Vishnu

Venue: The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
Presented by: Liquified

Lei VishnuThis event had me hyped up from the first teaser that LG put out. A really good friend of mine is a huge Stakka & Skynet fan (his dog is named Stakka — although maybe that is not the most flattering thing), so I had heard a lot of S & S and was more than ready to hear them live. Although S & S were a big treat, I was just as excited for the rest of the lineup promising both levels of the Masquerade to be jammed pack with banging music all night long from our locals and nationals.

My intentions when I entered the Masquerade was to make a valiant effort to run between rooms so that I could catch all the talent. Sandra Collins was my favorite DJ for a long time (she was one of the main DJ's that came out to Hawaii) and I was very excited to hear her. She never ceases to amaze me with her flawless mixing and track selection that just gets down to the core of my soul, plus she is so cute in that sweet and innocent way. With my objective at hand, I went up to the DnB room to start the night off with a good rinse out by local Mayhem. It was a great beginning to the night. The crowd was not unbearable and Mayhem was laying down wicked tracks one after another. It is so nice to see our locals holding down proper with poise and talent. He did not falter from his hard and wicked set the entire time pushing the crowd to the point of exhaustion at such an early hour. However, even those that were exhausted at the end of his set quickly gained their second wind as AK1200 took over the decks.

the crowdBy the time AK1200 started, the heat and the completely packed front part of the dance floor caused me to move to the back. It was nice at first because we had some room to dance (what a novel idea) but soon there was as many people around the back as in the front. The only place that I could find substantial room to get my groove on was right in the walk way between the two bars at the back, however the obvious "traffic" caused a problem and I kept getting bumped over. I was getting irritated at this point because AK was playing some of my favorite songs and I was all amped up from Mayhem's set and ready to dance! I decided to make my rounds to check out Sandra Collins.

After making the descent down the hated steps I walked into a sea of sweaty gyrating people and blaring heart pumping music. There SHE was on the decks with such a humble smile it was hard to believe that she was the same person that was commanding every body in the entire room to move in some way or another. It was a change of scenery from up stairs where in the "pit" near the front of the stage it was packed but many people were just standing around. Down in Sandra's domain every person I saw was moving in some way, even if it was just a bob of the head. I tried to find some room but couldn't so I just went back up to the front and enjoyed a few records while reminiscing of all the times I had seen her before and all the good memories that I associated with her music. However, my new passion for drum and bass allured me back upstairs to hear the remainder of AK's set.

AK had the crowd going wild, as usual, when I made it back up stairs. It seems that AK is the butt of a lot of criticism from the Atlanta DnB community because he plays anthems and well-liked songs. I never have understood all of this because the "silent" majority loves AK for these reasons. If you are a true DnB fan then you would know his history, more so you would know of the vast spectrum of sounds that he has the ability to pound out in any given set. He has the ability to play DnB that lures people that may not have liked DnB to at least give it a try. This ability was very obvious as I looked around the crowd toward the end of his set. I saw many people with perplexed smiles and unsure body moves — sure signs of a new listener that likes what they hear but are still unsure of what to make of it. The sight of people sharing in the enjoyment of music that I love is a great one — probably the highlight of my night. So needless to say I enjoyed AK's set!

Stakka & SkynetStakka and Skynet came on next and I ran straight to the front, the sound in the back where there was room was horrible, plus I wanted to watch them at work. I was not very impressed with their first track. I had hoped that they would make a grand entrance with a dub plate or track that just blew everyone away and kicked in the crowd's third wind. I do not think that many people could even tell that there had been a change in DJ's, however that may have just been the crowd not paying attention. Their set continued with a track selection that did not seem to have a clear direction. The mixing was good and the two worked together well but did not seem to push each other. Even though there were no tracks that I disliked, it seemed that they would raise the energy level with a slamming track followed by a lighter track that dropped the energy back down. I suppose my expectations were very high and might have jaded my perception because they did work the crowd. I mean I remained upstairs through their set despite my earlier resolve to checkout all the rooms, so they most have been doing something right!

Pish Posh came on next, by this time the floor had cleared a lot and I was able to find the best spot of the night to dance AND listen to music. I spent the first half hour of his set dancing continuously. The track selection was perfect for an end of night dance session — just dark enough to keep me interested but light enough to muster up the energy to dance to it. Sometimes DJ's seem to ignore the effect that their timeslot has on the crowd and play sets that seem "inappropriate" for the time, but Pish Posh did a great job of playing exactly the right style.

I left after only a half hour of his set because I had obligations in the morning (I know, Saturday obligations suck). I did hear from a good number of people that the rest of the downstairs lineup had the crowd rocking as hard as Sandra. Also, not to forget the Purgatory lineup, which always is a nice place to retreat to when you need some room but not a break from good music! The only thing that I think could have been improved was to somehow have speakers set up to give the entire upstairs room good sound. I am pretty sure that LG has done this before because I remember standing in the back area before and still getting good sound, but on this night it was not the greatest. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Thanks to Liquid Groove, all the DJ's and all the people that made me smile!

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