Liquified Planet 3.20.99
Venue: Nike Pavillion - Atlanta, GA
If any of you know me, you know that I love to write little "reviews" of djs and club/party experiences I have and send them to all of my friends. So, when Jason & Sabrina asked me to write a review of Liquified Planet for Lunar Magazine, I was honored & told them that I'd be glad to. Well, if any of you know me, you also know that I love all sorts of music, but I happen to be VERY partial to trance and to Sasha & John Digweed in particular. They said that was okay, so here it goes...
I'll start off by reiterating again that this is extremely biased, and you might as well call it a review of Digweed and Kazell, rather than Liquified Planet. So, being old and out-of-"party" shape as we are, my roommate and I decided to lay low & not go out until later since we knew that it would be difficult for us to hang for the whole night otherwise. Fine by me. We napped, then got up & started pounding drinks while I spun a few records here at the house, then made our way to the club at about 3:15am. We were pissed that it was raining, b/c we wanted to walk & not deal w/parking, but we ended up making our own parking spot in a hurry & proceeded right in to the club. There was no line whatsoever! I know it was late, but still total props up to Liquid Groove for that. Maybe their "membership only" idea actually worked for the whole nite. Hopefully so.
Anyway, we met up with our buddies inside & caught the tail end of Dubtribe. What I heard sounded pretty good & the crowd seemed to be moderately into it. I've always enjoyed Dubtribe's live PAs, because they seem to be just that LIVE. (Unlike many of the other "live" acts that tend to do very little live instrumentation & play mostly off of pre-recorded DAT, etc.) And, from what I heard/saw, Dubtribe upheld their standards & continued to play good, live house music. But, like I said, unfortunately I didn't see all of their performance.
Okay, let me preface all of the rest of this by saying that I was REALLY looking forward to hearing John & Kazell, because, unlike everyone else, I was unable to attend WMC '99 and I was really starving for some good progressive house/trance. Now that that's out of the way, here we go.
From the first track John threw on, I knew that we were in for something different. Something special. See, I've seen both Sasha & John numerous times & I definitely know what I expect each of their sounds to be like. Although it's the "same" sound, it's distinctly different. John typically comes on & warms up with a good bit of percussion-heavy, tribal house and then after an hour or so, he'll work into the more bangin' sounds. Not so here. No long, trancey opening intro, no tribal beats, just deep, thumpin' 4/4 right off the bat. Coming off the Music Conference high & incredible performance he & Sasha put on down there (that my friends told me about), somebody had something to tell Atlanta! John seemed out to show why he's consistently rated among the top 5 djs in the world, and quite arguably the best.
Digger's groove got pumping, in a progressive house sort of way, really catching the crowd. The crowd, by the way, was awesome. I don't know total attendance, but the main floor was packed all nite. About 45 minutes into it, Digweed had hardly let up, when he dropped one of my all-time favorite house tracks by Fathers of Sound, which has a really cutting guitar & a PHAT Jimmy Hendrix sample in it, before breaking down several times, only to get pumping again. This really seemed to kick the crowd's collective buzz in! From there on, it was all over! Digweed dropped in & out of the nastiest fucking tracks that I could only covet. The kinds of tracks that ONLY those two guys have. I've heard tons & tons of djs, but NOONE does it like Sasha or Digweed can. And John was out to show us that. His super-clean, seamless mixing never faulted. For a little over three hours, I never heard ONE slip. (And believe me, I was listening for it!)
Kazell, the man with balls the size of cantaloupes. How could anyone want to follow Digweed? Well, I guess by having the confidence, the records, the skill to back it up, and the crowd behind him (like Kazell does), that's how. Kevin, being a personal friend, and one of my favorite djs/inspirations of all-time, is just one of those guys that knows how to do it. I've seen Kazell in line-ups with the best djs in the world, and he always seems to shine. Kazell is never one to be overshadowed by even the greatest of djs, because he knows his place and his task at hand & knows how to rock a crowd. And, he did just that. After pausing the music for a big, well-deserved standing (by those that could) ovation for Digweed, Kevin got right to work with his funky style of house rockin' beats. I know the crowd was as beat up as I was, but they continued to dance & cheer him on as he ripped thru tracks ranging from a funky tech-house beat like that of Funk Function's "Empress II" to high-energy rockers like Dario G's "Sunmachine." Kevin's mixing & ability to read the crowd was as smooth as ever & still held the floor even with a worn-out crowd at 8am.
Unfortunately, (I apologize to Kevin) I could take no more. Sometime after 8am, I had to leave. I was beat. All-in-all, I went home VERY pleased w/the party and Liquid Groove's production (thanks a LOT, guys). I really wish I could offer everyone a more comprehensive review off ALL that went on that night, but if there was even another room in the club, I wouldn't know about it. I had a bee-line path from the front of the stage to the bathroom & those were the only two places I went.
Overall, a great job & a great time.
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