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  Liquified Planet 7.15.00
by Sterling McGarvey

Venue: Studio Central - Atlanta, GA
Presented by: Liquid Groove

On July 15th, Liquid Groove hosted what would end up being their final party at Studio Central. The party was very odd. The balance was incredibly off. When it was good, it was great, when it was bad, well...shit happens everyday. Mother Nature had a strong hand in the party; pretty much every headliner had played in New York the night before, and they were delayed in getting down here, including Carl Cox.

The party opened up with Mistykiss in the main room, Jeremy in the drum n' bass room, and Kolia warming up outside. However, I didn't arrive until 1AM, so I missed the openers. When we all got in, Dave Ralph was spinning in the main room. The crowd didn't seem ultra-captivated, but then again, the night was young. Outside, the Wicked Crew were working the crowd with some very tribal sounds. However, I felt like it was a bit early in the evening for tribal house. It seemed like it was more appropriate to hear at 6am or 7am as the sun rose, but certainly not as the crowds begin to pile into the venue. Total Science were pretty good in the dn'b room, but unfortunately, once again, the sound in the room was still too overpowering. I couldn't stay long, since I valued keeping my skin and flesh intact. For the most part, from 1 until roughly 2:15 or 2:30, the crowd was still piling in and the vibe was slightly limp. Everyone was socializing for the most part. There was some movement going on. Around the last 30-45 minutes of Dave Ralph's set, the vibe began to pick up much more. People began moving, the overall feeling just really boosted. Although I didn't like his set as much as I enjoyed the set last March at the Church/Celebration Hall, he still impressed.

As Dave stepped down, it was time for the Man to play. Everyone was worried that he wouldn't come, but when the Man stepped up to the plate, the crowd was en fuego from the first record dropped. Meanwhile, the Wicked tent was shut down by our friends at the APD. Honestly, as much as I think that the sounds of Garth, Jeno, Thomas, and Markie would have been awesome at sunrise, they were ill suited for the time of the night that they were playing, in my opinion.

However, as surprised and upset as I was, that fact paled in comparison to seeing Carl on the decks again after nearly 2 years. It truly makes one envy European clubbers. But then again, to use the old cliché, the grass IS greener.... I was literally in so much awe that I barely left the front of the stage. The only occasions that I left were to hear some of DJ Lee, who was mighty impressive from what I heard, and to refill my water, which I was rather un-politely told that I couldn't do. The security guard told me "Somebody gotta pay the utility bill, and water ain't free." That didn't sit well with me at all. I bought even more water, and headed back through the crowds to get back near the stage.

Seldom have I jumped, bounced, shouted, screamed, and grooved so much in a heavily confined space. The Man wove in and out of soulful techno and house tracks seamlessly while baiting the crowd with constant gesturing with the vinyl as though he was going to toss it out in the crowd, only to put the record on. I've never seen someone bob and weave while mixing tracks like he did. For a man who I couldn't see smiling, he sure looked like he was having a fantastic time on stage. It was almost a direct contrast to Sasha, who sounded (in my opinion) absolutely great at the Chamber, but looked like he needed Prozac while he mixed. Carl waved, he smiled, and he had a great time. It was as though you could actually FEEL his energy alongside the tracks as he rocked them. It reminded me of two years ago when I danced alongside (the former) Tommie Sunshine and he walked right up to the TurboSound and just danced his ass off next to the speaker. The Man has a funny effect on the crowds during his sets. Anime and D were putting up the fist during his set. I kept shouting to people, "Carl Cox owns my ass!!!" and "Carl Cox is my father!!" Two years ago, Kay (Cobradoll) was dancing with another girl on the speaker, and the guy to my left was literally weeping and crying "Carl!" during his set. He can work a crowd into a frenzy, and this evening was absolutely no exception.

Kazell closed out the main room after Carl, and he kept the sprits up for those who still had energy left after Carl had beaten up the rest of the crowd. Daniel closed out the dn'b room. However, I wasn't able to hang much longer after that. Carl Cox owned my ass for three hours. He was that damn good. All in all, there were some absolutely awful moments at the party (Wicked Crew got shut down, security wouldn't let us refill water), but the great moments (The Man's set, Dave Ralph's finale, DJ Lee) were certainly there to balance it all out. 3/4 thumbs up from me!

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