What constitutes a successful party or club night is vastly different what constitutes a successful gig. For a gig to work, it really just takes the right musical talent gracing the stage, the right sound system and the right sound guy – the rest will take care of itself. For a party or a club night, there are numerous other factors an organiser must consider. While the music will always be front and centre, the nature of a crowd who plan on dancing until 5am is that they seek something more that just good music. They need the ‘vibe’ to be right – they need visuals, they need a light show, they need the right crowd of people around them, and possibly most important of all, through a culmination of the aforementioned factors – they need to peak.
Luckily for those who attended Northcote’s 24 Moons on the 9th of June, a blisteringly cold Friday evening with a full moon in the sky, organisers Crown Ruler, Melbourne Deepcast and Bizarro provided the perfect combination of ingredients which allowed revellers to flourish in awe of what was happening around them. Legowelt and Lipelis are two names that the average electronic music fan may not immediately recognise. I first became acquainted with the stylings of Legowelt when a Dutch friend who I met at Boney was crashing on my couch. He explained to me that he originated from the same town as Legowelt, who had changed techno music forever, and put their town on the map as a result.
Legowelt‘s music has been described as “a hybrid form of slam jack combined with deep Chicago house, romantic ghetto technofunk and EuroHorror Soundtrack.” Using an array of live synthesisers, this melting pot of sound is well realised in a live setting. Enjoying the recorded music of Legowelt, and enjoying a live set like what went down at 24 Moons are two wildly different experiences. Perhaps it was the crush of bodies gyrating on the dance-floor, perhaps it was the utterly hypnotic nature of the projected visuals, or simply the heat that began to consume the room – but there was an undeniable intensity to the performance. What begun as a spacious, almost ambient set quickly descended into hard, pulsating rhythms and a wall of sound. On a set of speakers of lower quality, this may have resulted in an indistinguishable mess of noise. However, as many posters in the Facebook event noted at its conclusion, the quality of the sound system was such that each tone, no matter how intense, retained a crispness. “That soundsytem tho.” “Guys. Sound.” The demand for Legowelt‘s presence around the world is unsurprising – for a music junky or a purist, there is so much to appreciate within the semi-live nature of his performance. For someone who simply wants to dance to something, there is just as much to appreciate within the swirling rhythms and cascading synthesisers.
Those who are unfamiliar with it may assume that post-soviet Russia does not have a particularly dense music scene. This assumption is false, as not only are there many thriving bands in Moscow and Russia at large, but a particularly potent electronic music scene, which was once covered by Resident Adviser. A darling of this scene, and one of the most widely appreciated Moscow exports is Lipelis. Well known for rather odd remixes and edits, Lipelis delivered a confronting set which was dripping with danceable elements, undercut with a signature weirdness. Very few DJ’s I have seen manage to pull off the kind of set that Lipelis did – he was seemingly not playing to the room, but rather for himself, indulging in odd twists and turns which were utterly enthralling, but far from traditional.
For those who found the gripping, all consuming intensity of the main floor a little too much, upstairs offered something very different again. Spin Club provided tunes that felt like they were a third of the tempo of the main floor, allowing for a much needed reprise from the speed of downstairs. My favourite thing about events like this is the sheer variety of people you get to encounter, in varying states of awareness. In the smokers area, I spoke with a somewhat incoherent young man from England who relayed his feelings regarding his country’s election, the results of which had been called mere hours earlier, and ended in a hung parliament. “Man, the whole world is fucked. But like, not in there,” He said, gesturing toward the venue. “Politics should be more like club life. Have you got a filter?”