Saturday, December 06, 2003

After having gone through two days of training in which I found myself questioning the value of my position in my organisation, I had to go somewhere and get some release. Luckily for me, Armin van Buuren happened to be in town, courtesy of Godskitchen and Zouk.

A former colleague of mine had also come down from up north to visit us - but it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that we wouldn't get very much talking done. Who talks in a club anyway?

Armin's set was, on the whole, quite good. Mind you, it didn't start out that way. From all accounts, he started out playing rather experimental style. A little more house-y, a little more progressive than usual. I didn't particularly enjoy the first hour, but sometimes, I acknowledge, it's my mood that lets me down more than the DJ's set.

Aside: With regards to the last statement, there was a point in time when I seriously just prayed to God and told him, for the next few hours, please take all my troubles and my fears away. I leave them in your hands. Nothing I do now or over the rest of the night is going to affect them in anyway. And what do you know? It worked!

In the second hour, he began to play more trance tunes and it was really starting to get rather packed on the dance floor, though less packed than at Tiesto's set which was very good. I was really starting to enjoy myself; he played Sarah McLachlan's Fallen (Gabriel and Dresden's Anti-Gravity Mix) which I love and a truly awesome mix of Motorcycle's As The Rush Comes (his own remix, as it turns out). He even dropped Binary Finary's 1998 (Ronski Speed Remix). These tracks are really great for their build-up, and the energy level as incredibly high by the time he dropped the last track,

Sadly, Maniam, the tabla player, came on. It's just lucky he started playing just as AVB dropped Katana's Tribal Shock, which, admittedly, did kind of go with the indian drums. But still, I must object to the club trotting out Maniam as and when they feel like. No matter what they think, indian drums don't always go with the kind of music that's being played, and sometimes, the presence of the drum player forces the DJ to change his style in order to accommodate the instrument, and guess what? Trance doesn't go with drums, man. Period. AVB did a rather good job of switching to tribal house for a while, and then ended off the half-hour or so of drums with a teaser of Underworld's Born Slippy, which I took as a signal for better tunes to come. And man, did they come.

Around this part, I discovered that I was dancing all by myself. My clubbing mates had moved off as Maniam had come on and I was all alone. It was a little disconcerting; I don't mind dancing by myself, but still, it's nice to have people who you know around you so that you can share a smile or two or just have people to go berserk with as and when the mood comes upon you. So I texted a friend and got him to come back to the dance floor, and just as he did, BAM! Sasha's Xpander remixed with something else was played. It was incredible. I've been waiting for that tune to be played for so long that I really don't expect any DJ to play it anymore, if you get what I mean.

Anyway, great trance tune after great trance tune kept on coming. I don't mind that he just kept on dropping big tunes - that's too easy - but his mixing was great. Seamless and spot on. His selection consisted of stuff which I recognised too, which is always nice in a set. I liked that he played Solar Stone's Seven Cities five minutes after my friend yelled for him to play it (My friend was definitely too far away for AVB to have heard, by the way).

After getting a drink, I found that there was a lot of space by the side of the dance floor. A lot of people started leaving around 3 am as they, like I, thought the set was ending at that time, but unfortunately for the early leavers, AVB's set just kept on going until 4 am. I was really tired by the time 3 am came along, so the additional hour was really exhausting, especially since I just cut loose and started making use of all the space to just really rave, you know? And it was different this time, since I was dancing next to a guy who I knew who was raving too. It's great fun flailing your arms around skilfully.

AVB ended off the night with Burned with Desire, off his latest album, 76. It's not something I expected to hear in a club since it's rather slow but he played a thumping remix of it (Rising Star remix) and ended up a great set with a fantastic song.

Awesome stuff. Glad I went, and glad I stayed.

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