Marcus Cork-Keeling weighs
As soon as an e-mail dropped into my mailbox regarding a press pass to see a certain world-renowned techno artiste, I seized the opportunity within the first hour. Boddika? In our very own St Andrews Club 601? The quality of his music was as good enough a reason as any to instantly pick up the review. However I must admit I had some initial inhibitions – would ticket-prices drive away swathes of future electro addicts? Could this typically poppy venue see the likes of Boddika received warmly? I gathered from members of Music Is Love that it was to be a very important gig in respect to the future of music at St Andrews; effectively a test-run to see how more obscure genres would fare with the St Andreans. To my relief, at no point in the evening was I disappointed.
Glaswegian Robert Edmond a.k.a. Bert E kick-started the night of live DJing with his slick live vinyl set consisting of tracks from artists such as Factory Aire and Nick Höppner. The flawlessly mixed set featured an array of dense techno tunes packed with woozy synths and thick, rumbling basslines which steadily managed to rally a crowd of avid ravers, who threw even fiercer shapes when he dropped the Daniel Bortz edit of ‘Limit To Your Love’ by James Blake, a hyped dubstep/soul fusion favourite. Best of all: Edmond left the stage with a huge grin on his face and talked animatedly to the folks in the crowd, including myself. His taste may be nuanced, but he’s genuinely just as excitable as any typical music fan about to see a techno God perform.
The crowd thickened and a CD mixer replaced the vinyl decks as SAUNIT took the stage. The format change is normally not one I favour – typically the decrease in the depth of sound makes the overall performance less intense and engaging. However, I struggle to complain about Austin Bell’s stellar skills. Bell introduced streaks of electronica and tech house excellence from the likes of Green Velvet and SCNTST into his mix, which never fails to pack a serious punch at every sonic corner. The pounding house rhythm seduced the ears of shy bar-dwellers and a vast range of people graced the dance floor, sufficiently warmed up for the climax of the night.
Boddika. The notes I had been taking for this article reached total illegibility, reflecting my state of delirious excitement. 601 was electric with silent anticipation. And oh what a performance!
Hearing ‘Acid Jasmine’ in the flesh was the highlight of the night: ethereal synths whipped from under my feet and the bass lurching up in its place. ‘Mercy’ and ‘Dun Dun’ elicited audible delight from the euphoric audience. There is no doubt about it: Al Green is in top form. Two hours of deepest, darkest techno rushes past my ears and in no time, the house lights are up and the spell on the hypnotised audience is dispelled. Although the night had to draw to an end, I wholeheartedly hope that this marks the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between St Andrews and real, intriguing music.