Nasty, urban techno with a smear of street filth: that's the sound of Liberator! Kicked into life in 1996 by underground free party addicts, the liberator dj's and Paul Harding have gone on to exemplify everything modern techno should be - twisted, hard, gritty, punchy and alive with the noise and feel of the city. Consistently gut-wrenching, never less than mind-bending. Techno is the dirty underbelly Liberator sound. All hail the new scum!
Friday night at the Bat Centre was nothing short of that - a perfect flow of electronic mayhem. A live performance by Seake was a great start to the evening as their beats take on quite the minimal feel, and towards the end had many a toe tapping and head twitching. The change in dancefloor set-up led many to observe from behind in the early part of the night, but by the end of Seake's set enough alcohol had been absorbed by the wriggling tummies of those who had been the brave few to occupy the floor! A big thank you goes out to Luke and Malcolm for doing a benefit set in light of the high event costs for the hosting of Chris Liberator!
Following the live set was a minimal techno set by One Track Mike, the host of the party. As most may not have realised there were endless problems in the beginning of the night - everything from dodgy cables, faulty multi-plugs, electrical trips (Triphazard - duh !!!) and so on ... resulting in sound and lighting issues - which after so much careful planning of an event can be the host's worst nightmare! In this case it was, especially as a techno party requires the support of banging bass-bins and dingy, mind-altering lighting. After troubleshooting like Chuck Norris on crystal-meth in a spaghetti western, I then attempted to enjoy my set, which I then realised for the umpteenth time is not that easy when it's your own event. To top it off I had multiple cds skip on me ... further motivating me to buy more vinyl! However, the stage was set for Chris Liberator!
Chris Liberator at Beach CafeAt the age of 42, having been all over the world and being hugely instrumental in the development of techno music, the thing that struck me first about Chris Liberator back in 1998 is just how approachable and friendly the chap is! Unlike others I have hosted he is downright happy to hang at your house, go out for a meal, arrive at the event when it starts (as opposed to just before his set), leave at the bitter end, AND enjoy a fat after party! The fact that he manages to be as sociable to all after endless world-wide tours is commendable and will ensure his return to Durban. He even commented on the night here as being better than some of his sets to thousands of people, based on the older age of the crowd and their sheer exhuberation during his set. He asked me not to tell Nick (Teknotribe, Jhb) he said so but he MUCH preferred Durban to Joburg - but we all know that already!
Nick GraterNevertheless, Chris played to a somewhat unexpecting crowd and was relentless with his mixing and choice of tracks, not forgetting the crowd-pleaser: "One Night in Hackney". The floor maintained itself until a very reasonable hour, at times looking like a playpen for the mentally-disturbed. Was great to see people losing themselves - myself included, releasing a truckload of pent-up energy and heart-bleeding nostalgia from too many years away from the dancefloors of London. Nick Grater followed with an equally storming set, staying true to the reputation he has gained for being South Africa's ambassador of Techno.
Finally a word to the friends and the freeloaders: I extend a big thank you to all those who support these events for it is this support that makes them possible. To those who are my buddies i thank you too for knowing and hopefully understanding how much money is at stake at each of these parties - in particular the internationals. For this event I suffered a loss of R5000.00, after a great deal of work and months of planning. It is a thankless job at times and I can only ask of those of you that expect to be on 'the list' at such parties that your R50 support is (a) appreciated (b) relative to the quality of future events here in Durban (c) a shedload less than the R5000.00 + month's work I lost.
For most promoters and djs this sort of thing is a hobby, whereas it is my job. If I eat at my friend's restaurant or go to my friend's hair salon for a cut I do not do so for free, and in return I hope people can respect and try to imagine what goes into creating an evening such as this. From conceptualization, venue-scouting, meetings, emails, phone-calls, faxes, deal agreements, wording of proposals, shmoozing of sponsors (if any), artwork design, footwork with flyers/posters etc, liaising with agents, liaising with press, carrying of equipment in & out of the venue, maintaining a fresh library of music, outlaying (sometimes tens of) thousands of rands months prior to the event ... and the list goes on.
So don't stop supporting and hope to see you at the STANTON WARRIORS!