12/29/2004: "2004 part 2."
So many people have so amply covered the music I liked in 2004 in their recaps, not least among them Jess, Matos, Simon, Jon Dale, Scott Somedisco, Philip, and Mark K-Punk--so I'm gonna try a different tack. For part 1 of the year-end wrap-up, I'm listing the live gigs that I had the good fortune to attend. I'll call this list "Top 15 Electronic/Dance Events of the Year" cuz the Grammys (always, uh, forward-thinking, those Grammys) are including an "Electronic/Dance" category this year for the first time and I thought it was a hilarious and entirely meaningless title.
TOP 15 "ELECTRONIC/DANCE" EVENTS OF THE YEAR
I didn't go to Mutek or Sonar, so I can't weigh in on those, but looking at this list, I'm feelin' pretty damn lucky.
1. Kompakt 100 Festival feat. Triple R, Michael Mayer, Alter Ego, DJ Koze, Superpitcher, Reinhard Voigt, The Orb, Tobias Thomas (Tanzbrunnen, Cologne)
Voigt and Mayer kicking ass on the decks at around 6 am
Those Germans know how to throw a goddamn party. Here's hoping there will be a Kompakt 200 festival!
2. Ivan Smagghe, Ricardo Villalobos, Magda, and Richie Hawtin (Fabric, London)
World-famous DJs Tracer Hand and Geeta get ready to rock the house at Fabric
The English know how to throw a goddamn party, too. Here's hoping I get to go back to Fabric.
3. Kompakt vs. Rephlex feat. Miss Kittin, Michael Mayer, Superpitcher, Mark One, Plasticman, Soundmurderer (Volume, NYC)
Kompakt coat of arms at the offices in Cologne
Brooklyn knew how to throw a goddamn party--and then Volume closed. God, I really miss that place. It's amusing to me that Volume has already entered into some sort of urban legend status, so I've been gilding the lily a little when I tell my stories. 'Oh yeah, there was a spaceship in the main room! A real one! The second room had little green aliens in it!'
4. Payback - a benefit for DB organized by Jason Jinx feat. DB, Josh Wink, Scott Hardkiss, AK1200, DJ Dara, etc (Avalon, NYC)
5. Vitalic (Tribeca Grand, NYC)
Vitalic programs his home computer, beams himself into the future
6. DJ Ripley (Volume, NYC)
Video projection on the wall at the late Volume--freak out!
7. Superpitcher and Ada (Ikon, NYC)
Marcel Duchamp would have approved
8. Areal Records Party feat. Ada and Wighnomy Bros. (Kunstwerk, Cologne)
The sun setting over Cologne. Looks like the cover of a 'Pure Moods' CD doesn't it
I wish I had photos of the venue, but I forgot to bring my camera that night. The interior of Kunstwerk is all rough and concrete; it felt like being in some kind of underground bunker. They had a bunch of grainy super8 films flickering on the walls in addition to the usual digital video stuff, which I thought was awesome. This was where I heard Ada's cover of 'Maps' for the first time, which I talk about a little here (scroll down). The atmosphere--very vibey, as Simon R would say.
9. Theo Parrish monthly residency (APT, NYC)
So APT ain't the most ideal venue, but the setup of the bar ensures you're always within the line of sight of the DJ booth, which means you can stare at Theo--who is adorable--while he spins heavy, gorgeous soul, funk, disco, techno. Always revelatory, never predictable.
10. LCD Soundsystem and 2ManyDJs (Maria, Berlin)
I don't have any pictures, so here's a photo of a random train stop instead
11. NASA Rewind 'Old Skool Rave' feat. DB, Moby, Frankie Bones, Keoki, Scott Henry, etc (Arc, NYC)
12. Derrick May (PS 1 and Volume, tie, NYC)
If you add up his sets from Volume and PS 1 you get one really excellent set. Volume was too hard, toolsy, and dry for my tastes before getting good at around 4 or 5 am, while PS 1 was more back-to-back feel-good anthems instead of anything particularly surprising. Who doesn't want to dance to 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' outside with a thousand people on a beautiful summer day, though? No one, that's who!
13. Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin (children's park on the edge of the Rhine, Cologne)
Ronan feels the voibe in the park while Villalobos DJs
14. DJ Clever (Orchard Bar, NYC)
I haven't seen this many people have honest-to-god fun dancing to new drum'n'bass for a long time. I forget the names of other DJs but I'd list 'em here if I knew.
15. Derek Plaslaiko and Mike Servito (The Delancey, NYC)
Both times I've seen 'em they've been great, but this time was killer--a ridiculous set of hard, gooey, and utterly deranged acid. Rising stars of the Ghostly label--and my favorite DJs on that label.
Honorable mentions: Sammy Dee (Filter 14, NYC), Luomo (Volume, NYC), Dan Selzer and Mike Simonetti (Centro-Fly, NYC). Note that all three of those venues listed are now closed for good.
Best New DJ Nights: Wild Flex Paul Kennedy weekly at Orchard Bar, Alldisco feat. Dan Selzer, John Selway, and Ulysses
Part 2: my top 10 albums of the year, and top rock concerts of the year, coming soon.