Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin - Live @ T in the Park
Radio 1, 10/07/2005
A lot of music I liked when I was younger just gives me a headache today. (Sick Of It All-- apt name, that.) Techno, though, still makes me bug the fuck out. It's the best dance music there is! Techno is a study in contrasts; on the one hand it's utterly futuristic, otherwordly, mechanical, the sound of machines stripped to their essence; on the other hand it's incredibly propulsive, funky stuff, capable of lighting fire on the dancefloor. Like funk and the complete opposite of funk, all at once.
For a minute it seemed like minimal was all the rage. Minimal this, minimal that. A friend of mine once compared minimal techno to expensive furniture. That seems about right, even though I don't know exactly what it means. Minimal can be good listening music, but I've never heard it at a club and felt an irresistible urge to bust loose. It's weird to take the "dance" part out of the equation. I think you lose something major when you do that.
Richie Hawtin went off the minimal deep end a while back, but you can never judge a DJ just on their albums. His Radio 1 set with Ricardo Villalobos is mindblowing. Not so much for its technical precision-- they flub a lot of transitions, perhaps due to the fact that they're sharing the turntables-- but more for the energy, track selection and rocking of the crowd. The great thing about this mix (recorded live at the "Slam Tent," which was undoubtedly Stupid Xtreme D00d!) is that you can hear the crowd going absolutely bananas. That's one thing I miss about living in London-- the crowd was always up for it. Enthusiasm is contagious, and I always get way more into the music if people around me are feeling it too.
My favorite track on this mix arrives about 7:20 in-- it's "Infiltrate," by Traffic Signs aka Steve Bug. GODDAMN what a monstrous beast of a tune!!! I'm going to have the DJ play this at our wedding, on the real.