In the heart of Melbourne's CBD lies the once prestigious Argus building, HQ to the defunct newspaper The Argus, a Melbournian print that ran from 1846 until to its closure in 1957. Come 2012, November 16 through to the 24th, The Argus building was transformed into a pop-up festival hub as part of Where?House, the electronic music arm of Melbourne Music week.
Inside the rock-ribbed walls of the roofless building, pebbly pylons, flinty concretions and makeshift walkways line the gutted and heritage listed Argus. Upstairs leads to a retrofit of cafés, local eateries, vintage shops and dining hall, while downstairs is the warehouse-like performance space.
Unfortunately Richard Devine was forced to cancel his Melbourne appearance (little to no reason was given) and his wealth of sonic smarts were sorely missed. To fill the Devine void, sets were lengthened and the first notable train spot came via local jock Rambl and his selection of Floating Points' "Danger." Up-and-coming Melbourne group Tantrums then opened the main stage, but ill-timed drumming and awkward crowd interaction meant a less than memorable performance.
After a short interlude, Vladislav Delay took centre stage armed with a laptop and mixing desk. What began as an IDM pleasure zone, enjoyed by a mass of closed eyes and inactive sways, slowly turned into a schism of popping limbs and body moving torsos channelling into whichever of the (un)rhythms Vladislav Delay had circulating the room.
The occasional decipherable beat emerged from Ripatti's chaotic din, acknowledged by the Finn with bows of appreciation and hand-to-chest gratitude. The lighting of Vladislav Delay's second cigarette was met with more mirth as it signalled to the audience that time still remained in what was an already lengthy set. Long after stubbing out the cigarette, Vladislav Delay abruptly ended his set after a final drawn out dissolve.
Mark Pritchard, playing as Harmonic 313, then drew dancers left of stage, opening with an interesting take on Laurie Anderson "O Superman." Pritchard then promptly pummelled the skeletal Argus with a motley assortment of rehashed jungle, bass and sliced Amen breaks, with Schoolly D and Big Daddy Kane samples shot from the hip.
While the sound may have lacked any real low-end punch, it wasn't enough to hinder what was a successful showing of artists and musicians in a performance space the city has always hoped for, but rarely seen.