Now in its third year, Melbourne Music Week 2012 saw a number of venues across the city invaded by promoters from Melbourne's thriving music scene (as the name suggests). The program this November consisted of more than 90 events, showcasing over 200 local and international artists across nine days, with the dilapidated Argus building—a former printing house that closed its doors in 1957—becoming the epicentre of the week's festivities. Named Where?house, the heritage listed site—a more or less intact building from the outside with a completely gutted interior—was transformed into a vibrant hub of music, food and fashion across its first two floors.
While the second level of the building was open every day throughout the week with producer workshops, food stalls, a bar, a retro clothes market and even a Wi-Fi area, the huge, cavernous downstairs room became the stage for a series of nightly concert-style events, hosting international heavyweights such as Ben Sims, Floating Points, Mike Huckaby, Radio Slave and a diverse array of other DJs and live acts. It was only fitting that the last of these events was set to be the official Melbourne Music Week closing party, enlisting Chilean Matias Aguayo to ensure the frivolities at Where?house finished with a bang.
It was a little confusing to see Sydney crew Future Classic on warm up duties for the evening, particularly given their disconnect from Aguayo's sound as they rolled through nu-disco and deep house. As the crowd built to comfortable numbers, Aguayo took to the stage, immediately changing the pace and atmosphere. Commencing with his own "Menta Latte," Aguayo grabbed the microphone and paraded around in front of the decks.
Although he continued along quite a predictable path over the first half of his set, seemingly working his way through something of a retrospective of his now three-year-old Comeme imprint with tracks like Barnt's "Geffen" and Cowboy Rhythmbox's "Shake," his high energy levels and crowd interaction ensured everyone was always engaged. In the second half, Aguayo did justice to the warehouse setting, building up with obscure and acid belters, before winding back through Chicago and Detroit sounds including Mike Dunn and Alden Tyrell's "Touch the Sky" as well as "Rock to the Beat" by Kevin Saunderson. Aguayo took the microphone in hand once more as he drew his three hours to a close, finishing to cheerful applause from the captivated attendees.
Aguayo was a difficult act to follow, but Melbourne's experienced Animals Dancing crew closed the night (and the week) in appropriate fashion. If anything, the four-man DJ team consisting of Tornado Wallace, Andee Frost and duo Otologic somehow managed to create a looser affair—both visually and audibly—before being shut off slightly early to the crowd's begging cheers for an encore.