Every week, it feels as if Melbourne's scene is getting stronger. Where just a few years ago international DJs jetted in to play gigs and the local jocks were treated as a pleasant distraction, things are rapidly changing. Fresh off the back of their performance at Strawberry Fields, local duo Sleep D warmed up for Todd Terje last Saturday. Dropping more of their customary deep and slow disco—including something which samples Oliver Cheatham's "Get Down Saturday Night"—the pair got the Liberty Social's dark, claustrophobic and packed dance floor well and truly moving.
As Terje took the decks near 1 AM, the applause was restrained, rather than gratuitous. Regardless, the Norwegian quickly won the crowd over. Beginning with a brand-new and amazingly tasteful edit of Men At Work's "Land Down Under" made for his Australian tour, Terje induced smiles all round. From here, his first hour shifted into a parade of kinetic and hooky tunes, many of which sounded like potential cuts of his own. (Terje has an album in the works). Thick bass and bright, synthy leads figured heavily, culminating in Omar-S and Ob Ignitt's "County Hill Cop's," and soon after, Terje's own "Inspector Norse." The latter track left every last section of the club deserted, as punters flocked to the dance floor.
Consisting of more heads-down music, Terje's second hour was a bridge of sorts, before he began turning back the dial on his time machine. Starting with a dub mix of Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy," he moved onto Loui$' "Pink Footpath" and Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart" before throwing a curveball with his edit of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You." As this string of euphoric and unashamedly kitsch tracks faded to silence, emphatic applause filled the smallish laser-shot basement. Premature applause, it turned out, as Terje immediately kicked into his own "Ragysh," rounding out an eclectic and well-structured three hours.
Local selector Lewie Day was next. Capitalising on the energy built by "Ragysh," the luxuriously-bearded DJ played a much tougher set usual. For his first hour, anyway, with one of STL's newer tracks getting a look-in. The second and final hour was easier, with more emphasis on melody. Opened by Omar-S' "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance!!," this section effortlessly lifted the still-busy floor, assisted by Benedikt Frey's trippy "Running in Circles" and Soul Capsule's recently repressed "Overcome."