My first review for RA – YAY! To tell you the truth, I had no idea who Bill Hamel was. I heard someone say “if you don’t know Bill Hamel, you don’t know progressive house”. So, erm, on with the review!
To begin with the venue, I’d never been to FMs before (a lot of ‘firsts’ happening tonight!), but that was the case for most other punters. FM’s does not hold any regular clubbing nights and as one attendee noted, they didn’t want to be known with “that image”. With a cool blue-lit bar, a large open dance floor with a small, raised DJ booth located in the corner and ample chill out areas surrounded the dancefloor with fabulous, soft, cooshy chairs…Ooh la! I don’t know why FM’s hasn’t been used for clubbing events before.
Milkbar Nick warmed up for the night with some groovy tunes and clean mixes, but things kicked off a little after playing floor-fillers such as Interflow – StoryReel (Satoshi Tomiie Remix) and Opus 3 – A Fine Day (D Ramirez Remix)
Nash T was up next and we tune spotted: Celeda – The Underground, Blue Phase – The Bell (Ocean Wave Remix), Lemon 8 – Lose Control (Inner Sanctuary Remix) and (WOW? Tarantella?) – Karma (Praha Remix). Apparently Nash began to work in one of Hamel’s signature tunes and was promptly told to stop it.
As the clock almost struck 1am, the floor began to fill and a crew of Canberra’s top DJs emerged from the VIP section in anticipation. Hamel launched his two and a half hour set with deep, dark progressive beats which then proceeded to vocal tunes with a funk tip and ended back to the tech side of things.
The sounds were crisp and clear, apart from that buzzing noise that occurred during Milky’s set and a couple of times through Hamel’s. And that driving, thumping bassline.. or maybe that was because I was sitting on top of the speaker.
The cosy crowd was friendly, dancey and up-for-it. Sadly, FM’s was not at full capacity with a thinned out crowd on the dance floor half way through Hamel’s set when he played his remix of Lamb’s Gorecki.
Chris Fraser and Ryan Papa ended the night with a thumping back-to-back set. They wrapped up the set with Cosmos – Take Me With You followed by Funk D’void – Diabla.
Notable differences with the Canberra crowd (to Sydney), apart from the dance moves, is that no one cheered or clapped. Not when recognisable songs came on or when the DJs changed over. Not that I want to start a debate between the cities.
Congrats go to the Balance Productions Crew on a stellar night and showcasing how great our local talent can be up against the best of them. Keep bringing it on!