Being fans of the better House music, we started off in the 'House Area'.
Ian Pooley started off the night while people were still arriving at groove City (because of the traffic-jam). He immediately signed for the only real house-set of the night. With some very eclectic and deep tunes Pooley tried to warm up the crowd and the huge venue. He succeeded with lots of effort. Next year he should play a little later.. and much longer!
Kevin Saunderson was one of the big hits at Groove City in 2003. This year he showed his amazing mixing capacities once more, but he couldn't convince people who came for some real House music. His set mainly consisted of fast tech-house (see interview with Ian Pooley, ed.) with an occasional hit in between.
Saunderson proved that Djing with CDs is no privilege for small-time DJs anymore. With the CDs, he constantly mixed several different edits of the same tracks to an impressive mix. In the beginning of his gig, Saunderson set the crowd on fire with Junior Jack's 'Stupidisco'. Maybe surprising for a DJ of his calibre, but these kind of commercial tunes always work on such a mixed audience.
Kevin Saunderson's track 'Say Something' was elected 'best technotrack of the moment in Mixmags September issue. Maybe a proof that this artist should be lined-up in the Techno Room. But he sure knows his mixtables...
Next up was Todd 'The God' Terry. Terry looked armed and dangerous in his personalised army outfit. He explored the darkest and most minimal boundaries of House music, evolving steadily into the direction of techno. Pounding beats and few funky or deep house sounds were the ingredients of his set. Back to the basics of house, but not at all representative for the sound of today. Terry knows his profession though. Starting off with a deep mix of Jaydee's 'Plastic Dreams', he immediately got the crowd jumping. His constant use of vocals gave the pumping beats some extra volume. And 'The God' played with his cut-off filters all the time. Squeaking build-ups always take the party to a higher level, every DJ knows that. Pity that a grandmaster as Todd terry couldn't keep the rhythm while doing that. One could wonder if God just ain't doing it no more...
David Morales got to do the final set in the Houseroom. Again. It's becoming one of the better traditions at Groove City for Morales to close the Houseroom. From all the other rooms people came to watch this phenomenon at work. And he got the people dancing from the beginning with a remix of Gypsy Woman's 'Crystal Waters. It was remarkable that Morales played quite
a commercial set. A club mix of Madonna's 'Hung up' and Bob Sinclar's 'Love Generation' made the party explode, for sure. But still somewhat strange for a man who has thousands of excellent records in his collection. Few people really cared though. Morales rocked the venue just like he did the years before...
What to say about the Houseroom, normally my favourite? Quality DJs, no doubt about it. But everyone who is really into house will wonder where the French and British House-scene was. Let's not forget who won the House Music Awards last year AND this year. Right... . More house next year please.
The next place to go to was the 'Techno Area'.
The Scottish duo Slam had just started their set when we arrived. And they rocked. Amazing what these two guys from Glasgow can do to a techno-crowd with 2 'Apples' and a Groovebox. There was an amazing atmosphere during this gig. A mix of Farley Jackmaster Funk's 'Love can't turn around', lots of bleeps and pounding technobeats made sure nobody had to stop dancing once. The Scots nodded their heads to the beat and saw it was good... Impressive.
Next on our schedule was the beautiful First Lady of German techno: Monika Kruse. But we still got to see a short part of Luke Slater first. (we missed the rest because of the interview with Ian Pooley, ed.). Slater was voted no1 Techno DJ in the UK this year. His rough electro-tech sound is well known in these parts. And he got the clubbers dancing once more. Strange though that this DJ managed to make quite a few faulty mixes. Back to Monika Kruse then. Kruse chose for a somewhat more melodic form of techno in comparison to Luke Slater. Some fans thought there was not enough rhythmic variations in her set but at no time the Technoroom was fuller that during the Gig of Kruse. Good set!
On this kind of event it's impossible to see every DJ, so the parties in the 'Electroroom' and 'Drum & Bass Area' were harder to get to. What did we hear and see? Electronation did a very good job in the Electroroom. These guys will surely be back again. The Drum & Bass Area was incredibly crowded and even the people at the doors where dancing their asses off. According to some fans DJ Zinc played an awesome set... but at that time we still had Monika Kruse too much in sight... .
Overall rating? Very good night. Like every year, people get a lot of quality acts for their money (only €19). The organisation was exceptional. Only one important remark : keep the Houseroom in the house. We'll be back for sure..
Thanks to Inghe @ Jazztronaut
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December 6, 2005 at 8:48 AM CET