By Frank Duke
Photos by Teddy Williams
Mindshake perfectly describes what occurred Friday night at Jungle. That night, the Mindshake Records Tour pressed a memorable impact forever laid into the hearts of Atlanta.
After dodging several of the potholes that our city is so well-known for, we arrive safely to the industrial complex where Jungle Warehouse is located. My friend and I walk down the long, curtain enclosed hallway and enter the main room. The venue houses a few people standing around the bar sipping on some brews and mixed drinks. A few others are getting acclimated on the large dance floor grooving to Luis Valencia’s set. The rest are sitting down in the lounge areas, tired from the long work week, saving their energy for the night ahead.
Egbert prepares his live setup. He is using an Ableton Live in session mode with a MaxMSP programming modulation, hardware controllers to manipulate internal effects, and a DJ mixer to EQ separate parts of the configuration. He starts to bring in heavy Latin-infused percussion elements; wooden claves (pitch controlled to create a melodic structure), shimmering hi-hats, and a big, round kick drum.
There are a blend of tracks from many arenas and styles of tech house and techno music mixed in with elements unique to Egbert's style, as well as unique effect routings that glue everything together. He plays a sneaky, sneaky set. As I groove to the tracks, I anticipate the music being carried in one direction - but then, in a sudden rush, the music seamlessly flips upside down and does a 360.
The venue packs out as the evening carries on. The Pure Groove Sound System makes a huge impact on everyone's mood. Hands are in the air, the music is infectious. Standing towards the back of the room, I see different types of people representing themselves. That’s one thing I truly love about the Expand events. There are so many kinds of people, all together, enjoying incredible music from world-renowned artists.
I see a man, with a lollipop stick hanging out of the side of his mouth, join Egbert on stage. Paco Osuna gets his Traktor setup in place and I begin to hear that bounce he's known for. He approaches the music with a mix of tech house, dark techno, modular experiments, and a touch of acid techno. The bass lines often counter the kick drum to coincide with the hi-hats. The percussion elements are the most prominent. There are rarely any tangible melodies. The breaks are often, short and driving to keep things moving forward.
I am loving every moment of this. Paco's Mindshake Records sound is very well-known and respected worldwide. The lights in the venue are more aggressive than ever with big flashes, spiraling colored tones, and contrasting darkness. Toward the end of the night, there are a few moments where the disco ball descends from the ceiling to the top of the crowd below. It changes the lighting aesthetic throughout the venue. You can see the glowing faces of smiling people and their energy raise as the disco ball makes its way back to the ceiling.
Paco plays his final statements. Dark and driving modular acid techno. The crowd is still standing strong, holding close to every note being played. He finishes his set and the lights over the dance floor shine brightly upon us. Half of the crowd begins to cheer, the other half let out cries of despair because the night is over. We make our way outside and a massive crowd is gathered discussing music and where to go next.
The Liquified project, Expand, is genuinely beginning to make an impact on Atlanta. Offering something different from their normal club approach. These parties bring a more underground, unique, and powerful experience to all kinds of electronic music fans. I have a strong feeling Expand will continue to stay at the forefront of the promoter pack.