HigherFrequency PARTY REPORT


Club Phazon Entrance


DATE : 22 November 2005 (Tue)
MAIN FLOOR DJs : Sasha & John Digweed, Ohnishi
LOUNGE DJs : Ben Sims, Layo & Bushwacka!, DJ Wada, DJ AKi, Malo
TEXT : Matt Cotterill (HigherFrequency)

Progressive house is dead, long live progressive house. Or so the eulogy might have gone at Club Phazon last week, when Sasha and Digweed, these two giants of that much maligned genre of yesteryear, took centre stage at club Womb's mobile project, capping a three-week residency for Sasha at that club. Whether they like it or not (and Digweed told us last year on no uncertain terms that he didn't), mention either of these gentlemen's names, and the word 'progressive' will be lurking ominously nearby. But is that such a bad thing? It might have become a swear word for the fad-fixated fraternity (who a year ago could well have been seen sneering at the mere mention of an electro or acid-house revival), but look up the word in a dictionary - can't be all that upsetting. As Dave Seaman told us earlier this year, progressive house is music that is "always pushing forward a little bit... trying to do something a little bit different." In other words, it's a spirit, not a genre, and one that has helped showcase many a talented younger artist, from Desyn Masiello to James Zabiela.

That spirit was ubiquitous last Tuesday night at Phazon, when Digweed opened a set that would see his mixing skills blend seamlessly with Sasha's newfound Ableton wizardry, a testament to the rapport these men have shared over their careers. Tracks like "Friday" by Fred Everything & 20 for 7, which Steve Lawler included in his Lights Out 3 compilation, set the upbeat vibe for a scorching set that really came into its own when the two joined forces. Traces of the streamlined electronica contours that characterized Sasha's recent Fundacion CD, his treatise on Ableton's application in a live environment, were present in the set's vocal slant; the dulcet and unmistakable tones of Madonna and Depeche Mode's David Gahan making notable appearances. Armand Van Helden's classic "Witch Doctor" was given a thorough retune and re-edit, and the centrepiece, the astonishing percussive edge of Pryda's "Aftermath", which peaked at number 1 in Hernan Cattaneo's September chart, delivered the set's timely depth charge to the dance floor. With Sasha's remix of Depeche Mode's "Precious" wrapping up the encore, the set provided the perfect retort to the 'should-be-hanging-up-their-DJing-gloves' rants: these boys can still pack a punch. If a more explosive set is played this winter, you might want to consult your doctor before going anywhere near it.

Sasha & Digweed
Club Phazon Crowds
Club Phazon Club Phazon
Ohnishi DJ AKi
Layo & Bushwacka!
Ben Sims
AIBA Club Phazon Crowds
Club Phazon Malo
Club Phazon Crowds
John Digweed
DJ Wada Club Phazon
Club Phazon Sasha & Digweed
Sasha & Digweed

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