Review: The Council presents Lars Vegas (Detroit Swindle)

After a two week break from nocturnal activities, we returned to The Council on a Wednesday night for Lars Vegas, one half of Detroit Swindle. Fresh off the back of an all-vinyl Boiler Room set in Madrid, Lars Vegas appears to have made a special trip to our shores as he will be back in the Netherlands this weekend for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

With Daryl C from Darker Than Wax on warm-up duties, we were welcomed to The Council by Leon Vynehall’s “It’s Just (House of Dupree)”. Being able to recognise the first song of the night was assuring and set the stage for a great night of music. With his selection of house tunes, Daryl C set the mood for Lars Vegas to take over at midnight. Just as before, the crowd swelled exponentially as midnight approached. With his friendly disposition and willingness to interact with the audience, Lars Vegas took us away with music in the same vein as his productions with Detroit Swindle. Tracks like Soft House Company’s “What U Need” and Demuir’s “Yyz to Mia” built a steady house groove and the sampled vocals of some tracks were unusually addictive. In particular, Cuthead’s “Deep in My Soul” and Kerri Chandler’s “On My Way” had a somewhat magical effect on the dancefloor. Lars’s skills was also on full display with his masterful manipulation of the decks to vary the beats. One would almost be inclined to believe there was a live drummer hiding behind the stage.

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As the clock struck 2am, Lars began to showcase his knowledge of music across different genres in a manner that would have been unfamiliar to those who have only caught the few sets they have on YouTube. It was almost as if the first two hours had been a warmup for him and the crowd. Crossing genres from 80s disco to tech house and even techno, Lars managed to pull everything off brilliantly without breaking a sweat. From the bass line of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”, Lars somehow manages to transition to David Mayer’s “Lead” and Ignacio’s “Virton Upgraded”. A sample from Mike Dunn’s “So Let It Be House” was also spotted in the buildup to the closing moments, as the sentence “We created a sound called house, but in some minds there still was doubts” looped continuously.

By this time, Lars’s set had already exceeded my expectations but he somehow managed to surpass that. He dropped Funkagenda’s “Man With The Red Face”, Four Tet’s remix of Eric Prydz’s “Opus’, Carl Craig’s remix of Inner City’s “Good Life” and Henrik Schwarz’s remix of Emmanuel Jal’s “Kuar” in succession. Mysteriously, the size of the crowd at this time of the night swelled to its initial size. Perhaps those who had gone out of the club for a breather felt the energy even from outside and came rushing back in. Yet, all good things must come to an end and this night did too with the help of Latin beats from The Manuel Azevedo Quartet’s “Futebol de Bar”.

Lars Vegas’s set will stand out in our memory for a long time. Hopefully, the next time round Detroit Swindle will bring their live set to Singapore!

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