Review: Midnight Shift presents Deetron

18/2/2017

Last Saturday, Midnight Shift, our beloved +65 label, popped up with a party at Kilo Lounge and brought Deetron back to our sunny island. The Swiss DJ and producer needs no further introduction with his extended discography of releases on various labels (including Midnight Shift of course). It seems like Singapore will be the only stop in Asia for Deetron this time round as he returns to Europe after touring Australia and we were certainly in for a treat.

This was also our first visit to Kilo Lounge. The heavily-graffitied walls and dilapidated exterior at the entrance along the back alley may lead you to think that the venue is a sweaty, congested basement. Once you walk through the concrete tunnel, however, you are transported to a place that is industrial and swanky at the same time, with artworks adorning the grey concrete walls.  The spacious dance floor is diamond-shaped and focuses the attention on the DJ booth, while tables are pushed out of sight to the sides. In short, Kilo has certainly created its own niche and character that is quite different from other existing establishments.

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Haan and Jamie React were the local reps for Midnight Shift and they went B2B with their opening set. As far as local selectors go, they are certainly among the best and they did not disappoint with a pumping set of techno that warmed the dance floor up without raising the levels too high. Deetron assumed control of the decks at 1am and he wasted no time in raising the energy levels.

While Deetron described his productions as “somewhere in between [house and techno]“, his DJ sets are a few magnitudes more diverse than his own tracks. Blending electronica, house, techno and disco, Deetron played a risky and technically demanding set as he chose the hard way out. For example, he jumped from Midland’s disco edit of 2016 “Blush” to his own remix of Honey Dijon’s tech-house groovy “Houze”. Soon after, Deetron mixed Percussion’s (AKA Four Tet) electronica sample-heavy “KHLHI” with KiNK’s soulful techno track “Chorus” (fitting for a Midnight Shift showcase). Perhaps the most stunning transition was from a raw Berlin techno ear-hollower to a disco track. Deetron pulled all these off with sublime ease and single-handedly dismantled the artificial construct of genres. Throughout, Deetron was entirely concentrated on mixing the three decks he was using and barely had time for crowd interaction. While there were a few noticeable blips in beat-matching, the crowd was happy to overlook them given the high risks involved in Deetron’s mixing.

With the good night of music, our only disappointment was that Deetron played only a 2-hour set, with Haan and Jamie React closing the night from 3am onwards. This ends our first coverage of Kilo Lounge and by the looks of it, it won’t be long before we are back.

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