The Phoenix Landing, Thursday night Drum n Bass, and Wine
by eddie
and pavel
a quality can wait production
Summer 2004 (index)
8 July 2004 Dylan (freak recordings, uk) thoughts of pavel murnikov

"He killed it!" That is what I wanted to write in this review during the fist half hour of Dylan's set. The fury with which he attacked the task of rinsing out the audience was unrelenting and merciless. It was so ill, all the doctors in Boston couldn't have helped.

"If this was a local DJ, the place would be empty by now!" This is what I wanted to write during the last half hour. The barrage of irregular beats did little but annoy the loyal followers who every few minutes made vane attempts at dancing.

Clearly, something had gone horribly wrong in the middle of his performance. It seems many a dissertation can be written on how to make a set consistently enjoyable, but the gist of it usually comes down to that illusive performer-audience connection. I just didn't sense any playfulness in Dylan; he was a mean lean skilled mixing machine, but he was not paying attention to the crowd's mood. So the only peeps who were left at the end were either the truly dedicated or the truly drunk (or both, in some isolated cases).

1 July 2004 Marc Pastor (blindfaith, inner sense, ism, boston), Andromeda (, blindfaith, inner sense, ism, boston) thoughts of pavel murnikov

I just can't seem to get it right lately. The Elements web site announced a single DJ for the night, Marc Pastor, and I tunneled all my energy toward appreciating this local guest. Eddie and I arrived at the scene on the late side, catching Marc in the act of opening his set. He played sweet high-BPM tracks, and it wasn't hard to catch a groove. Although his mixing skill wasn't exemplary, the track selection was impeccable for my taste; he was definitely serving the audience and not just his pride, and the audience for the most part loved him. Then comes the surprise; actually a couple of them. First, a second DJ comes up and starts commandeering the decks, which totally catches me off guard, but what do I know.. Then, they put on a DNB remix of A-Ha's Take on me. Wow. It was an amazing intermission from the traditional anti-pop DnB. The audience went absolutely wild during the song, which I guess shows the age of the average DnB head. Anyway, Andromeda played a mean set that had similar intensity to Marc's, but I do think he's got the madder skillz of the two. He also communicated better with the audience, although Mark Pastor was no slouch in that regard.

Overall, this was one of the better nights, probably in the top ten percent.

24 June 2004 Benny B (4-front, US) thoughts of pavel murnikov

Benny B is the most hyped up local DJ. The Elements message board crowd proclaims he is the best. The event announcement emails pronounce him to be the favorite. How could I resist raising my expectations?

Lenore opened for the amazing Mr. B, keeping her set on the mellow side; barely danceable but promising something amazing to follow. I took my spot on the dancefloor and put forth my best effort in quelling my anticipation. Benny took his time letting Lenore's last track play out, and then hit us with a barrage of fast techno beats. It was unexpected, it was over the top, it killed my kindling dancing mood, yet the crowd loved it. I should have left right then and there. The opening track was the fastest of the set; from then on, the BPMs took a dive, plateauing around 165-170 for the first half of his set and careening to 130 during the last hour. Benny played a variety of familiar and unfamiliar tracks, but the familiar ones had their pitch slowed to the point where they become utterly uninteresting. The crowd... ah, the crowd... they were ecstatic; dancing, going crazy, shouting, gesturing. Ed guessed that because the music was slow enough to be in the House territory, the casual visitors appreciated it more than they would hard dark 185 BPM DnB. Several regulars also seemed to have their groove tickled by Benny. An enlightened soul informed me that Benny's set was heavy on old-school 1992-1994 stuff and the veterans in the crowd really appreciated those. I am not quite the youngster myself, and although I would have enjoyed listening to those tracks at their native BPM while programming, in a club setting with overboosted bass and their pitch reduced, they sounded horrible to my ears.

I left the room when the mellow quality of the set started to lull me to sleep half an hour before the closing. To my surprise, there was quite a gathering outside, with most of the regulars standing around and chatting. So much for the most anticipated DJ.

For me personally, this DJ turned out to be a major disappointment; his set more of torture than pleasure, an event that made me question the sanity of my dedication to the night we call Elements. However, he didn't totally empty the club, and there seemed to be a fair following of his curious style. If you are into DnB slowed down to House and Trip Hop speeds, don't miss this dude, otherwise, well, it's up to you...