Turntables on the Harbour – on a boat, Sydney, Nickodemus, Mo' Horizons, Lanu et. al.
Turntables was an ode to the 10th anniversary of Turntables on the Hudson, the annual party started by the one and only Nikodemus (Wonderwheel recordings NY), Mariano and crew, over there in ol’ USA. Niche productions gathered a fine line-up for a three level catamaran cruise around the beautiful Sydney Harbour on a summery Saturday…
Level 1:Frenzie, James Locksmith, Mo’ Horizons, Nickodemus, Regal
Level 2:Paul Jonas, Mark Walton & Garrido, Lanu, Rephrase.
Level 3:Toon, Bentley, Huwston.
As you can see above, there was plenty to hear and see on this five hour musical extravaganza. As always, you couldn’t catch the entirety of everyone’s sets, so a little creative stair-running was required…
Paul Jonas of Tru Thoughts kicked off proceedings stylishly, there was a little Quantic soul ‘Hold it Down’ (and a Quantic T-shirt to match). Jazzy, summery tunes, following the inimitable Tru Thughts style, perfectly warmed-up the drink-seeking, funk-loving crowd, and provided the perfect beginnings to a great evening.
After negotiating the surprisingly friendly and interactive queue for the top deck, we caught Bentley (Dusttones) playing the sundown set. Sydney city lights, sunset over the Harbour Bridge and some rhythmic beats, latin touches with MC flows, went down beautifully. Easy tribal and old-school samples flanked the Opera House, and a little boogie was busted by all.
Mo’ Horizons (Agogo Records) were awesome. Their set ranged from deep-funky-house initially, through swing, bossa-nova, classy 40’s and 50’s mix’s, with a little extra something for the people at the back. Jazz and soul drops, incorporated skitz piano and funky bass, and ‘Able Mable’ made herself heard. The pace-changes and subtle sub-plots weaved and skipped through a satisfying hour and twenty. Ending with a little fast and hard Dn’B mix with latin flavour, it was a varied and exciting set, beautifully exploring and juxtapositioning genre, technique and style. There was of course one common denominator – you could dance your tushy off.
I managed to catch a little of Mark Walton & Garrido, whose salsa beats mixed with empassioned James Brown vocals inspired plenty of abandoned dancing.
Lanu (a man of many faces, including Bamboo frontman, Boogie People partner and solo Bamboos DJ aficionado) was on at the same time as Mo’ Horizons and consequently I only caught a small chunk of his excellent retro. 80’s was the way (when I rocked up) and I saw at least two people busting The Freak and getting down, fun was, evidently, had by all.
Nickodemus mixed it up in true party style. It was deep and diverse, from bangra Shangri-la, funky house, jazz, and soul, to the best of the rest. Vinyl to CD and back, with flair and an attention to detail that resounded a chronic love of the task-at-hand. Brazilian party tunes arrived with appreciation, salsa bust-outs were common, and the whole thing was lapped up with aplomb by the crowd. It was an experience apparently enjoyed by every witness, and a privilege to watch Nickodemus mix it up.
The night was drawn in by Rephrase with a saxophonist, and down a level, Regal. Both floors went off, with sharp grooves, funky sax solo’s, dub and reggae respectively. It was hard to imagine the party had to end, and both dancefloors were packed right to the dock. Luckily, the after party at the intimate Civic Hotel venue, was kicking on till the early hours.
I arrived to catch Ralph from Mo’ Horizons back-to-backing tunes that I couldn’t begin to conceive as consecutive, and with such mastery that they just flowed on and into the night. Nickodemus played again, and took the Latin lead from Ralph to house, and around the block. It really was a treat to see these guys doing their thing, and when I dragged my tired ass home, I dreamt in stereo…
Thanks to all who played, organised and attended. It was wicked.