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Live Review: Derrick May and Krafty Kuts at Chinese Laundry

30 April 2012 | 9:20 pm | Andrew Wowk

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Saturday night was like an old-school dance music fan's wet dream: Krafty Kuts, one of the key figures in nu-school breaks' formative years and Derrick May, techno's “innovator”, under the same roof. Despite together having more years of DJing experience than this reviewer has had on the planet, both demonstrated that they are still as relevant as ever.

Krafty Kuts combined his trademark turntable skills and penchant for funk that won over his early fans at the Garden Party with more contemporary heavy basslines and squeaky, glitchy lead synths that this generation of lovers of syncopation look for in their music. Of course there were also plenty of his own edits and bootlegs thrown in for good measure, including a classy re-edit of New Order's Blue Monday.

In the Cave, Murray Lake eased the punters into the night with a well-paced, tightly mixed warm-up set that weaved its way through various deep house and techno vibes, including a well-timed dose of Mushrooms by Marshall Jefferson & Noosa Heads.

As soon as Derrick May took to the decks, the already high levels of energy in the room kicked into overdrive and for the next four-and-a-half-hours the room was comfortably full of enthusiastic punters following May through every twist and turn he took, like a group of mesmerised followers hanging intently onto every word their prophet benevolently bestows upon them. It didn't matter if it was fun, funky disco and house from the likes of Mike Clark and Inner City, slamming tribal grooves (Killa Productions' Jingo in particular went off), warm, melodic vibes, or crunchy, aggressive techno, the crowd lapped up the music and just kept wanting more. Of course, May obliged. And his skills; my Lord, his skills. Anyone would think the mixer had slept with his wife the way he abused the faders and EQs. If you weren't dancing, it was probably because you were staring in disbelief at how quickly his hands were working.

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It was a night where both track selection and technical ability shone, which is a rare treat these days.