Live Review: Habitat Garden Party - The Court

10 May 2012 | 3:56 pm | James Hunt

Homemade pizzas, jugs of cider and Latin-influenced house music were the makings for the start of a perfect Sunday session. Kicking things off, Flex found the perfect balance between chilled-out and party vibes, attracting a small but enthusiastic crowd to put on the dancing shoes early on in the day. George Fitzgerald and Alex Niggemann surprised the crowd by coming on together to play two hours of back-to-back housey goodness, which was when the dancefloor began to truly flourish. The UK and German CDJ masterminds played almost exclusively house with sounds also from Dusky, Scuba and Todd Terje. The crowd didn't hesitate to make the most of the intimately set-out venue, hopping on stage to party up close and personal with their favourite DJs. James Zabiela popped his head up, smiling, and waved excitedly towards the end of Fitzgerald and Niggemann's set, and was welcomed by a roar of applause from the audience. If Zabiela misses out on the title of the world's most skilful DJ, he certainly takes out the award for world's happiest. A toothy grin was spread wide across his face for his entire performance, radiating his undeniable passion for mixing, mashing and manipulation. Zabiela mesmerised and tantalised a full house with on-the-fly edited numbers from all facets of electronica, including jaw-dropping reworks of Eats Everything, John Talabot and even an entry from New Order. Get close enough and you'd be lucky enough to experience the genius' exquisite expertise. A true spectacle of unrealistically speedy handwork, which was predominately achieved with his Pioneer CDJ 2000s, as well as some help from a relatively new addition to his sets, an extravagant iPad application. The logo of Modeselektor was slapped across the front of his laptop, the Evil Twin edit seeing the audience more than happy to groove to the sounds of an inspiring contemporary techno rework. Zabiela finished at his allotted 10pm time slot but was happy to accommodate the audience's seemingly undying request to continue, laying down another mind-blowing half hour encore to further satisfy the hungry future-bass fiends. What first started off as your ordinary lazy Sunday session quickly turned in to one of the most unforgiving and equally unforgettable electronic spectacles of the year.