It was a rainy Friday night when we ventured up the Town Hall steps to check out Sydney Festival’s party night Paradiso, but the rain wasn’t dampening anyone’s mood, as people lounged around the terrace bar barely noticing the light but steady raindrops coming down on them as they smoked and chowed down on pre-show nom-noms.
Entering the Centennial hall with the Future Classic DJs relaxed but fun set you try not to create a traffic jam in the entrance just checking out the venue. As a baby convict country Australia has few heritage buildings that have been maintained so well, and despite heavy bass drumming up a leg-wobbling reverb throughout the night, the sound quality for a 140+ year old building is pretty bang on.
Wave Racer kicked proceedings up a notch with a wall of sound characterised by fast-moving, experimental, choppy beats and kaleidoscopic visuals. The young Future Classic signee dropped some of his signature remixes early on including Flight Facilities’ ‘Stand Still’ and Panama’s ‘Always’, which was enough to get the fast filling room a bit lighter on their feet, as diverse as that looked with seniors and students alike in the room – not kidding.
Fellow Future Classic alumni and neighbourhood ‘Pizza Guy’ Touch Sensitive (Michael di Franesco) kept heart rates steady with plenty of R’n’B vocal samples and hand clapping, disco-inspired beats. It was a slow but steady build throughout the set, with ‘Real Talk’ (Touch Sensitive and Anna Lunoe’s lovechild) echoing throughout and hitting a peak with the aforementioned Triple J Hottest 100 #38 ‘Pizza Guy’.
Enter the house phase of the night with UK banger Medlar on stage with a high energy, crowd-pleasing set. With high hats and lush backgrounds infused throughout, it was the deep house performance fans expected, but possibly missing some of the experimental flair hoped for. Brooklyn, NYC resident Jacques Renault fared similarly over an almost 2 hour set, keeping punters hip-shaking, belly-dancing, dos-a-dos-ing and the occasional shuffling (yes I saw all these things, good for you Sydney).
With Sydney Festival done and dusted for another year, keep your eyes out for the Paradiso series on next year’s calendar and make sure you lock yourself in for a night of dancefloor goodness. In meantime watch out for Wave Racer and Touch Sensitive touring Australia throughout 2014.