The OAF was abuzz early in the night (by Sydney standards anyway) when we arrived thanks to the shameless twerking and dirty RnB revival happening on stage courtesy of the Black Vanilla boys – who you may know better as Scissor Lock (of Collarbones), Guerre and Marseilles (of Life Aquatic). If ever I’ve seen a group of guys that could give Beyonce a run for her bootylicious money, it’s these guys.
Black Vanilla work the stage and the mic like it’s, simply put, sex. From the minute they start whipping out some seriously tight beats they are working in bedroom appropriate hooks, window-shaking bass alongside smooth and breathy vocals telling you to ‘Call your husband, you’re gonna be late’. Be strategic and size up your dancefloor counterparts before hitting up a Black Vanilla set, because, and don’t say I didn’t warn you, there’s going to be some shamelessly dirty dancing.
‘We Work Nights’ was a super appropriate track for Gold Panda (Derwin Schlecker) to open what was going to be a marathon 100 min set (and on a school night too…). The first thing you notice about a Gold Panda set is the number of people around you with their eyes closed, truly vibing and into the music. I couldn’t close my eyes, not with the visual fiesta on stage – one minute Derwin is surrounded and covered by the lights of a cityscape, and the next driving through the streets of (what looks like) Paris.
But hell, what you really came to see was the music, and there’s one thing about bedroom producers like Gold Panda, they may not speak up and engage a crowd much, but watch what they can do with a console, sequencer, laptop and whatever else is their weapon of choice, and it’s mesmerizing. The packed in crowd at the OAF that night were so mesmerized they were at Gold Panda’s mercy, one minute chilling to an atmospheric vibe and the next pumped up by house-inspired dancey tunes.
Derwin artfully built and sustained a mega set, that you’d hardly realised had gone for over an hour and a half when he was already cheekily teasing an encore. With the spacey chill of the more ambient lows of the set, and the infectiously dance-inducing highs, the best way I can describe seeing Gold Panda is that it’s like drinking champagne and dropping acid.
Gold Panda‘s 2013 album Half Of Where You Live is available over at iTunes.