This easter we’ve been particularly fortunate. Two short weeks, back to back, with some of the best Autumn weather we could ask for is a pretty good deal in anyone’s eyes. When you’re as reliant on fair weather as The Island is, this is a god send, especially when you’re looking to close out your season with a bang. Over the past 6 months The Island has hosted acts such as Anstascia, Murat Kilic, Anthony Fade and Bag Raiders, put on by various taste makers, but UNDR CTRL arguably saved the best for last to host a lineup containing Digitalism, Simon Caldwell, Luen and Audiopaxx DJ’s.
Day jobs meant that were a later-than-desired arrival, unfortunately missing the Audiopaxx boys, but from the punters we spoke to, they did a stellar job in setting the tone for the evening. We did, however, catch Luen, one of the busiest DJ’s going round at the moment. She seems to pop up everywhere, and, since I spied her on the line-up alongside Claptone last year for his Masquerade gig, she has been putting in sets all over the country. After we arrived and received our complimentary Canadian Club we were treated to a 90 minute set from the former FBi and Triple J presenter, and it was a great introduction to the evening. She had the relatively small (at this point) crowd bumping to some afro-beats and hip-house, transitioning to more deeper selections as her set went on. It was the perfect backdrop to the far off lights of the city, and she was rightly well received when playing one of her own productions as her sign off. She’s played alongside some of the scenes biggest DJ’s, but to have Simon Caldwell, the godfather of Australian house music, watching on must have been something special.
Simon Caldwell is as well travelled as he is well respected, and his set was not surprisingly wide reaching. The man knows how to work a crowd, and as the boats brought more and more people to join the revelry, he was right at home jumping between disco and house. Towards the end of his set though, he provided the perfect segue as he brought in some acid house and electro to finish off his chapter. We caught the final few songs out the back catching some air, and spied the Digitalism boys riding in on one of the boats, like beautiful german knights riding their buoyant steed, and we went to take up our position.
Bursting onto the scene in the golden bloghaus era of the mid-late 2000’s, Digitalism have a unique sound that has served them well over their careers. They’ve remixed everyone from Cut Copy to The Cure, to Daft Punk and The White Strips, and have three full legnth albums to their name, but they came to us on the back of their well received Chapter 1 EP – so they have plenty of material to select from. They started with ‘Utopia’ from the latest album, but it wasn’t long before they brought out the greatest hits, sandwiching Soulwax’s remix of ‘Work It’ by Marie Davidson in between monster hits ‘Idealistic’ and ‘Zdarlight’. The crowd was heaving by this point, and I spotted a guy wearing a Fake Blood t-shirt throwing down some fierce moves. It was a set full of their own productions; ‘Fahrenheit 32’, ‘Echoes’ and (a favourite of mine) ‘Spektrum2000’ all got plays, but of the others that got a look in, Riton’s ‘Rinse and Repeat’ probably had the biggest reaction. They finished the night off with their remix of Superorganism’s ‘Night Time’, a high energy send off for the capacity crowd, and the boats were waiting to take us back to shore. The dynamic duo have still got the skills to make a crowd move and if they stick to their insistence that you cannot say everything within three albums, we haven’t heard the last of them.
10/10, would groove again.