I just got a copy of the set I played at Motion Notion yesterday, courtesy of James Katalyst. It's interesting to listen to, removed from it from so many months back. I remember the night more and more every time I listen to it, and there's several interesting things I notice about it.
I had played MN several times beforehand, and it wasn't until last year, when Luke and I played a tag set into the dawn, that I felt good about my performance. We had nearly died on the way there, with torrents of rain obstructing our already diminished night vision as we barrelled down the highway at 3 am on our way to Rangetown. I remember the trip back, as well, stopping at an A&W to sleepily wolf down breakfast. Luke had to play the Red Bull tent that afternoon for the Edmonton Grand Prix. I had a radio show. I think I had the better end of the deal.
Nevertheless, we had an amazing time. The rain broke in time for our set, and we blazed over our allotted time. No one seemed to mind. We rocked it, plain and simple. Which brings me to 2006, and this recording.
I was quite nervous about this set, I have to admit. I don't know why, probably because of all the baggage this festival has given me. My first year, I played Sunday morning in a tent by the river. There were three people, and the generator died a half hour into my set. The next year, the rain shorted out half the PA in my tent, which effectively cleared the space until the very end of my set, when I got things going again.
But this time it was the main stage, Friday night, left to my own devices. I started with Hybrid simply because I love Hybrid, and the bass drop after the orchestral opening, with its swirling strings, always gives me a rush. I usually start a set with a particular idea in mind of where I want to go, and I always wind up somewhere else at the end. In this case, it happened by the third track. I wanted to be epic and dreamy, and I wound up grimy and rocking, only to reel it all back in at the end with The Ledge's "Falling".
I was really flying by the seat of my pants, because the crowd was making me work for it. Listen to a couple of the mixes - you can hear me racing to catch the beat on a couple, because I was switching up tracks so fast, changing my mind in mid stream when a flash of inspiration came along and made me say, "NOOOO! Use that OTHER track!" Which I didn't mind, because I love it when the crowd gives back. When they respond, when they're pushing, I want to give them more and more. Like 2005, the hearty crew in front of the stage this time were also awesome beyond belief.
About the two Ferry Corsten tracks - "Watch Out" (Dirty South mix) was actually a mistake - I cued the wrong track, and once I put it out there, I realized I was pooched. I shouldn't have said anything, but I believe in full disclosure. "Fire" was dropped in later because, well, I liked it. So there.
"This Is Not Miami" - I had this track since WMC 2006, and rocked it like an idiot every week on my radio show for almost two months. I hadn't played it in a while before now. It was timely, and appropriate. Rangetown Park, Alberta is about as far from Miami as you could get, I suppose. I officially retired this one at Scream 06, and even then, I played it as a special request. I think I tossed the CD-R into the crowd that night.
Royksopp and Trentemoller - "What Else Is There?" has to be one of my favourite songs of the year, with vocals from the woman in The Knife, and lovely images of moonlit rooms. The video is awesome. And yes, Jacques Lu Cont did a wicked remix. But Trentemoller has to take the cake on this one, and I put this down as one of my favourite remixes ever. The drop and reprise in this mix takes your breath away. The response to this has always been great, but the one I got on the night of this mix was beyond incredible. Trentemoller, take a bow.
Benjamin Bates - "Off" - I have to thank Max Graham for turning me onto this one. He played it at a gig at the Standard (RIP) and it floored me. I asked him about it, and he showed me the CD. "I have no idea who did it," he said, "but I'm not giving it up." Two weeks later, I found it on eMusic. I've been elated ever since.
So there you go. I don't know how interesting this has been for you, if you read this far, but thanks if you have. I think it's interesting to know what goes through the mind of a DJ when they're putting together a set, why they make the choices they do when everybody's staring at them, aside from the obvious utilitarian one.