On Saturday I got along to We Love Sounds at the Hordern Pavillion and surrounds. This would have been my fifth, sixth or seventh year there. My main drawcard for heading along being James Zabiela.

I rocked up at about 3:15pm to find the place already busy, having started at midday, with plenty more people pouring in through the gates. After grabbing a a handout with set times and a map, it was straight into the Renaissance Arena inside the Royal Hall of Industries where Grafton Primary were hammering out some of their tunes.

After a quick trip into the Armin Only Arena, which seemed already packed and very dark, it was time to boogie on down to Dirty South back in the RenaissanceArena. I’m not sure what the organisers were thinking with the Armin Only Arena, because the southern entrance led towards the girls bathrooms AND a bar, creating a chaotic crowd at the intersection.

Dirty South was playing some great tunes, his brand of electro house even had me moving and grooving around. Kissy Sell Out were next up, and definitely not my cup of tea, so it was time for another adventure…. I wandered over to The Forum which housed the Lost Baggage Arena. Anja Schnieder was on the decks playing some pretty groovy minimal progressive techno. I started busting out my shuffle on the mezzanine floor, grabbing the attention of the bartenders, a few guys and several girls. Anja played an enjoyable set, however as 5:30pm approached, so did the anticipation for Zabiela. Upon re-entry to the Renaissance Arena, it was clear that the crowd wasn’t into Kissy Sell Out as half the hall was emptied out. As James Zabiela started off, the area was quite empty, and so he seemed to start out slowly…. It turns out that his computer was playing up according to his Twitter

Played at a big rave in Sydney. Computer was glitching. Was in the dark throughout most my set. NOW they figure out the lights :-/

But Zabs has not disappointed me each time I’ve seen him play and this was no exception. He seemed to span plenty of styles; with the assistance of my iPhone and Shazam, I was able to pick these tracks (plus some resourceful internetting):

  • BjorkDull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor Remix for Girls)
  • Black Rock featuring Debra AndrewBlue Water (unsure of which mix)
  • Lee CoombsFuture Sound of Retro (2008 Remix)
  • Guy JLamur (Henry Saiz Remix)
  • Underworld 2 Months Off (Tong & Rogers Wonderland Mix)
  • Rennie FosterDevils Water (JZ Edit)
  • RadioheadReckoner (Zabiela’s Tweezers on a Towel Rail Rmx)

I’m sure there were plenty more tracks off of his Renaissance Masters Series too.

Amongst my circle of clubbing friends, it’s customary to give a courtesy call to others not present at a gig, so I made my calls and was called a few times. John was the most receptive, he was starting to dance around in his kitchen with a beer in his other hand whilst hearing Zabiela over the phone, and that was just the first call…. Pushack was the other big responder over in England, he was listening via John over Skype, then listened to the voicemail I’d left him and then called back later in the set for an update.

After that epic effort from Zabiela it was time for Laidback Luke to play and me to have a seat…. His bigroom Swedish House Mafia style music wasn’t for me, so I made my way back over to The Forum to watch Popof punch out some minimal techno on his Korg and wait for 16 Bit Lolitas to play. By this time the room was starting to clear out, so I boogied for a while, till my knee decided it had had enough by twinging and twisting a little and sending me home.

An enjoyable day overall, would definitely rate up there with other We Love Sounds that I’ve been to.