Underground, Dance and Electronica with Chris Honnery
One of the finest DJs of the ‘now’, Ramon Lisandro Quezada – better known in nightclub circles as DJ Qu – will headline the next Boom Boom bash at Tatler on Saturday October 26. The New Jersey-based Qu has referred to himself as “the dancer’s DJ,” and while anyone not familiar with the man may misconstrue that statement as typical DJ self-aggrandising backslapping, to do so is wrong on multiple counts. Firstly, Qu has a background in competitive house dancing, secondly he is extremely humble, and finally – well, he is the dancer’s DJ. Of all the DJs I saw in Europe last summer, none topped Qu warming up for Levon Vincent at Berlin’s Panorama Bar and stealing Levon’s thunder. Rising to prominence through Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality stable, Qu released a mix as part of that label’s promotion for their celebrated 2009 party at the now defunct Berlin club Tape, which took the form of an mp3 CD comprising mixes from everyone on the bill (which included Jus-Ed, Fred P, Levon Vincent and Nina Kraviz along with Qu). Qu’s mix more than held its own against the offerings of his more illustrious counterparts, providing an early indication of his formidable abilities as a DJ, with Resident Advisor declaring: “Jus-Ed may claim to be the one ‘bringing all the muscle,’ but based on this mix, Qu sounds like the toughest one.” (Not that dance music should be reduced to a macho contest – we’re not talking about the sort of guys who settle disputes with a bench press competition.)
Qu maintained his profile with a steady succession of dark house cuts on his Strength Music imprint, which launched back in ’05, before dropping his debut LP, Gymnastics, in 2011. Melding house and techno sounds, the album entrenched Qu at the forefront of the ‘Jersey House’ scene. Qu has also accumulated original releases and remixes for labels such as Rekids, Desolat and Synchroph, reworking the likes of Nina Kraviz and Sascha Dive along the way, while his recent EP, ‘The Way’, was a deep and brooding cut featuring guest Blaze vocalists Peven Everett and Josh Milan. But for all his production prowess, my defining memories of Qu are from when he’s behind the decks. As the man himself says, “I come from the tradition where the DJ is there to work for the crowd and not to be the focus point. The DJ is there to make them dance by any means necessary, so you could easily be replaced if you weren’t moving the crowd.” We can safely say that Qu won’t be getting hauled off the decks at Tatler, and you’d be ill advised to miss his Sydney debut in such an intimate setting. Presale tickets are available online now.
The German duo of Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz, collectively Super Flu, will release their second album, Halle Saale, on Wednesday October 23. With a playful and robust take on tech house sounds that combines quirky pop influences with out-and-out techno, Super Flu are a hugely popular drawcard on the European club and festival circuit. The pair delivered the standout set of Fusion 2012 with a set studded with their own productions, while the pair’s discography also includes remixes of Cascandy, Dominik Eulberg and Format B. Listening to the preview of Halle Saale reveals that Super Flu are forging ahead with the same formula that’s proved so successful for them thus far in their career; it’s all about irresistibly catchy grooves and not being afraid to throw vocals into the mix. Super Flu’s releases are anything but highbrow, and that’s precisely the point; the pair couldn’t care less for chin-strokers when they can make a dancefloor tremble like they can. File Halle Saale under capital ‘F’ for (plenty of) fun – it’s sure to offer some summer-friendly gems for Sydney DJs to rinse as the weather gets warmer and the silly season begins.
Saturday October 12
Sigha & Shifted
Saturday October 26
Imperial Hotel, Erskineville.
Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through firstname.lastname@example.org.