Dance and Electronica with Chris Honnery

In this very column only a few months ago I prophesised, “Alex Smoke will be returning to Australia for a series of shows before the year is out.” I imagine more cynical readers would have doubted whether such a statement was based on any semblance of reality, while lamenting the column’s decline and apparent shift towards gauche gossip and rumour-mongering territory. However I can now confirm that Glaswegian minimal don Alex Menzies, who plies his trade asAlex Smoke, will headline a fifteen-hour techno extravaganza atThe Abercrombie on Saturday November 2 courtesy of Strange Fruit and The Box. The best part about this gig? You’ll get two helpings of Alex Smoke, as he’ll be playing a live set outside in the early evening, before following it up with a DJ set inside the club later on in the night. As the promoters would tell you, you get the opportunity to see Alex Smoke, ‘squared’. Too often revelers bicker and speculate about how it would have been better to see an artist play live, or indeed more interesting if they’d been playing their records. On this occasion, you’ll be able to experience both sides of Smoke’s sonic persona, and decide for yourself which you prefer.

For anyone extremely late to the party, Alex Smoke has built his reputation on a succession of critically acclaimed albums such as Incommunicado and Paradolia,along with a varied collection of remixes for outfits like Depeche Mode,Junior Boys, Mylo –remember that guy? – and Andre Kraml. A classically trained musician, Alex Smoke dropped his most recent album Wraetlic (meaning “Wraith-like”) at the end of last year, ending a quiet period on the production front that can be attributed to some health issues. Those of you seeking an insight into Alex Smoke’s DJ sensibility should investigate his classic 2006 compilation Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi Vol. 3, abrooding voyage through dub techno, classic Detroit and new-wave minimalism that remains a personal favourite of mine. Having delivered a rollicking performance for Techno Tuesday and The Box at One22 on his previous foray Down Under, Alex Smoke this time headlines a longer party that is split over outside and inside arenas. Commencing at 3pm, the likes of veteran Melbourne luminary Mike Callander will be throwing down outside in support of the main attraction, before later on the focus shifts inside, where you can catch local DJs Marcotix, D&D and Defined By Rhythm all manning the decks along with Menzies himself. Presale tickets are currently available online.

Subsonic’s annual Halloween Harbour Cruise returns to the high seas (that’s a reference to Sydney Harbour, and not illicit substances – wink) on Saturday October 26 with a headline spot from Germany’s Dirty Doering. A founder of several record labels, including Rauschenbach Music, Dirty Doering’s breakout moment occurred in 2010 when he released his anthemic track ‘I Would’, a bouncy tech house number suffused with an irrepressible Spanish guitar melody that evokes summer in Berlin –and more specifically, good times at the fabled club spot, Bar25. Far from being a one hit wonder, Dirty D has also crafted remixes for the likes of Oliver Koletzki, Chilly Gonzales and Niconé, while collaborating with compatriots like Nico Stojan. As someone who is used to playing before ‘colourful’ Berlin crowds at venues such as Kater Holzig, Dirty Doering should feel at home playing a themed boat party that demands attendees dress according to the theme of ‘zombie ravers and acid cravers’. The harbour cruise will last eight hours, with an array of local and interstate DJs set to represent, while there’s whispers of an after party once the boat docks at 10pm for those wanting to push on further.

Looking Deeper

Saturday October 12

Sigha & Shifted

The Civic Underground

Saturday October 26

Dirty Doering

Subsonic Halloween Boat Cruise




The Abercrombie

Saturday November 2

Alex Smoke

The Abercrombie

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