Nick Terranova July 13, 2007 The Church Better than: Most club nights have any right to aspire to be.
Before Nick Terranova took over the decks, 2040 residents Matthew Orloff and Bryan Matthew played a fun opening set that got the crowd amped up for the main event. The pair laid down a few rough mixes, and they seemed to have a hard time really settling into a solid groove, but they did manage to get people moving, sweating and excited for the main event.
Once Terranova took his turn, he owned the night. Early on he dropped an Underworld track that had people flipping out. And before long he was pulling out a variety of more obscure but unequivocally awesome floor-fillers. His set was all about the kick-ass, dirty, banging house tracks, dense tunes full of interlocking layers of tribal percussion, searing acid synth lines, squelchy sub-bass and come-hither vocal samples. The results were a fantastically hot and sweaty mix that felt a lot more like a killer 4 a.m. set at an illegal warehouse party than a typical club night.
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On the downside, Terranova did indulge in a few too many breakdowns, which disrupted the flow of the set from time to time. He also encountered a few technical difficulties near the end, but managed to work through them like a pro. Despite the glitches, he set an incredible mood that had the crowd out of their fucking heads all night. Clearly he was feeding off this energy, as the lights went on well before he finished up. He could easily have ducked out well before he did, but he chose to keep the party going until they almost had to pull him off the decks. And when they finally did, he announced he would play an impromptu set at the afterparty.
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This wasn’t one of the best DJ sets I’ve ever seen, but it was far and away the best I’ve seen in a long time. It’s sets like this that remind me why I fell in love with dance music to begin with.
Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: This was my kind of house music: filthy, freaky and funky Random Detail: When I shoot indie rock shows, no one wants to be in the pictures. Here, I had people all but lining up to be in the shots. By the Way: Terranova has a new compilation coming out soon. If it’s half as good as his live set, it will be a keeper.
-- Cory Casciato