Jump to content
Site maintenance: 24-25 July 2018 Read more... ×
  • Can you help us?

    If you have some serious passion for your local scene, and are interested in helping us build Australia's newest electronic music community, hit on the Apply Now button below to become an Ozclubbers contributor!

    Apply Now


  • Sign in to follow this  

    Review: Jeff Mills – The Planets @ Concertgebouw


    Two queues of bodies were lined outside the sumptuous building, outstretched their tickets to Jeff Mill’s world of “The Planets”. Instead of a scent of hesitation and wonder, the foyer was filled with an equanimity, quite particular to the Dutch character. The symmetric red velvet lining, the lines of still empty red seats and steady structures of arcs hinted this man built Chef d’oeuvre, this Hall of Royal beauty can take in any kind of surprises and rebels with stoicism.

    The conductor decided to shorten the concert, thinking that since the public were being given a totally new language like that, “half an hour of it was as much as they could take in”. No, that did not happen this day in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. This took place in London’s Queen’s Hall in 1918 during the last weeks of war, when Gustav Holst premiered the original suite “The Planets”, which Jeff Mills based his interpretation on. Thus evidently, one couldn’t dismiss the similarities of the two settings, as the novelty of this language, being the DJ and orchestral performances, is still odd for the eyes and ears of today’s audiences. A handful of DJs have went this road so far, e.g. Carl Craig & Moritz von Oswald reinterpreting Ravel, Henrik Schwarz and Derrick May creating Orchestral arrangements for their own music. However, none dedicating themselves to the classical genre as deeply and assiduously as Jeff Mills.



    Thus once again the seminal producer, artist and innovator Jeff Mills dove into his favourite topic of cosmic spaces, reimagining Gustav Holst’s illustrious score, ‘The Planets’. The suite is considered to be one of the most important modern classical music pieces, especially among the scientific community. Each movement of Holst’s compilation is corresponding of the physical and emotional characteristics of a separate planet of the solar system. However, whichever way I tried to link the original compositions of each movement to Mills’s interpretations, it seemed that, while sticking to the mood and the narrative given by Gustav Holst for the seven solar planets, Mills created a total different musical manisfestation of “The Planets”.

    The take-off

    The second Mills stood behind his massive set of decks, gradually the room, from its elegant roof to the ground, was quaked by the low bass. The pairs of naked lamps slowly lighting up in the background of the orchestra were alarming of a spaceship take-off. The base grew more and more unsettling for the stoic Hall. Part of me was already boarding that spaceship. But the sceptic part was suggesting – one could have expected that, as in comparison to analog instruments only DJ equipment can bring so much bass. Thus just as the viewer in 1918 was unsettled with a blatant dissonance and unconventional meter in the first movement “Mars, The Bringer of War”, Mills’s viewer was taken by the same mood and order of the original piece.

    In the second movement I wrote down in my notes “a tender piano and bells, repetitive clarinets creating a rhythm, lightly turning into a blue airy calm of the instruments with synthetic sounds of Mills”. Later on I discovered, it was “Venus” that followed as the “Bringer of Piece” and a solution to Mars in Holst’s sequence. Hi-hats and a fast paced techno beat came in, blending the winds, with the strings staying in a dissonance loop, envisioning a troubled spaceship.



    Adding the Dimensions

    The concert was in its peak, when all of a sudden the winds stood up and left their places. Next thing I know, a trumpet and a trombone was responding to the main orchestra in full volume right from my row in the parterre. The child in me was curiously observing, while the sceptic was already shouting, “Why bring those poor musicians to the audience? It does not create a smoother sound, it’s a distraction! Is it just to “spice things up” and be different?! No way!”.

    As they went back, I noticed myself very aware of the sounds surrounding: a squeaking chair, whispers, coughs… As next to Mills, I would be listening to Cage’s 4’33’’. And there there was another layer – I noticed a blue Chinese hieroglyph was light on the walls, I wondered what did Mills want to say with it? As if in realization, that something is really strange and special going on here, people took out their phones and started secretly filming the show – (but hey, in the middle of the concert!). However this moment I understood, all these dimensions pushed me out of the focus and I could hardly come back to that spaceship Jeff Mills was taking me on before.

    Blending into a vision of slowly descending into space, the Cellos and the ContraBass gently touching their lowest strings and Mills playing a low murmur of a spaceship ended the suite. For half a minute the hall was silent.

    The King is Naked?

    Live masterful classical instrumental precision stood in contrast to the computer generated beat, the looping strings and winds, the bells, the drums, the piano… among this pool of sounds I was trying to catch Jeff Mills. what is live? what is synthetic? what is looped? … And then why the hieroglyphs? Why to put the musicians in the audience? Are all those special layers actually distracting from the core? The music? And thus, are we just afraid to say, something created by a certain authority is not actually perfect not to seem imprudent?

    As I looked around I saw the names on the balconies – Ravel, Wagner, Tchaikovsky… I wondered, what would these guys say about that? What would Holst say about that? Would they say the King is naked? And no one dares to say it? Or maybe Mills would be the misunderstood underdog? But perhaps greeted as a visionary?



    Have you been to Space?

    At the time of the presentation of The Planets the conductor decided to shorten the show, due to the chance of this musical language being misunderstood. Our first impulses are capable of understanding just a few dimensions at a time. However, have you ever been to Space? Have you ever thought of what is to be on Space?

    One Sunday morning I saw a Virtual Reality video of New Horizons spacecraft landing on Pluto in 2015. It put me on a surface of a distant planet, where no human has set their feet, and told: “Look around!”. There is a moon rising on the other side, an unfamiliar moon:

    “Look around!” – Jeff Mills was saying to us. You are not in your Royal Concert Hall. You came with a ticket to The Planets, to space. Be aware of everything that surrounds you. Because in space nothing is what you expect it to be. It is a strange and unfamiliar world. His new angles for cellos, piano, violin will just party sound like you are used to. But most important, amongst all the dimensions, you will have to discover your own compass to find the treasure.

    The post Review: Jeff Mills – The Planets @ Concertgebouw appeared first on Deep House Amsterdam.

    Source: Deep House Amsterdam

    Sign in to follow this  

  • Comments

  • We source our news and reviews from a number of sources.  From our local volunteer contributors (writers and reviewers) around Australia, to syndicated news sources including Your EDM, Dancing Astronaut, MixMag, By The Wavs, MNML, No Dough Music, Techno Kittens, Drum and Bass News, BBC, Junkee, and Trance Family.  Where the article has been sourced via syndication, you will find a link at the bottom of the article to the original source.

    Our local volunteer contributors are creative people who are passionate about the dance music and club scene in Australia and want to share their passion with others.  If you feel you fit into this category, we would love to hear from you!  Send us an application to become a contributor (writer / reviewer) by visiting https://ozclubbers.com.au/application

Add Your Event for FREE
Invite A Friend

  • Similar Content

    • Nordic-By-Nature
      By Nordic-By-Nature
      Frisson Records - Artist of the Week

      To kick off our artist of the week feature we’ll be featuring an up and coming interstate DJ from Sydney who recently rocked our world at the Frission Records label party.
      Artist Name: King Friendly
      Label: Independent
      Tell us about yourself
      I’m on the dance floor as often as I am producing music and DJing, I love everything about electronic music and really want to spread the positivity and inclusiveness that comes with it!
      What genre/styles do you play?
      Progressive House predominantly but also play a lot of Tech House and House. Anything with a good groove usually gets played in my sets.
      What got you into the scene/dj’ing/producing?
      Attending Tomorrowland Belgium in 2012. It showed me the power of electronic music and how it can bring people from all over the world closer together. I was already interested in electronic music but this experience made me really want to pursue it.

      Check out Tom's U-Tube channel  Here
        Who has influenced you musically?  
      I really started getting into electronic music through Avicii and Skrillex. Since then a whole bunch of artists like; Axwell, Eric Prydz, Deadmau5, Steve Angello, Camelphat, Kryder and many others have influenced my musical tastes.
      What are you currently working on? 

      I’m working on incorporating more live elements to my productions, finishing up my Audio Engineering Degree as well as continuing to make videos to my youtube channel! I have some projects that are nearing completion and they will be up on youtube in the coming months as I get a bit better at video editing haha.
      Tell us about your most recent gigs?
      The Frisson Records Label Party in Brisbane was fantastic recently! Was great to in Brisbane and my next gig will be at the Beehive event in Sydney!
      What can we expect from the future for King Friendly?
      I want to continue to develop my production skills and continue to DJ to anyone and everyone! I would love to help show the generosity of the dance music community throughout my career and use it to create a fairer world for all.
      What do people say about you?
      I really pride myself in getting positive feedback from my DJ sets and try and go the extra step to research any event I play to ensure I have music that suits the venue as well as my set time. Whether it’s a smooth warm up set or high-energy headlining set I always try and play the best set to fit the vibe of the night.
      Who have you enjoyed working with/hated the most?
      I have been producing recently with OSKA from Sydney and it has been great to work on tracks with someone in the same location as me! As far as hating working with anyone, I haven’t, differences can makes life pretty interesting and if it’s not working out I just get through the project best I can and move on.
      What’s your day job?
      Corporate Audio Visual Technician but occasionally Barista and Bartend as well.
      What do you listen to in your downtime?  
      Anything, I love it all. From Classical to hardstyle I often end up in some interesting youtube rabbit holes of music.
      What do you think about the Brisbane scene?
      I was up for the weekend recently and had an absolute ball! There are still lots of great nights out in Sydney where I’m from but it definitely has a more relaxed feel in other cities. I
      think that is really important for a decent clubbing culture to develop and be sustained.

      To book King Friendly contact him via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kingfriendlymusic/
    • Nordic-By-Nature
      By Nordic-By-Nature
      Frisson Records is the creation of Mark Pridmore and his Czech Republic friend and label co-founder, Ctirad Koloja. The label is based mostly in Brisbane and currently focused on the styles of house, tech house and progressive.
       OzClubbers attended a number of the very successful label parties hosted by Mark recently.  We thought it was time to spread the word on how they are helping local artists get exposure, get their music heard and helping people to enjoy what they do.
      The first half of 2018 has seen the parties showcase exciting new talent, well established DJ’s and also friends of the label. The events have been all about the music and if you like supporting local talent and get into house and progressive then we strongly encourage you to check out their next event! Details Here.
      So far events have seen performances by CAIN, Batchelo, TAGLO, Nafta, King Friendly, Avaxxa, Lifestream and MOTION.  For ALL THE VIBES, take a listen to CAIN and Lifestream going B2B at one of the parties Here

      About Frisson
      With their industry experience already spanning several years, Mark and Ctirad have been involved with everything from performing and promoting to music journalism and artist management. It was their mutual love of electronic music and a desire to get further involved that made them decide to launch the label.   Young up and coming artist CAIN (Mark’s son) was also some of the reason behind the initial beginnings of Frisson. Cain and his friends were producing music and would struggle at times to find a label or a good outlet to promote and release their music. Initially Frisson was able to help them, but it didn’t stop there. Today they continue to assist new up and coming artists and create opportunities for those that are truly committed and passionate about their music. To find out more, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FrissonRec/

      Currently signed artists -
      Daniel Etienne
      The Concept
      Boy With Boat
      To hear more, hit up the Frisson Records Soundcloud page or listen to our picks below:
      CAIN  Listen Here
      The Concept  Listen Here
      ZO-LI  Listen Here
    • Nordic-By-Nature
      By Nordic-By-Nature
      OzClubbers talks to Scottie Chappell about the origins of the IWTFA brand and pushing the boundaries of Techno here in Brisbane.
      The IWTFA crew is made up of Scottie Chappell, Aamir Raza, Jamie Grenenger, Pete Trimbacher & Rob Glasgow.
      Tell us about how IWTFA came about?
      I came to Australia on a 2 year working visa from Newcastle up on Tyne in England. During this time I called Brisbane home. I worked and attended events and met alot of great people from local house and techno DJs to promoters from all over Brisbane. This helped me begin to get involved in the Brisbane scene and I began having ideas about what would add to the ever-growing techno and house scene here.
      I met the crew around 2 or 3 years ago at various techno and house events. I’d watch them play and we'd chat at gigs. We all had the same interests in music and the same vision of what we wanted to do so we decided to form the brand.
      In the months prior to launching IWTFA, I went to many techno events in Melbourne: Machine, Bunker, Plexus, Melbourne Techno Collective, Cat House & experimental events like Factoid and Doppler. They all had incredible local, interstate and international artists and I saw how far techno was being pushed. This helped give us a vision of what we wanted to see in Brisbane.
      Thoughts on the Brisbane Scene Today?
      I think the Brisbane scene is doing well. There are so many great brands that push all spectrums of Techno & House such as Subtrakt, Andromeda, Shade, Unison, Buxton, Higher State, BTHC, Dragonfruit, Oxytocin, Flux, Melt, Pray Tell, La Vibrations, Lola, Bless Club and Bass Swag. One of the reasons things work well here is that there’s a promoters group so we can try to avoid clashes and support each other as we try to schedule events.
      However, it’s becoming harder with venue limitations here to push specific sounds as many venues only want to play commercial music. This scene has great potential so i think it’s really important for a decent clubbing culture to developed and be sustained. With many other brands in the scene, we wanted to do techno events that focus on and push specific sounds.
      We want to push the boundaries of techno...

      We focus on lighting and visuals for a real mood setting vibe no matter which venue we use and we have a specific flow in mind of how our events should run.
      We always have our local techno DJs on our lineups and we show our full support of them and even new artists that want to push themselves, we like to think we give these people a chance.
      At the time of launching IWTFA, we also began a podcast series on Soundcloud. Listen here.
      It’s a Brisbane collective aiming to produce sophisticated, refined techno that exposes local, interstate and international artists. We try to showcase these artists in their true form and let them express themselves with no boundaries in the field of techno. 
      IWTFA website
      Check out the next IWTFA event here
      https://www.facebook.com/events/1744741092276996/   Find out about upcoming events via their Facebook page here. Listen to IWTFA on Soundcloud
      Monthly show on Fnoob radio
    • NathanJones
      By NathanJones
      From the DJ’s perspective; since Larry Levan’s early days at the Paradise Garage, the remix – or playing different versions of songs – was one of the first notable aspects of what we now know as DJ Culture. His ethic of refreshing successful dancefloor movers in the late seventies passed down generations of DJ has been long-established as almost a perfunctory task, almost a must-do to be undertaken by the disk jockey.
      Each year sees new versions of old gems. Some, which even those of us remember in our fresher days, first time around. Occasionally you find that some years produce more than others. This year has already delivered a glut of new-oldies which even by now has you scratching your head and widening your eyeballs at the frequency of remix deliveries.
      Yes; in fitting with the northern hemisphere’s hedonism season, this year’s array of tracks is more-than-likely to guarantee multiple hands in the air and is quite remarkable. Especially considering how anthemic - many of these were in their first lifetimes. You only have to look at either Beatport, Traxsource or Juno’s 2018 remix collections to see this. Or even the number of free downloads on Soundcloud – lesser-known producers with their takes on classics, trying to gain support and not to be sniffed at, either.
      So far in 2018; we’ve had Underworld’s Born Slippy, Energy 52’s Café Del Mar, Shakedown’s At Night and Junior Jack’s E-Samba. Not to mention the rarer, more trainspotter tunes such as The Disco Evangelists’ De Niro, LSG’s Netherworld or Banco de Gaia’s Heliopolis. Even non-house music pearls such as Massive Attack’s Teardrop have been given a recent, respectable once-over.
      This week sees the release of a quite delicate rework, which could divide – or unite – opinions of dancefloor purists (although the latter is far more probable). Maceo Plex has undertaken the task of reinventing “Bladerunner” by the aptly-named artist, Remake. As such a heightened bootleg from the early nineties, it would require special attention to be a success, one would think. Championed twenty-five years ago by most household DJ names from the formative years of clubland – it would add another badge to the American, Plex’s impressive musical arsenal.
      Remixes could; for us addicts of the late night (and all day) tiles – signify the cycle of life and its trends or simply “what goes around” comes back around, only with a few tweaks. As David Bowie once said, “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff I can steal from.”

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. Privacy Policy, and Guidelines