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Tribeadelic - 9.3.2007

Author: Damion Brown
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Goa, Thailand, Portugal, Brazil… The roster of psytrance's party locations is a largely glamorous one that's conventionally associated with unspoiled beaches, lysergic rainforests, and scorching sunshine.

It would come as some surprise, then, to find one of the Melbourne's best recent psytrance parties in the shadow of the strip bars of King Street, the CBD's seedy, 'sailors 'n' syphilis' district.

The bill was impressive: Loud making their Australian debut hot on the heels of their 'Some Kind Of Creativity' (Drive Records, Israel) last year, coupled with the heady, 'ard-as-nailz sound of Germany's Naked Tourist. All supported by a solid lineup of local acts, including on-form Nexus Crawler and scene seed Andrew Till. Israel's finest. Berlin's nastiest. Melbourne's best.

And all for under $25.

It may be a genre that sounds best in the open air, but clubs like this lend psychedelic trance a different, punky quality. The Tribeadelic crew's decor was definitely 'less is more', but they seemed to be saying: "Who cares-" A sound system at one end, a bar at the other and toilets in-between. I think I've got everything I need, thanks.

We got there in time to catch Jonny Mac, a man at the top of his game at the moment - his near-superhuman ear for a tune is well-pitched against his near-supertrainspotter passion for going through records. His blend of progressive and electro, always with a pinch of psychedelic, sounded tighter tonight than I've previously heard. Every track was taut, leaning into the anticipation of the next, as though the set was being played in italics.

The crowd was whipped up nicely by the time Psy-Harmonics label head Andrew Till stepped up. Till doesn't play enough in Melbourne: end of. His set was among the best I've yet heard in this town; tracks sounded familiar, yet alien and conventional psytrance was out the window as he slowly picked up the energy to begin packing out the dancefloor. It was all feeling rather special.

Loud took a while to get going, but once they found their groove - or once the crowd found their groove, if there's any discernible difference between the two - they were on fire. The sound was compelling - the conventional peaks and builds of psytrance were there, but they sounded different. Inventive. Exciting. Significant. Tonight, they ruled the roost.

And what of Nexus Crawler- His modest release catalogue doesn't do justice to either the number of times he's played to home audiences over the years, nor to the deep appreciation he has of what makes bloody good music. His style has shifted over the years from a dark, moody sound to something more embracing, more arresting, more unique -tonight's performance may well have been his best yet. Soaring melodies, shit-kickin' grooves and a solid underbelly kept us moving and grinning like the rabid bitches we are. At the end of the set, the whole floor wanted Nexus Crawler's babies, but most of us didn't vocalise it.

The slice of Berliner Bundesdoof that Naked Tourist then unleashed was extreme. Last year's debut album 'Mad Different Methods' is still ringing in my ears over a year after its release and their psychological pedal is evidently still firmly to the metal. It was blistering - the room was shaking as they took us from angry beasts to smiling goons and back to angry beasts again. Bjorn's solo DJ Iguana performance afterwards started to get a bit too much and we retreated home to our comfy couches and mugs of cocoa, mumbling vaguely.

Tribeadelic did well tonight. We all did. The marriage of quality internationals and solid locals has rarely come together as well as it did tonight. It's the sort of event that makes you proud, and rightly so, of the strength of Melbourne's scene.

Top job.