The West

Kick! Peter Van Hoesen
The Bakery Main Space
REVIEW: Alex Wolman

I have never walked into a gig in which there was only one person there.

Add to this the fact this person was dancing determinedly to techno music with a cape on, and one can imagine the apprehension I felt when I entered the bakery to see Peter Van Hoesen and his support acts PJ Stokes, allstate and Craig Hollywood.

The doors opened at 8 and Van Hoesen came on at 11, as a result I was left to endure a three hour mixmash of tired and repetitive electro that, for the most part, solely involved changing a single music element every eigth beat.

All three sets before Van Hoesen produced hollow and thin music that incorporated none of the thickening techniques developed by electronic musicians in recent years. These acts rarely moved beyond what was already around in the heyday of techno – the nineties.

But not with Van Hoesen’s set. He had taken the innovations of dubstep and beats and the recent advances in music technology and thrown them back into the somewhat marginal and dated genre of techno. His sound was dense and rich and the percussive beats flexible yet powerful.

The music was not repetitive or predictable but still satisfying when techno conventions were met – a delicate balance.

Van Hoesen’s music doesn’t really stand up when you are listening to it by yourself – not a lot of electro does – but live, his direct control and organic creation of the music made it extremely compelling.

The forty or fifty people who were dancing during his set were clearly loving what he was doing; tossing their heads backs, closing their eyes and throwing their hands in the air.

A restoration of faith in techno music by a young Belgian DJ: not the most typical Australia day, but one still greatly enjoyed.

Kick! was a one-off performance on January 26.

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