Listening to a trance set, then, is like sitting down under duress to watch an episode of "Friends" or "Buffy." We might have to admit, at the end, against our better judgement, that it was pretty good. There's a reason people eat Big Macs, shop at the Gap and watch crap TV: It's pleasing. With the right mindset, so is trance.

I’ll be the first to admit that trance is my preferred genre of electronica. I enjoy quality trance, deep trance with soulful mysticism capable of titillating your emotional sensibilities. I can’t stand how “true electronic heads” generally typecast all trance as cheese, as commercial pop garbage. Nothing can be further from the truth. Not all trance follows the formulaic big buildup and breakdown that appeals to the uneducated ear. A lot of trance is tasteful and deep, in a way progressive and driving.

That said, it's a lot easier not to loathe the genre when it's executed with as much restraint as Alex Whalen exhibited at Club 5 in DC last weekend. His farewell set ending his weekly Saturday residency there was amazing. The bombastic chug-a-thons of our collective cultural nightmare were notably absent; instead, the DC-based DJ sequences a number of tastefully hypnotic, mildly banging productions into an obligatorily 3-hour beautifully mixed set. High on lithely sinister atmosphere and low on cheesy breakdowns, these tracks pump effectively and durably, their epiphanies spaced for maximum effect.

Thumping bass drums, ethereal vocal snippets and shimmering synths are, of course, the order of the day, but fans of more rarefied electronic genres aren't necessarily averse to such elements. He played tunes that had a dark, driving intensity that wouldn't sound alien to fans of minimal techno. While other tracks would appeal to fans of tracky Chicago hard house.

The club for the most part is not rave oriented. It is your typical shishee DC nightclub, with a dress to impress attitude and patrons too dumb, drunk and horny to appreciate the amazing set Whalen was spinning. I arrived with 3 other guys and 3 girls, whom we ignored for most of the night as they were “not into the music” and preferred to stay on the outskirts of the small dancefloor for most of the night.

Whalen's track selection was delicious. A sweet array of progressive house and brain-melting quality trance. My friends and I, already established fans of Whalen, danced our hearts out….or at least attempted to in our Kenneth Coles and Armani pants. Nothing compares to a good pair of UFO’s and some addidas superstars. He was having so much fun behind the decks, playing with the mixer.He dropped:
" />
Forum list. Calendar Articles, reviews and editorials. Pictures Listen to music and watch videos. See a listing of our DJ's / Producers.
Join our community and access additional features.Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences.View a list of our members.Answers to some frequently asked questions about using the message board.SearchFind all of the latest posts since your latest visit.Private messagingLog out of the message board
Alex Whalen @ Club 5, DC
by Raven: 07-28-2001

Hating trance is like hating shopping malls, television or fast food. All such products of mass culture might offend our aesthetic sensibilities, but sooner or later most of us turn to them for comfort or convenience - not necessarily by choice, but not without a certain amount of guilty pleasure.

Listening to a trance set, then, is like sitting down under duress to watch an episode of "Friends" or "Buffy." We might have to admit, at the end, against our better judgement, that it was pretty good. There's a reason people eat Big Macs, shop at the Gap and watch crap TV: It's pleasing. With the right mindset, so is trance.

I’ll be the first to admit that trance is my preferred genre of electronica. I enjoy quality trance, deep trance with soulful mysticism capable of titillating your emotional sensibilities. I can’t stand how “true electronic heads” generally typecast all trance as cheese, as commercial pop garbage. Nothing can be further from the truth. Not all trance follows the formulaic big buildup and breakdown that appeals to the uneducated ear. A lot of trance is tasteful and deep, in a way progressive and driving.

That said, it's a lot easier not to loathe the genre when it's executed with as much restraint as Alex Whalen exhibited at Club 5 in DC last weekend. His farewell set ending his weekly Saturday residency there was amazing. The bombastic chug-a-thons of our collective cultural nightmare were notably absent; instead, the DC-based DJ sequences a number of tastefully hypnotic, mildly banging productions into an obligatorily 3-hour beautifully mixed set. High on lithely sinister atmosphere and low on cheesy breakdowns, these tracks pump effectively and durably, their epiphanies spaced for maximum effect.

Thumping bass drums, ethereal vocal snippets and shimmering synths are, of course, the order of the day, but fans of more rarefied electronic genres aren't necessarily averse to such elements. He played tunes that had a dark, driving intensity that wouldn't sound alien to fans of minimal techno. While other tracks would appeal to fans of tracky Chicago hard house.

The club for the most part is not rave oriented. It is your typical shishee DC nightclub, with a dress to impress attitude and patrons too dumb, drunk and horny to appreciate the amazing set Whalen was spinning. I arrived with 3 other guys and 3 girls, whom we ignored for most of the night as they were “not into the music” and preferred to stay on the outskirts of the small dancefloor for most of the night.

Whalen's track selection was delicious. A sweet array of progressive house and brain-melting quality trance. My friends and I, already established fans of Whalen, danced our hearts out….or at least attempted to in our Kenneth Coles and Armani pants. Nothing compares to a good pair of UFO’s and some addidas superstars. He was having so much fun behind the decks, playing with the mixer.He dropped:

Satoshi Tomiie – Love In Traffic (Dark Path Dub)
Tall Paul vs INXS – Precious Heart (Riva remix?)
Pole Folder & CP – Apollo Vibes
Nick Holder – Inside Your Soul
Dimension 5 – Deep Space
Accadia – Into the Dawn (James Holden remix)
Danny Tenaglia – Turn Me On (Bedrock remix)

Then the world turned gray as I lost my shit when he played these tunes in order:

Sasha – Xpander
Three Drives on a Vinyl – Greece 2000
Space Manoevers – Stage One (Pariah remix?)
Salt Tank – Eugina
Depeche Mode – I feel Loved (Danny Tenaglia remix)
Underworld – Cowgirl
V-One – Dead Cities
Unknown (Hybrid remix?)
Encore:
Alanis Morissette – Uninvited (Brothers in Rhythm remix)

His encore proved to be a resilient and melodic arm-raiser. A slightly older tune remixed by Dave Seaman but never released, this track used to be caned a lot by Paul van Dyk in the Fall of ’99 and early ’00. Few avid fans remained at the club till the last beat. He bid us farewell and I wanted so bad to shake his hand on an unforgettable set but the security rushed us out promptly at 3 AM.

What a fantastic night. Let me reiterate again and again….Alex Whalen is an AMAZING DJ. Watch out for this kid. He begins to tour with fellow Buzz resident, Dave Ralph this Fall.

Twitter Facebook MySpace Digg

comments: [discuss this article] [previous articles]

Forums  
Music Forums:
Life and Everything Else:

editorials










































music reviews



















party reviews
































































































































 


Groovanauts.com is a public message board protected by the First Amendment of the United States of America. Groovanauts.com's owners and its operators take absolutely no responsibility for the actions, claims or statements made by any of our members. Our members and moderators are neither employees of Groovanauts.com nor its legal representatives.