SET LIST: Bang Gang Reunion @ Club 77, Sydney
The Bang Gang Reunion took place at Club 77 in Sydney on Saturday, allowing dance music enthusiasts to honour one of the greatest Australian DJs of all time, AJAX.
GUS DA HOODRAT, JAIME DOOM, DJ DAMAGE (now known as BENI) and DANGEROUS DAN, played a marathon DJ set to a packed crowd, taking us all back in time to some of the happiest clubbing moments of our lives. In attendance on the night were also members of FLIGHT FACILITIES, VAN SHE, WORDLIFE, RÜFÜS, as well as representatives of Modular Records, Stoney Roads, Finely Tuned, Motorik and of course Purple Sneakers! Here we all came together to remember the dance legend, who sadly passed away around the same time last year.
Throughout the evening, interview recordings involving Adrian’s voice were mixed into the traditional selections of BANG GANG DJs, ones which were played by the group in their prime. This resulted in the excited crowd regularly cheering after each song dropped, creating the same explosive atmosphere we saw from the Bang Gang nights back in the day.
Following a ridiculous amount of dancing and reminiscing, we hit up some prominent industry attendees to share a few words with us, based on the memories and experiences surrounding their chosen tunes. Here’s what they had to say!
BANG GANG REUNION SET LIST:
MYLO ‘Drop The Pressure’
“I lived in London for the formative years in my clubbing life. Although I did a bit of raving in the late 90s, bush doofs and such, it wasn’t until I moved to London in 2002 that I started club DJing and really hit my stride!”.
“In London you can party every night of the week. Monday nights were good for me because I held residencies on other nights of the week, so one of the first parties I truly loved and frequented religiously was Erol Alkan‘s Monday night party Trash”.
“Trash changed venues a few times over the years, but by the time it came to The End it was very much an institution. I saw LOADS of acts for the first time, before most of the world had seen them – Bloc Party, Bumblebeez, Peaches, Tiga and many more. The best thing about Trash however was resident DJ/producer Erol Alkan!”.
“The guy was inspirational. As he was originally an indie DJ, I watched his style evolve from when I first started going at a time where he would be playing The Smiths, LCD Soundsystem, Beyonce and New Order to now, where he is much better known as a techno lord! He used to walk around on the dividing wall of the DJ booth as he dropped the maddest jams”.
“I remember this one specific night, it was the first time I heard ‘Drop The Pressure’ by Mylo. It must have been 2004. It wasn’t released yet so Erol must have received it as a promo. It honestly felt like I’d not heard anything like it before. I will always remember that moment. I remember exactly where I was standing in the club and who I was with, because I was high and that shit was immense”.
“The first time I moved back to Sydney in 2005 (there were quite a few more back and forths since then), was just before I started Purple Sneakers. I was frequenting Bang Gang as a froth kid quite a bit. By that time the track had obviously become a staple of the Bang Gang sets (along with everyone elses at the time), so whenever Jaime, Adrian (RIP), Gus, Dan or Beni would play it I would be transported to The End and in a lot of ways the music they played and the vibe of Bang Gang parties was very similar to Trash”.
“The other night when Bang Gang DJs played ‘Drop The Pressure’, as it happens every time I hear that track, I was immediately transported to London at that moment in 2004. What a tune!” – Martin (Purple Sneakers DJs)
FEIST ‘My Moon My Man’ (BOYS NOIZE Remix)
“It’s funny, I never dug Boys Noize‘s bangers in a major way but he was an absolute genius at remixing pop tracks such as this one, Cut Copy‘s Lights & Music, Gonzales‘ Working Together and Bloc Party‘s Banquet”.
“I remember hearing really dudey DJs use this as their ‘one for the ladies’ all the time and that it was so girly but they were into it because it was Boys Noize. I think that’s kind of a metaphor for how Ajax and Bang Gang‘s music effected the general public and opened their ears to lots of different music, sexuality, vibes that they wouldn’t have been as accepting of before that era”. – Barney (Wordlife)
NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB ‘Ice Cream’ (VAN SHE TECH Remix)
“Donning the days of the 2007 fluoro bandit, this track represented the cross over from grungy Aussie indie to a more eclectic time for the electronic sound, which shot to prominence through a pocket of forward thinking producers in Australia. Bang Gang were at the forefront of almost premiering this song (in a way) to their inebriated and chemically induced fan boys and girls. We all acted as disciples with our MySpaces, shitty blogs, obsession with dance music and for some reason, having to tell everyone about it”.
“You couldn’t go to a Bang Gang party without hearing some sort of New Young Pony Club remix and although the song was never my favourite because of the annoying pitchy filtered vocals, it always has had a fond place in my drunken youth’s heart for its part in my clubbing life as a grommet. Ah, bless”. – Dave (Stoney Roads)
“I remember the first time I heard the Van She Tech remix of New Young Pony Club‘s ‘Ice Cream’ was when Ajax played it and I was on a date, so it definitely earned me some points (haha!). I also heard the original mix of our song ‘Kelly’ being played out by Bang Gang (same girl date wise, different occasion)”.
“I was walking down the stairs of the club and it came on. I know Nick would always send the guys mixes once we’d finish them. A lot of the time Ajax would pop into the studio because him and Nick were always working on stuff and he always had positive things to say, always”.
“If it wasn’t for him, Modular maybe wouldn’t have heard Van She. Bang Gang were pretty much the epicentre for us as a band, it’s where we played our first gig, it was our Studio 54″. – Michael (Van She / Touch Sensitive)
BOOKA SHADE VS M.A.N.D.Y. ‘Body Language’
“I find it near impossible to stand still when I hear dance music. Without totally losing myself within the movement of the song itself, I’m unable to feel. Have you ever just closed your eyes in the middle of the club, surrounded by punters/munters and simply let your body react to the beat?”.
“I really was a sprouter when it was in its prime, however whenever I’m at a Bang Gang party I feel that I’ve been a part of it since the beginning. I feel welcomed and like I have come home. My memories are underage, hazy, inebriated, wonderful and totally wrapped up in this track. When I hear it, like on the Bang Gang dance floor, I know no boundaries… and I like myself better that way”. – Sophie (Finely Tuned)
SOULWAX ‘Krack’ (Nite Version)
“Hearing ‘Krack’ at 77 the other night was one of the biggest waves of nostalgia to hit me. The strobing surroundings, with a tonne of sweaty people, spilt drinks, dirty shoes, dark corners with beady eyes peering out and an eerie, heaving Soulwax bassline took me right back, in the best way possible”. – Jon (RÜFÜS)
FELIX DA HOUSECAT ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’ (THIN WHITE DUKE Remix)
“Man With Guitar aka Jacques Lu Cont aka Les Rythmes Digitales aka Thin White Duke aka Paper Faces aka Stuart Price of Zoot Woman, played a huge role on shaping the musical landscape that the Bang Gang called home. I’m not sure if anyone at the time, or even now realised how prolific this guy was. If you gave him a percentage of the musical stock that was thrown out onto the dance floor market every Friday night, to be gobbled up by the ecstacy investors, he would be a rich man. Actually hold on, he is!”.
“Anyway there’s a little history, now to the song. Which one? There are so many, but you asked for one and one I shall provide. Why this one? Hell I don’t really know, perhaps because I saw it lying amongst some records I had pulled out for our party recently, or perhaps because it is EPIC in every sense of the word. It definitely took the level of production that was being praised at the time and blew it off the shelf into a new oblivion. It just sounded SO BIG when you played it. It had class, something we lacked a lot of down at Bang Gang. Thanks for bringing the class Stuart!”. – Angus (Gus Da Hoodrat / Bang Gang DJs)
JUSTICE ‘Waters Of Nazareth’ (EROL ALKAN‘s Durrr Durrr Durrrrrr Re-Edit)
“The minute I walked into the party I could hear Erol’s unmistakable hats. As soon as it dropped I was transported back to 2006. I was in 77. I recognised everyone in there and I was listening to Justice. It actually got me ridiculously excited and happy. Everyone always wants to relive their favourite times again and the Bang Gang guys recreated it with scary accuracy”.
“While I don’t play too much of that style of music anymore, I still love it and what it meant to me. When I first started out DJing, I played Justice in EVERY set, without fail. It was a quintessential Bang Gang song for a Friday night at 77 (not to mention the highlight of the Cum & Sweat CD Jaime and Gus gave out on the final Bang Gang in 2006) and seeing everyone’s hands hitting the roof last Saturday proved everyone else felt the same”. – Hugo (Flight Facilities)
Intro by Tony Kingston
Photo Credit Voena