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Max Vangeli 12.17.10 @Pacha NYC: Review

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This past Friday, the East Coast hosted one of the San Francisco’s up and coming DJs, Max Vangeli. As one of the hottest and most sought-after producers of 2010, his performance was met with much anticipation. While not as seasoned a navigator of the DJ circuit as many of his contemporaries, Vangeli and his opening partner DJ Brian Massey worked together to make the most of the night, amidst a few foibles.

Once again, local Dancing Astronaut favorite Brian Massey demonstrated his ability to adapt his style from heavy-hitting closer to entrancing opener. Delivering a solid progressive house mix that simmered but never boiled, Massey did what any good opening DJ ought to do – warm up the crowd in such a way that as soon as the headliner cues his first track, the energy of the room goes up enormously. A connoisseur, his track selection was simple: good sounding tracks that don’t have to be well-known.

Riktam & Bansi – The Shining [Original Mix]

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Ridney – Arrivals (Original Mix)

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Up Cent feat. Jane Maximovia – She Will Always Be There (Original Mix)

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5andiego – Whobbles (Original Mix) via DJDownload

Milk & Sugar – Hey (Nah Neh Nah) Vs Vaya Con Dios (Milk & Sugar Club Mix) via YouTube

That’s exactly what happened, with a boy-faced Max Vangeli blasting up the volume for his first track. As soon as his set began, the energy of the room reached a tangible high. And the DJ matched the energy of the room in a physical way as well: rarely is a DJ seen quite literally jockeying the decks. The BlackBerry slinging, droopy-jeaned European reached into what was a broad, but not deep record box. Notable tracks included:

Sander Van Doorn vs. The Source – Reach Out vs. You Got The Love

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Jus Jack – That Sound (Max Vangeli & AN21 Remix)

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Swedish House Mafia – One (If you really do not know this one by now…)

Pendulum – The Island (Steve Angello, AN21 & Max Vangeli Remix) via Dancing Astronaut

What most fans will remember from that night, however, deals not with Vangeli’s DJ prowess, but rather the roughly 10 minutes of blackout silence occurring over the course of two equipment malfunctions. The first incident sounded like Vangeli got a little too eager with the loop feature on the CDJ, though we were told that it was a CD player malfunction. Shortly after the turntable was switched out, more silence followed. This time, he had one side of the crossfader of the DJM-800 assigned to the wrong channel. Strange, to say the least, considering the 800 is standard DJ equipment nowadays – maybe it was just the tension of a Pacha debut that got the best of Vangeli.

Nonetheless, Vangeli got wild. Not many DJs have the audacity to jump on the outer ridge of the booth, touch disco balls and thousand-dollar lighting equipment, and invoke the presence of the usually nebulous general manager in one sitting (or in Vangeli’s case, standing). Downing vodka as if water, Vangeli made the crowd his plaything with all the swagger of a drunken pirate. Still hoping to bounce back from the tech troubles, Vangeli’s mixing of Calvin Harris’s “Flashback” into an edit of “KNAS” vs. “Fuckin’ Down” was well-received. These tracks, in addition to “Sweet Dreams” and Martin Solveig’s “Hello”, couldn’t quite repair the damage, but left a bandage on it long enough to last the remainder of his set.

Stay tuned for an interview with Brian Massey, and be sure to check out DJ David Berrie at Pacha tonight.

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