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Sunday School: The Lost Weekend review

By Duncan Ross posted Mar 29, 2011 at 01:54 PM

 

 
 
Some men gauge their masculinity by the amount of money they make, some punish themselves through tests of physical endurance such as the Ironman competition, and some, such as myself, find their self-worth in the number of hours they can maintain a semblance of put-togetherness throughout a yearly event known now as ‘Sunday School: The Lost Weekend’ but formerly aptly named “Sunday School for Degenerates.”
 
 
Learn how to get through a weekend like this by a man who has been there and is still doing that, The Underground's Duncan Ross

 

Sunday School: The Lost Weekend review
 
 
Do not doubt that there is a strategy involved in successfully traversing 36 hours of the loudest techno I have ever heard (10pm Friday, March 25 - 10pm Sunday, March 27). Let’s ignore the cosmic coincidence that led my boss to send me an email on Sunday entitled “Lost Weekend” which referred to his having back trouble that kept him in bed all weekend, the successful 36 hour (and it was more like 72 including Ultra) party person needs to plan ahead for this sort of thing. I remember a long time ago in Paris I went out to the middle of a forest to hear the “Art of Trance” with a trio from L.A. and what struck me most about these people was not their furry boots, nay, it was the little blue plastic box of vitamins they kept popping. Now before you get all giddy and think I’m using some euphemism of illegality these people were really popping Vitamins. The B kind, the C kind, all kinds. So to handle that set list you saw on the opening page it was important to really throw down the food. I didn’t cart around a bag of vitamins, but I did shove a lot of vitamin water, Gatorade, basically anything with sugar and nutrients down my throat. Did you know beer is known as liquid bread in the eastern republics? So drink lots of beer so you don’t get dehydrated! You know what diet soda is good for? Packing sugar away into fat instead of utilizing it. 
 
So that worked. You know what else worked? Think of the last time you went to a “rock concert” and you saw those long curving stacks of speakers hanging from both sides of the stage. Well those stacks are usually 60 -100 feet up and way the hell away from you. Well Integral Sound from Long Island had two x 12 stacks left and right of a dj booth completely covered in leds that kept a video stream running from in front and below the dj to behind and above the dj. The roof was only 25 feet in this place, so that was loud. Let’s start with Friday. Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman famously said “I don’t remember falling asleep” on his Sheet One album (Wikipedia it). Well I remember it going like this, Friday night was the Minus party. I came in to Spank Rock after which the Turbo records powerhouse Tiga came on and made it big. Having heard Hawtin and Gaiser at Mansion a few months back I was very keen on catching Gaiser so I had to slide back from Tiga to make sure to catch the full set. Hawtin and crew have always been at the forefront of techno by all accounts, and I can’t always say I have enjoyed this. Many, many times Hawtin has been too hard for even me. Just too minimal. Like, “I’m a using a different kick drum in this track than the last, but everything else is the same” minimal. I need a little more than that. So “why do you keep going to Richie Hawtin?” you ask. Well, not out of respect. I go because I heard Richie do a house set once, and it was better than every house dj’s set I’ve ever heard, so the key is you have to catch the guy when…the planets are aligned. I have no strategy for this, it’s just luck. Friday night I was lucky. The techno was soo deep, and so crisp..it was like a knife cutting through butter. There was no crunchiness, no overstressed amps, no blown speakers. And it wasn’t just the sound quality, finally the techno had elements in it… long whispy elements of air, ambient ribbons that were so faint they were almost inaudible, but they were there. It takes someone who has written/experienced their music on many big systems to keep their “elements” down like that. Think of it like putting the sound in there, and then backing it off until it was almost gone..sort of the antithesis of what you would do if you wanted to add something to your track. Well this went on for hours, and it was never boring, and fully worth the price. After Hawtin’s set the very female Magda came on and did a more than decent job of keeping up with Richie, but you couldn’t help but feel like the purity was gone, and after her set so was I, disappointedly missing Marco Carola and Paco Osuna, but I couldn’t hang anymore, I needed three hours of sleep.
 
On Saturday “Sunday School” rests for 12 hours, so it was off to Ultra as I had to see ”Empire of The Sun” and thank you God for those Ultra Tix cause I was dancing with Laura of Miami like a little fairy.
But this article is about Sunday School, which happens overnight, and we all know, the freaks come out at night. I caught Dubfire, Luciano, Adultnapper, Wareika, Jesse Rose, (ouch my toe is killing me at this point), Mathias Kaden, Steve Bug, Nicolas Jaar, and I was out. You know what Sunday School needs? Now that the degenerates moniker is gone ditch the school busses and bring in some cots! Or mats! Or hell do it somewhere with a Holiday Inn Express?! I blame it on Nicolas Jaar. I mean he’s a handsome man and all but he started up so slow I thought he was trying to woo every chick in the building to the DJ booth. Well you sent me home buddy! But it was either him or me, and I needed to get back that afternoon for Paco Osuna. 
 
Made it back round 5 and there were more people there than I had seen all weekend and I proudly did not “have” to wear my sunglasses, which is nice, especially considering the attractive people that were there. It was hot and wet inside for Paco Osuna and Seth Troxler which is good if you’se a lady, but it ain’t no good if you in the jungle. Fortunately, there were smiles all around and as I walked out I caught a few classics from Ovum’s Josh Wink on the patio to a cool breeze while loco dice wrapped things up inside.
 
Thanks Miami for saving the rain for Monday and if you missed any of the above, that is YOUR fault, isn’t it? This stuff only happens once a year so it's no time for excuses, games,  or poor planning. Try not to miss The Underground anymore, and one last thing..if there's money in your bank account, you are not a degenerate. So save up for the year so you can enjoy this with no regrets. Being able to leave the club behind for the week while you tool around on your yacht with Tiesto djing your kid's bar mitzvah ain't so bad.
 
 
 
 
 
 
i don't remember falling asleep...
the last thing... i remember is...
i was saying to her... 'they're all crazy...
even you... you're all crazy'...
'even me?'... she said...
i thought... oh right...
if i categorically eliminate all other people
it's just me... and her... she'd like that...
'especially you' i said... 'you are virtually the ringleader
the way i see it'...
and then i... blew out the candle










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