Chinese Laundry, Sydney
Friday July 19th 2002
If you're not familiar with the Sydney techno clubs/nights, Tech-ni-kal is held fortnightly at Chinese Laundry underneath the Slip Inn on Sussex St in Sydney. Tech-ni-kal, as the name suggests is a night of techno, electro and ghetto tech featuring plenty of the techno world's favourite visiting international & national djs as well as live artists and local djs. There are two rooms, the main room and the cave - the comments you're most likely to hear about the venue is that it gets crowded pretty quickly and the ceilings are very low - it creates an intimate vibe, though often it's hard to find a spot to yourself on the dance floor if you like your personal space.
In the "Cave", the rustic brick-lined side room which looks like it was once a wine cellar in years gone by, TECHiONE [http://www.techione.doof.org/] was cooking up a storm as he performed his live set of tech-funked & tribal techno. The sound system in this room is very good - I'm not sure if something has changed recently, but last night the speakers in this room were unfolding the layered sounds in TECHiONE's tracks. At one point I couldn't dance - just had to look around and walk in different positions find the perfect spot where the sounds converged. The crowd were loving it! Bodies had flooded in from the main room and were dancing like crazy people. Amongst some of the songs he belted out were TECHiONE signature tracks "Tribalistic" and "Fever" with their syncopated beats and layered atmospherics & melodies building up to a wave of techfunk. This is not cold, hard, machine based techno, this is techno with feeling & depth - the sounds flying around make it impossible to not move your body to the rhythms engulfing you.
Kazu Kimura was on in the main room not long after TECHiONE had finished so the night was timed perfectly. Kazu is imho Australia's best DJ, and often most unacknowleged & unrecognized DJ. He's originally from Japan, but has been calling Brisbane home since the early 90s. He's a great ambassador for techno and Australian dance music and would have to be one of the nicest and most genuine DJs around as well. He's done it all.. released mixes, produced his own music, put on successful events, toured nationally and internationally multiple times, the most recent just a couple of months ago. It'd been about a year since I'd seen him play so I was looking forward to it and he didn't disappoint - I don't think I've ever seen him play a bad set in the past 10 or so years I've witnessed his finesse behind the decks. In the past couple of years, I'd heard him play predominantly minimal techno, but for his Tech-ni-kal set, he mixed it up a bit more, playing some minimal, some tribal and funky techno, building the vibe in the main room up until the crowds were clapping and cheering and dancing the night away. At the end of his set @ 4am no one wanted it to end and the chant sounded out throughout the room 'Just one more!' to which he smiled and loaded up the decks for an encore selection.
It was a great night, as it always is at Tech-ni-kal, so if you're in Sydney and you're into techno then mark it in your diaries to make the next one. If you're outside Sydney and are looking for a good night to check out whilst in Sydney then you couldn't go wrong with this one.
Tech-ni-kal fortnightly Friday nights @ Chinese Laundry, Sussex St, Sydney