Friday, November 04, 2016

Ryan Hemsworth - Absolut Night at Velvet Underground

Feels like I talk about Ryan Hemsworth all the time, so it should come as no surprise that I had such a great time last night at Velvet Underground for their special Absolut party. This event had been on my radar since mid September, when the call for RSVP's went out. Oddly the RSVP's didn't seem to play in at all, other than allow Absolut to email us. The initial online list only asked for first names, which they didn't confirm on the way in. This is all fine because it was free entry, which we were reminded of multiple times. "Arrive early to avoid disappointment." And early did people arrive, I've never seen such a long line (in proportion to the venue) 45 minutes after doors. Unfortunately I got there as the same time as everyone else; the line wasn't half as long any other time during the night. Once getting in I was treated to the wonderful surprise of two free drinks. Despite the long wait due to the complexity of the four different Absolut branded drinks, they were well worth it. Velvet was specially made up with installations by Adam Hummell & Shadi Assadin, creating VIP vibes. People were more dressed up than normal, drinking nifty drinks from crafty cups, listening to the coolest mix of music. On the floor the constantly flashing lights in our cups were joined by one of many little artsy touches that made the night so special, some kind of headgear covered in LED lights - a mix of deadmau5 and Rezz.
While I always really enjoy the crowd vibe at Velvet, last night's was extra enticing. People were talking to each other more, having freer fun, all while being warm and respectful. It took me back to the 'good old days,' filled me with nostalgia, and members as though this were South Park. Whether it was the free booze, the extra attention to the visual aesthetic, the incredible curation of the DJs sets, or a combination of all of those, it certainly felt like a night I'll remember fondly. The highlight for me is, as you would have guessed, Ryan Hemsworth's inimitable 'live' mixing style. While technically what he does probably isn't unique, Ryan's multi-track live mashup approach is tremendously enjoyable and well conceived. The constant mixing together of bright, happy, at times kawaii, beats with rap vocals creates an incredible, uplifting cacophony of sounds that shouldn't work, but always does. His sets dart back and forth between solo elements of the two, including many of his own productions, which, if you're like me hits you right in the heart. He mixes so quickly from element to element, you don't have time to get bored let alone shazam it. Not that it'd matter, shazam wouldn't be able to identify much anyway, due to the constant mashing up. Nevertheless, here's a few tracks I did identify last night. FOLLOW RYAN HEMSWORTH: FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD TWITTER