Monday, September 29, 2008

Event Review: Supermayer at Mighty

On Friday the boyfriend and I went with our friend J down to Mighty to check out Kompakt boy darlings and superhero dj team Michael Mayer and Superpitcher, who, with their powers combined, fight against the forces of boring dance music as SuperMayer. It was a fun night of watching the two of them bop around behind the decks, reminding us after the rather heavy set laid down by local boy Nikola Baytala that techno can have some funk and humor in it as well.

The thing about Mighty that continues to drive me crazy is that the sound system, which I’ve been told originally came from 177 Townsend, it just too big for that space. I like a system that’s crisp and lets me really feel the bass, but too often I leave Mighty feeling like I’ve lost yet more of my remaining hearing. When we arrived on the upside of 11 there weren’t yet enough bodies on the dancefloor to dampen the sound, and the tracks Nikola Baytala was playing seemed just too heavy and dark for me at that point, though this may have just been a side-effect of the system being so loud that I couldn’t stay out on the dancefloor. Gradually I was able to ease myself into closer proximity to the speakers, and by midnight Baytala had gotten into more of a progressive groove that had the dance floor nicely populated. At times I thought Baytala’s set was something of a riff on the techno version of an End Up deep house set, very smooth, with one foray off into vocal territory, but with a pretty consistent set of dynamics that focused mainly on a steady bass thump.

Supermayer came on at 12.30 with a track that completely changed the mood of the space, and for most of the first hour the heavy bass that I had gotten used to in Baytala’s set was replaced with more of the “schaffel” sound so closely associated with Kompakt. There was a lot more motion in the mid-range, and occasional forays into what felt like funk, though when they went for techno they had no qualms about bringing in sounds and structures that were buzzy, glitchy, and just plain weird. Mayer and Superpitcher alternated roughly every three tracks and were having an obvious good time behind the decks, though at times their set did feel a little disjointed. One time as Mayer was coming in after Superpitcher, for example, he completely mis-timed the very long intro on the track he was mixing in, so everything just slowed down to a halt for a minute or two. My only complaint about their set was that it was a bit breakdpwn heavy; at times this felt like they were going for a progressive feel, with big buildups, climaxes, and breakdowns, and sometimes it felt like they just didn’t match the measures of the tracks they were mixing. Around 2 they played their big recent release, “Two of Us,” which is all tension and lack of resolution, and at that point I was ready to check out for the night. The dancefloor was packed, though, and I’m sure the party kept going well into the wee hours.

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