The last time I caught Antal play at Corsica Studios for Tief’s Rush Hour showcase, it was one of the best set’s I’ve seen in a long time. Loose yet controlled, deep yet emotional and, most importantly, packed full of brilliant and diverse records. It was a masterclass by one of the best in the game, so when he returned to Corsica with Hunee for an eight hour set, expectations were high.
In the first few hours, the duo were playing their usual selection of sublime records, with the Arabic rhythms of Pulse 8’s ‘Radio Morocco’, an early highlight. Hunee would play a record which would take us deep into the heart of grainy Detroit, before Antal would transport us to sunny Soweto with a smattering of highlife classics. This incongruity can be highly effective in challenging the dancer, but in this case, the shifts in tone felt a little too sharp and drastic.
Nevertheless, around 3 am the room became more spacious and the duo’s freeform style came into its own. At times it was interesting just to stand back and watch the two selectors do what they do best. With the calm presence of Antal digging out a beautiful Brazilian numbers before the energetic and bouncy Hunee searched frantically in his bag to find a record to match. With these two music obsessives there was of course going to be moments of self-indulgence, where it felt like they were trying to out-weird each with the most beautifully bonkers records they could find. Yet, like a great prog album, a Jimi Hendrix solo or – dare I say it – a classic Kanye West rant, self-indulgence can actually be quite entrancing, in its punkish lack of regard for rules, expectations, logic or reason.
With the evening drawing to a close and only a few heads left on the dancefloor, the Amsterdam duo stopped mixing and played a succession of brilliant records from joyous lovers rock to raw gospel, dripping with emotion. When we think about the modern DJ, we often over complicate matters, with constant discussion about perfect beat matching and a pressure to make ever record make sense. Sometimes it’s just enough to watch two musical obsessive playing on pure instinct, given the freedom to play for eight hours and select their favourite records to an open-minded and appreciative crowd until the early hours of the morning.
Listen to 10 tracks we heard on the night, and for more Tief parties look out for Tim Sweeney all night (15th April) and Prosumer, Michael Serafini, Akirahawks & Dan Beaumont (29th April). Antal next comes to London for our Infusions series at Dance Tunnel.