Eric Prydz casts a four hour spell on Create Nightclub [Review]
With any good DJ, there’s always the fear that their set won’t live up to previous experiences. Frankly, it’s a consequence of playing well. I’ve seen Prydz enough times to be irreversibly enamored with his performances, yet I still get anxious every time he enters the booth. Numerous one hour festival time slots have left me a bit shaken undoubtedly (one hour is truly not enough time for Prydz to perform).
My fears have yet to be confirmed, and I doubt they ever will be. Eric Prydz took the decks at Create Nightclub at a half past midnight and proceeded to play an unrelenting four hour set of progressive house, techno, and the numerous subgenres that inevitably accompany such a masterful endeavor.
The truly beautiful thing about a Pryda set is that you have no idea what to expect. There are a hundred tracks Prydz could open and close with, and hundred more he could play in the space between.
On this particular night, Eric opened with three Pryda IDs, patiently building the energy with extended, hi-passed outro transitions. Each waning tail would transform into a seemingly infinite build up. The tension would rise and rise till Eric had the crowd begging for the kick drum. And just when you thought he was going to give it to you, he would wait another 8 bars, driving the crowd insane with each track’s suspended culmination.
Before long, the joyous melody of “Layers” entered the mix, noticeably engaging the crowd through conscious and sub-conscious recognition of the recent Pryda release. The festive alacrity continued as Eric moved into his famous “Creamfields ID,” a seven minute progressive house masterpiece first debuted at Creamfields 2011.
Pryda – Layers (Original Mix)
At this point, the floor was well warm, and it was time for Eric to up the intensity. As the reverb from the previous track petered out, Eric swiftly dropped the tempo, bringing the pitch down and darkening the mood. Heavily distorted minor chords followed, leading to an aggressive house beat with various chaotic samples such as a chirping acid synth, a whirling siren, and a high-pitched scream.
The vigorous drive of Prydz’s set continued with Eric’s amazing dub mix of “Let Me Feel” as well as the unstoppable force of “Power Drive.” The crowd was irresistibly enthused, yet Prydz was just getting started on his multi-hour expedition.
Despite hearing the track in every Pryda set I’ve ever witnessed, I will never get tired of hearing Eric’s remix of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.” In fact, I’ve made a habit of readying all those surrounding me as to the epicness that is about to occur when those dark, descending pads enter the mix. To my surprise, Eric played (what I presume to be) a VIP of his remix, swapping in a pulsating bass drop for the signature driving techno beat.
Nearly two hours in, Eric had mesmerized us twice over with glistening Pryda productions, but there was a conspicuous absence of his revered techno alter ego. As the LED panels emboldened the classic Mouseville logo in an eerie green light, it meant only one thing: Cirez D had arrived. The pounding bass drum of “Thunderstuck” pierced the smoky air, hypnotizing the crowd with its dexterous minimalism. A tribal-like trance was evoked: arms shook, heads bobbed, the techno beat drove on. I hardly noticed as “On Off” entered the picture, until the notorious Green Velvet and Harvard bass sample energized the crowd with the subsequent flurry of lasers.
Cirez D – On Off (Original Mix)
As the night wound on, Eric opted for a softer, more emotional touch. His inspiring remix of “Midnight City” led to his instrumental edit of “The Veldt” — an intoxicating combination that had everyone swooning in delight. The progressive house sweetness of “Shadows” soon followed, before “Every Day” brought the house down. “One Day” maintained the comfortable, post-3:00am pacing, while the interlude mix of “You” set Eric up perfectly for the introduction of “Pjanoo.”
When I left the venue at 4:00am, my mind was spinning with feelings of awe, exhaustion, and content. There are not enough words to describe a Pryda set — it is something that must be experienced to be understood. It’s difficult to explain, but there’s such a difference when Eric is behind the decks. It’s a subtle, unspoken acknowledgement from the crowd that they trust him. It’s this intangible sense of belief and adoration — and it’s mutual. Eric feeds off the crowd. Their energy and response empowers him to push the boundaries of his setlist, to get creative with his mixing techniques. In a multi-hour setting such as this night at Create, this sense of synergy is amplified to a transcendent scale.
At the end of the day, I can do nothing more but to advise you to catch a set from Eric in an intimate setting — preferably one where he performs for over two hours. It is only once the strongest trust has been established between Pryda and the crowd that our beloved maestro may truly get to work.
Photo Credit: Natt Lim