Published Jun 01, 2012Jeff Mills appeared seated on a blanket on the floor with his equipment: a mixer in front of him and five CD DJs laid out around him in a semi-circle as a Morse code-like pulse rang out from the stage. The words "Approaching Moon" appeared on the screen, and the rhythms started. Dark heavy beats rumbled underfoot as an image of the moon filled the screen, vibrating, changing colour and fading into an image of itself. As the beat imperceptibly picked up, the crowd began to move. Classic hard, yet, in its own way, soulful Mills, a single strobe flickering behind him. The crowd lapped up every second, cheering in the rare quiet lulls and dancing throughout. At one point, Mills performed an immense set on the Roland 909 at the front of the stage before running back to the CD decks. The words "Beneath the Lunar Surface" appeared on screen. Just as you thought it was all over, Mills ramped it up again, this time heading into more IDM-ish territory, demonstrating the huge influence he had on Warp artists such as Aphex Twin. "Secrets of the Moon's Dark Side" appeared on screen, followed by another image of the moon, this time in great photographic detail, taking us to the end of the lunar journey, as Mills returned to the 909 for a blistering finale. A perfect mix of conceptual and danceable, this was an amazing performance from Mills, who played an innovative and immersive set. It was obvious that Mills is not content to rest on his status as the legend of the second wave of Detroit techno and clearly still believes in the principle of unity through machines.
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