26 November 2018

Part of the weekend

I - In the cove with 2manydjs

2manydjs at Cove Manila. (23 November 2018)

In Part of the Weekend Never Dies, brothers Stephen and David Dewaele explained what Soulwax, Radio Soulwax, and 2manydjs are (all musical productions that involve both of them). The documentary was uploaded to YouTube in September in celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Maybe it's the magic of editing and my own imagination combining to fuel a desire to see them — in any of their mode — live. I thought that if it would happen, it would be in some big festival in Japan or Singapore. But surprise, surprise, they came here as 2manydjs last Friday.

I read somewhere that a DJ's job is to play your favorite song even if you haven't heard it before. That night I had the pleasure of discovery and was teased by familiar tunes, which names escaped me. Meanwhile the unexpected arrival of old favorites, and their impeccable timing had its own chilling effect. Let me put it on record: they played Let the Beat Control Your Body and Pump Up the Jam and it made me inexplicably happy.

How I love the lights and the surprise of a song. And I can't write about this without a line on people moving to the beat. For stretches of time my eyes were locked on their bodies.

II - Streaming, dreaming Rita Ora

Saturday my everything hurts. 2 little stretching before 2 hours of dancing. But I didn't forget that the 23rd was the release date of "Phoenix".

I had this impression that Rita Ora and I were the same age. (We're not.) My connection to her music is on a girl-friend level. The pop songs I love, I love because they're catchy. But with Rita, it's like we're talking to each other. As if two 30-something-year-olds are having high-school-girl feelings.

With "Phoenix" I hear more maturity, more sadness. And I'm pleased with how it's produced. The EDM-ish drops and flourishes aren't overly done. Her voice stands out, as it should, because she has a superb one. In fact she's the pop star whom I would dance to all day and also pay good money to watch perform an acoustic set.

So I'm crazy about her bangers. How We Do will always be my jam. Yet I want more ballads. I'm glad that the slower, painful Lonely Together is in the new album. My favorite unreleased track has to be Keep Talking.

May she continue to make these decisions — just wonderful melodies and her voice. Her concert here is slated on my birthday. What a gift.

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