Time for a look back at last month’s CODEX, definitely one of the year’s best events for freeform. Raqhow is going beyond the call of duty to keep up momentum, and so it’s nice to see more ravers taking notice of his hard work. This time of course the guests were Thumpa and Technorch, while the slight improvement in crowd numbers made for a quality atmosphere. Raq has coincidentally just uploaded his own video report, which you can take a look at above.
Le Dos-on opened the event with an absolutely brilliant warm-up set – starting with Carbon Based’s Dark Side (Intro Mix), things progressed through hard dance and NRG up to a nicely midrange freeform speed. Continuing the top-level mixing of his past CODEX sets, this really was something pretty special. The video below catches a snippet of Fury Theme, toward the end of the set.
Alabaster was up next, playing some uplifing, UK-styled freeform mixed in his trademark considered style. The thin crowd numbers at this stage didn’t give him much to work with, but the set itself was very well put together. As is traditional these days, he closed out the set with Fairytale - this time followed by the always-entertaining Arkitech remix of Alanamra.
There was more UK freeform from NONAKA+CHIN, but with a typical harder undercurrent of Re-form and Alek Szahala that always makes for a surprise or two. A good example is my video below – expecting to hear Comet Catcher played to the end? In leaps Solution and Ephexis’ Requiem to take things in a totally different direction. Definitely a good set for the almost-halfway point of the event, and followed by Technorch’s unique style.
Technorch played a very nostalgic selection of older hardcore and trancecore, including some of his own material. No Gothic System sadly, and not as hard as I remember from his THC appearances, but a well-mixed departure that made for a distinctive hour in its own right, refreshing the crowd for the final few sets.
With the crowd warming up nicely, Thumpa hit just the right note with a real something-for-everyone set. The main sound was UK-styled, but there were some welcome nods to the deeper side, including a lovely little sequence of alternating Alek Szahala-Aryx tracks. A very good set then, and keeping the variety up for the whole hour meant that the crowd stayed with him to the very end.
Apologies for the lack of video around this point – I had retired to the background for a quiet moment or two, as I didn’t feel quite as focused as expected. Seems as though chanelling memories of 10 Years of FINRG usually does the trick, and so I was definitely up for it by the time Thumpa played his last track.
Going on past CODEX events and the guests for this instalment, I decided not to worry about uplifting, melodic sounds, and instead concentrate on a real TYFTH almost-hour of darker, melancholy tracks. Worth mentioning that although these days I treat event sets as another recorded ‘studio’ mix in terms of preparation, I was initially so stuck for inspiration that I wasted time cobbling together an intro edit of one of my own unfinished tracks (!). Obviously a terrible idea, and so I instead went for the slightly better option of Vengeance 2007 to start, splitting the set into ‘dark psychedelic’, ‘dark aggressive’ and ‘dark melancholy’ sections.
Thanks to Soham we have a couple of nice (if muffled) videos, showing Vengeance and then The Game / Symphony for the Devil:
A big, big thanks goes to the CODEX crowd for sticking with the slightly different style, and a TYFTH gold star to the sizeable group of ravers who really seemed to know their darker tracks. It’s extra rewarding to see a crowd react well to the stuff I spend so much time arranging beforehand, while it was also a nice confidence boost to pull off some especially difficult connections. I won’t be adding the full tracklist here as the best parts are already ‘reserved’ for use in future recorded mixes, but I might play the set one more time on ustream.
Final, massive thanks go to Thumpa for lending me use of his HD-25’s after I left mine at home – trying to improvise with a different brand during the soundcheck didn’t go well at all.
Raqhow played the final set alongside Le Dos-on, a best-of-both-worlds way to open and start the event with a Le Dos-on set. They work very well together and have similar taste in tunes – the hard, melodic sound of modern FINRG combined with some older Japanese tracks. Ending as usual with Lacrima, there followed a raffle for Rebuild albums and t-shirts, before the close of another successful event. 2015 is looking very positive for CODEX, as the lineups and timetabling seem to have found a sweet spot, while crowd numbers and awareness continue to grow.
For more photos from the event, take a look at photographer Mizuho’s Flickr gallery.