An Exercise in Eclecticism

Young Marco’s unconventional party- starting abilities have been captivating audiences for years, and his consequent reputation as an erudite, creative DJ has been fully deserved. On the grounds of that; he’s the kind of guy to just about get away with finishing a set at a mid-July festival with Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, and even his name seems to disguise just how serious and committed he is.

In a scene that overuses the word eclectic, he stands out as deeply and genuinely so; something which extends across all his other projects. What his solo productions lack in club friendliness, they make up for in a distinct, layered loopiness and a signature synth heavy dreamy sound, which also typifies his previous work in the acclaimed ambient trio, Gaussian Curve. He was the second curator in the reputable ‘Selectors’ series on Dekmantel, and also independently curated and released a hugely popular Italian dream house album.

Ossia have been a welcome addition to the cities clubbing landscape, and thanks to their excellent bookings, a popular one. Tickets were sold out and Hifi was lively and expectant, if somewhat impersonal due to the DJ being on the stage. Young Marco’s three-hour set lived up to his reputation, duly zipping between various corners of dance (and non-dance) music and blending them together with razor edge mixing.

Following the formidable groove of the Ossia residents, Young Marco started with the funky ‘Make Me Wonder’ by Tom of Brooklyn but before long was building the intensity through punchy tracks like the Acid Arab remix of ‘Le Gaz qui fait rire’; think hypnotising female vocal meets trippy acid line. He also included other heavily percussive tracks which were layered under and beatless single instrument ones.

The glittery and utterly seminal ‘Computer Incantations for World Peace’ simultaneously worked as a mid-set climax and as a crowd soother before he, again, began venturing further into the left field with Aphex Twin’s grubby, noisy ‘180db_[130]’. Soon after came the nights defining and most absurd moment.

I can’t say I’ve ever heard a Neil Young song being played it a club, but as a grinning Young Marco swung a high pass filter out and then back in as the harmonica solo in ‘Hey, Hey, My, My’ started, not only did it not feel too far out of place but it plunged Hifi into a bizarre kind of transcendental state. The surprises didn’t stop there as he continued to blend anything weird or wild.

However, the final moments of his set that summed up his genius succinctly, and the sound of one trippy sitar suddenly absurdly dropped into Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’; a final reminder of Young Marco’s endless combination of pure creativity and thorough technical ability.

James Gwyther

Image credits: Ossia