Eris Drew and Octo Octa can be described as two of the scene’s most in-form artists.
Standout individual successes include the release of Eris Drew’s 2018 ‘RA.604 Podcast’ and Octo Octa’s 2019 album ‘Resonant Body’, however, it is together that they arguably shine most brightly.
Producing the ‘Devotion EP’ for Naive, one of this year’s most memorable releases, and playing back-to-back at the likes of Unsound, Bassiani and De School for their first T4T LUV NRG shows outside of the US, Universal Sydney welcomed them on the third date of their Australia/Asia Tour.
Although the event was held on a Sunday in a city renowned for its lock out laws, the venue was surprisingly packed out with a queue stretching down the street. Walking past the terracota soldiers that adorned the windows, partygoers followed the stairs through a well-lit bar to the glass-encased dancefloor that shone with warm shades of pink and yellow. Despite having only started hosting techno club nights over the past year, Universal Sydney has already seen the likes of Prosumer, Job Jobse, and Umfang take to its elevated DJ booth, helping it to build a loyal and diverse fan base.
From entering the club at 11:30pm until closing, the two DJs took turns behind the decks, switching every three or four tracks. The dancefloor remained packed-out, lapping up each selection. Octo Octa opted for a combination of jackin’ house and acid bangers such as Planet Soul’s ‘Set U Free (Fever Mix)’ whilst Drew played the ’90s breaka and Chicago house records for which she has become so well-known. The high octane selections of the two DJs were held together by a common thread: the unifying power of rave.
“Your body is powerful. Be who you wanna be. Let your body be free!”.
Old school turntablist tricks were aplenty with both DJs either cutting, chopping, or scratching in a vocal sample, new record or even a double to transform and re-contextualise their records.
At times it felt the equipment was letting them down as their records skipped regularly but this did not phase them, nor did it impact their performance. As Drew stated in her 2018 ‘Art of DJing’ feature, “things people view as technical problems I try to convert into something musical”. This infectious, positive energy carried through as the partners danced behind the decks with the same exuberance as those in the crowd.
After 6 hours of hard dancing, the night drew to a close and the crowd thinned out ready for a sunny Monday morning in Sydney.
Words By: James Acquaye Nortey-Glover