There’s moments in the history of electronic music which reflect a sheer talent at work. Anyone who saw Madeon’s video of him deconstructing records at rapid speed 18 months ago will have been wowed by a mesmerising ability at such a young stage, likewise too anyone who has seen Henrik Schwarz blur the lines between DJ set and live performance. Here in the Skiddle office we were wiping our jaws off the floor watching DJ EZ cut up classic garage too; there’s a lot of ability in this here music.
Eddie Halliwell already had a great deal of heat on him as the start of 2002 reared its head. His sets at the Howard pub in Sheffield on a Sunday afternoon had become legendary, ridiculous expositions of furious hard house and trance for a hardcore generation that was carrying on the party from not only Gatecrasher that previous evening, but Insomniacz the morning that followed that. Gatecrasher themselves quickly installed the fledgling talent as resident, as did a night rapidly becoming talked about in their own renown, Manchester’s Goodgreef. But what the North of England pretty much already knew was confirmed for the rest of the nation when Mixmag asked him to drop a mix CD, with devastating effects (listen to it above).
The selections on Bosh! 12 Sizzling Bangers enough were proof of a DJ thoroughly at ease with the blistering sonics present in hard dance at the time. There was the energetic tech trance of Marco V’s ‘Indicator’, the surging euphoria from Rank 1 and Hemstock and Jennings, plus the thumping hard house of DJ Scot Project. But it was the way each track was aggressively layered and put together that made it so immediate, with Eddie slamming in and out of the tracks alongside furtive scratching to create an audio collage underpinned by technical trickery as well as pure weekend escapism.
The cuts that allow the mixes two final tracks to blend into one another still stand up as brilliantly entertaining, as Signum’s ‘What Ya Got for Me’ melts effortlessly into the pulsating stomp of Tony De Vit’s ‘The Dawn’ before almost two minutes of scratches heightens the drama. It was a showcase of not only the hedonistic allure of hard dance at its most evocative, but a DJ capable of true technical prowess. In the process it created a star, building the platform for Eddie Halliwell to take over the world.
Eddie’s sound has of course developed intensely since this compilation, now a stunning blend of house, electro and techno with the odd smattering of trance with which he was once keenly associated (check out the podcast he delivered for us earlier in the year of an indication of where he is at sound wise in 2013, stream it below). His technical ability remains peerless too, with audio-visual components added to his performance over the years and a reputation for crowd pleasing sonics like no other. Looking back at that first recorded mix for Mixmag though offers an early snapshot into a man on the cusp of superstardom, ready to take the world by storm.
Halliwell’s next big UK based set before the year is out sees him at an arena where he has always been at it his best, centre stage at Cream. This Boxing Day he’ll be heading up the talent in Courtyard alongside Benny Benassi, Third party and Tim Mason, charged with bringing that undeniable electronic swagger to thousands in Nation’s most iconic room. And maybe, as we witnessed in 2011 when he dropped Push’s ‘Universal Nation’ to devastating effect at Creamfields, a link to that heady past of his.
Eddie Halliwell plays Cream Boxing Night 2013.
Like this? Try Skiddle Mix 034 - Aly & Fila (Goodgreef).
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