I never write in the first person. Every week I do my best to provide descriptive, accurate, unbiased event reviews. It may seem like each week’s DJs spun the most amazing sets ever but hey, this is Glow, we book the best DJs in the world. Every night is pretty damn amazing. With that being said… James Zabiela at Lima was without question the best DJ set I have ever experienced.
My first EDM event was PvD’s Politics of Dancing 2 Tour in Central Park, August 2006. Since then I’ve seen 39 out of the current top 100 (some numerous times) and many others. Armin, PvD, Ferry, Markus, Cattaneo, A&B, Voorn, Burridge, Osuna, Prydz, SvD, Seb Leger, Infected Mushroom, G&D, Wally Lopez, Scot Project, Yoji, Roger Sanchez, Hawtin, Lawler, Chus & Ceballos, Thrillseekers, M.I.K.E., Deadmau5, I even saw Sasha spin tech in a warehouse in Brooklyn. So I’ll say it again.
Of all the minimal, techno, tech-house, house, progressive, and trance sets I’ve seen over the past 4 years, James Zabiela at Lima was THE BEST.
His unparalleled technical ability was on display all night. From the very beginning I thought to myself, “He may just be top 5 worthy.” Zabiela built his set atop deep tones and crisp, snappy drums. He painted a hint of timber over airy vocals as techy grooves resonated through the club. Maintaining a cool, fresh, intelligent vibe all night, Zabs feverishly bounced to the beat, his hair whipping in all directions. He graduated from pure, unadulterated tech to acid style, bass – heavy grooves, ending up in a place where melodic drum and bass was king. I’d never seen anything like it. His ending track, Underworld ft. High Contrast – Scribble, was brilliant.
And his use of the Korg Nanopad??? OH. MY. GOD!!! I don’t know why more DJs don’t bring their toys to the club. Just watch the videos, seriously. I can’t stop. It just blows my mind the way James is able to use his hands to manipulate sound. Whether it was the Nano pad, his scratching, the mixing, the effects, it doesn’t matter… this guy is like some sort of DJ Guru. No wonder he’s a Star Wars junkie; when he’s behind the decks the force is without question under his command, as is everyone around him.
When I told him it was the best set I had ever heard I think his face turned the same color as his shirt! My point is that not only is this guy my new favorite DJ but he’s the most humble, laid back, chill guy ever. *sigh* I think I may have just developed a man crush! LOL. Seriously though, if you ever have a chance to see James Zabiela spin I suggest you take it. You won’t be disappointed.