Inanagua, April 6-8
Phat 07 ended with detrimental feedback due to management, facility and site problems. Phat Moon – a two day dance party from the 6th to 8th of April – at the same site (Inanagua, on the West Coast in the South Island) was thrown as a bid to restore the punters’ faith in the parties and to test out the new facilities.
These new facilities – namely the flushable toilets – appeared to be the focal point of the whole party. While they were a grand achievement for outdoor dance parties and Phat Club history, they actually stopped working by about 11pm.
Situated on the West Coast, Phat Moon delivered a completely different atmosphere and crowd to that of the many parties Phat has put on at Canaan Downs in Takaka and the Maitai Valley (near Nelson). Usually, the dance floor is packed with ecstatic and familiar faces, zinged up on their drug(s) of choice. A sense of party solidarity is felt by all. Not so for this party.
Sinister looking, hoodie-clad boy racers; crazy West Coasters; under-age and under-dressed girls and Christchurch clubbers seemed to make up the majority of punters. My fellow Nelsonians and Motuekians and I were feeling slightly outnumbered and out of place.
Luckily, the music semi-compensated for what the atmosphere lacked. While the party was about the toilets, the music seemed to be about busting out 90’s chart topping tracks.
Kora, who started off the night, pulled most to the dance floor with their eclectic and energetic set which included dub, rock, reggae and thrash metal.
Timmy Schumacher & MC Kyla played on the remix theme and, fittingly enough for the Bogan crowd, busted out ‘Thunder Struck’ by AC/DC and ‘Killing in the Name Of’ by R.A.T.M. Prior to this, break beats/funk/electro inspired Funk n Slow Cuts (Minuit’s Paul Dodge, with the Kernel MC) busted out a ‘Gangster’s Paradise’ remix.
I am not a fan of mixing MCs with drum & bass/breaks. The Kernel MC did not change my opinion. I stuck around while he babbled over the Funk n Slow Cuts set, fingers crossed he would end it there. Unfortunately, he did not. He insistently ‘rapped’ his nasally, ego-driven nonsense over The Upbeats’ whole theatrical drum and bass set – repelling a few of us from the dance floor.
We came back for Agent Alvin’s breaks set, which proved to be the highlight of the night. It was pumping, twisted and varied and, most importantly, MC free. What’s more – as the drum and bass eased up, so did the crowd. In these wee hours, it started to feel like the Phat Parties I am so accustomed to. Too bad that feeling was only present for about two hours out of eighteen.
Like so many other scenes – popularity kills. Phat Outdoor parties are far from their Nelson roots. The World of Wearable Arts were allegedly forced to move locations, in need of a more stable and spacious venue. During this process, they lost their roots. And, unfortunately for original Nelson ravers, the same thing has happened to Phat Outdoor parties.