Despite the cold snap that had most people cowering inside, cursing our country’s glacial climate and crying softly into those wool sweaters they thought they wouldn’t be seeing for another month at least, Wrongbar was packed up nicely on Thursday, what with the 4am last call and Maceo Plex as the main name on the line-up.
Eric Estornel aka Maceo Plex has been in the game since 1993, producing under a myriad of assorted monikers including Maetrik, Mariel Ito, Plaex, releasing on some major labels like Audiomatique and Cocoon. Probably best known for his dark, sometimes ominous-sounding techno under the name of Maetrik, he has been producing incredible tracks since day one. As Maceo Plex, he released the heavily soul-infused track “Vibe Your Love” on Damian Lazarus’ label Crosstown Rebels, and a little later the massive album Life Index that has had people positively cooing about this man’s madly diverse skills.
The beginning of his set at Wrongbar was slightly unimpressive, but after things got going more and more bodies were drawn to the dancefloor, where everyone ended up caught by the darkly groovy beats and trapped as the bass got heavier, the vocals deeper and the music became properly steeped in that soulful essence Maceo Plex is known for. Although the tracks Estornel is producing as Maceo Plex are definitely lighter and easier to digest than some of his stuff under Maetrik, his set this week had subtle hints of something darker: a cavernous edge to certain parts of it reminiscent of his work under his other name. Vocal-heavy and funky, he got the room moving, and threw in tracks that had people looking up at him in thanks – his drops didn’t drop you down but segued into deeper, more soulful tracks. It was one of those sets that you just couldn’t step away from. Whether it would be quite as good if you were listening to it at home, I can’t say. But it definitely made for a wicked way to warm up on what I only hope was an extremely premature visit from winter.
Maceo Plex on Crosstown Rebels
Check out “Vibe Your Love”, out on Crosstown Rebels: spirit
My personal favorite, “Sleazy E”:
And “Envy”, a Maetrik track: