Todd Terje was my big tip for the last night - tucked nicely in the 0000-2000 slot before fellow Scandinavian house man Axel Boman.
The Norwegian producer first broke my attention with his remix of Paul Simon’s ‘Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes’. It was a long, lolloping remaster, full of the original’s slap bass, produced in a fug of reverb and underscored with ‘Diamonds” unmistakable drum patter. It was always my first choice for the last moments of the day, dusty evenings and red sky.
Though his remix collection is generally damn tight (Hot Chip, Lindstrom, Bombay Bicycle Club) Terje is more noted for two whopping self releases: Ragysh (Single) and It’s the Arps. The former was cracker house, deep rolling, tech-infused, with ‘Snooze for Love’ the antidote to the big time drop of ‘Ragysh’. The second, meanwhile, was a funk of disco-inspired house, created with the ‘Arp 2600’. ‘Swing Star Pts.1 and 2’ oscillated in space with a cowbell, while ‘Inspector Norse’ hop-scotched it’s way through delightful samples and modulated synth noises. It’s a delirious mix of happiness but, unlike so many other E-number house hits, remains immensely likeable.
So I was expecting big at Dimensions. Armed with beer and anticipation I must admit that the lead half of Terje’s set was unanticipated and a little disappointing. It went down the softer techno route rather than the wacky, disco route, and contrasted underwhelmingly with the harder edged stuff in the Moat. It was little too warm around the edges, without the cut that house and techno can more imaginatively thrust.
The second hour, by contrast, was magical. Terje dropped more opaque thuds and sought funkier and melodic beats. He went piano- rather than pad-driven. He sought a slower but more upbeat tempo. And he sought a climax in his set by dropping what became the festival’s sample-laden barmy-anthem, ‘Inspector Norse’. His willingness to play his own star hit proved what had brought me to his entire set (a commanding desire considering the bill’s riches): he was intent on having fun, and this would be nothing but awesome for the last night’s crowd.