“Shack is a force to be reckoned with”
I first saw Elite Force aka Shack a few years ago when he played the Harbourlife festival on Sydney Harbour. What a set that was, and every set of his I’ve heard since has been huge. One of the pioneers of the tech-funk sound, a wonderful marriage of tech-house, electro and breaks, Shack is a force to be reckoned with. Known for his electrifying DJ sets where he will often scream at the audience, revving them up just before the beat drops back in.
This mix is to help promote one of the large number of sets Elite Force is playing at this year’s Burning Man festival in Nevada, USA (I think I’ve seen him post somewhere from four to six different set times and stages on his Twitter over the last week or two). Beginning with a monologue about weed and acid I knew I was in for another banger from this monster of a DJ. Moving from the intro straight into a jacking techy sound, Shack wastes no time getting the dance floor moving.
The mix continues with some bass heavy tunes, almost dipping into the wobbly house sound currently being supported in the UK by likes of producer/DJs Jack Beats while still keeping that wonderful rolling groove Elite Force has always managed to keep in his sets.
Continuing with Shack’s flawless mixing the set begins to wind into a ravey feel but still with huge breakdowns, basslines, and breakbeats, which surely would have gone down a treat at his recent set at Canada’s Shambhala Music Festival, touted by Elite Force himself as “the perfect rave” and also known as Canada’s answer to Burning Man, which I was lucky enough to attend in 2009.
Always one to keep the dance floor on their toes, Shack takes a turn around the twenty minute mark with a very heavy electro feel full of more breakdowns to give the dance floor a short rest between the stomping beats being thrown down shortly before changing again into a harder tech-infused sound at the half an hour mark to get the dance floor pumping even more.
With the basslines getting bigger and bigger Shack proves the whole way through this set he knows how to build up a set and take the audience on a musical journey, crossing genres, different feels and seamlessly moving from one to the next, constantly keeping things interesting.
Dropping his revamp of the breaks classic, “Blackout” by JDS, Shack shows off his acid-breaks roots before he moves into his tech-funk sound of today, before quickly mixing into the housier sounds of Felix da Housecat’s “Oops”, giving the dance floor a short rest before throwing down more heavy tech-funk beats and basslines.
While personally I wasn’t much of a fan of Shack’s revamp of Nero’s remix of “Sincere”, I was quite happy to hear his version of the Smashing Pumpkins hit “1979,” which was featured on The Crystal Method’s “Community Service 2” mix CD. This tune lightened the mood of this otherwise quite heavy set before dropping into the fiery depths of hell with the even heavier final tracks of the mix.
Dubstep. The popular sound in underground electronic music today. Huge basslines and big broken beats. This sound really fits in well with Shack’s sets and is a perfect way to make a set full of big dirty basslines even bigger and dirtier. While I prefer the original, the Elite Force revamp of dubstep God, Excision’s, “Subsonic” was the perfect track to link the breaks sounds of “1979” into Shack’s collaboration with another of dubstep’s heavyweights, Bar 9, before finishing off this monster of a mix with another excerpt from the monologue found in the intro.