QUANTIC @ Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
April 4, 2015
Will Holland (Quantic,) other than being a world renowned DJ from England, is a well-rounded and versatile musician who has experience playing more than a dozen different instruments. In his other well known project, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, he will often play guitar as the front man during live performances.
I was expecting a unique show, but I wasn’t prepared for the wide range of musical influences that he was sharing throughout the night, including bossa nova, Cumbia, funk, jazz, soul, and African drum rhythms. A good amount of the music that Quantic spins is actually composed and arranged by him, while many others would sample existing music.
With a birds-eye view of the stage from the edge of the balcony I was able to watch every subtle movement of the master at work. He had a collection of 45s behind him that he was switching out seamlessly throughout the show. Judging by the way he was digging through them in between tracks it looked as though he was improvising his entire set.
I have never seen a DJ with such busy hands as he was constantly adjusting and tweaking everything, from the speed of each turntable and needle placement to the volume and drum machine settings.
While most DJs I’ve seen will send the crowd on a roller coaster ride of build ups and break downs, Quantic managed to pull off one consistent build up throughout the entire set. He began the show with a smooth jazz introduction and an elegant rhythmic touch to allow the crowd to get comfortable, then within 20 minutes he had everybody in the venues feet moving to an intricate Brazilian samba. He eventually had Lincoln Hall resonating as if they had a full size funk band on stage, and with the incredible sound quality this place offers, the crowd was soaking it up like a sponge.
Without a single break in the music, he managed to sneak in a few short comments such as “thank you Chicago” and “let’s have a dance.” I can say I don’t think I have seen an audience enjoy themselves this much in quite a while.
Next time you see Quantic coming to your town, polish up your dancing shoes and grab some friends for a great night out.