Set Review: maDJam Live At Chill O’posite Festival Dahab 2017
Lebanese DJ icon and industry pioneer maDJam closes the first day of Chill O’posite with an old school masterclass in crowd control.
If you had to name artists with direct influence on the regional scene’s growth, Ahmad Ajam’s name can’t go unmentioned. He truly is one of the driving forces that helped build a foundation for what we see today.
However, Ajam isn’t only about DJing anymore, he now owns two of Beirut’s newest hotspots; Off & On and Skin City. He’s been running a radio show since 2000, and he's also a Pioneer brand ambassador for the Middle East - the list just goes on.
While many people think such a busy schedule and stuffed resume either undermine or oversell an artist’s legitimacy, that’s hardly the case here. maDJam is a true DJ’s DJ, he’s walked a fine line between sounds over the years. His one steady quality has always been the ability to set dance floors ablaze regardless of the type of crowd or party.
maDJam was the closing act on Chill O’posite’s opening night on September 1st, taking to the decks at around 1:30 AM. Playing before him was Jordanian artist AMRAY who provided a set of dark grooves and deep melodies. But Ajam came in with his decades of experience, flaunting his crowd control abilities and owned it from track one.He wastes no time with intros and starts off with an Adam Port remix of Lessons’ Tempest. His first track sets the tone nicely and flows perfectly into his second - Solomun’s Remix of The Age of Love. He seamlessly transitions into a progressive house piece from Victor Ruiz of a more hard hitting nature.
Twenty minutes in, maDJam switches out the melodic tunes for a bouncier tech-house approach with two tracks from Camelphat and Riva Starr & Dennis Cruz. He re-introduces more melodious tunes courtesy of Jonathan Kaspar but still maintains a more percussive bass line. He surprises the crowd with a recent classic the distinctive vocals of Rampa’s remix of Deep Musique resonate throughout the club.
With the crowd now completely hypnotised, he carries on the darker progressive tone with more tracks from Victor Ruiz and Hot Since 82. Dense & Pika’s Suki and Isoleé’s Pisco are brought in for a hard hitting bout of techno. The instantly recognisable riff of Âme’s Rej marks the final stretch. He closes it out with pure class, playing Tim Engelhardt’s ethereal track Ida and finally Sasha’s remix of Maribou State’s Rituals ending the night on a stellar note.