Once I found out back in the beginning of June that one of my absolute favorite DJs, Erick Morillo, was returning to Joey Harrison’s Surf Club on July 7th, 2012 I knew this would be an easily unforgettable day of my summer. Morillo spends most of his summers in Ibiza or other foreign countries, and is rarely around the tri-state area. So if you’re any type of fan of his, you know you shouldn’t miss a day like that because he won’t be back around till the fall.
I honestly did not know what to expect from Erick Morillo that Sunday. The last time I had seen him was at Ultra Music Festival where I believe his set was not the Morillo I originally fell in love with so very long ago. I loved the Morillo who had the amazing Subliminal Session podcasts filled with music by underground DJs and plenty of deep house music. In the last year he has formed a group called Sympho Nympho, which is himself, Harry Choo Choo Romero and Jose Nunez. Most of the tracks he had released under that title are a clear sign of his style transformation. The last two times I had seen him, he opened with one of the new tracks by Sympho Nympho. Although I am all for change, I wanted the old Morillo back who would play tracks you couldn’t even ID. Well, I got exactly what I wanted!
If you’ve never been to Surf Club, it’s pretty much a beach club, and it was a gorgeous day. You can either be outside on the beach and hear the music from inside, on the deck where the bar is, or inside where the DJ is. The sound system inside gets extremely loud, no joke, which is exactly how I like to hear my music. I always say if I can have a conversation with you, then the music isn’t loud enough. This was not the case at Surf Club, unless you’re outside.
I arrived around 2:00PM assuming that Morillo would come on at 5:00PM like he did the previous year. The first DJ that was playing when I arrived was an absolute mess. It felt like I was listening to an old iPod of mine, needless to say I couldn’t wait for his set to be over. Around 4:00PM, a DJ named Paige saved the day. This was one of the best opening sets I had seen from someone in a very long time. What I loved most was he was able to incorporate deep tech-house tracks and even with a little bit of electro in it. The key to a set is your flow, and Paige certainly did not lack flow. The time flew by because of how much I enjoyed his set and I was now ready for Morillo.
It was around 7:00PM when I heard screams and looked up and saw the infamous black head phones with “Erick Morillo” in gold letters and I couldn’t help but smile. Thankfully, as I said before, I got exactly what I wanted from him. This time approaching his set differently, he opened with a filthy drum beating track that made everyone go completely nuts. For me, the opening track of your set is the key to how the rest of it will go.
Now Morillo’s hometown is Jersey so I know he had some important people to please with this set. Needless to say he did impress me and many others. There were times I found myself saying “What is this track?” more than just once or twice. Although there were a few odd transitions like when he dropped a techy track and then went into the “We Found Love” vocals, other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire four hours of his set.
It actually was not enough– I’m used to seeing him at Pacha NYC where he plays literally all night long. The only Sympho Nympho track he played was “Colors”. The rest were all tracks that I could not ID with the exception of a few he normally plays, which let us know he was digging deep.
It’s not just what Morillo plays that makes him one of the best DJs to see, but it’s the passion you can see as he’s DJing. Sometimes he’ll play tracks that make it seem he loves them so much tears almost come down his face. Almost every track you can see him literally singing along to the beat. This isn’t just for one performance but every single time I have ever seen him. It’s one of the main reason why I think highly of him, passion is important and it’s one thing he will never lose.
*PHOTOS: Courtesty of Pacha NYC*