Oh My Goat was a good beach party. I am old and increasingly grumpy and generally can’t tolerate this shizz, but they actually put on a good safe, electronic dance party. Why was it different? The theme was non retarded (not Pirates Cabin or disco with mermaids or whatever), the marketing was good (spelled correctly plus), the music was different (electric guitar, DJ Shiyam), and the venue was safe (no booze sold, respectful security). So, good job Asvi and Subha and Andre and whoever else organized it.
Why is Oh My Goat different from the usual party? Basically, quality. As far as I know, DJ Shiyam effectively started the electronic/rave scene in Sri Lanka. When it started the parties were essentially people that all knew each other, then it grew to fairly big events organized rather badly, frequented by dodgy men who were into drinking and letching more than the music. I’m not connecting that to Shiyam, it’s just that the scene got big and ugly fast.
Events like Oh My Goat and (I assume) Freshly Squeezed are different because they’re organized smarter and better (by Bang Bang). Hence, the marketing material is creative, funny and well done. When you walk in, the security guys aren’t dicks. Inside, there’s cool and thoughtful blacklight art and video displays. They don’t serve booze, but rather fruit juice. People can bring their own alcohol, but not having people getting wasted makes a huge difference.
The music is also different, and better. I’m not a major electro/minimal techno whatever fan. This is what I listen to. That said, DJ Shiyam is still an amazing and surprising DJ (check out his soundcloud). He plays danceable electronic music and has an uncanny feel for a crowd and its momentum.
Asvajit is an old friend who started playing guitar in a band with now author Shehan Karunatilake. He switched to electronica and has come quite far as a DJ, though it’s honestly a bit minimal for me. The crowd loves it and he has mastered the art of producing a party. Tareeq is an excellent and (rare for Sri Lanka) original DJ. He played some great funk and soul tracks, which I found really refreshing. As openers, they had some guitar/electronic mixes from Rudy and Shanil (which I enjoyed, interesting hearing rock riffs at this type of party) and Randev (which I missed). I know Geve and he plays interesting stuff, but the mixing stuttered. I was in and out and didn’t hear the rest of the headliners. I heard that Sunara’s debut was good.
So, those are my impressions of last weeks beach party. We go out like once a month and it was worth the babysitting and the trip. Am I into the scene that much anymore? Nope. Is it nice that the scene is getting better? For sure.