LeGram were set to cap off a stellar inaugural year of parties - celebrating the ever increasing success of their Vinyl Garden (LEGRAM VG), which has gone from strength to strength both as a thriving social music hub, and record shop full of sought after and hidden gems. After an exhilarating summer featuring the likes of Nicolas Lutz, DJ Masda, The Ghost and more. They were set to put the cherry on the cake by inviting one of their favourite selectors on the planet: Onur Ozer. It was arguably set to be the highlight of the LeGram party calendar so far. And it was this time two years ago that few were lucky enough to witness his whirlwind set at the Farinet in Verbier during Polaris Festival, organised by Legram’s very own Oscar Conway in December 2018.
Unfortunately due to the continuing global travel restrictions, the date has been rescheduled for 2021, but nevertheless we invited previous guest and friend of the shop, Ethan McNamara, to give us an insight of what to expect...
“It’s easy to talk about a certain modern stream of underground “digger” DJs in comparison to their peers: who has the hype tracks and the hot selections? Those who have shunned commercial clubs and big lineups in favor of intimate venues. Preferring fine-tuned soundsystems and dedicated educated crowds that have embraced boundary breaking music, exposing a new and hungry generation to a slew of obscure and overlooked electronic music that embraces seemingly unglamorous locations and distills the best elements of rave culture. A DJ you would be more likely to see at a 24 hour rave in Ukraine or Berlin than in the glitz and glamour of Ibiza.
But frivolous and derivative 90’s Organ House this is not. This is Onur Özer. The incomparable former Cocoon stablemate that only ten short years ago was himself playing peak time at the closing of Amnesia with the likes of Ricardo Villalobos and Raresh. After a mysterious and extended break away from the limelight, and rumours of him travelling the globe to empty entire record shops and vinyl warehouses buying up frankly frightening amounts of records, he returned with full force: with a raucous yet laser focused acid rave style that was quick to turn heads in the late stages of the minimal tech-house era that had swept the world's most popular nightclubs.
Ever the enigma, both his persona and track selections have been constantly shrouded in mystery. What was his big secret? He was playing Belgian New Beat, mixed into Detroit Electro. Forgotten Techno into Trance played on the wrong speed. Unreleased dubplates, next to turn of the century nu-skool breaks into his own productions and edits - all delivered with his typical signature: a powerful and infectiously raw sound thread that runs effortlessly throughout. Records that grab you by the scruff of the neck and demand your attention. Itchy, menacing and mischievous bass grooves that get under your skin and stay there.
But there always seemed to be some other little bit of magic, some piece of the puzzle that regular DJs were missing and couldn’t get their hands on. Because what may sound simple when described on paper, is no mean feat. Incredibly difficult to cohesively craft, nevermind perfect with such finesse. And many DJs exist out there that (intentionally or otherwise) end up sounding like an imitation of another - but nobody sounds like Onur Ozer. You can guarantee when you are standing on the dancefloor in front of him that nobody else in the world is hearing that searing new vision of club music at the exact moment, and that is an incredibly special thing, that makes the atmosphere at his parties totally electric. His ability to create euphoria through bold and brave sounds are unrivalled, his robotic themes that evoke spaced out sci-fi imagery are expansive but never cliché, his technical mixing ability often unfathomably seamless for the outlandish complexity of his record selections. It is that special alchemy of factors that has gained him such a devoted cult following, not just for the one “big bomb track of the night” but for the relentless melting pot of sound where the rising temperature and drama that unfolds in his sets is circulated barely in whispers