For the first hour of his 90-minute set at Ocean Club Marina Bay on Sunday night, Eric Prydz unfurled a house music sound as basic as it gets. there was a bottom beat — free of gimmickry and arena-rock scrim, a fiercely focused saunter and stroll similar to the minimalist claw and creep that Popof, an underground DJ, spun at RISE Club two weeks ago. Coming from a DJ/producer famed for the polished pop of “Every Day,” Prydz’s bling-free beat and rhythm presentation surprised. At Ocean Club one is used to hearing acrobatic burp — hair band music on a mixboard, or slats of grunge, or the child’s play crayoning of “electro.” Prydz did none of these.. What he did do was funk and blues — Prydz loves 1980s funk — and, at times, a sigh of soul. It worked. The Ocean Club crowd packed itself shoulder to hip and head to back and, as if one body, it pulsed, it stomped, raised hands; it swayed and cheered.
Prydz — full name Eric Sheridan Prydz, according to his bio; he comes from the suburbs of Stockholm — has a full crate of such defiantly pure tracks — six or seven years of it. There’s “Woz not Woz,” (honoring 1980s cult band Was not Was); a re-mix of Switch’s “A Bit Patch,”; “Genesis”; and the in-your-face body bump that is re-mix made of M83’s “1983.” A similar history could be applied to many DJs who play pop-dance venues like Ocean Club; but few such DJs play their purist music there. Not so Prydz. For an entire hour he played his early purist music and shaped it to a purist standard, too, on two channels and a mixboard.
The crowd loved it. “This is why i am here tonight !” exclaimed a well-known local DJ who rarely goes Ocean clubbing.
Though Prydz loves 1980s funk, he also likes 1980s-1990s glam-rock — has remixed tracks by Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd, among others. It shows. In the manner of these bands, his anthems not only shine, they breathe — think “Midnight City,’; which Prydz used — exquisitely — at Ocean Club as a bridge from low funk to high polish.
As for “Every Day,” it delivers the most convincing message any pop song of this decade has spoken : “if every day is like this, how can we survive / working days on the night shift trying to stay alive.” It’s a working-class message; and Prydz’s fans at Ocean Club were every bit that: unhip haircuts, attired in tacky tops, last year’s bling, sports logos, and cheap heels. Still, being hip isn’t everything…
The final 30 minutes of Prydz’s set lifted his sound from road-noise house to an orchestrated Europop as flossy as any concert today’s Paris to Moscow dares stage. Prydz regaled his song in orchestral brocade; necked it in sonic jewelry; tiara-topped it with a ring of techno; The audience could feel what was coming next: the hit.
It came. Like a working-class hero king, “Every Day” read out its charter of exhaustion’s right to survive; to be listened to. A grand finale “Every Day” had to be; and was. Grand and final, a magnificent last word.
—- Deedee Freedberg / Feelin’ the Music