On the weekend of August 21st, I made a pilgrimage down to Watkins Glen, NY, for Magnaball, the 10th festival hosted by Phish. The weekend was one of the greatest experiences of my life, but this article is not about Phish. After the third glorious day of music we were sent off with a fireworks display of epic proportions, after which my friends and I navigated the sci-fi themed festival grounds one last time before saying goodbye. In the distance, we heard the serene calling of building synthesizers which seemed to be coming from the direction of the giant drive-in movie screen that was built to host the now-famous “Drive-in Jam” on Saturday night. As we approached, we entered one of the greatest dance parties I have ever attended. Hosted by Montreal’s DJ Freeworm and Franky Selector, and accompanied by a screen full of psychedelic visuals, those that were not ready to quit on the festival engaged in an overjoyed boogie that never seemed to end. These DJs did the impossible. They managed to provide the perfect musical follow-up to three consecutive days of mind-blowing music.
DJ Freeworm and Franky Selector’s buoyant mix, now being called “Sunday at the Drive-In”, came up with ethereal and calming synthesizers that build into a steady groove. As the first track reached its end and the sound of wolves howling came over the speakers (a sound that would become a theme for the mix), the DJs steered us into the realm of afrobeat to get us on our feet. We danced our way through the worlds of funk, disco, soul, folk, and reggae, ecstatic each time a new track emerged in the mix. Each song was delightfully altered by the DJs to form something almost unrecognizable. The time and creativity required to craft each track of the mix was evident from start to finish, providing an equally engaging experience for those who just wanted to dance and for those who wanted to be transported by the music alone.
The way the mix ended is yet another reason why this mix will live on long after the festival. Instead of taking us dancing right to the last beat, DJ Freeworm and Franky Selector peacefully wound us down with three lullaby tracks that formed the perfect closer for such a magnanimous weekend. First, a cross between Radiohead’s “No Surprises” and the Louis Armstrong version of “What a Wonderful World”. To continue the unwinding, we were lulled into a slowed down version of the Phish ballad “Waste”. The last of the trio was “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Doris Day. As the final chord faded out, we were left with nothing but a feeling of utmost satisfaction.
Fortunately, that night was not our last opportunity to listen to DJ Freeworm and Franky Selector’s mix. Someone has posted the entire thing on soundclound, which I have embedded below. I do not know whether this mix was actually released by the DJs involved. If it was not, I apologize profusely and will edit it out of this post as soon as I find out. For now, enjoy “Sunday at the Drive-In” in all its glory.