There are few DJs more synonymous with the Melbourne EDM scene and the city’s distinct sound than Will Sparks. While Will Sparks continues to produce new tracks, such as last month’s ‘Untouchable’ feat. Aimee Dalton, he also continues to curate mixtapes and sets as part of his Sparks Mania series. This week’s mix, clocking in at 54:47, is a tightly curated package that effortlessly embodies the Melbourne sound.
For just under an hour, Will Sparks does what he does best. He hammers the audience with wild and varied sounds, arranged to thump the audience and make them bounce. Every song introduces small, simple and contrasting loops to slowly build up a groove. These sections are relatively relaxed, but that is not to say they aren’t aggressive and unapologetic in Sparks’ desire to energise his listener. As these sequences build up, a crescendo is reached before a drop. While this structure won’t be scoring any points for innovation, it is emblematic of the style Spark’s has pioneered. Every drop is exhilarating. It is big house, with huge synths and broad soundscapes, but with enough bounce to give the mix some versatility.
Throughout the track list there is an interesting mix of pop, house and techno but it is all grounded in Sparks’ distinct Melbourne flavour. Some heavy hitters like Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 appear, but the best tracks are Sparks’ own. The previously mentioned ‘Untouchable’ feat. Aimee Dalton is featured, but the absolute best is his remix of Similou’s ‘All This Love’. The bass work is exceptional and the bright, upbeat electronica song is transformed into a dark and haunting dance number.
Will Sparks remains first and foremost a DJ. Despite releasing new tracks, it is his willingness to explore different genres that creates an interesting middle ground. Will Sparks’ Sparks Mania series is a small taste of Sparks’ eclectic EDM influences and the way he channels them into a distinct sound.