The Play Records crew brought UK deep house DJ Burdy (half of Baby Mammoth) to Surface last Saturday for a warm, intimate evening of organic bouncy beats.
Surface, the bottom floor of Roxy Blu, has been slowly renovated over the past couple of years into a comfortable, spacious lounge. There's still plenty of room to dance, but there are also lots of couches for those more interested in conversation.
Taking the decks at around 12:30 am, Burdy kept things upbeat and funky, a mood that suited the room and kept the dance floor full. He's a good mixer but doesn't waste a lot of energy on tricks and fancy transitions.
The turnout was decent, but I couldn't help noticing that the Play Records crew can pull in way more heads for an unofficial warehouse jam than they can to a legitimate club.
It could be that this venue has been host to too many of these kinds of events and the crowd is growing tired of partying in the same club each weekend.
On the other hand, many partiers admit that their real reason for searching out underground parties is the freedom to smoke a joint without being turfed to the curb by anxious security.
Since clubs are legally held responsible for the drug use of their clientele, most take a pretty hard-line stance on the one drug that police can detect easily. As a result, some clubs end up inadvertently encouraging harder substances that can be more easily hidden -- ironically leading to a druggier vibe than in many illegal booze cans.
Luckily, Surface doesn't tend to attract the hard drug crowd, so the vibe is more on the wholesome side, whether the potheads come out or not.
You know spring is in the air when Garage 416 starts using both floors of Roxy Blu again.
Last Friday's presentation of Naked Music's Mark Andrus was well attended, but there wasn't much mood. Andrus is definitely a more than competent DJ, but the mellow, glittery Naked Music sound doesn't have enough soul and passion to get this crowd really moving.
Good thing there were four rooms in use, as those who weren't feeling Andrus could dance in the basement to Kevin Williams or the Blueprint crew.
You had to feel for the Poundhouse team last Friday. Their presentation of New Jersey house producer Richard Les Crees at Aria's warehouse space was almost empty. As Hali (resident Poundhouse DJ) said at the door, "You win some, you lose some."
Too bad nobody showed up. Hali had tuned the battered sound system to the best it's ever sounded in that room. Richard Les Crees did his best to get the handful of partiers moving, but he was fighting an uphill battle that he was destined to lose.
Aria's bottom floor has always felt more like a lounge than a club, so it makes sense to do a mellow, jazzy downtempo party there.
Dragonfly is a weekly Sunday-night affair featuring different guests each week and no cover. Last week offered Choko and Andrew Allsgood spinning R&B-inspired broken beats and abstract funk to a small but cheerful crowd. This is one of the few regular events to feature the jazzier side of the breakbeat spectrum, so if you're absolutely sick of house, give this a try.