britt a hit
The people behind the Benson and Hedges Goldclub parties took a subtler than usual approach to their trademark gold lamé decorations last Saturday for their presentation of Philly-based DJ/producer King Britt at System Soundbar.
In fact, the banners celebrating Bang Saturdays promoter Daniel C's birthday were much more prominent than the cigarette company's paraphernalia. Maybe it's learning that partiers don't like advertising crammed down their throats while they're trying to have a good time.
King Britt's style is much mellower and deeper than most of the DJs who headline at System Soundbar, but interestingly, he didn't adjust his vibe much.
Deep house heads regularly complain that normally soulful DJs are encouraged to play hard and fast at this club, but King Britt filled his set with sexy, smooth vocal tracks and jazzy Latin jams. Toward the middle, he got more techy and pumping, but still stayed true to the vibe he's known for.
Instead of playing it safe and sticking with familiar anthems, he dug a little deeper in his crates to unearth a few undiscovered gems. The crowd took a little while to warm up to his vibe, but once last call cleared out the spectators, the dance floor found its legs.
Funk You Up, a promising new weekly house and soul night, started up last Friday at IV Lounge.
Once inside, it became clear why you had to enter from the side alley. A large stack of speakers had been piled in the front corner where the entrance would normally be, and the tables and chairs had been removed, creating a miniature dance club out of the small lounge.
Speakers and turntables were also set up on the back patio, where DJs Son of Soul and Marc-Andrew provided a warm mix of soul, funk, R&B and hiphop. Unfortunately, the residential neighbourhood surrounding the patio sent a couple of police officers to enforce a noise complaint, so for the rest of the night the outside beats were kept at a cautious level.
Inside, after Peter Bosco's soulful, gospel-infused vocal house opening set and a short spoken-word interlude by Hajile Kalaike, jojoflores stepped up to the turntables and proceeded to rock the dance floor with his versatile, funky take on the house music paradigm. The floor was packed with bodies shaking their asses appreciatively.
Although there was a lot of speaker power crammed into the small, sweaty room, all the DJs wisely kept the volume at a safe and pleasurable level, something more should take note of.
There were still a lot of partiers there when Michael Martin took over the decks well after last call. Hopefully, the party will be able to maintain the momentum from this impressive first night.
Spoken-word artist Hajile Kalaike also showed up at the Rivoli Revue on Sunday night for an open-mike event with a unique twist.
A talented jazz funk band featuring a few members of the Tuesday-night Shugga band from the Lava Lounge improvised deep grooves over which various singers, MCs and poets from the audience did their thing.
In between sets, DJ Roland Deschamps provided some jazzy broken beats, but the real focus of the night was the performers. Incredibly talented unknowns took the stage -- especially Tukou and Saita, daughters of Salome Bey and former members of Blaxam, who were coaxed up to sing together. Hearing them gradually work loose jams into devastating soul epics was definitely worth a generous contribution to the collection jar.
The series continues for one more week, but may become a residency if all goes well.