hot stepper steppin' up
L.A. isn't exactly known for its deep house scene, but Marques Wyatt is the big exception. At Surface's Garage 416 night on Saturday, he spun a very deep and soulful set, in many ways similar to how Toronto DJs interpret the deep house and garage sound. He played a backroom that was full and sweaty, and the vast majority of the crowd was dancing by the end of the night.
Strange that while most promoters in this genre have slowed down over the past year, the Hot Stepper team is doing even more these days. You could restrict yourself completely to their events and still have something to do at least every other weekend.
And despite declining fortunes in general within the garage scene, they're still drawing decent crowds. It all speaks to the relationship they've built with their audience.
Habitat has started a new Tuesday-night industry party called Wire, featuring Nathan Barato and Ben Jammin. All the other Habitat DJ nights have been put on hold until the weather improves, but expect to start hearing about some new replacements soon.
This party is somewhat house-focused, but you'll hear some funk as well. A good crowd came out, especially considering it's just started and that it's an early-in-the-week party. Look for all your favourite local bartenders dancing up a storm on their night off. Can't wait till the patio reopens. It should be packed to the rafters by then.
Chicago's Johnny Fiasco usually plays much larger venues locally, so it was surprising to see him in Element's relatively intimate basement last Friday. Even more surprising was the fact that it wasn't uncomfortably packed. That space was definitely full by the time he took over the decks, but the upstairs was almost empty. It's obvious that not enough people knew about Fiasco's appearance.
His set showcasing his trademark funky bumpin' house sound was fairly eclectic for a strictly house mix, but it felt a bit like he was just throwing everything he had at the crowd, trying to get a reaction. One moment he'd approach the cheesier side of the spectrum, the next he'd get deep and minimal. It ended up sounding disjointed rather than exciting. Still worth checking out next time he's here. No one's magical every night.