Cops out in force at Tangier
The big news in the deep house scene last week was the highly anticipated opening of Tangier , the new warehouse-style club launched by the team behind Tangerine Lounge and the long-running Bump N' Hustle and Garage 416 parties. Interzone Saturdays are described on the flyers in much the same language used for open-format indie-disco nights, but with more of an emphasis on house and hiphop. Still, residents Mike Tull and Kevin Williams are more deeply rooted in the DJ tradition than the indie rock scene.
The new club feels like a big-room venue: the sound is huge and crisp, there are lots of fancy nights (maybe a few too many for this kind of vibe), and the renovations seem to have carved more usable dance-floor space out of the room.
Despite the heavy rain, the club drew a capacity crowd as well as a surprising amount of police interest. At around 1 am there were about 10 uniformed cops flanking the door, staring down the hopefuls waiting in line. One officer quipped, "We heard this was a happening club, so we thought we'd check it out" when asked why they'd devoted so much precious manpower to a crowd that's notoriously well behaved.
Whatever the reason, you'd think in the wake of the police payoff scandal the cops would be a bit more sensitive to public relations.
Saturday night, live house band King Sunshine brought Detroit deep house DJ/producer Theo Parrish to Funhaus . King Sunshine have been playing a lot lately, so it was surprising (in a good way) to see that their crowd is still willing to come out to hear them play week after week. Granted, many were there for Parrish, but his left-field approach to house scares off as many as it attracts. Nobody really sounds like Parrish when he DJs. The only modern music he plays consists of quirky and dark experimental house tracks alternating with obscure weirdo disco classics and re-edits, all of it played much slower than the 125-BPM standard.
At times he'll remove the bass from a record for almost half the track before cranking it in to devastating effect, and he bangs his head in the DJ booth as if he were at a Black Sabbath show. Sure, his mixes are seldom tight, but that's to be expected when pretty much every other track was recorded before drum machines.
In the past, the King Sunshine and Theo Parrish gigs have happened at Reverb (which is affiliated with Funhaus), but the move has been good for the party. While both have sound systems powerful enough for Parrish's EQ-tweaking DJ style, something about Funhaus's layout feels more like a party and less like a concert.
Lady D stays tight
Tantric sessions celebrated their first anniversary Friday by bringing Chicago's Lady D to Hush/Underbar alongside resident Michael Drury . Fridays at Hush have been picking up steam for a little while now, and promoters with similar styles - somewhere between soulful and banging - rotate throughout the month.
Lady D was a founding member of the Super Jane collective (along with Colette, Dayhota and Heather), and has been making a name for herself for her versatile, funky style. She mixed out of Drury's soulful warm-up set into some dirty tech-house, and throughout the night made her way through some Chicago classics, some chunky disco cut-ups and a few vocals.
Her mixing was tight and confident, and well-wishers were crowding her in the booth.