Against the System
You don't often get to hear soulful house in a big club that goes all night any more. So it was a bit of an occasion last Saturday when Milk brought Little Louie Vega (of deep house icons Masters at Work ) and Dimitri from Paris to System Soundbar .
Arriving a little after 2 am, we found Dimitri hitting the crowd hard with hands-in-the-air screaming-diva disco classics and house. People here are more used to harder and darker electronic sounds, but they were surprisingly receptive to Dimitri's trademark disco strut.
Vega, who finally came on at around 3 am, brought the mood down at first to get his set started. That drove out some who expected things to get harder by that time. Within a few mixes, though, he'd picked up the tempo and a second shift of partiers started to replace those who'd left.
Vega's approach wasn't particularly innovative. He played some pretty obvious anthems and classics to keep the MAW fans happy, but he alternated with some heavy and dark tracks to keep the System regulars on the floor. Toward the end, he even got into some electro-rock and broken beat.
It was strange that few familiar faces from the garage scene attended a gig with both Dimitri and Vega. You'd think they'd venture into the club district for two DJs as big as these. I'm guessing they were put off by their perception of System Soundbar as too ravey.
File this one under weird: David Cooper and Alex "G Party" Bowes as hosts of Classic House Karaoke . Saturday night at Lounge 88 , Cooper brought out all the classic house anthems and supplied the participants with lyric sheets and song lists. Unfortunately, few had the balls to step up to the mic, a gap Bowes and Cooper filled with their two-pronged MC approach. Cooper rocked the turntables while Bowes wandered around the club with a cordless mic harassing patrons and berating them for their lack of party attitude.
Cooper had some great moments on the decks, cutting up the classics and constantly teasing us with snippets of tracks. The rambling on the mic was a bit much at times, but the night was still good rowdy fun.
Also on Saturday night, NYC production duo the Glass ( Dominique Keegan and Glen Brady ) DJed together at the Hooch . They had an extra turntable and mixer next to the in-house system, which allowed one to scratch while the other mixed. They bounced from acid-house-inspired tracks and new wave to garage rock and indie-disco.
Because Keegan had also played the night before, the crowd wasn't that big, but a decent number were still out. The dance floor wasn't consistently full, and whenever the DJs jumped genres, some people left the floor and others took their place. That's one of the drawbacks of playing mixed genre music for a mixed crowd.