Stopped by Sound Emporium Friday night for a rare appearance by NYC breakdancing legend Crazy Legs (from the Rock Steady crew) as a DJ, courtesy of Quadrasonic .
Crazy Legs didn't mix like most modern hiphop DJs, playing a set of classic underground disco and funk without much scratching or mixing. The lack of technical showboating didn't have a negative effect, though. The dance floor was full, and for a change we saw lots of movement outside of the various breakdancing circles that kept spontaneously forming. Bag of Trix and Supernatural performed some organized breakdancing, but because the club doesn't have a real stage, most people couldn't see it.
The impressive-sized crowd was a mix of hiphop heads, deep house fans and some art scenesters. Speaking of art, a strange collection of paintings and sculptures downstairs seemed to go over the heads of most in attendance and didn't have a clear connection with the rest of the event. Closing out the night, DJ Aki took over after Crazy Legs, moving from his late-70s sound into a set of 80s classics.
Metro Area are one of the most talked about duos in underground dance music so far this century. They've revitalized several genres with their curious mix of disco, techno, R&B and house. Frequently lumped in with the electro revival, their sound actually has little in common with that scene other than a love for vintage synth sounds.
Morgan Geist , the better-known half of the team, was spinning in town last Saturday at Project , as part of Fascination , one of the few local events focusing on this as-yet-unnamed genre combining elements of rock, techno, new wave and disco.
Project, a much nicer club than its location would suggest, seems to have made a move toward more clubby events and away from the upscale lounge identity it had been chasing. The shift suits the decor, which is cold and minimal but not quite as raw as a bare warehouse space.
The Fascination team of Andrew Allsgood , Mike Tull and Eric and Cody were warming up the dance floor as Geist sorted through his records, and you could feel the anticipation. Sometime around 1:30 am he took over, dropping a colourful set of disco classics, synthesizer funk, melodic techno and that new, as-yet-unnamed stuff.
His mixing was solid but not flashy. Where he really shone was in his programming, keeping the vibe eclectic without seeming random.
There's apparently a Metro Area mix CD in the works, so you can still hear how he DJs if you missed this. Hopefully, it won't be too long before they drop another artist album - the world needs more Metro Area.
Roger Sanchez is the kind of house DJ who wins Grammies and plays huge parties in Ibiza with other superstars. Generally, that type of DJ isn't that dedicated to the actual DJing, but in Sanchez's case he's still known for his marathon sets as well as his widely listened-to Internet radio show heard through his personal site. He recently won best DJ at the London House Music Awards, so he's on a roll.
Saturday night he was the special guest at Lust Nightclub 's weekly late-night party, Arc . As you'd expect, it was a busy night, the best attended yet. Strangely, they decided not to open the third-floor lounge, but the packed main floor still had room to dance.
Sanchez wasn't playing quite as soulful as his radio show, instead sticking closer to a harder "big room" sound. He still managed to keep the vibe somewhat eclectic, but with too much buildup and tension and not enough release.