Diamond in the not-so-rough
It's strange how much a venue can affect the feel of an event. If you transplanted the audience and performers from last Friday's Diamond Life party at the Drake Underground to a weird little hole in the wall, the atmosphere would inarguably be rowdier and much less polite and sedate.
This was the Diamond Life, though, and the theme kind of suits the Drake's upmarket swankiness. The indie scene doesn't have to be low-rent all the time, and some people took more time to dress up than you'd usually expect at this kind of party.
We walked in at around half-past midnight to find out that we'd just missed a surprise appearance by Jake Fairley 's more melodic pseudonym, Fairmont . Adam Marshall claimed that the whole set was trance, which would be something of a departure from Fairmont's ambient beginnings but definitely in line with more recent releases. Trance has been derided by the underground for just long enough that it's now cool to admit you like it.
The official headliner, Lowfish , was already laying down his trademark traditionalist electro. Some tracks were dark and minimalist, while others came closer to Kraftwerk's lushness. Toward the end, he broke away from the electro breakbeat for a track that sounded more like techno's abbreviated four-on-the-floor thump, propelled by a jagged deranged synth riff.
Garage 416 is no longer a monthly event, but every so often something pops up. Saturday night at Gypsy Co-op was a bit different from a normal Garage 416 event, though; instead of a big-name headlining DJ and a full-on promotion campaign, the organizers simply sent out an e-mail saying that someone from Spiritual Life Music would be spinning and that the label didn't want it advertised. Many hoped it might be label head Joe Claussell , who played for Garage 416 at Boa-Redux a couple of months ago. Instead, the guest turned out to be Kamati Pinkston , who is Claussell's manager and also helps run the label. Not quite a big name, but we hadn't really been promised one, and Gypsy Co-op isn't a big venue anyway.
Despite the minimal and vague advertising, a good-sized crowd came out, and it got busy enough that the staff had to start clearing tables away to make room.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if they announced a party with no hints about DJs at all. The promoters are established enough at this point that people do come out just because it's Garage 416.
After a warmup set by Moreno , Pinkston stepped up to the decks and let the last record run out. When the silence continued, people started to doubt that the break was intentional, and sure enough, a few songs into his set it became evident from his short and rough mixes that he's not an experienced DJ.
Still, the crowd was dancing, and Pinkston looked like he was having a great time, dancing around and posing. He played some decent tunes and obviously has a passion for the music, but he needs to be tighter if he's going to be booked as a headliner.