Studio 99 has been revived as a party venue for another brief run, since the new owners aren't ready to start construction. Some might see the repeated "last party ever" events as a cheap ploy to keep people coming out, but every time the warning was given, it genuinely looked like the space would no longer be available for rentals.
This time around, Black Market brought in Detroit's Theo Parrish to headline alongside Adam Marshall for a late-night set Saturday in the infamous dark warehouse space. Parrish had just started up his abstract funk journey when we got there, and proceeded over the next four hours to move through mind-fuck techno, disco obscurities, deep house, Latin and soul.
For much of the night he barely bothered to mix but hardly took his hands off the EQ, tweaking the bass in and out and often letting just the high end play for whole verses before slamming it in for the chorus.
It's an esoteric approach to the art of DJing for anyone accustomed to smoothly mixed sets of similar-sounding tunes, and Parrish tends to split audiences quite sharply because of it. For everyone freaking out on the dance floor and cheering, someone else was proclaiming him "the worst DJ ever" in the bathroom.
Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, you can't deny the passion and seriousness with which he approaches music.
Only the day before, news started spreading of Detroit hiphop producer Jay Dee 's untimely death due to complications from lupus, and Parrish dropped a few Jay Dee tracks during his set, not caring that instrumental hiphop wasn't what the warehouse crowd was expecting. Some might see that as self-indulgence, but DJing shouldn't be about crowd-pleasing all the time.
Sydney Blu plays chunky, aggressive house at a variety of venues around town, including Full Moon Thursdays at Beba , which has grown to be a fairly consistent party, occasionally featuring out-of-town guests playing intimate sets before their weekend gigs in the big clubs.
This past week saw Detroit's Anthony Attalla headlining, in town for his first time to play four gigs over the weekend. And you thought your weekend was hectic.
While he may be Detroit-based, Attalla is miles away from someone like Theo Parrish. He played tight and punchy tech-house, driving and dark. He was pounding it out, and the dance floor was appreciative, but you could hear Beba's sound system straining against the bass. There's almost enough power to handle it, but it's very obvious when the DJ hits that wall.
Popped into the Queenshead pub on the way home Thursday night for the tail end of Shack Up and found that MSTRKRFT were playing an impromptu set at the popular weekly indie dance. They also ended up being booked by AD/D as the surprise guests at Now Magazine 's Love & Sex party the next night -- apparently, they've been trying to get in practice for upcoming European gigs, and have been itching to play their dirty disco rock beats wherever they can.