Wed, June 13
Guitars and down Low
We started the night out at a pretty ridiculous Guitar Hero night at 751 . It's exactly what it sounds like: people taking turns playing the virtual guitar video game while their drunken friends cheer them on. Weird, but more fun than you'd think.
After getting our fill of virtual rock, we made our way down to the Social , where Low B (half of Hollertronix) and NYC's Eli Escobar were the special guests.
Unlike many of the DJs who tend to be booked for hipster crowds, these guys both came up the old-school way and actually know their way around the turntables.
It would be nice to say that their superior technical skills make for a better dancing experience, but at the end of the day most people just want to hear the tunes. Luckily, experience makes for smarter track selection as well as the good sense to know when to stay out of the way instead of indulging in turntable wankery.
Fri, June 15
Since leaving the Basement Boys to concentrate on his own productions, Baltimore's DJ Karizma has really started to make a name for himself. His timing couldn't be better; the Baltimore club sound he originally cut his teeth on before moving to deep house is currently the hot new discovery of the indie scene, which makes his edgy and tough take on house seem particularly fresh and contemporary.
His set at Crosstown easily lived up to the high standard his previous appearances have set, once again impressing the room with his creative use of the CD decks as well as some incredibly inspired juxtapositions that injected genuine new energy into familiar old tunes, not to mention the plethora of hot new shit he dropped during the night.
Crosstown still feels like it's finding its identity, but the deep house scene has wholeheartedly embraced it - not surprising given how similar the vibe is to the warehouse parties where many first fell for this sound.
It's dark, the lighting is bare bones, the bass pounding and the shiny hardwood floor great to dance on. We just hope they turn the air conditioning on soon - on a busy night like this, it's a sauna.
Sat, June 16
Knife's cutting edge
Made it to Sneaky Dee 's just as Knifehandchop took the stage at this month's edition of Fuckfaces .
Initially, it sounded like the speakers might have blown, but then a big chunky beat dropped over the abrasive distorted crunching and it became clear that it was all part of the plan.
That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the set: scary broken-sounding noises over booming kick drums, with chopped up bits of hiphop a cappellas and pop trash on top.
Knifehandchop's live sets currently fall somewhere between those of a DJ and a laptop musician. Much of it is his own tracks, reworked and remixed live, but he also uses the same software to throw in whatever else he feels like.
Often it ends up being kind of hilarious - layering booty vocals over Underworld, for example, or speeding a Daft Punk classic up to hardcore rave speed. The last half of the set felt a little too fast to dance to comfortably, but, then again, maybe I'm just getting old.