Archive for April 22, 2010
The problem started in the line to get in the club but we’ll save that for a later time. Since Marques Wyatt exudes a spirit of positivity we shall focus on the positive attributes of the night at CLUB DRAMA.
The affable, Marques Wyatt, Los Angeles’ pioneer of the long running club night Deep, presence was not marked with pretentiousness but by grace and humility. Therefore, Marques allowed the music to speak volumes to draw the crowd’s attention to the dance floor. Actually the aforementioned happened with the first track played, a white label remix from a neo-soul diva crooning, “Crown Royal” over a Quentin Harris treatment. To get everyone on the dance floor, Marques followed with another sensually explicit rap tune from Mr. V, “Jus Dance” which brought out the freak in some dancing with legs in the air and booty gyrations typical of rap music videos. Next to follow, another Quentin Harris remix, this one from neo-soul new comer Lela James titled, “My Joy”. Unfortunately, the instrumental was chosen over the vocals to make room for the next song making this the night’s only musical disappointment. Other than that, Marques pulled out a heavy arsenal of tunes that tore up the spacious patio and damaged every dancer. Every uplifting vocal anthem played vibrated underneath the protective canopy that kept the house heads singing with praise. Several classic 90’s house jams danced along current 21st century chart toppers from Mousse T to Sophie Rubina. Additional notables included, Marques’ favorite, Radiohead, “Everything In Its Right Place” (Afefe Iku Remix), the current chart topping anthem Dennis Ferrer’s, “Hey Hey” (Black Coffee Remix) the song that made for perfect sexually suggestively dancing on the elevated platform in the middle of the dance floor with a fellow female dancer, a lively instrumental of Afefe Iku’s classic, “Mirror Dance” the Yoruba Soul Remix that caught everyone’s intention including those partying in VIP with its bass dropping tech thumps, last year’s sing-along anthem, “Into My Life (You Brought The Sunshine)” by Elements of Life featuring Lisa Fischer and Cindy Mizelle and of course, “Superman” by the DJ of the hour Black Coffee. What a highlight to hear the Yoruba Soul classic, Erro’s, “Change For Me” (Joey Negro Mix) that sent the patio into outer space. However, a remix courtesy from Chicago’s own Abicah Soul of “Careless Whisper” a 1980’s power ballad from a famous pop duo, sent the crowd through the roof. Unfortunately, it would be the final song to end the night against the steady sounds of rain falling from the sky.
Although, heavy rains fell outside, the weather was by no means a reflection of the night. What started out as questionable became an unforgettable night filled with uncompromised quality house music. The atmosphere couldn’t be ruined as Mr. Wyatt used the power of music to heal the scars of the disappointed and effuse joy, hope and love. Those that endured to the end needed no umbrellas because they were covered by the healing power of music, thanks to Marques Wyatt.
Photograph by Karin Smoot courtesy of Divas of House
Inside the club, a storefront pizzeria with a dance floor and DJ booth in the basement, located along the city’s Old Fourth Ward district, the music stopped. No one moved. No one breathed. No one dared make a sound.
“BOOM,” thundered an explosive sound of deep bass followed by a few electronic “clicks.” Then a second, “BOOM” followed by a third, “BOOM” blasted from the speaker in repeated cessions until a clear audible rhythm was realized.
Suddenly, a sharp voice within the silent thick mass of folks dared to speak, “C’mon I need a beat.”
A tall young lady of caramel complexion mentioned before turning her head ever so slightly with an impatient visage while holding her digital camera before capturing snapshots of the night’s special international guest.
Once more caramel complexion demanded, “I need a beat.”
After a two minute build-up of bass thumps and electronic clicks, an afro-tinged beat fell from the heavens that showered the room with manifestations of joy. Look up at the DJ booth. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Superman! Everyone present swayed from left to right with smiles aglow. Finally, their Superman had arrived.
Superman, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound worked the room the only way one with superpowers can. Superman pledged world peace by playing the inspirational, “Someday,” conquering the possessive “JuJu,” defeating heartbreak with the insane “Crazy” and captured the crowd’s praise with the “Home Brewed” breakthrough, “Turn Me On.” In all, there was a little something played for everyone from deep-tech to minimal tribalism. Furthermore, there was no stopping the super hero’s superpower from slaying the room with Rocco’s dark, “Hard Times For Lovers,”featuring C. Robert Walker channeling the late Luther Vandross, a revamped “Hey Hey” by Dennis Ferrer and the surprise, Peven Everett’s, “Put Your Back Into It”(Quentin Harris Remix.)
Black Coffee destroyed the age old adage that ordinary DJs only play ordinary music. Being not content with just mixing songs in standard mix-in and mix-out rotation, new remixes were created on the spot, right in the middle of a mix using a capellas backed by various beats. Black Coffee, a rare exception in today’s world, delivered the mundane with a refreshing twist.
The night’s behemoth arrived courtesy of Black Coffee dropping the anthem“Superman” not once but twice! And it could not have been more appropriate. The first, the original version, cried out, “Can You Be My Superman” a sentiment that ricocheted against every heart present in the room. The second, a smash-up version with dark-synths, over a dirty-tech beat rocked the dance floor. Surprisingly, right in mid-song the music slowly faded to a faint whisper till it was no more. Was that the end?