Archive for May 31, 2010

WISEACRE 30.05.10

May 31, 2010

Photography by Luis V for DEG


May 23, 2010

Photography by John Crooms


May 22, 2010


After several long minutes the doors to the basement’s dance floor/lounge and bar opened. The long dark narrow stairway gave way to a dark overly frozen air conditioned basement which was needed because once the throngs of various tribesters arrived the room would become hot as hell’s kitchen. The soulful driven house grooves traversed through the air that greeted every tribester’s heart with love. Since the floor was desolate, immediately a spot was found to warm up the tired feet that were still exhausted from last night’s dance-a-thon with Louie Vega and wifey Anane’s musical madness. The two sore feet slowly stumbled with hesitation to move to the groove. Actually, it took five or so minutes before the feet fully warmed up to the beats exploding from the speakers.

Up above, perched high in a glassless window in the wall, DJ Stan’s head weaved and bobbed behind the control panel. Those soulful house anthems dropped like liquid nitrogen bombs on the few dancers warming up the floor. That wouldn’t last long as the floor quickly swelled at an alarming pace. Within twenty minutes the vacant dance space would read occupied. So the most had to be made with what little space was left. Sure enough, thirty or so minutes later, people were pinned against the walls unable to move and barely able to breathe.

Adjacent the left wall, played a live percussionist, Turn Tables On The Hudson’s, Nappy G all the way from NYC. The drummer’s small stage, consisting of a 21 square foot low platform table further downsized the already too tiny dance floor. It was going to be one of those shoulder to shoulder nights.

As the night’s first guest DJ, Trinidad bred, Trinidadian Deep jumped on deck to play, some fresh air was greatly needed. Not only fresh air but maybe some open space to freely move about. Oddly, everyone that entered the narrow basement seemed to run towards the front of the room, right in front of the DJ booth as if to touch the helm of Jesus garment or to receive a FREE CD. WTH? Okay, this was the dance floor but did someone forget to inform these individuals there was no empty space. Of course, no had to tell them because they could plainly see there was no empty space to maneuver about. Not to mention, an overweight lover and his boney girl decided to “plop” themselves right in front of yours truly further pushing me up against a brick wall.

As the deep beats of afro-house penetrated the room a safe space free of bodies was found in front of the basement’s bar towards the back of the room right where the lounge area populated with brown and white sofas and chairs begins. What relief to freely dance and breathe fresh air.

The night’s second premier talent, Chicago native, Ron Trent worked the room with heated disco and Chicago house classics from his personal music catalog. The beats steadily grew deeper and harder just the way the tribesters like until the entire room erupted with joy. Unfortunately, the shoebox shaped basement was too packed, too small and had too much going on. There were the legions of dancers, Nappy G banging away on the drums while Ron Trent played “Altered States.” So the decision was made to leave the club well before its 3 am closing time. All the noise had to be traded for some much needed recuperation and quiet rest. Overall, the night was great until the flat tire was discovered on the passenger’s rear side of my car in the club’s parking lot.

Photography by John Crooms


May 21, 2010


It had been five whole years since Louie Vega played at the mega niteclub Compound. This moment had taken too long to come and this moment would not to be missed for anything in the world.

The room, quickly surveyed, revealed a pathetic abandoned emptiness. It reeked of a lonely silence except for the music played by Louie Vega. Yes, the legendary Mr. Vega hailing from Miami via Bronx was already on the 1’s and 2’s. The lack of bodies present presented a major problem as the cell phone displayed Friday, 12:05 am. The abundance of prime dance space proved highly unusual for a house music legend’s set. Fortunately, the floor wasn’t completely empty. There had to be at least ten house disciples already in mid-dance. Statuesque and poised stood several onlookers against walls in astonishment as if unsure of what they were to do in a dance club with a wide empty dance floor that beckoned to be inhibited.

Back on the decks, Louie delivered arsenal after arsenal of hits that destroyed the crowd. The few left standing hooped and hollered with such extreme aggression it caused the room to rock with jubilation. Then like fire from the sky fell the crowd’s favorite, “Twisted” Louie’s rework of a dance diva’s classic. Around the club people twirled in the air and spun in circles to the lyrics, “You’ve got me twisted on your love.” How appropriate as people yelled the lyrics in sheer delight. This felt more like heaven than a niteclub; a kind of twisted heaven where the wooden dance floor transformed into streets of gold.

After a short transition of tweaking the mixer’s knobs, Louie stepped aside. Interestingly, Louie exited the decks to make room for his wife, Mrs. Anane Vega. Was he really finished? He’d only been on deck for 45 minutes. That wasn’t long enough to be teased by such quintessential tunes.

Within a moment’s breath, Anane set up shop. WOW, what beauty! You’ve got to be kidding. What can she do on those decks that Louie hasn’t already done? Sure she can stand on stage and look good but what about her skills on the steel? With rapid dissension, Anane moved between the 1’s and 2’s with a soulful bounce as if ready to drop a new born child into the crowd. Behind the glamazon played an amazing black and white concept video of her new single. What ingenious marketing.

Then the build-up of anticipation occurred that aroused an energy that took prisoner one-by-one the followers on the dance floor. Suddenly, the people were arrested with a penetrable force not from Anane’s untouchable beauty but from what was to come. What followed was an auditory delight of deep house and afro-beat that descended upon the crowd as holy water. What was this sacred force that cultivated every being in attendance to jump and behave like wild unrestraint animals at a petting zoo? The room went crazy. Literally, the atmosphere transcended into an otherworld of talking African drums when the club’s walls fell down and gave way to Africa’s Amazon jungles.

For the rest of the night, Anane slew the room with her rhythmic conquest. The music brought out dance moves never before rehearsed. Legs were stretched in the air and arms swung to and fro as if in tantra positions. The music continued to stretch every vein, joint and muscle present in the room. Never had the crowd danced so deep in what seemed like ages.

Photogrpahy by John Crooms