Posts Tagged ‘Connect’


October 22, 2010


“He keeps on blessing me/Blessing Me”

These were the lyrics to the party’s opener played by Lars Behrenroth at Connect’s final party. Connect a monthly party held every first Thursday night that for six years had been instrumental in bringing house music back to the city’s forefront during the nitelife’s, “drought years.” Maybe not so much as bringing house music back as it did to keep house music alive during those “drought years.” Had it not been for Connect, the fervent sounds of deep/jackin’/house music would have indefinitely died for it were these parties that kept the torch burning bright for dance enthusiast. Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end.

Six years earlier Connect started out as a small monthly bringing funky house DJs from around the country mainly the mid-west and southeast states to play at its parties. The barely 25 years of age founders, Mike Zarin and DJC were known as the underdogs in the underground house music scene. Many local house music elders questioned their motives as to why the two would start house music parties during the city’s anti-nitelife stance and a hard hitting house music recession. However, over the years these critics were silenced as Connect’s parties thrived. During this time Connect tried to find its signature music sound mainly focusing on the Chicago/west coast jack sound of choppy beats and tech effects played over repeated samples. Interestingly, two years later Connect drowned in the deep waters of deep house music that became synonymous within the city. From there Connect transformed into a wreaking force, bringing in top-tier international talent and throwing amazing underground house parties. People flocked to the Thursday night monthlies in support to see their international favorites. Connect was ablaze until the great recession.

It was then when Connect had to scale back on out of town/international talent. The cost of airfare, lodging expenses and DJ fees became too much. So when the international talent left, the amazing parties stopped and with it went the crowd. Connect became a bygone-the party easily swept underneath the rug and easily forgotten. Its fate doomed.

One wouldn’t suspect this to be a closing party the way German bred/Los Angeles transplant Lars Behrenroth tore up the motherboards. His head rolled around in circles as he spun the mixer’s knobs to control the groove. His upper torso bounced up and down and rocked from side to side when he was really feeling the groove. At times between mixing songs his hands flew straight in the air as if he were at a futbol game cheering the winning team. This was the power of house music.

Lars sprinkled a few Connect favorites into the mix. There was Romanthony’s dubby, “Let Me Show You Love” that had yours truly singing along and the late 1990’s Chicago classic from Voices of Life, “The Word Is Love (Just Say The Word)” the Silk’s Anthem of Life Mix. Lars laid the afro-house vibe thickly on the crowd before transitioning back to house mode before closing out the momentous night. After a heartwarming goodbye from founder Mike Zarin, Lars took to the microphone to announce the last song, a jazzy house number about love and thanks. Then a female’s beautiful soprano voice resounded throughout the room. It was the voice of Denice Williams singing the R’n’B 80’s soul hit, “Free.” Yes, the time had come to say thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon Connect and to set Connect free.

Photography by Luis V fo DEG


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