Now Playing: you know how this goes...check the playlist below...
Friday, April 29, 2005
i have to admit...i wasn't excited about the night until i actually got there. and even when i did, i didn't know if the records i brought with me would work. i was scheduled to bring house and i was sandwiched between two hip-hop sets. i had no idea how i was gonna make the transition. Mista Mayday of the ESP Collective (of which my man mikal is a member) got it started with hip-hop classics as well as a few funk and soul joints. the last time we spun together was a couple of years ago at a loft party in Brooklyn. the mixing setup was a little weird for him and he couldn't get as loose as he usually likes to, but he definitely dropped some gems.
the only reason my set turned out decently was the energy of the crowd. lots of friends and acquaintances in the spot, so that helped. figured i better get it started with something familiar, and "hot music" always does the trick. it's one of the few tracks you can please both hip-hop and house heads with. needle started jumping a lot midway through (a lot of bass on some older pressings of that joint), so i cut into an Aretha Franklin rework. basically, my set ranged from midtempo to uptempo tracks - some funk and soul, some hip-hop style breakbeats, and some house. at one point, i threw on an old Nightcrawlers dub ("push the feeling on") and the place just went nuts, heads screaming and stuff. i was not expecting that reaction. at that point, i thought to myself, oh, so that's how you like it? it was on then. i felt right at home and confident that i was able to connect the dots in the way that made sense to the party people. that is such a good feeling.
as cool as all of that was, one aspect totally made my night: my man Jason (a longtime college buddy from SUNY Albany) actually came through to represent. back in the day, my SUNY heads and i used to call him "Shag" because he kinda resembled Shaggy from the Scooby Doo cartoon. seeing him there in the crowd (which continued to swell throughout the night) next to my wife just brought me back to my freshman and sophomore years. i hadn't seen this cat in many moons. once my set was over and i left the booth, i greeted him with a big hug. nothing could get me down at that moment.
CX Kidtronik took over the decks and kept the crowd hyped with a pretty varied set. a lot of hip-hop classics from the Native Tongues family and the Gangstarr Foundation, but he also played some above ground joints, too (DMX's "Up In Here," Gwen Stefani's "Holla Back Girl," etc.) at one point, he threw in a booty joint from a classic 2 Live Crew record and i almost fell over. the real kicker was closing with the Sex Pistols. it was so random and yet it made perfect sense. Jason is an avid punk rock listener and Beth grew up with the Sex Pistols, so it was one of those perfect moments in time that you couldn't possibly recreate. judging from the crowd's reaction, we weren't the only ones who felt that way.
Jason and i spent time catching up during Mike Larosa's set (beautiful house set, very soulful) and reminiscing on all the crazy things we used to do back in the day. (at some point, i ought to share some of those stories - classic "things you'll only see in college" type of stuff.) i remember commenting to him that i had all this energy back then and that i wish there was some way to channel that energy into my life now. had i known then what i know now, i could've put that energy to great use. we all could've. regardless, i still look back on that period with fond memories and Jason feels the same way i do. we know we'll never have friends like the ones we had back then. every last one of them holds a special place in my heart.
the crowd was still going strong by the time Cassien took the reins in the dj booth (around 2:30 a.m.). it was like no one was trying to leave until they all got kicked out. the heads that held out for a ragga jungle set were greatly rewarded - it was all smiles in that spot. prior to leaving, i made sure to tell Cassien that i've been down with what he does in the mix since he used to work at the Throb record shop. i remember him working there years back when the store was first located on East 14th Street. there was one time i was buying some wax and he wouldn't let me leave the store until i listened to a compilation called *Frying The Fat*. he handed it to me and after a lengthy session of needle dropping, i knew it was coming home with me. he turned me on to Rae & Christian that day, as well as the Grand Central label. i had to let him know that. if heads have inspired me in any way, i've been making it my business to let them know. i may never get the chance again to tell them.
so yeah, an amazing night. great music, a crowd that definitely came to party, and a good venue. but "Shag" comin' through the door...that just supersized my whole night right there. Beth and i woke up the next day, still very much in the moment. and for days afterwards, we would ask each other, "was that all a dream? did that really happen?" nights like that come few and far between in the Rotten Apple. it's good to be in the right place at the right time.
BRIDGING THE GAP - dj set @ FRESH
The Delancey, NYC / 11:30pm-12:30a.m.
soho*hot music*kool groove
aretha franklin*rock steady (danny krivit re-edit)*ibadan
ballistic brothers vs. eccentric afros*blacker ('94 EQ)*delancey street (uk)
plant life*luv 4 the world (why they gotta hate?)*counterflow recordings
deee-lite*when you told me you loved me*elektra
medeski martin & wood*midnight birds (sa-ra remix)*blue note
the beginning of the end*funky nassau pt. 1*alston
art konik*mingpark (ming beat)*comet (france)
nightcrawlers*push the feeling on (the dub of doom)*great jones/island
earth people*dance (club mix)*kool groove
dajae*u got me up (cajmere's underground goodies mix)*cajual
tiny bubbles*the hands of a raindrop*eightball
mu*paris hilton*output (uk)