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Friday, 16 July 2004
laptop superstar (that is what you are...)
Now Playing: Mint Condition w/Jantine B (wfmu.org)
Topic: music appreciation

It?s always good to see your friends and associates make good. Although I was tired, sweaty, and really craving sleep when I got home after work Wednesday night, I fought it off and made my way down to a bar on the Lower East Side for a friend?s record release party. Enter Ezekiel Honig, organic electronics wunderkind, whose debut album for Microcosm Music (2nd album overall) is receiving critical acclaim from various sources. I believed in what he was doing from day one. He makes some of the most heartfelt laptop tunes that the ears will ever be blessed to hear. Just seeing his CD packaged all professional-like makes me smile. The album in question (People, Places & Things) arrived in select stores this past Tuesday.

A mix CD by his buddy Brett a.k.a. Clever, drum and bass DJ extraordinaire, was released the same day. He?s been exploring the leftfield areas of d&b on an imprint called Offshore Recordings. The CD (Troubled Waters) provides a summary of Offshore?s travels up until this point. Prior to its release, it had already received the seal of approval from DJ Dara, Dieselboy, and Simon Reynolds (author of Generation Ecstasy). On top of that, the CD is currently featured in the Virgin Megastore?s Union Square location with its own listening booth.

While I don?t know Brett that well, I have heard his earlier mixes ? all of which have been stellar. As for Ezekiel, what can I say?Zeke?s my man. Our friendship dates back about eight or nine years, back to our time at SUNY Albany. He was a sick DJ back then and it was no surprise when he began to make his own music, but what he?s doing now?I had no idea that all of that was in him.

The label release party was held at Spill (formerly known as Bauhaus) on the lower east side of NYC, right next door to where the Orchard Bar used to be. It is also where Recess located to, a party that I was once a resident DJ for. I hadn?t been at a Recess function since last October, so it felt kinda weird at first. But the decor of Spill is totally different from the Orchard Bar, with carved-out seating arrangements and flat-screen TVs lining the wall and a kickin? sound system. Almost made me forget that I have a thing against bars, and I hadn?t felt that way in a long time.

A DJ named Lindsay warmed up the night with a wonderfully eclectic set that bounced from old disco and R&B to house and electro. Heavy ?80s influence in the mix, too. Been wanting to see her spin for a while cause I knew she had deep crates. After some technical difficulties, Zeke was up and running. Staring intently at a sleek-looking PowerBook, a man and his laptop ran through material from the new album and selections from his three-inch CD single on Red Antenna as well as his first album released on his own label. Friends waved, whistled and chatted him up while strangers head nodded and even shook their rumps a little bit.

When it was all over, applause and cheers were offered up by the faithful. Zeke just kinda gushed behind his Mac and handed the reins over to Clever, who proceeded to lead the crowd straight into sinister step territory. Hated to leave, but the next day brought another work day, so I slipped out and made my way to the subway (which consistently finds new ways to screw up my route home). I drowned out the drunk people on the Metro-North train with a Michael Moore text and the music in my head, doting on the possibilities of Ezekiel and Brett?s success. I honestly believe that Wednesday night was just the beginning and that it will pale in comparison to what awaits them both in the not so distant future.

Posted by macedonia at 10:09 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 26 July 2004 2:34 PM EDT
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