Categories
Music

Review: Lazy Dog in NYC @ Shine

Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 15:26:58 -0500
To: acid-jazz@ucsd.edu, deepness@egroups.com
From: Gen Kanai
Subject: Review: Lazy Dog in NYC @ Shine
Hey folks,
Just wanted to mention that I had a great time out last night at Shine in NYC dancing to Ben Watt and Jay Hannan who together run the Notting Hill club event called “Lazy Dog.” If you can catch them in your city (schedule below) you’re in for a real house music treat!
DJ Reda opened up the night with a house set that was decent with one track I recognized (Francois K’s remix of Ame Strong’s “Tout Est Blue.”)
Jay Hannan then stepped up to the plates around 11:30pm with a packed audience of a wide age group and proceeded to build up the pace and the vibe.
I’m still a relative newbie to house so I didn’t recognize anything that he spun in his first set but it was all good.
Then Ben Watt came onto the decks and started out with a few strong songs and then went nuts with a killer 3 anthem trio that had the whole place cheering, whistling and waving hands. Ben went from the Lazy Dog remix of Sade’s “By Your Side,” to Negrocan’s “Cada Vez,” to Kenny Dope’s dub remix of Monday Michiru’s “Sunshine After the Rain.” After giving us a breather for a few tracks he brought in the EBTG vs. Soul Vision “Tracey In My Room” remix and brought the house down! Everyone was screaming and yelling and whistling- it was amazing. I’ve been to Shine maybe 4 times this summer and never saw a crowd as pumped as it was last night (at least at the peak of Ben’s first set.)
The night would have been perfect if Ben had played Todd Terry’s remix of EBTG’s “Missing.” I wasn’t into house when that song was really big and it would’ve been amazing to hear Ben spin that next to the newer remixes they’ve done.
I spoke to Ben briefly before he went on stage to ask him what’s coming for releases. He said that “Tracey in My Room” is going to be released early next year and that after that they’re planning a “Back to Mine: EBTG” which will be a lot like Groove Armada’s (Ben even mentioned that compilation.) So we can look forward to those. “Tracey in My Room” is going to be a stormer next spring. The Lazy Dog remix of “By Your Side” is already a stormer by my estimation.
One funny incident happened right after I bumped into a friend’s girlfriend, Daisy. Daisy was complaining to me because Ben had just handed the decks back to Jay and she wanted Ben back on. She said something to the effect of, “Why doesn’t Ben get back on the decks- we’ve heard this New York DJ before.” I politely informed her of who Jay was and his connection to Ben, but it was interesting because as the night wore on, Daisy’s was right on the money. Ben and Jay both threw down a set that wouldn’t have sounded that far away from a 80’s NYC house set. It’s not that they were playing only classics (although they did throw a few in) it’s just that it was ironic that 2 UK DJs were playing New York house to a New York crowd, who was loving it (for the most part.)
I don’t think that Lazy Dog is breaking any new boundaries of house per se. I think that they’re cresting the wave of deep house and having a great time with it. I think that the demand for deep house is growing quickly as some other genres are having a hard time growing beyond an initial fan base. Imho, it’s still too early to tell if UK Garage/2Step will take off here in the US.
Can anyone help me identify three songs that I didn’t recognize:
1. one with Tracey’s vocals where she’s saying “Are you all alone? When are you coming home?”
(Update 5/2/01 Bethany Johnson told me that this was “Lullaby of Clubland” by EBTG.)
2. one old NY garage track by the Kleptomaniacs (?)
3. one with a refrain that was “Every time I hold you I hear music, sweet music”
thanks!
Gen
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Categories
Music

Review: 6th Element, Randall’s Island, NYC

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 00:08:04 -0400
To: nyc-raves@hyperreal.org, HybridUK@egroups.com
From: Gen Kanai
Subject: Review: 6th Element, Randall’s Island, NYC
My review of “6th Element”
by Gen Kanai
Quickie review. Did I have fun? Yes. Would I go back next year? Yes. Did I like the venue? Yes. Was the lineup pretty sick? Yes.
Took public transportation to the day rave/festival- pretty cool.
Hybrid…what can I say? I went to see them and it was an hour of aural ecstasy. Mike Truman, Chris Healings, and Lee Mullins were all there along with DJ…I forget the name of the DJ. I met a fellow HybridUK@egroups.com list member (Halcyon) and talked to another Hybrid fan who came out to NYC from Detroit to hear them! The soundsystem was pretty poor which was tough because the bass was really distorted. Still, I’ve only heard them twice before (Viper Room and Louis XIV) and they come to the US so rarely. I’ve heard that Kinetic will be releasing “Wider Angle” in mid July in the US with 2 CDs, or so I’m told. Halfway through their set, they had some kind of technical difficulty and had to “reboot” their system. But they handled that pretty well, all things considered. Who the hell slotted Hybrid into the 6pm-7pm slot? I don’t really get it. Hybrid is much more popular than the Bassbin Twins, even RitM! They had maybe 200-300 people to play to whereas RitM and Dave Ralph had much larger crowds. I guess they have yet to break it here in the US…it must be a little frustrating for them.
House area report:
Erik Morillo: excellent house set. He was smiling the whole time and I was too. I was sad that I missed Kevin Yost’s set. Honey Dijon: never heard of her (but then again I’ve just moved to NYC from LA.) She threw in weird stuff like Flat Beat by Mr. Oizo, and a few other not-very-house-y records but overall she seemed to gain steam as her set moved on. There were very few people there at the beginning of her set but near the end it was packed. Tony Humphries: not my kind of house but I did dance to a few songs in his set. Poor guy- the smoke machine was set up in a way so that when it went off every few minutes, the wind would blow it all right into his face. I’ve never been a fan of smoke machines but he must’ve been cursing the thing from his perch up on the DJ booth. It looked cool with the lights but it must’ve been hell trying to cue up records in the midst of all that chemical smoke. Ah, the hazards of the life of a professional DJ 😉
Chillout area report:
Mixmaster Morris! Very cool set. I can see how he has the reputation he has as chillout sound master. I really liked what I heard and it was pretty distinctive. Great stuff because it was still really hot in the late afternoon and not too many people had the energy to dance. Later on I caught Michael Dog and then Medicine Drum in the “Chillout” area but they really weren’t playing anything _close_ to chillout music. By the time Michael Dog hit the decks, people were ready to dance and the crowd had swelled. It was pretty packed with dancing people by the time Medicine Drum hit the stage. I’ve seen them before in LA and while it’s not quite my cup-of-tea, I can see why they have the following they do.
The “Limited Access” area behind the main stage was pretty interesting. Here’s where you see the difference between Los Angeles rave culture and NYC raves. Behind the main stage was a “Limited Access” area where “VIPs” had their own DJ (Mark Ronson, I think, when I was back there), Sonicnet had their own webcast going on, a massage parlor, and two large tour busses were in place for interviews, changing rooms, etc. LA raves would never have this kind of area so well defined with a separate DJ/soundsystem and tour busses! I guess the LA scene does massive raves often enough that it isn’t cost-effective to hold the hands of the VIPs like NYC does. Walking around backstage, running into the DJs and whatnot, it’s easy to see how their egos get large beyond control (a la Keoki.) Sandra Collins couldn’t walk 5 feet without getting stopped by people telling her how much they loved her set. C’mon people, lets not forget that a DJ plays music that OTHER PEOPLE make. Maybe they produce a few tracks themselves but….
Other thoughts:
– Poor soundsystems all around. Sure, you can make the excuse that they had 5 soundsystems to build (main, house, d’nb, downtempo, VIP) but the main one sucked! and the others were pretty poor in comparison to say Tonka Sounds’ system (which I know well from 4 years of hearing their amps and drivers and bassbins.) The main one was really pretty poorly done. The bass was _really_ poorly broken up and distorted. Plus they didn’t account for the delay to the rear sets of speakers so no matter where you were in the main arena, you always heard the delayed second beat from the rear speakers which were delayed by about a half-second. Enough to really annoy you if you care about the music.
– Sound bleeding between areas. While the space was really large, it was impossible to be near one of the main soundstages and not hear beats from another nearby one. I’m not sure there’s anything one could really do about this in an open-air scenario.
– Bassbin Twins: who the hell likes these guys? Constantly talking over their set promoting themselves, constantly playing “oldies” (James Brown? C’mon!) I don’t really understand their appeal at all. Someone people explain them to me.
– _SO_ much promotion going on…I was handed flyers by the dozens. Street promo kids don’t get it. If we’re at a rave, and you hand us a large flyer, we’re going to take a look at it, and then throw it away, or worse, drop it on the ground. We don’t have enough pockets to hold all the damn flyers you give us and we don’t want flyers while we’re hanging with friends and dancing or talking or whatever. The only intelligent ones were standing by the busses as we were leaving. JNCO jeans had large plastic banners on almost every fence. They also funded all the promo t-shirts.
– SO MANY complimentary passes! I think one of every 10 people I saw had a comp pass. There’s no way the promoters made any money on this whole thing- unless the companies who paid for all the advertising covered the difference. So many of the attendees had a comp pass sticker- literally there were passes for each specific area and then main passes for the whole show. The sad thing was that most of the older people I saw had comp passes when they’re the ones who can afford the $45 ticket price (yes, I paid!)
– Liquid Todd was running around with a camera crew talking about a “documentary” on the scene. I was sitting by a two young raver couples decked out in full regalia and when Liquid Todd asked them if he could film them for his show, they politely declined. He became more insistent and obsequious, pleading them to answer a few questions, getting even more agitated when a cute woman friend of theirs (i.e. photogenic) sat down with the kids. He eventually backed off because he was close to accosting the poor girl and flew over to another pod of kids like a fly looking for food. It was a sad, disgusting commentary on the state of affairs in rave culture. The kids are having none of this mad promotions and self-reflective navel gazing that we’re seeing in these new documentaries. I don’t know about you, but I saw “Modulations” and really liked it. I think I enjoyed it because it focused on the musicians and the history of electronic music. “Go,” on the other hand was pretty weak, funny, but weak. “Better Living Through Circuitry” was practically painful and I was AT most of the raves that they were filming at (Jujubeats, Dune 4, etc.) I’m going to go see “Groove” but I have the sinking feeling that this “documentary” is also going to be yet another poor reflection of the state of affairs of underground dance/rave culture. We’ll see….
Finally, I have to lash out at the crappy website. I don’t know why these promoters keep on building websites that seem to be extensions of the paper flyers. If I’m online, I want to check out the lineup, print it out with the directions, and perhaps purchase tickets online. Don’t make me download useless browser plug-ins and make me wait for slow and useless animations and don’t EVER force me into a new window and take away browser buttons from me! NO MORE SHOCKWAVE DAMMIT!
Ah…got that off my chest 🙂
Gen

Categories
Music

30 Oct 2000 – 12″ Reviews

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 13:35:04 -0500
To: downtempo@egroups.com, acid-jazz@ucsd.edu
From: Gen Kanai
Subject: Oct 2000 – 12″ reviews
Friends,
Here’s what’s spinning on my tables here in New Yawk Seedy…
Taxi “people come runnin'” (Infracom)
Every store I go to, people are clamoring for this record. It’s the hot 12″ these days in the jazzy house/nu jazz genre. There’s 3 remixes in addition to the original track on this single. I was drawn in by the promise of the “Dixon’s alternative version1” (of Jazzanova fame) but I ended up liking the “needs rmx” more. Don’t get me wrong- the Dixon remix is great and very much in the Jazzanova vein. Definitely worth checking out.
Universal Funk “Roots” (Svek)
This is a gorgeous tune! Wow…Svek really delivers a stunning 12″ here with 2 remixes of “Roots.” My favorite is the “vibes from the dark mix” and it’s great beats and percussion with a simple but effective bassline over it, and a few vibraphone, trumpet, and piano solos on top to finish it off. It’s a little on the slower side but it’s just captivating. For some reason this track reminds me of beautiful sunsets in New York City with the famous skyline outlined by dark clouds and shades of blue, purple, red and orange.
Gabriel Rene “Pimp Rekker” (OM Records)
Gabe is of course the mastermind behind the awesome 1999 “Don’t You Cry” single that everyone has loved all over the jazzy house world. This new single is completely in a different style. Think 1970’s funk meets drum’n’bass meets 70’s cop show vibe. I’m not sure exactly how I’d work this into my regular set but I’m a Gabe fan whatever he does. I do hope that he goes back to the jazzy house sound sometime soon.
The Rurals “Corker” (Loud Bit Records)
This must be an older release because I thought that The Rurals were on Peng Records? Anyway, I like this one because it’s vocal-less which is generally my preference. It has a touch of Frech House-ness (workin’ the eqs within the track itself) but it’s basically in the classic Rurals house music mold. 3 different remixes and even the original is slammin!
Afro Medusa “Pasilda” (d:vision/Azuli)
Ok, ok, I admit it. I like this catchy tune enough to buy different remixes of it. It’s really a classic Latin house tune with the buildups and breakdowns and the vocals merging with the melodies. Nothing earthshaking here with respect to content or style, it’s just a fun, really danceable house track. This particular release has 4 remixes and the awful cover photo (horrendous blowup of a tiny digital image and color way off.)
Los Ladrones “Las Luces Del Norte” (Earthproject Music)
http://www.earthproject.com
While the original single is really nice uptempo and yet soft, the “Dave Warren’s Open Air Dub” is the dancefloor mover. This one is has some nice flute riffs and nice vocals and would fit nicely into a Latin deep house mix.
Damaged Sole “Damaged Sole” (Deep4Life Recordings)
http://www.deep4life.com/
Deep, minimal, slightly jazzy but not tech-y deep house. I don’t know much about this label or this artist but it’s very sparse musically but has the deep house beats that we sometimes love. They have an album coming out later in November that might be cool. Did I mention this was deep?
Sven Van Hees “Tsunami (inside my soul)” (Life Enhancing Audio)
This track has been EVERYWHERE on so many compilations (Transatlantik Lounging 2, Mixmag-Naked Ibiza, Comfort Zone®, CHILLOUT2000, Served Chilled 2, Beach House) no to mention Hees’ own Gemini LP. It’s a really chill/downtempo track with breathy female vocals and a dreamy atmosphere. Gorgeous record art too. Worthy of having just for the art which reminds me of 1960’s bossa nova record albums.
Best wishes and good luck vinyl hunting,
Gen

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