Last friday was packed in NYC. Danny Howells was at Crobar for the 1st time, Lee Burridge hit the decks at Cielo, Morillo did his thing at Pacha, the Robots and the EJC Collective were throwing down with Claude Von Stroke (whoever that is).
Anyway, we chose Danny. Howells had already rocked the Pawn Shop during WMC and i was really interested to hear what he'd do with the Crobar space and system. Problem was, neither Danny nor Crobar delivered. Started off the night at a video awards show at Canal Room, then hit Spoony D opening up Crobar's Reed Room for Flawless, warm up house, nothing too bumping. Everybody shows up and we head into the main room for Danny. Sans opener, he's getting the feel of the system and the room. Unfortunately, this takes him hours as he plays bland prog house that goes nowhere. And i mean bland, like i couldn't spot a single track.
But here was the real problem, Crobar was set up like it was a dark club night. No lights, no camera, and little action. A mild crowd had formed on the floor, some dancing, most swaying. It just didn't feel like Danny Howells was DJ'ing or one of his parties for that matter. So back to the party, Danny mixed it up, switching genres about, trying to find some rhythm. But nothing he dropped had any melody or any of his signature house sound, everything was driving and big room. Granted we were in a big room, but the only big thing in that room were the speakers. And they frankly didn't sound that great. The crowd, decor, and lights were set up for an afterhours party or a party outta the Vinyl/Arc days. It just didn't fit with the music at all.
This went on all night. My take: He coulda went happy, played some bubbly stuff, brought the crowd back to tha day. He could have gone dark and dirty ala Lawler and the party woulda dripped sex in that setting. He even coulda got get techy and twisted, given us a real mindfuck, but he did none of these things. He just kept hammering with screeching prog and electro stompers that drove all night, drove most the crowd away. I was pretty dumbfounded, tried to dance many times and usually found myself cowering away from the sound that buzzed like electro tinged sirens blaring with little rhythm underneath it. Even the encore by Howells standards was lame because it lacked soul, something Danny's music should always have and didn't for one night. Bottom line: if Danny was gonna drop the rhythm and melody, he shoulda played a different club. And i've never appreciated the talent of Made Events so much in my life, they were sorely missed at this party.
On the flip side, Lee Burridge was playing another one of his afterparties at Apt, something he's getting legendary for doing. Being completely unsatisfied by Danny's gig, we decided to go. I'm so glad we did. Now that was a proper party. :d In some ways, it resembled Danny in that there was no bells and whistles. Just a dark crowded room, albeit much smaller with low ceilings. But here's the big difference: Lee read the crowd and knew where to take them. He had a dark afterhours spot and crowd and knowing that, he played a filthy mix of minimal house and funky tech stuff. The mixing and programming was sick, Pills Patrick deserves credit here also. But the sound flowed with the crowd, he twisted us up and threw us about. What a mindfuck! I danced for hours and i didn't dance at all at Crobar. I seriously danced for hours with anybody that would get up and groove. I was jumping around grinding, having a ball. Everybody was all smiles. We stayed until 11am and the party totally salvaged my night.
As i walked out, i shook Lee's hand and told him he was a bad mutherfucker! He certainly was that night because anybody can play records, but mixing them together, creating that flow, reading the crowd so perfectly and delivering like that takes superstar talent, and for one night, Lee Burridge was the only superstar dj that rocked NYC.
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