It’s A House Thing (Vol. 3)

This was my first visit to the new Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar location in the upstairs of Safari DC on Georgia Avenue, a few blocks north of Ten Tigers. “It’s A House Thing” brought together a group of DJs that I’ve known for… gee, it’s been years now — and who always deliver a good time.

It's A House Thing (Vol 3) with Bill Basehead, DJ Los, Rick Next Door, Lena Kovac & DJ Daryl Northrop at Safari Restaurant & Lounge

Safari DC is a little off the beaten path but it’s not hard to find. Upstairs, there’s much more room than we were used to at Dr. Clock’s. On the street side, plenty of lounge seating to get comfortable in. Then a spacious dance floor and the bar. Out back, a patio for smoking. DJs have a bigger sound system to work with. In fact, I’m reduced to having to complain about the TP dispenser in the ladies’ room…which is a small price to pay!

But on to the night’s music. DJ Daryl Northrup opened and while I know him primarily as a breaks DJ, he stayed in the neighborhood of house music this time. Rick Next Door and DJ Los (not DC Los anymore) followed that up with more upbeat tracks, a dash of Latin, and a few heavier pieces like “Ape Machine” toward the end to gear up for Billy Basehead — who usually plays much heavier, IME, but tonight he was throwing down melodic interludes in between the beats. Lena Kovac was the newest-to-me DJ of the night and she finished the night with a solid party mix.

So here’s to future good times at Dr. Clock’s!

Nick Flynn & DJ Swink opening for Julian Jeweil @ Flash

I haven’t gone to Flash on a Friday or Saturday night in a while, and that’s because of the crowds. At a certain point, if I can’t dance because I’m constantly being bumped by people walking around — it’s not fun anymore. I certainly don’t begrudge Flash their success, but that’s not for me.

So this rainy Friday night I went to hear Philco & Ozker in the downstairs bar and Nick Flynn & DJ Swink opening for Julian Jeweil — who sounded cool, from the samples posted on the event page — and I figured I’d spend most of the night downstairs when it got too crowded. But that’s not how it worked out.

Julian Jeweil with Nick Flynn & DJ Swink at Flash with Bella & J Tek, Jorge Rodriguez in the Green Room and Philco and Ozker in the Flash Bar

Downstairs, Philco and Ozker started out with a smooth groove that segued into a good party mix. This was no surprise: they know their stuff.

On the main floor, Nick Flynn and DJ Swink laid down a set reminiscent of their USB parties, also starting out on the lighter side and then easing into heavier stuff. The audience was a bit slow to trickle in, maybe because of the weather, but the real surprise was that even once Julian Jeweil took over, the floor never got too crowded.

I peeked into the Green Room on the rooftop, and it seemed that was the main draw for most of the crowd. Rumor has it that this may not be an accident. Clever.

I had a great night on Flash’s main floor, for the first time in a while, dancing with some fellow music-heads. Jeweil’s set ran heavier than his sample tracks had led me to believe, but that was just fine. The time flew by.

The only down side was that the downstairs bar never got much traffic, which was unfair to the perfectly good groove that Philco and Ozker played.

My sample playlist from Flash’s main floor, capped with one of Jeweil’s own tracks:

Sunday Love

Summer’s here and so is the competition for Sunday afternoons. A friend and I, chatting in Flash’s Green Room during Sunday Love, came up with five parties just off the tops of our heads. There are probably more out there.

It was a real summer afternoon, that day: low 90s, sunny, starting to get humid. Flash’s rooftop Green Room was fully open, fans running full blast, cocktail slushies spinning in the mixers behind the bar.

I arrived late in the opening set. Conscious Contact is a DJ I had not heard before, and he had a solid party mix running. After he handed the decks over to Sarah Myers he hit the dance floor with us to enjoy the bangers she slung. Sarah gave us chances to catch our breath and hydrate, thankfully. That was much needed in the heat.

The audience trickled in slowly and things started to pick up when the temperature dropped… a few degrees. Not much.

Edo mixed in and ran a smoother groove for a while. I’ve seen Edo’s name on Flash flyers recently but I hadn’t had a chance to hear him: it was an easygoing summer mix peppered with crowd-movers.

The sun was finally settling down behind the walls and the dance floor was full by the time Adriatique came on — only half of the duo, but that didn’t slow things down at all. The lovely smooth beats rolled on, including a banging drum solo that I especially liked.

Good energy. Good music. Not too crowded. If you can take the heat, get in the kitchen.

The sample playlist below covers the locals’ sets:

Meet the Locals Podcast 52 & 53: Nick Flynn & DJ Swink

There’s a double header on tap over at the DC House Grooves Meet the Locals Podcast on Soundcloud. Nick Flynn and DJ Swink organize the monthly USB party in the downstairs bar at Flash — and they’ve been filling the place. Tophatty took a minute for a mini-interview with the guys to go with their live mixes from May’s USB.

Nick Flynn

Where was your first DJ gig and how did it go?

My first gig was back in 2015 at Look Lounge and I was opening. There wasn’t maybe more than 10 people there, but it went great! Shout out to Wayne Wright for booking me for that gig, wouldn’t be where I am today without it!

What’s electronic genres do you listen to the least?

I would say big room house, trap, and dubstep are the three I listen to the least. 

What’s up next for you? 

Right now all I have scheduled is my party at Flash that I put together with Jon Swink! Underground Sounds and Beyond or USB for short. Our next party is on July 1st in the Flash Bar, hope to see some of you there!

DJ Swink

Where was your first DJ gig and how did it go?

My first gig was back in 2003 in Akron, Ohio. At that time I only had one year of experience under my belt. I was super nervous but I was able to pull off a pretty decent set. It’s hard for me to give myself kudos, even now because I always think that I can improve. I try and practice whenever I can and explore different mixing techniques. I’ll continue to practice and learn for the rest of my life or at least until I can’t hear anymore.

What’s electronic genres do you listen to the least?

The genres that are lowest on the totem poll for me are Trap, DnB, and Jungle. 

What’s up next for you? 

My upcoming gigs are June 18th at Chasing Sundays, June 21st at Flash Opening for Will Clark with Nu Androids and July 1st for the next installment of USB at Flash. I was asked to open for Joseph Capriati at Soundcheck but I was out of town…super bummed about that! Thanks again and hope to see you soon!