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:

Sequence.749

If you’ve read my TATS reviews, you know I’ve been to most of the Sequence parties and I’m a hopeless techno-head. So this installation of the Sequence series, after skipping the entire month of May, was not to be missed for several reasons.

 

One of which being that Daasnomem was opening. I reviewed his opening set at Flash a while back and enjoyed the luxury of deep, dark techno: this was just as smooth, running on a rolling beat punctuated by bits of Russian monologue and mechanical wheezes.

This was a warmup for Juana and Ron Jackson to go back to back. They started where Dassnomem left off, soon raised the energy level, and then progressed to merciless. This was a seamless transition, of course, so there was no escaping the techno machine.

We knew the headliners were coming because the speakers went silent. A moment of blank slate. And then instantly: low frequency to hit you in the bones plus a ghostly melody floating overhead. SHXCXCHCXSH had arrived.

For a moment, I questioned the wisdom of giving them the Grand Ancestor speaker system to play with. But that’s not my place.

Amazing set, regardless. A fascinating juxtaposition of the ephemeral and the visceral — but if you’ve read anything about SHXCXCHCXSH you’ve already heard this. It’s all true. Later on, Tsurugi took over and brutalized the audience with an even harder-driving set to make sure everybody was fully exhausted.

It was a night I won’t forget, for many reasons. For your sampling pleasure, a few tracks that I caught.