For summer’s official end, Flash laid out a buffet of hot local DJs and a dozen flavors of music. It was a good mix of a couple new names and those I hadn’t seen spin in a while, so my Saturday night was an easy choice. The entire night was excellent, but I’d like to point out the new crew in town.
In the bar, zacheser‘s Chub Rub crew made their debut. Last summer, zacheser was a regular on the rooftop patio of the Rock & Roll Hotel. Hadn’t seen him since then, though. In contrast to those summer-disco sets, Chub Rub laid down a much more energetic Baltimore house groove. Dripping Wet got the dance floor jumping right from the get-go with tracks like “Gully” by Spank Rock.
Racecarbed was slated to play also — a name I’ve seen around for years. I was upstairs and missed a good chunk of the night, but when I came back down hours later the bar was still jumping and heading into after-hours. That speaks for itself, I think.
Fun times on the rooftop at Flash last Friday at Kochi‘s Vibe party! Always a pleasure throwing down wiith my fellow DC House Grooves residents Katrina Mir and Ramirez, and my man Kochi always brings the heat. All three floors at Flash were buzzing, and we had a magical crowd grooving in the Green Room all night, surrounded by the amazing artworks of Symmetrical. Check out the photo gallery of the night over on Facebook, and you can listen to the full recording here:
As always, massive thanks to Afshin, Daniel, Alex, Sam, Jackie, and everyone else on the team at Flash for making sure our nights there run so smoothly. It can get really crazy on busy nights like Friday, and it makes a real difference having such a great crew keeping things on track. Looking forward to the next time!
Before I get into this week’s Top Picks, a quick reminder about the Destination boat party on September 24 with the legendary Joaquin ‘Joe’ Claussell working his magic in a 4 hour set as you cruise down the Potomac. With several weeks to go, tickets are already on third release, so if you want to be on the boat, make sure you grab your tickets before they’re gone. You don’t want to miss this one!
Another solid line up of events this Labor Day weekend! We’ll be rocking the airwaves on Saturday night with another edition of the DC House GroovesShow with Andy Grant, Ramirez and Katrina Mir on Jus-Ed‘s Underground Quality Radiofrom 10pm ET. Whether you’re heading out or staying in, tune in for quality, deep, underground sounds served fresh from the vinyl.
On Sunday night, our very own Katrina Mir joins Samantha Francesca, Steve Kirn, Baronhawk and Jandro for Reflections at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club. That’s a serious line up of talented locals!. No work on Monday, so take advantage of the later opening hours and get Labor Day off to the best start possible. You’ll find me right there on the dance floor, and if you know what’s up, you’ll be there too.
Here’s my full list of Top Picks for the weekend. Plenty to keep you grooving through the weekend! I’ll be back next week, same time, same place, with info on all the best underground house, techno, drum and bass and other electronic music events in and around DC, Thursday through Sunday. See you on the dance floor!
Thursday August 31
Playlist with Jubilee & Ramirez at Eighteenth Street Lounge
The Black Madonna with Keenan Orr at Flash, with Ladies of the Underground featuring Heather Femia, Maegan Wood & Vanniety Kills in the Green Room and Sol Power Sound featuring Marc Meistro & DJ Stylus in the Flash Bar
On August 19, Sequence celebrated its first anniversary. The dark basement room dressed up a bit for the occasion with black balloons — this is a techno party, after all. Since I was fortunate enough to follow Sequence’s story, here is a brief version for the record.
I first saw Ron Jackson spin at Dr. Clock’s in 2014. I don’t know exactly when it was, but I was meeting a lot of new DJs at the time and Dr Clock’s was one of the few places that I heard techno at the time — mostly mixed with tech house or a more deep/ambient groove, but there were a scattering of pure techno shows. Namely Doktor D’s Silicon Based Lifeform, Steve Kirn’s BaltoTroit… and Ron Jackson’s Void Archive.
I was at most of these parties. They were starting to gather some momentum throughout 2014, into 2015, and then I was fortunate enough to see a team-up that turned out to be historic: Ron Jackson and Damon Bradley playing back to back at Jimmy Valentine’s. I believe it was on August 1st. From what I’ve heard, they had barely even met at the time. It was Damon’s first set in DC.
Soon after that, I met a slew of new-to-me techno DJs: Boss Ross, Tsurugi, Ben Jenkins, and of course Juana. New parties sprang up over the next year, both techno and ambient. And then came August of 2016.
The short-lived chillout room at Sequence. Photo by Tophatty.
The very first Sequence was unique in a number of ways. First, its location, which was new to the electronic scene. Second, it included a chillout room featuring ambient and live electronic performances — which were not something you saw often, at the time. Third, it was pure, unapologetic, eight-hour slab of techno.
The chillout room, sadly, fell off the roster after a few parties. But Sequence caught on quickly, and suddenly techno had a solid presence in DC. One of the early markers of Sequence’s influence was Headless Horseman’s appearance on October. It also regularly tapped the pool of local DJ talent to open the shows.
In my opinion, the turning point came in January of 2017, the night after the Women’s March. Sequence put together a slate of techno ladies, spearheaded by NYC’s Discwoman team — and prominently featuring Juana, who went on to join the Discwoman team a few months later.
The show earned a mention on Resident Advisor and Mixmag. That was also the first Sequence to pull a significant audience from New York. Actually, people were there from all over thanks to the March. The venue, that night, was one of the more traditional secret party sites (now gone) and there was plenty of room for everybody.
Onward & Upward
After Discwoman, the headlining names at Sequence kept getting bigger. Tommy Four Seven. Perc. SHXCXCHCXSH descended from Sweden to light up Sequence’s newly partnered-with sound system — the Grand Ancestor, a custom-built, Jamaican-style speaker stack with brutal bass capabilities.
And now we’ve reached the first anniversary. It’s been a hell of a trip so far, and while this fan is thrilled to see Juana touring with Discwoman, Damon Bradley landing his first international gig, and local techno showcases happening at DC staples like Flash and U Street Music Hall… there is a touch of melancholy. Organizing Sequence is a lot of work, naturally, and the DJs involved aren’t seen behind the decks so much anymore. I’d love to see friends strike out for fame and fortune, but I’d miss them.
The week before Sequence’s anniversary party, there was a last-minute get together of everyone at, yes, Dr. Clock’s. And that was a wonderful taste of the “good old days” of all of two years ago. Here’s hoping we don’t lose sight of that.
Sadly no time for my usual Top Picks post this week, so I’ve just thrown together a few essential picks for the weekend. I’ll be joining my DC House Grooves Show co- residents Ramirez and Katrina Mir plus WTF!?! Show‘s DJ Kochi in the Green Room at Flash on Friday for VIBE. Can’t wait to throw down with my favorite DJs, and if that line up wasn’t tasty enough, brother Symmetrical will be exhibiting some of his amazing original works of art. Join us on the rooftop from 10pm on Friday. Seriously thick vibes! Flash Bar on Friday looks tasty, too, with Detroit’s Appian making his DC debut alongside Boss Ross and Mike Harvey. Serious tunes, open to close.
Here are a few other picks for the weekend. Preview with DJ Meegs at Flash and Playlist with Jubilee & Ramirez at Eighteenth Street Lounge have you covered for Thursday. Saturday, head to Flash in the afternoon for Kim Ann Foxman with local support from Vanniety Kills and Sean Morris, then stick around for Culoe De Song, Chris Burns and Trevor Keen in the main room, Manfredas and Sergio Santos in the Green Room and another edition of Dusk in the Flash Bar with DJ Soul, Chosen and Henry Da Man. Soul Love at Ten Tigers Parlour is another solid bet for Saturday, with Baltimore homies The Elders joined by Vanniety Kills and Paradox legend Wayne Davis. Serious house grooves all night! Sunday, close out your weekend at Eighteenth Street Lounge with Sam Burns, Keenan Orr, and Sundays Rooftop with resident Benoit and a live set fromChicago’s Obsolete Music Technology.
That’ll have to do for this week. Hope you can join us for VIBE in the Green Room at Flash on Friday, and I’ll be back next week with a special Labor Day edition of DC House Grooves Top Picks. See you on the dance floor!