Headroom Sunday Party @ Ten Tigers

I’m a regular at the Headroom workshops held on Flash’s main floor once a month. It’s a chance for local producers to play their works-in-progress on an excellent sound system and get feedback from their peers. I don’t produce or DJ, but I like to hear what’s new and it’s a good place to network. This party was a chance for Headroom producers to show off their chops, and damn it was fun.

Headroom Sunday Party with Analog Tara, Darius Twin, District & Circle, DJ Winterman, JP Jed, Nebo, Sid Waters & Symmetrical at Ten Tigers Parlour

I was late getting out the door and parking on a Sunday was trickier than expected, so I missed a chunk of DJ Winterman‘s set. When I came in, he was running smooth and energetic. Later he hit us with breaks and drum & bass.

The night was a sampler pack of styles, just as the Headroom workshops are. The audience came and went over the course of the night, but it was a great assortment of DC producers and DJs.

District & Circle laid down just good old house music, including some samples from classic Cypress Hill. Nebo slowed down the pace with a live set of contemplative piano, live guitar, and vocals. Lovely set. It was the calm before the storm.

Symmetrical hit his custom rig for a live set and kept on hitting it, he said later, because parts kept fritzing out. His sets are always lively but this one was the wildest mad-scientist techno I’ve heard him crank out. And he was deep in it, too, riding the storm.

Darius Twin took over next and piloted us out with smooth, hard techno. It was almost relaxing. JP Jed continued the techno grind, dropping one of his own tracks quite perfectly into the mix. And then Sid Waters smoothed us all down with some heavy trance. An excellent way to end the night, and it fulfilled my recurring “problem” with Ten Tigers: I always end up staying later than I meant to.

It was a long show, and on a Sunday, but no regrets. Here’s to hoping this becomes a tradition.

Dubfire at Flash

DC House Grooves is all about local DJs, but if Dubfire is still from DC then he’s still technically a local. One who just happens to tour and headline at places like Movement 2016 where I last saw him spin.

Dubfire (Open to Close) at Flash with Felipe Valenzuela & Throe in the Green Room and Charles Martin & Jandro in the Flash Bar

In Flash’s downstairs bar, Jandro and Charles Martin served as openers since Dubfire’s “open-to-close” set was a good hour and a half late in starting. That wasn’t a first for all-night headliners at Flash.

90 minutes of excellent vinyl and digital grooving was no problem though. I’ve said it before and it still holds: the downstairs bar parties are where it’s at on Fridays and Saturdays. Everyone waiting for the upstairs to open seemed to agree with me.

I braved the main floor once Dubfire’s set began. Of course it was crowded. Of course the audience had other things on its mind than music. But for me… I got sucked into the beat within seconds and next thing I knew I’d been dancing for a solid half hour.

(I’m sorry to say that I spend more time hanging out and drinking than dancing, these days. I need to fix that.)

Downstairs, I could catch my breath and relax. Each trip back up pulled me in just as quick. When Dubfire’s set took a more abstract turn, the crowd was quick to bore and filter out to the rooftop, where Throe was surely keeping things rolling. That was fine.

It was such a good night that I wasn’t ready to leave at last call. Or when the upstairs closed again. Jandro and Charles kept going anyhow. Another great night at Flash for the locals!

Tech Yes at Dr. Clock’s

I’ve heard live house sets of a few different flavors, here in DC. Occasionally there have been live ambient/experimental sets. Live techno has proven to be the rarest. I didn’t expect to find it on a random Wednesday night — I was there because I’ve seen LeDroit and Theta Flux spin with big DC names. But it was Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar, so you never know.

On a quiet night like that, things can really cut loose. LeDroit and Theta took the opportunity to cover a wide range of techno, from chilly mechanical to funk-infused to deep and dark. It was all carried on solid beats and maybe there were only a few of us on the floor, but we enjoyed it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more.

Chub Rub at Flash

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.

Resident Nights: Philip Goyette, markinthedark & DJ Meegs at Flash, with Uchi & Edo in the Green Room and Zacheser, Racarbed & Dripping Wet in the Flash Bar

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.