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.
The set was amazing. You can hear it for yourself as the first installment of the Grown Man Business podcast.
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 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.
My top hat’s off to the Sequence crew.