1.8.09

Review: Ramadanman Versus DJ Harvey



Boston: 7/24 Ramadanman at Good Life -
7/25 DJ Harvey at Dancing On The Charles



Young, pale and anxious, Fruity Loops champion Ramadanman, or Dan Kennedy, unplugged a Macbook in favor of his Vaio, only to experience constant and then intermittent interruptions in sound. The melange of bootie-thrusting college students and ganja-smoking professionals initially heckled the buffering problem with "Ohhh!"s and "Nooo!"s, but they were committed to the freshly remodeled Good Life. Kennedy flinched and haphazardly tweaked nobs, uneasy until the final twenty minutes of his set, at which point he settled into a funky glitch-free groove.


Thanks to progressive and artist-breaking releases on his label Hessle Audio, and in part to Ricardo Villalobos dropping his tracks at techno festivals, Ramadanman's reputation precedes him. When asked about his production style, he told Media Contender: "I see it as another mutation of garage and it all fits into the history of new UK music, and I think rather than a change of direction, it just fits what we enjoy! I think variety is very important." Like a lot of producers who find themselves suddenly in the limelight and touring, Kennedy came across as unassuming and modest. He likes to drink milk and chat with fellow artists about EQ-ing woodblock.


The next night DJ Harvey, accustomed to touring the crazy nations of the world, raised his eyebrows and grinned when attempted crowd-surfing shook the booth. Dancing On The Charles, fueled by Red Bull, picnic food and various beers you can count on for the long haul, took place at an American Legion outpost on the Cambridge side of the river. Beneath the tent illuminated by visuals an official photographer roved around and asked, "Can I get a picture of you drinking that Red Bull?" Meanwhile the unflappably hip and casually legendary Harvey Bassett won over scenesters and academics, who hoped their lives would only go so well.


"It's weird to be really famous and poor at the same time," DJ Harvey commented at the after party. He wore an unseasonable black leather jacket and relaxed against the wall. A long-haired girl wearing a "FUCK WAR" t-shirt came over and straddled his leg; he asked her if she was going to give him a knee massage. She turned out to be an acupuncturist. Another panting fan asked him about reel-to-reel tape machines. DJ Harvey was amused at the adoration and although more in demand than ever, claimed he looks forward to disco being unpopular again. These days the mastermind of Black Cock records, and former resident of super clubs such as Ministry of Sound, lives and throws parties in Hawaii and LA, recently got married, and enjoys being selective about gigs. "I've gotten a bit lazy," he said.


DJ Harvey and Ramadanman recently played New York City's club Love, to give away Boston's scheduling strategy. A more puzzling part of the strategy was the presence of three or more opening DJs at both Good Life and Dancing On The Charles. As Boston residents are well aware, most sanctioned events are over before they begin, at 1:00 or 2:00 AM; public transportation shuts down shortly after midnight. Within the time allotted by the city, haste is inevitable. Though despite this situation, area promoters remain determined in booking big names. It's difficult to truly pass judgment. However, it would have been great to hear the influential guests from across the pond for longer than an hour and a half each.