12.12.10

DJ Donna Summer vs. The Good Life



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Last night I unwittingly opened my ears to the "hybridized" and "explosive house-dubstep" of DJ Donna Summer, as described and rightly so by Donna Summer himself.  Berliner by way of South Carolina Jason Forrest was unknown to me.  He operates in a realm beyond my usual scope.  Little did I know earlier that evening, waiting for the heating company at my apartment, that rave breaks were on their way instead, supercharged.  I took the train down to the Good Life around eleven, an automatic raise in temperature.  When I arrived I met a friend in the dank and warm basement level of the club.  He asked me, "Shouldn't we be in the UK?"  I said, "Yeah, pass me a pint."  He also commented on the odd nature of the crowd, and the Good Life tends to be that way.  You get shellacked hair, polo shirts, dredlocks, saggy pants, tight pants, asymmetrical haircuts, and black vinyl.  Well, maybe not as much of the last one.  Forrest ran Ableton from his laptop.  I'm not sure how he had it rigged but he danced and gesticulated himself into a sweat back in the booth, picking up the mic periodically to keep us "motherfuckers" and "ravers" in the game.  He would half shout in a breathless voice like someone talking while jogging.  It was funny.     


Unlike his disco namesake, there is no right way to dance to DJ Donna Summer.  He's just as likely to veer towards trance as he is jungle - the music does not rest.  I found myself saying several times something to the effect of "I actually like this mess."  But it wasn't a mess.  The tracks were tight, interlocking, and there was a lot going on musically - tempo changes for sure, beat division madness, grimy basslines, big room stabs and house style vocals... In short, it was over the top.  For me anyway, the set managed to be that way without being annoying.  It's not something I'd listen to every day, but it got me moving and I took off my jacket that I've been wearing constantly for the past few days.  My friend gave me a lift home and on the way suggested I check out the Nightshifters label, run by Forrest and NYC's Jubilee, so today I did and found a few tracks that I fancy and some that I recognized from last night's set, such as TALK's "Burning Alive."  Reference to heat especially appeals right now because I'm waiting on National Grid to finish fixing the gas line...


Talk - Burning Alive {clip} by Nightshifters

Rampage - Big Breath by Nightshifters







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