Review: Jonathan Peters and Wil Trahan at Rise


JONATHAN PETERS + WIL TRAHAN | March 6 | Rise, Boston

In what I was told was his first spin ever at Rise, JONATHAN PETERS drew a large waiting line of fans – guys and gals, very mainstream, as unlike the glitter and flash of Peters’s New York scene as possible. By 3am, Rise’s dance floors were packed, and they stayed packed. Peters did not disappoint. Bringing his New York mixing style – a lot of it from Pacha, the star-power disco whose style he celebrated on his 2008 CD Jonathan Peters Presents Pacha  – and mixing by computer wave programs, Peters put down a beat both deep and fierce, and very cutting edge, then matched it to a jet-streak sound effects redolent of 1970s-1980s gay disco classics. He maintained his mix of past and future even more aggressively when, at about 4:00 A.M., he switched his beat from deep and plush to hard and acid.

Peters frequently punctuated his beat with pauses – those catch your breath, tension-intensifying stretches that serve as bridges from rhythm to rhythm – that were quite functional, actually, given the furiousness of the dancing his rhythms enflamed. His gravelly beats and sound effect pauses reminded me of the style I first heard Armand Van Helden play, back in his Witch Doktor day. Still, Peters’s mixes of sounds were entirely his own – and surprisingly unlike the flamboyant, diva-style, David Morales-like house music that I recall from his first CDs almost 10 years ago.

Opening DJ Wil Trahan, who holds court at Therapy in Providence, played a pretty tasty 90 minutes of house music, too. Unlike Peters, Trahan’s set featured no pauses at all, just a continuous, mercilessly sexy roll of deep, candy-flavored rhythm. Lots of his fans were in the house, and they cheered Trahan loudly.

-- Michael Freedburg

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