It is a given that a set by Madrid's DJ CHUS + PABLO CEBALLOS will feature their special, "Iberican" take on "tribal" house music. In their two-hour drop at Bijou on Friday night, low octave statements in the shape of samba and batucada rhythm -- the duo's bottom line for a decade and more -- powered the action from start to close.
Despite of our city's dispiriting 2am closing hour, which snuffs the club music experience way too early, Boston is home to a great many house music and techno DJs of note. WILL MONTONE is one such. Like many, he was a fan first; he even worked at Boston's beloved Boston Beat Record Store. He's also a track maker.
With deep house master JIMPSTER on the bill, it would have seemed certain to find the Phoenix Landing dance floor packed full Wednesday night. It wasn't. Even at midnight there was openness in the dancing area. Thus the music, when it came, seemed to move across the floor freely; to occupy as much of it as the fans who did show up to see, hear, feel, and taste one of house music's most accomplished track makers prove his chops as a mix-board performer.
At RISE Club on Saturday night, veteran UK DJ and track-maker DANNY HOWELLS dropped a five-hour set on an almost full-house dance floor. Actual five-hour sets come rarely to Boston house music fans, but when they do, they separate the masters from the blasters. Two hours, a reasonably dextrous DJ can usually manage without losing edge; not so with a five-hour performance.
At their fourth annual pre-Thanksgiving dance party at Boston's Royale, Madrid's much beloved DJ duo CHUS + CEBALLOS once again laid down their laws of rhythm and noise. The sound that they invented a decade ago -- "Iberican," they call it; a blend of Spanish dance pop and Nuyorican beats -- has shifted its levels.
One of techno's most venerable track-makers, BEHROUZ NASARI, dropped a 105-minute set at Bijou on Friday night that was not to be missed by those who appreciate visionary sound-scaping. He has been DJing for more than 20 years and producing his own works for at leeast a decade; his set at Bijou, as distinctive as it was classic, took this observer back to when DJs insisted on being distinctly themselves and when their overlay mixes, quick cuts, and blends of groove and voice gave shape to ecstasy on the dance floor and voice to dancers' desires.
Veteran track mixer CHRISS VARGAS plays Boston as often as any one and draws a large crowd just about every time. RISE Club on Saturday was no exception. Even the stairway up to the main dance floor had a waiting line on it. Inside there was hardly a spot for this reviewer to perch even as late as 5:30 am, by which time Vargas had been dropping mixes for almost three hours.
About 18 months ago, a much-talked about, but still quite unproven, female DJ named MISS JENNIFER -- a former model and a computer science specialist, according to her bio at Resident Advisor -- dropped a techno set at Providence's Therapy as strong rhythmically as any this writer had then heard. Even better, her techno rhythm convincingly negotiated a city-life soundscape as vividly industrial as an Einstürzende Neubauten encounter with skyscrapers from hell.
For anyone who has heard his work -- and there is a lot, on four CDs, from Blossom in 2003 to last year's Impermance -- AGORIA'S gig at Julep on Thursday night, September 20, was one of the most anticipated house music performances of the season. Would the Lyon, France resident, as a DJ, live up to the smooth, Euro soundscapes and robust, reverb rhythms that distinguish his track productions? After all, this writer has seen top-ranked producers come from Europe to Boston in DJ mode and crap out.