Photos by Michael Freedberg
Perhaps it is unfair to downgrade the performance dropped by the very young Swedish dance music track-maker ALESSO at Ocean Club, Marina Bay, the night of July 4. Alesso -- real name Alessandro Lindblad -- turns age 21 just this week, an age more suited, one wants to think, to arena rock or indie punk than to the worldly intricacies of great dance music.
Last Friday night, ERICK MORILLO, one of the major creators of house music's second generation (1992 to 1999, when he was known as "Erick More"), dropped a 90-minute set at Quincy's Ocean Club at Marina Bay. Morillo doesn't often play the Boston area any more, yet by the huge number of mostly South American folks -- Morillo was born in Colombia and always works his roots -- who came to Ocean Club paying top dollar, it was clear that he still commands full loyalty from those who have sustained his music since he first founded Subliminal records, and before that.
As often as this writer has heard DJ DEKA perform over the past six years -- at least a dozen times -- his set at RISE Club, after hours last Saturday night, surprised for its deep, massive mastery of the low frequencies. Deka, who hails from Lowell and whose real name is Alex Karangioze, gained his top reputation locally by shaping to its utter limits a sound he calls "New York style hard tribal."
At Monet Lounge in Providence earlier this week, the MARTINEZ BROTHERS dropped the strongest two-hour set this writer has yet seen from the Miami duo. Playing in tandem, as always, their mix and soundscapes seamlessly similar; the pair used a Traktor program, mixboard, and two CD players to overlay funky stuff on scrambles, to slice sampled talk and goofy girl vocals into the mix, and to stroke the low register frequencies in which the "deep house" genre delivers its seductions.
At Ocean Club Sunday night about a thousand fans of the two sides of dance music -- rave/rock and house/techno -- took full advantage of superb weather to savor the work of young electro-rave star ZEDD and established house music master FEDDE LE GRAND.
Zedd, whose real name, according to Wiki, is Antlon Zaslavski, hails from Germany but has a sound quite unlike that of any of Germany's many top-name DJs.
Of the two German
DJs who together are known as M.A.N.D.Y., only one, Philipp Jung, worked the
mix board at Julep Bar last Thursday night, May 31. That was all it took,
however, to enrapture an almost full dance floor from the very first minute of
his two-hour set. Using two CD players and no PC program -- a technique that
seems almost quaint in this era of program mixing via Traktor, Skratch, and
Ableton -- Jung dropped a set as classic as his instrumentation.
>>DOWNLOAD: DJ Ms. DD, The Trannysphere #1 [mp3]
About once a week, for as long as we can remember, one of the Phoenix's most senior critics, Michael Freedberg, would come into the office to pick up his check, and then, on his way out, as a way of saying "hello," he'd stop by the arts desk and launch into a monologue, often aimed at no one in particular.