Noted by house music fans for being a Chicago club kid whom Danny Tenaglia, no less, encouraged to become a DJ, HONEY DIJON -- real name Honey Redmond -- has more than lived up to whatever it was in her that Tenaglia saw. It was not always so; her early work, though fierce enough, lacked breadth of vision and mastery of colors.
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.
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.
When this writer arrived at RISE two nights ago, at 3 a.m., to see Italy’s PIRUPA, make his Boston debut, there was a long line waiting to get in; inside, both floors were packed to capacity. And no wonder. Pirupa, in just three years of work, has, according to his bio at Resident Advisor, already scored three Number One downloads at Beatport.
CRAIG MITCHELL, perhaps the Boston area's most soulful house music DJ, proved again at RISE on Saturday night that he well merits his reputation as the best in show. In a more than four-hour set he played both sides of his art, edgy evocations of mix equipment music and classic, 1990s house music send-ups.
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."