mr. zilla goes to town

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I've got my orange, and red

Last night Suzy and I and a couple of friends experienced the slack-jawed, hypotising thrill of being at a two hour performance at the 9.30 club by Japanese turntablist DJ Krush.

I'm really left grapping for the right superlatives to describe how technically and sonically impressive the set was. Indeed I can only dimly grasp at exactly how Krush was achieving the output he did. Set aside the talent required to master a triple-turntable technique, for the first forty five minutes of the set Krush was mixing and tripping an amazing array of rhythms using just ONE wheel. Talk about zentertainment. Using one deck he appeared to be loading loops through a sample box in his tricked out mixer and then (I think) throwing them through a series of software VSTs in the laptop on the desk - albeit a laptop he never actually touched except to close when moving to two vinyl drives later on - then feeding the loops through reverbs and filters and rapidly reassigning crossfader and EQ controls between the assigned echoing loops. Or something.

Whatever it was, it was magic. And its as if the only thing that the near capacity audience could do most of the night was stand in dumbfounded amazement as waves of triphopped illbience washed over us from a foreign shore.

Continuing on we swung by Dragonfly for a drink or two, a schmooze or two, and to note the best REM remix I've heard (and there are some awful ones out there) - a white label called "Abusing My Religion" by SFB which thanks to the wonders of the internet I've been able to have a good listen to at home this afternoon.

We rounded out the night at Red, a place I think is DC's finest late hour venue for quality house music. Empty at 1am and packed at 4, it's a treat for the aficionados of all stripes; whether they're Bolivians who want to merengue your girlfriend out the door, Marines who want your help to score some coke before they ship out to Iraq, or the occasional slightly lost but happy gay Austrian who nonetheless knows his way around a bottle of baby powder. It's where the poseurs go after they clock off posing around and need somewhere uncluttered and dark to get sweaty - either on the dancefloor, each other, or sometimes both. All around the world (or at least the pieces I've seen to date) there's a seductive velvet darkness to be found at the heart of clubland, and on the weekends Red definitely has a captured piece of this.

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