Sunday, March 06, 2005


Well, another Choon-Up been and gone.

still extricating myself from a nasty headcold - I rocked the big metal thermos full of breath deep tea+ chai-honey all night. Elixir, I tell you.

Megatron was impressive - a Grime Dj, hiphop-battle style. Fast cutting, scratching, hectic vocals chopped together, all the classics and the biggies. Unfortunately, it brought the battle-vibe, a bit - just a circle of heads, nodding at the decks from the edges of the room. It was a bit heady for me, (and "head"-y) although if there had been a big crowd who knew the tunes and responded physically to them, acting excited and pushing up to the decks, I might have felt differently about that.

Reminded me that I play dance music. "ripley wants everyone to dance" it says in my bio. I work hard to layer ideas, code messages, spray references.. but I want the messages felt physically. I trust the body a bit more than the brain. If the body hears, then the brain will work it out. Or the body works it out on its own.

I tried a half-jungle, half grime set, which worked out for me, except I need to find a more fun transition between the two. I can't keep using Barrier Break despite all its' ravey goodness. well, maybe one more time. heh. My ambition was to work in these two tunes from CD - a fantastic Andrews Sisters track called "Bounce me, Brother, with a solid four" which is all about that crazy new four-on-the-floor beat - and is at jungle tempo, and one of my favorite chicago house tracks, the Cajmere remix of U got me up, which, sped up, hits the 2step speed. problem was the CD mixer was new to me, and it was right underneath the monitor speaker, which wasn't really a monitor, but one of the rooms speakers, and fucking LOUD. O my ears. and O what's happening in the headphones? Well, it was a fun idea, and it was pretty empty too, except for a few friendly, faithful (and always dancing! how great is that) heads, who I think got what I was going for.

Speaking of people NOT getting what I'm going for. At the end of my jungle set as I was playing a track that was 1 year old, preceded by a breakcore track that was 2 months old, which was preceded by a doo-wop track from the fucking 1940s, a guy came up to me and said "can you play some new stuff?"

I would guess that this was a DnB head, as there;s a strain (mainstream I guess) in Dnb that is fixated on newness and a particular sound that means "new" to them. As Kid K pointed out, this question usually means "can you play something I know." When it doesn't, it usually means "if I hear a Jamaican vocal, I think it's old, even if NOTHING ELSE about the track uses production styles of 1995." And it's that mentality that "new" is automatically good. (add in "exclusive" under that as well if you like.) Like those reviews of mixes I've seen in some DnB magazines that say "this mix is all dubplates!!" with no information about the actual sounds, or whether the tunes are any good. It's another criterion that has nothing to do with the sound of the music.. (Actually I've been thinking how the fetishization of dubplates has influenced production styles.. for the worse.. but that's another rant.)

So, no. if an old tune is better than a new one, I won't be playing the new one. If a tune is new but in a style you don't recognize, or one that samples a ragga vocal, it's a) still new, and b) it's a GOOD tune first, or I wouldn't be playing it. OK? OK.

not sure about the new space. It's a cool bar, in itself. But it's set up for people to hang out around the bar downstairs, and only the very motivated make it up to the dancefloor. And the sound is bad, because of two-story ceilings.. a big wash.. and no sub makes it even more echoey. Attendance was pretty skimpy as well, I think the Financial district location means no walk-ins.

Except for random people from the swankity-swank Palace Hotel, the one where [xxPresident McKinley was shotxx] no, almost as good, where Warren Harding died. [heh thanks, a!], across the street. We did have one tuxedo'd and gowned couple from a wedding there who came in, carrying, inexplicably, a big photograph in a frame. And then later some P*ris hiltony gals, skinny, oceans of glossy makeup, sequins and cleavage, came tripping in, sniffed at the FIVE DOLLAR cover, and left. byeeee. Seriously, if they stayed and got down to the music, I would have loved them for the cheese factor if nothing else. But balking at five dollars, when you're staying at the Palace? whatever.

Anyway much of that set will be recreated and polished and tweaked for a mix coming out on redzeroradio in mid-March, so keep your ears posted for that. check back here for more info.

And Kid K and I will play a more downtempo set in Oakland near Lake Merritt next Saturday, at a very nice lounge/bar: Lucky Lounge on Grand Avenue. More on that later.


  1. Haha I feel terrible for spreading disinformation, but even though I told you otherwise last night President McKinley didn't actually die at that hotel, President Harding DID (and he died of semi-natural causes--a heart attack probably brought on by the possible threat of impeachment given his scandal/corruption rife administration.)

  2. Great show guys... I'm just a punk rocker but definitely enjoyed the exposure to your complex genres.


    And the guy in the tux was going on and on about how the photo was of Debbie Harry at a Yoshi's show *he and his wife were at* about 10 years ago.

    He was particularly surprised to see it at an auction he was at and had to get it.