Laid back in the cool air seems to be the way these days, as summer is officially here in the Hotlanta. I’m sitting in some lovely AC. and listening to some of the best hip-hop I have heard in a while. Le Gooster’s Zig Zag Zen has sunk me into some downlow funk, and funk all those “Electronica” hyping mainstream media suckers. I’m tired of reading those sorry ass articles by chumps who check out a Goldie record and talk deeply about the roots of the scene. And speaking of the scene, let’s switch channels and turn back the clock…..
Buffalo in April, and I was like a pig in shit. It was my first break from the South and nothing could make me happier than a Famile party. The whole posse was in town to get down with Chris and Kenny as they were dropping ‘Mass Appeal,’ another Famile bomb production, at my old stomping grounds- The Icon. Everything was in order for a jam as Xotec (rom, buffalo) hit the early birds with some hard garage. It was midnight and the club was starting to fill up. The main room had two dance floors, two bars, and a tremendous wall that was displaying classic breakdance battles. Upstairs was split into two areas- one was set aside for a chillout area, the other was shaking from some bang-up house that Master D (Electrik Soul, NY) was knocking out. After getting a dose of the upstairs, I headed down to check out the beginnings of Long Island’s best kept secret, Buddy (Special Sauce, LI). He started to let loose the energy he’s known for as his hands kept the beat in the air of one of many great breaks to come. The crowd was starting to filter in and from the looks of their expressions they were definitely diggin’ the vibe. Buddy was mixing and weaving some incredible breaks as the energy began to build. Upstairs was rocking also as Kazoo and Marcus of the Knowmatic Tribe were tearing up the tables with some jazzy jungle… The party was rocking and soon Donald Glaude picked up where Buddy left off. As Donald ripped up the speakers things began to go downhill for me.
It was at this point when I ran into a fine gentleman who thought that since he bumped into me in his drunken stupor he was obliged to fight me. Well, after laughing into his face and walking away a part of me just sat in disbelief- things just weren’t the same anymore. I packed my belongings up and split, it was time I realized that there was no turning back, no vibe like back in the day.
May came and went. It was one of the first months in ages that I didn’t check out any events or clubs. I was getting tired of the scene and all the bullshit surrounding it. I needed some substance and I was damn glad when I heard Dubtribe were heading to town. The amazingly charged duo of Sunshine and Moonbeam could jumpstart anyones soul and I was happy as hell to head over to Club March on June 20th. The dudes from LiquidGroove (404.257.2515)- the evenings promoters, were generous enough to let me in for free and I give my thanks. As soon as I got through the doors I knew nothing would be different and I couldn’t believe Dubtribe were going to be playing here. I was having a flashback, or so it seemed, as it appeared that I was in the smoking lounge of my old high school. If half the kids were dancing and grooving it would have been an overstatement. But who the fuck can fuckin’ dance to the fuckshit that DJ Icey Fucknuts puts on the fuckin’ Technic fuckin’ 1200’s- every fuckin’ track from that Florida Fucker Slicey was break the fuck down, build the fuck up, cheezy fuckin’ drum roll, bang bang yeah yeah kiddie breaks for the musically fuckin’ declined.
—The past statement was dedicated to Details magazine (yes WE even made it mainstream!!!), who write this about Massive- “dozens of very creative uses of the f-word”—
Well it was agony listening to Slicey and his cheeserolls, and watching the circles form for breakdancing was even worse. Come on, breakdancing to this cheezy shit?, that’s like moshing to the Spin Doctors. Finally, that poor excuse of a DJ left the tables and Sunshine greeted the small crowd to a warm hello and then immediately broke into this breakbeat that must have made Icey realize that he barely earned his paycheck. Dubtribe were immediately rockin’ and started playing some new tracks from their recent release on Imperial Dub recordings. They were hitting every note and Moonbeam’s voice never sounded sweeter. The night made way to early morning as Dubtribe’s positive vibe rubbed off on me and left me smiling. No one plays live breaks and house like these San Fran favorites, and the kids who stayed were damn glad. At 5am I left the club and proceeded directly home, perhaps with a bit more hope for the scene than what I came with. The very next day I awoke to a conversation I recalled from the night before. Someone, and I will never remember who, told me of a free party downtown in Woodruff Park. It was another gorgeous Atlanta day so I was definitely into checking it out. After a short twenty minute drive, I was at Woodruff park. The park wasn’t to big, but had ample room for the people dancing in front of the makeshift DJ booth. Though there weren’t too many people shaking their booties, there was a nice sized crowd laying in the sun and enjoying the music. There was definitely more vibe here than Liquid Groove’s Full Moon party the night before, and I couldn’t help but start dancing myself. I never caught the name of the DJ, but he was playing some great deep house that peaked the interest of everybody in the park. The whole atmosphere caught me off guard and made me think twice about the scene. I realized the death of raves lie in the path of the gigantic blow out parties. The saving grace and the fuel of the scene lies in the small events. The more personal a party, the more I think is gained spiritually. But hey, nowadays I don’t think the majority of partygoers are there to gain spiritual wealth…
A few weeks later and the Atlanta scene finally gets a dose of pure energy with the Logical Progression Tour 2 making a stop at March (July 16th). I arrived at the club around 11:15pm and was greeted at the door by Jen of Pleazure Tyme, the promotion crew responsible for the evening. Well, once I got inside I wanted to go out and give her a big thanks as everything seemed to be on line for a great night! I believe local junglist Bobble was cutting it up at first, as the clubgoers were immediately entrenched in a nice vibe. The crowd was unusually mixed, a majority being the under 21 crowd, but joined by some old skoolers who knew of LTJ Bukem’s mystical mixing madness. Well, at about 11:45pm Bukem took to the tables and immediately dropped Atlanta into a groove that many had never experienced before. He was tearing up the table with one dubplate after another, as he released some incredible acid laden jump-up style jungle. Mixing from table to table, Bukem kept the crowd screaming and yelling for more. After about forty-five minutes MC Conrad took to the mic and added some verse to the beats that Bukem was laying down. The whole experience kept the crowd dancing non-stop in the overheated room. As Bukem’s set came to a close, it was time for me to leave. It was unfortunate I couldn’t stay longer as Blame, another amazing UK junglist, was up to spin next, but work stood in the way. However, the few hours I was able to spend at March were definitely the best I have experienced in the past six months. Props to Pleazure Tyme promotions for a fantastic evening.
Well, it’s time to bid good-bye from Atlanta. Since my ramblings didn’t go so far this issue, I’ve decided to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams right here on this very page- yes I am finally going to post a top-ten of my very own, so here it is….and hey if ya don’t like it get your own damn column beyotch!
Mark Farina- Mushroom Jazz (Om recordings)
Le Gooster- Zig Zag Zen (Shadow)
PFM- “One and Only” (Good Looking)
A guy called Gerald- “Voodoo Ray” (Tenaglia mix)
Cappio Bros.- “Caffeine 4 Daze” (Stickman)
Masters at Work- Nuyorican Soul (Talkin’ Loud)
Barrington Hall- “Can’t go home” (Electrik Soul)
Coldcut/DJ Krush- Cold Krush Kuts (Ninja Tune/UK)
Gang Starr- Step in the Arena
Some ATLvm’s 4 yer 411:
Pleazure Tyme 770.492.0912
Liquid Groove 404.257.2515
Pur Productions 770.206.2375
Rydim Ryders 404.485.7016
Cosmic Kids 770.462.4775