vendredi, janvier 26, 2007

Epilogue: Anatoly goes to ParisParis

Well, Anatoly survived the trip to ParisParis, and he sent me this amazing report, which I reprint with permission:

We took a cab.
A queue at the entrance. J. says queues are nice for the club's image. He thinks security guys create them on purpose. To add visual appeal and importance.
Well, this line was a mess. No beginning, no end, just a bunch of moaning people.
J. and M. spill their pessimism. They complain about the whole Paris shityness. Oh how it would have been better in Berlin! Yeah, right. Berlin sucks in its own ways.
So, I first interview the crowd. "My girlfriend works at the bar, and even that does not let me in" Another one says: "If you're not on a guest list they won't let you in" Others confirm that: "We've been waiting for an hour"...
Ok. Enough time with the crowd. I pull out my guns and head to the first security guy. Calm and professional. Polite and patient.
I show him the e-mail I received from LesIzmo:r.
"That's good, but do you have a confirmation e-mail?" What the fuck? "Un mail de confirmation? Il me semble que ce courriel ne mentionne aucun mail de confirmation, du moins que je me trompes." "So, you are not on the list?" "I doubt I am. If I knew entry would be on list only, I would of course make the necessary arrangements, Monsieur."
Futile feet intermingling. M. wants to take a cab back.
Ok. Round two. Back to the same guy. I explain that if on the e-mail there is no mention about any confirmation and that if the e-mail explicitly invites me, personally, to that party, and that the entry is free... I would like to speak to the boss, please.
Change in attitude, shuffling of the security guards... They do get me the boss.
I ask if he is the main organizer of the party. He says he is in charge for the club entry, but he is not from LesIzmo:r... the club's guest promo-group. And, with a grin, "LesIzmo:r is currently spinning", so they can't help me.
By that time, most of the crowd has left the street, pissed off.
The guards continue to filter in the neat girls. J. anticipates the female vs male proportions inside.
The guards also pity a half-frozen guy, smartly dressed in just a shirt, and drag his body inside. MeteoFrance announces 0 C. J. and M. rumble and sabotage.
Ok. Round three. The boss has left. So I ask to speak to the main guard, in a confidential manner. I explain that I am so embarrassed to worsen the reputation of Paris-Paris and of the whole Paris techno scene in the eyes of the foreign media. I have two friends from Berlin (which is true), with one being a journalist (J., which is true), and I am ready to ask him to show his press ID (which J. has)... So it's just such a mauvaise réputation pour notre ville, vous comprenez...
Of course, I have 0 drugs and 0 alcohol in me, as usual, so I guess I sound very serious.
The security guy understands and very amiably whispers that he will do his best. The boîte is overpacked and he pleads to wait just a little more. A couple of minutes later, we're in!
The public is young and rich bourgeois. Nothing of bohemia or experimental stuff.
Tons of girls with impeccable manicure, millimetric mascara and glossy lips.Expensive leather bags, full dresses, high-heels, champagne bottles, long drinks, buckets of ice, comfy armchairs. Exclusive décor: black walls and oh so original mirrors. Well, like elsewhere... Top hits NRJ on air...
Oh, sorry, it was supposed to be minimal techno down there. Ahmmm... I sure don't hear any!
Ah yess... The usual BOOM BOOOM TSS BOOOM BOOOM TSS. Lemme dance! Lemme scream! Wave the hands! Lick the licks!
The sound system is powerfull, much better than at Nouveau Casino. Bass and treble only. What mid-tones? We don't need no stinkin' mids! Give us bass to shake that ass!
The DJs...
For me, a good DJ scores on two points: good taste, good mixing. The best DJ for me pulls from a sublime collection of tracks and mixes 2 plates live, like he works on a 50 channels / AB Live / ProTools studio gig.
By the time we got in, we managed to listen to the last two DJs.
Silversurfer [Crosstown Rebels/ Berlin] - horrible taste, horrible mixing.
Pipo Vitch [Let'smoke / Brussels] - 5 good tracks (cut prematurely), horrible mixing.
Pumpy hard techno poured over drunk, aroused, stoned public. As always. Walking on the heads, shaking ashes, cigarettes.
In the morning, the dance floor loosened up a bit, I danced to those 5 tracks and we bailed out at 5:30.
Nothing snobbish. Nothing minimal. A typical parisian boîte. S'oublier. Se défouler.
Fuck. What's a smart clubber to do?

I should add that Anatoly did feel that the club had a lot of potential.

2 commentaires:

Grandin Donovan a dit…

Paris Paris can feel like a crock of shit, but it can also be a lot of fun. I've only been twice, both during Fashion Week last Sept. The first time began with a bunch of New Yorkers sitting around looking bored, and ended with Soulwax and exposed nipples. The second had a much, much hipper, hotter crowd, but it was an iPod battle and the music was shit. Both times I was "with people" so I didn't have to face up to the door. I don't know what your friend heard about minimal in Paris...I guess it's supposed to be hot still, but whatever. Damn near everything I've seen - hell, even Matthew Dear and Derrick Fucking May - ends up going insufferably hardcore. And these Ed Banger guys...we saw Paraone at Showcase and it was nothing but buzzkill arpeggios. Will someone please teach these people what a proper "break" and "drop" is? Also, as to antiquated notions of DJing requiring, I dunno, vinyl, beatmatching skills, etc...that all seems out the window. You know where I can go that has space to dance and a DJ who knows what the notion of the "3rd track" is, and I'll throw off my curmudgeonly ways and show up with bells on. Only thing I've seen like that was a 10am set by Akufen at Mains d'Oeuvres, but that's technically banlieue.

LMGM a dit…

I am filled with envy that you got to see Akufen.

Indeed, life is made complicated for a minimal-lovin' party-goer in Paris for at least two reasons: 1) "minimal" seems to be used as a broad and nebulous category here that means both "anything from Berlin" and "anything that isn't clichéd rave-style Hi-NRG / trance"; and 2) "minimal" is getting slapped on everything in the same way "progressive house" was being thrown around 6-8 years ago.

That much being said, when it's good, it's fantastic and fun. Also, my yardstick was Toronto during the golden years, which isn't a fair comparison.