samedi, janvier 20, 2007

My My and Jesse Rose @ the Rex

Yes, this was night #3 of going out and partying. Let me tell you, as much as I like going out and dancing, if this wasn't for my fieldwork, I would've stayed in. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good time all-around.


Well, when you were out 'till 6am the previous morning, "pre-clubbing" reduces to something like this:

  • Sleep in. A lot.
  • Check mail and generally try to avoid the work of writing what you know will be a long blog entry on last night
  • Scrounge for food
  • Finally write the blog entry
  • Shower, shave, change, go out.

Correspondant: My My and Jesse Rose @ the Rex

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NOTE: Clicking on the names of the DJ's in each title heading will take you some of their recordings on Beatport

0h00-2h30: Jennifer Cardini

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Okay, so this Jennifer Cardini was barely recognizable from the one that spun Thursday night. Although her set started out rather downtempo (she was the opener, after all), she eventually moved uptempo to a pretty solid minimal / microhouse set. Although she repeated a few tracks from Thursday, they were all the tracks that I liked, while none of the ones I disliked reappeared in this set. The second half of the set was mostly high-intensity, loud and dense, so the label "microhouse" needs to be taken with a grain of salt. In many ways, it's probably more correct to say "punchy, glitchy tech-house," since her set borrowed the first two adjectives from microhouse, but otherwise played with tech-house intensity.

So, after my last experience at the Rex and my line-up difficulties last night, I decided to get there real early. However, I overestimated my travel time and got there at half past midnight. This is totally the wrong time to be arriving at a Parisian club, but I expected an insane lineup during the 2am rush hour (from the looks of things later, I was right). Anyway, I got in the tiny line outside and was in within a couple of minutes. On the way in, I struck up conversation with an Austrian jeweler and his partner, who wanted to know what kind of music was on that night, but only spoke English (and Austrian German, of course).

I got downstairs and hit coat check, which was also mercifully empty. While there, the woman in the Austrian couple asked permission to get a picture of the Jägermeister sticker that they had on one of the purse-racks. A few minutes later at the bar, she was taking pictures of the Jägermeister dispenser. Clearly they were delighted.

The club was very close to being literally empty. Aside from the bar staff and a group of 9 people that had gotten bottle service, I counted 10 other patrons. I got myself a drink (9€ for a vodka tonic!) and sat down at one of the tables near the dance floor. After a minute or two, this guy with shoulder-length hair and a pink shirt came over looking for a lighter. He invited himself to sit with me and struck up conversation, which started with "I forgot my lighter 'cause I'm so CRAZY tonight!!" He was ... um ... intense. However, it was 0h45, there were barely any people in the bar, and there was no crowd to disappear into, so I made awkward conversation for as long as my drink lasted. By then, I spotted the Austrian couple on the dancefloor, holding their drinks, so I said "I'm gonna take a walk around," and off I went.

After a somewhat forced (but at least non-creepy) conversation with the Austrian couple, I headed over to the bar for another drink. By the time I got back to the dancefloor, there were enough people in the club that I could stand on the dancefloor and not look like a lonely stalker.

2h30-3h30: My My

If Cardini's set was tech-house with microhouse sensibilities, My My's set was on the other side of that fine line (I know I'm splitting hairs here, but bear with me). Their set was definitely microhouse, but with a tech-house sense of intensity: on the one hand, there were the condensation of complex patterns in the mid-to-upper registers, the use of unusual samples as analogs of conventional percussion, and lots of space between layers and between beats--like stretching a wide net of glass beads; but on the other hand, there were a loud and intense 4/4 kick drum that seemed conventionally "techno," and a clustering of low-register basslines and drum kicks. To illustrate my point, I've got three short clips taken from various points in their set. Unfortunately, the bass barely registers, but if you listen through speakers with bass response (or if you fiddle with your EQs) you should get some of it (i.e., don't use your laptop speakers).

By the way, I managed to get a brief glimpse over their shoulder to see that they were running Ableton Live.

During this set, I also ran into N. again, as well as a guy who had hung around a bit with N. the night before, but whom I didn't know personally (never got his name). Although still friendly and affectionate upon greeting, N. wasn't inspired to make spontaneous displays of affection as he had been the night before. By the time we ran into each other, things were so packed that we didn't have many opportunities to chat.

3h00-6h00: Jesse Rose

Rose's set was great, although I didn't stick around for the whole thing. Although he (like so many of the DJs I see here) would probably fall into the category of "minimale" here, I found his set to be a pretty canonic example of tech-house. His tracks included some classic house features that normally don't show up in microhouse, such as disco/soul vocals, along with characteristically techno electronic sounds and driving bass. Here's a quick clip, with the same qualifications I made for the previous clips:

After two previous nights of getting home at 6am, I decided to head in "early" and leave around 4h00 (getting home about 45 mins later). Unfortunately, this meant I had to walk to République and take the night bus rather than the first métro train, but I really needed the sleep.

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