Sometime around 11h00, Mark and I woke up. Mark put himself together, packed his stuff and headed off to the train station. For my part, I fell back asleep.
I can't remember how most of that day went. I woke up in a haze, did some blogging, made myself a bit of food (using this quinoa-based pasta that tastes lovely but breaks far too easily) and got ready to go out again. I'm pretty sure I ate dinner with DJ, but even that isn't clear. Hmm...
Katapult Night @ Le Rex: Baby Ford, Mark Broom, Skat, Alex&Laetitia
I had forgotten that the métro runs till 2am on Saturdays, so I ended up taking the train at around 0h30 and arriving at the Rex far too early. The line was pretty long, though, so by the time I got in, the place wasn't completely empty. The coat check line was pretty short, too, which was a nice change.
Shortly after getting in, I ran into a large group of students from work. Apparently, they were celebrating someone's birthday, and had thought that the Rex would be the best bet for clubbing in Paris (the Rex is generally known in the way that Crobar in Chicago or The Tunnel in NYC is). It was almost 1h30 and they were concerned that the place was still nowhere near full, but I assured them that people usually flood in between 2h00 and 3h00. For the record, I'm not actually teaching these students, so this still doesn't count as my "Holy crap, my students saw my partying" moment. A few minutes later, I ran into another group of students who were out partying. Ironically, both groups had gone out separately, thus making the "critical mass" of U of C students at the night even more amusing. It was like we had organized a field trip.
Skat's set was a overall pretty disappointing. Part of it was that his mixes tended to be abrupt and not well-chosen (i.e., the overlapping tracks didn't mesh), but a large part of it was that I came expecting one sound, and got something very different. My memories of Katapult events come mainly from their float at the Techno Parade last September, as well as their after-party for the event. In both cases, I got the impression that most of what Katapult artists produce gravitates toward microhouse and minimal techno, overlaying a playful house sound over minimal techno's otherwise austere face. In the end, I've discovered that what I like about Katapult is mainly Cabanne.
So if I came expecting click-pop and microhouse, you can look at the videos I uploaded of Skat's set to see what I got instead--especially the second clip. It was like some sort of retro classic house set, which I just wasn't in the mood for. He even dropped the "In the beginning there was Jack, and Jack had a groove" track, which signifies for classic house much like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" signifies for the grunge era.
2h30-3h45: Mark Broom
This was another story of misplaced expectations. You see, my mistake was to remember Mark Broom through his remix of Ken Ishii's Overlap. Listening to this (note: much like most .mp3 blogs, this link will go dead after a little while, so listen now) back in 1996 was almost revelatory. Anyway, as the three video clips below can attest, this wasn't quite the sound Mark Broom is producing these days. It was like there was some sort of nostalgia-fest for 90's era house that I had not been told about. As far as I could tell, that moment of nostalgia had arrived and left on New Year's Eve, 2004, in Toronto.
This isn't to say that I didn't manage to get my dance on, I was just a lot less enthusiastic about it and a bit anxious about what Baby Ford might do to follow Mark Broom's set. At one point, one of my friends walked up to me and said, "What's going on?! What is this stuff? Do you think Baby Ford will sound like this, too?" Clearly, I wasn't the only one taken aback. Nonetheless, clubbing involves both appreciation and celebration, so if we were having trouble with the former activity, we could always focus on the latter.
3h45-4h30: Baby Ford
OK, Baby Ford's set was great, but far too short. He was spinning vinyl, so I presumed that he was going to go for 1.5-2 hours, but instead he lasted barely 45 minutes. His set was definitely microhouse, with a real emphasis on punchy, sparse textures and interlocked percussion. As soon as his set started, I found the same friend I had spoken to earlier, just to share the moment. "Finally!" "Yeah, it was about time!"
This is another one of those moments of affective mirroring and intimacy. During Mark Broom's set, we inquired into each other's experience ("Are you feeling this set?" "No." "Me neither."), and had a moment of connectedness as we found someone to share our disappointment. Now, during Baby Ford's set, we check in on each other, find that our affective states match but in a more positive way, and have a moment of closeness and mutuality. At this point as well, "appreciation" and "celebration" overlap in a moment of intimacy. Later during the same set, I ran into Laurent and several friends of his, and we hung out near the DJ booth and had similar moments of "Are you feeling this?!" "Yeah!" "Me too!!"
For some reason, most of the pictures of Baby Ford came out pretty well, so the lucky bitch gets a bunch of photos, as well as some video:
4h30-6h00: Mark Broom AGAIN
After about 45 minutes of dancing to Baby Ford, I began to notice a shift in the sound of his set. The tracks were still somewhat minimal, but getting noisier and veering back toward the classic-vocal-house-without-vocals sound. I looked over at the booth to discover that Mark Broom had quietly taken over for Baby Ford. I was disappointed and pissed, but at least I can say that this second set by Mark Broom was far better than his first. One could imagine it as a sort of middleground between his earlier set and Baby Ford's set. Also, he got on this disco / new wave kick that climaxed in New Order's "Blue Monday" followed immediately by Giorgio Moroder & Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," which totally made the rest of the evening worth it. I love that you can still drop the original 7-minute extended mix of that Moroder track and get a room full of people hopping. I bet most of the people in the club weren't alive when this track was first made. I think I was 1 year old...
I made my way to 5h30, and then limped out to the métro and headed home. The ride home was pretty amusing, as a very drunk and slightly belligerent guy was sitting on the 11-line platform, occasionally yelling "Shut up!" at the whole platform, even though nobody was being particularly loud. At some point, another very, very, very drunk younger guy--who was essentially being held up by his friends) started a conversation with him, which went sort of like this:
"Hey! It stinks in this station.
"Yeah, it stinks of Sarko." [right-wing political candidate Sarkozy, who's not particularly popular with young and/or brown people]
"Yeah, it stinks of that rat Sarko and his little whore.
"Yeah, Sarko's playing in the gutter."
"Yeah, Sarko's a cocksucker."
"Yeah, he sucks tiny Chinese dick."
So, this conversation made sense until that last phrase. Nobody around me seemed to be particularly offended or confused, so perhaps this has metonymic content that I'm missing. I mean, I understand that sucking cock is supposed to be an insult for men, based on rather banal heterosexism, but I don't quite understand why Chinese cock is particularly worse--or why it needs to be tiny. Either way, I'm waiting for the day that someone says that again, so I can ask for an explanation.