SWEATIN' TO THE S-MAN
I've been dancing to house music since the beginning - over 15 years. One would think after all that time, all those long nights dancing, collecting this music, spinning house, living house, that one would eventually tire of it all. Become jaded. Bored. And move onto something else. But exactly the opposite has happened. I have grown more passionate about the house that Jack built with each passing year.
I was thinking this last night dancing to Jeno's set and joyfully anticipating the arrival of Roger Sanchez. I was thinking that this was the music I had longed to dance to in the seventies. That I was waiting for. Hoping for. And here, if by some miracle, this extraordinary dance music grows and blossoms from the deep yearnings of my brothers and sisters over the years for that perfect beat. Music that just gets better and better.
For you see, I am not one to tell you that the music was better back in the day. That I long to return to the days of early house music. With all respect to the past, that music was seminal and innovative. But the genre has progressed, evolved, beyond my wildest dreams. The music is so much richer, diverse and compelling than it ever was. That is as it should be, for if it were otherwise house would be a static, uninteresting relic.
I have nothing but praise for the guys who throw the Twelve Monkeys house parties. I know they truly believe, as I do, in the music and the house community. They manage to bring in each month DJs who represent the state of art of the genre from all over the country as well as those who have created the unique SF house sound. I am grateful for this and apparently so are many other househeads for the venue attracts more and more hard core dancers each month. And I am grateful, so very grateful, that they gave me the chance to dance to Roger Sanchez again last night.
Roger Sanchez. Countless and diverse remixes, productions and releases. Grammy award nominee. An awesome presence and inspiration to the house movement for over ten years. All that, yes. But he is also a great DJ and for him DJing is where it all begins. He is on my list of the top ten house DJs in the world. His intelligence, creativity and understanding of the form deserves the highest respect.
Jeno preceded Sanchez and built his set into the kind of funky, tribal/Afro house we San Franciscans love. When Sanchez took over he just expanded on this vibe for the first part of his set with driving house that nearly dropped us all from exhaustion. Then, ah yes, then we were all moved in another direction.
Sanchez is a great manipulator of body and soul. Me thinks he has an agenda when he spins. First there was this orgy of tribal, frenetic stuff that brought everyone together in a primitive, sensual orgy of sweat and wild dancing. Then... Oh, the most beautiful, soulful music -- I don't know, call it acid gospel, punctuated every so often with the tribal themes from the earlier set, that truly took us all to the gods. Through the body to the soul. This was, even for me, indescribable. I felt my emotions and intellect were being orchestrated by some master shaman so that at the end of it all I would achieve nirvana. Yes, really. Like, one was taken to heaven and you could feel the presence of Oneness. Astonishing set. I hope someone recorded it.
Magical moment of the night. At around three in the morning on St. Patrick's Day an Irish couple squeezed by me on the dancefloor. I was wearing green Illigs with a kinda' tribal Celtic shirt and a green n' black hat. The man wished me a Happy St. Pat's day and I returned the greeting. Then he looked at me and gave me a blessing, an old Irish gift from god. Yes, Irish househeads tend to be some of the most spiritual people in the scene. And I send his blessing on to all of you.