Category archives: DJ

  • I recently had the distinct pleasure of compiling an oral history of the seminal underground New York club Better Days, a ’70s and ’80s contemporary of spots like the Paradise Garage—though Better Days was much smaller and, possibly because of that, less lauded. (You can read that piece in full here, on the Red Bull Music Academy website.) One of the main interviewees for the article was Bruce Forest, an iconic DJ (and later, prolific producer) who was on the Better Days decks throughout most of the ’80s. (In the ’70s, the late, great Tee Scott ran the show.) Forest has a great memory and is a fantastic teller of tales—but, for reasons of space and clarity, some of his best stories had to be omitted from the history. So we figured, why not share a couple of his best ones here?Loleatta Holloway This story concerns how the inimitable disco diva Loleatta Holloway’s between-song patter became one of the most ubiquitous samples in dance music history. It was all Forest’s (accidental) fault.Bruce Forest: “It was not easy to have live performances there. It was a very, very hard room to do live sound in; it was a round room with tons of bass. But we would do it sometimes anyway. Jocelyn Brown probably performed there seven oreight times. And there was Lolleata Holloway. She was one nasty woman when she wanted to be. And she was big; she could have easily kicked the shit out of me. Anyway, when she performs, she does five or six songs, but in between the songs, s[...]
  • Yes, we’re almost two weeks into 2015, so please forgive the lateness of this list—we’re just now recovering from a great New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day spent with the Bunker and 718 Sessions crews. But it’s never too late to support the home team, right? In the underground-clubbing realm, the fact that there’s been so much great music created by Gotham artists and/or released on local labels over the past twelve months is another sign of the scene’s strength—and really, we would could have made this a Forty Fave NYC Tracks list without breaking a sweat. But, for now, let’s go with the five below—click on the images to hear the tracks. Enjoy!Siren “Gauntlet” Compost There’s a windswept feel to “Gauntlet, ”the long-awaited first fruits of a studio partnership between Metro Area’s Darshan Jesrani and the Disques Sinthomme label’s Dennis Kane. It might be the majestic guitar chords, or the wailing vocals (from Apollo Heights’ Daniel Chavis), or the cut’s spacious arrangement and willingness to take its time to get wherever it’s going. Whatever it is, the song is something of an overlooked modern classic. And holy crap, does that pumping bassline hit the spot! There’s a fine remix from London groove machine Ray Mang that tightens up the song’s feel a bit—he basically houses it up, toughening up the rhythm and accentuating the acid bleep, giving it an added sense of urgency. But for our money, the sprawling original does the trick just fine.[...]