For those who haven’t been following the London tech house scene closely, it may come as a surprise to discover that Mr. C, the onetime frontman of the early rave group the Shamen, is a big hit with the trendy set. For the past decade Mr. C (real name: Richard West) has been toiling in dance music’s underground, starting the famed nightclub the End and label of the same name, yet he hasn’t released an album of original material since the Shamen’s halcyon days.
Change marks the artist’s solo debut, and it’s a far cry from the Shamen’s noisy antics. His new record has all the hallmarks of good tech house—a term that Mr. C both derides and celebrates by dedicating one track to the sound he claims in his liner notes is “not an actual genre”—sweeping melodies, layered atmospheres, and driving rhythms.
Genre-splitting aside, the record is a triumphant return to a front-and-center spotlight for someone who otherwise might have been just a footnote in techno’s short history.
Mr. C plays in support of Change, March 27, Centro-Fly, 45 West 21 Street, 212-627-7770.
CRAZY RHYTHMS DJ CREW: DAN SELZER+MIKE SIMONETTI
March 6 (weekly)
M’s Den, 129 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn, 718-384-9300
Serious music geeks are already familiar with Dan Selzer’s weekly Transmission Monday-night jams at Plant Bar, which is a trainspotter’s delight—especially for those with a soft spot for early house, Italo disco, and not a little bit of post-punk. I suspect many of the same qualities will be on hand at Selzer’s new Brooklyn gig, where he’ll share duties with Mike Simonetti. (Romano)
March 6 (monthly)
APT, 419 West 13th Street, 212-414-4245
Local label DFA (Death From Above) caused a ruckus last year with just four acts, and while the Rapture’s disco-punk hit “House of Jealous Lovers” got the lion’s share of attention, DFA co-founder-producer (and amateur stand-up comedian) James Murphy’s track as LCD Soundsystem “Losing My Edge” also received accolades and heavy play from DJs around the world. Mr. Murphy and his DFA posse have a monthly jam with Mr. Murphy and his guests spinning stuff like Josh Wink’s “Higher State of Consciousness”—which many politically correct DJs would immediately shy away from ever admitting they even owned. (Romano)
‘SUBLIMINAL SESSIONS’: CAJMERE
Discothèque, 17 West 19th Street, 212-352-9999
Erick Morillo’s popular Subliminal Sessions has found a new home at Discothèque, a club with a second-rate Centro-Fly design. Tacky interior aside, the kick-off lineups have been smashing, and Morillo has done us all the favor of bringing back the wacky and wonderful Chicago trickster Cajmere (also known by his more techno-centric alter ego, Green Velvet). While he won’t be performing new wave punk rock like he does live, his DJ sets are just as thrilling, especially when he spins stuff of his own, which is just plain warped (see: “La La Land” for evidence). (Romano)
‘CODEK RECORDS: DISCERNING DANCE FLOOR RELEASE PARTY’
Halcyon, 227 Smith Street, 718-260-WAXY
Swiss native Sasha, producer and founding member of Organic Grooves and Codek Records, introduces the label’s newest collaborative creation, Care of the Community: The Discerning Dance Floor—an anthology of offbeat, mutant jazz-funk, dub, and Afro-house. Producer Nick Name and Codek artist G-Rizo join the fun. (Franklin)
Opaline, 85 Avenue A, 212-995-8684.
If New Yorkers were as cool as they think they are, the Bollywood thing would be huge outside of the South Asian community. Local favorite DJ Rekha took a chance and started a monthly homage to the cheeky cinema and musical phenomena that is all the rage in India. She spins the best of Bollywood music, and her partner Darshan Jesrani (one half of Metro Area) contributes early disco to the mix. In addition to aural pleasures, the party kicks off early with a screening of popular Bollywood films. (Romano)
‘PARTY OUT OF BOUNDS’: METRO AREA
APT, 419 West 13th Street, 212-414-4245
Whoever said disco is dead didn’t foresee Darshan Jesrani and Morgan Geist—maverick producers of Metro Area—coming some 30 years later to revamp the sound that made the ’70s swing. At this monthly, expect to hear scooped-up, fundamental strains of disco and dollops of house and new wave beats piled in with other orchestrated hybrids, coolly served up for retro-lovers whose palate is au courant. (Franklin)
‘SHELTER’S 12-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY’
Shelter, 20 West 39th Street, 212-719-4479
The party-cum-nightclub that made Vinyl back in the day turns 12. A house DJ A-list and surprise guests pay a visit to get things started proper. On the roster: half-owner and resident Timmy Regisford, Marlin Bobb, in-demand DJ Spinna, 718 Session‘s Danny Krivit, Frankie Feliciano, Masters at Work’s Little Louie Vega, François K, Kenny Bovine, Ambrosia, Byron Stingly, and Miss KimBlee (the chanteuse famed for her tracks “Fade” and “Naturally”). Now try saying that lineup three times fast. (Franklin)
Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800
Dance music aficionados have a hard-on for genres, but Röyksopp have a good laugh at their expense by truly defying definition. The Nordic duo’s celebrated disc Melody A.M. manages to conjure the best elements of house, downtempo, and breakbeat, usually in the span of a single tune. The record is a joyful, upbeat thing, and Röyksopp achieve what many electronic artists find so difficult: They’ve made a record that’s fitting for both the dancefloor and for home listening. The show is their first-ever in NYC. (Romano)
Opaline, 85 Avenue A, 212-995-8684
Mutiny has returned, and I’m not referring to all the anti-war aggressions taking over the city. Sopping with South Asian breakbeat, left-field, dub, even hip-hop grooves, this party hosted by the girl around town, DJ Rekha, and Vivek Bald, a/k/a DJ Siriaki—who’s just put a British documentary to bed that will appear in San Fran’s International Asian Film Fest—welcomes all the residents you’ve missed, Anju, Navdeep (expect to see his Clinical Sessions II mix CD in the future), and Zakhm. (Franklin)
‘SQUATTERS MAYDAY PARTY’
Tompkins Square Park, 7th Street between avenues A and B, 212-714-4987
The peeps of Blackkat (known for battling the Rave Act law) are throwing their 16th annual party in the park. Think bright skies, folks reclined on picnic blankets, sit-ting in nearby cars, or dancing to techno, compliments of Jason BK (the crew’s creator), drum’n’bass by Chrome, dancehall reggae dropped by Pow Pow, and there are more DJs to be announced. So come on out, people, it’s free! (Franklin)