Everything about New York’s long-running Sharegroove party is deep: the beats, the crowd’s appreciation, and all the DJs’ record bags (yes, kids, actual records). And at the latest secret-Brooklyn-warehouse installment held Saturday night, even making it there required a deep commitment, as revelers only learned of its location via email a few hours before the party took place (which is becoming the norm these days).
It’s easy to bring the newest hotshot record-jock to town at an established club with an already existing clientele and lots of promotional dollars behind you, and have a decent crowd turn up. It’s much harder to build a party from scratch and import cross-genre purveyors of the finest in electronic boogie and have people follow you across two boroughs. Yet that’s exactly what resident DJs Steve ShakeWell and Duckcomb have done with their party for the last six years. Previously held at Douglass Loft, the Commodore, and Rose Live Music, among others, this is their first venture at this hush-hush locale. But with an eclectic guestbook that runs from Negroclash founder Duane Harriott to WFMU-er $mall ¢hange to instrumental Afro-Soul combo Budos Band, people are happy to follow them wherever they may land.
Tonight, ShakeWell and Duckcomb more than ably open up with across-the-board dance music of all stripes: it’s clear these old pals have been playing together for some time, easily completing each others’ musical sentences and never straying far from the dance floor, physically or mentally. The room fills to a perfect capacity as New York’s own Prince Language hops on and plays a scorching two-hour set of classic and jump-up disco. He drops a few cuts from his hot summer Fabric promo mix, but I remind him that many people are eagerly awaiting another volume of his now-classic No Comprendo mix series. (The heterogeneous, groove-laden mixes spawned four volumes and a party as well.) He agrees, but he’s evidently been too busy remixing “Into The Night,” the first single from Canadian old-school housers Azari & III‘s upcoming debut record.
Once Jamie 3:26 gets on the decks around 2 a.m., he immediately takes the crowd in a more aggressive, techy direction from Language’s smooth disco. Bouncing around behind the tables, he can’t keep his hands off the knobs, expertly tweaking out levels while mixing long and, well, deep. Jackin’ Chicago house is the primary objective of this late-night set, which is to be expected considering his Chi-town roots, but like all the other DJs this evening, he ventures across multiple musical terrains, including classic New York electro and, from overseas, some good old fashioned acid house.
Bringing an underground out-of-towner of his stature to play New York is certainly not a sure thing, but Jamie–and his crowd–are clearly thrilled to be here. A 20-year veteran (having even spun with the late, great Ron Hardy), Jamie’s enthusiasm is still infectious. He clearly loves what he plays, and so does tonight’s crowd, which is as racially and sexually mixed as the music. The usual disco creepers abound, but tonight there are some real winners: a space visitor in spandex who dances with a wall for 30 minutes or so, the ‘we-can-do-better-than-t-shirts’ white-kid sect, a miniature mobster/trainspotter in a fedora (sorry, what?), and even a small makeshift lesbian B-girl crew. But as unbelievable as this all may sound, it works; they’re all here for the same reason. “What can I say?” ShakeWell concludes. “Our party’s good for the soul.”