Boston’s global beat

A Soul Revival revival and the unstoppable Kon & Amir
By DAVID DAY  |  November 17, 2006

Adam Gibbons

For a true dance party, there’s nothing in Boston quite like Soul Revival, the monthly throwdown that goes off at Villa Victoria in the South End (85 West Newton St). This Saturday is something a little more special, however, as the clan welcomes back one of its own: DJ ADAM GIBBONS. “I moved out here to Santa Fe to get away for a while,” he says over the phone. “I did that and enjoyed it, but it was time for me to get back to Boston.” Gibbons was one of the early members of the Soul Revival crew, running the night with founder COURTNEY GREY when the party was just getting started, almost 13 years ago. “I wanted to be effective more than just flying back once a month or every two months to participate in it. And it was kind of tough to coordinate logistically from across the country.” A graphic designer by trade, Gibbons does work for some heavyweight clients — FedEx, Saab, American Express. But he’s an active participant in North America’s soulful house dance community, whether it’s here or in New Mexico or Florida. He helps book the acts for the South End soiree; he also designs the flyers and the graphic look of many American deep-house labels.

This edition of Soul Revival features an African vibe with DJ CARLOS MENA of the Yoruba label and a live performance from BBE recording artist SIJI. Mena’s work tops most of the deep-house charts these days, and he describes Siji as “Maxwell, Stevie Wonder, or Marvin Gaye but with an Afro undertone . . . The one thing we always do is try to remember where this stuff comes from,” says Gibbons, who’s also DJing the night. “From the Paradise Garage and the precedent that set for the way people party but even further into traditional African music, to pay respects to what was set forth years ago.” The party’s spiritual vibe comes across straight like a laser from Gibbons, even over the crackling of a cell phone in New Mexico. “I book most of the acts, but Courtney is the father of the party, the navigator if you will, for how it runs.”

He has high praise for his party and its people. “It exactly works because of the fact that the people who originated the party didn’t feel like they fit. We want to keep the feeling of how it originated. And there’s no other venue like the Villa.” Gibbons (and Circuits) advises you to show up early to avoid long waits in line. “But also because the way the DJs are performing, it’s a story. We want people to experience the full concept of what we do. We don’t just play bangin’ tracks all night like other clubs. There’s a story there, and the story begins at 10 o’clock. If you show up at midnight, you’re going to have to catch up.”

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