It’s Saturday night and somewhere in Chinatown there’s a party goin’ on. Each weekend — or nearly so — three local promotion teams combine like Voltron to sling tracks, power up hardware, and rock the box. Together, ROBOT LOVE SONGS, UNLOCKEDGROOVE, and ZERO G SOUNDS man the door, DJ the music, and set the scene at Suite 808, the hottest underground party in Boston. On this particular night, BRIAN MERZ — a brainy guy and one part of Robot Love Songs — and his crew have showed up to support Unlockedgroove, which has booked the night’s lineup. “It’s a time for the Boston techno community to come together on our own,” Merz says.
For chic European dance music in the Hub, these three promoters are the go-to guys, and they’ve made do by starting their own private RSVP-only night, complete with a booming sound system and camo netting. All three groups have run separate parties around the metro that have come and gone, but so far, their private functions have come off without much of a hitch. “We’ve had only one [noise] complaint,” says JAY FLOWER, one of Unlockedgroove’s many secret weapons. “And it came from that place,” he says, pointing across an expanse of downtown Boston. “It was a particularly loud night.”
The space itself is a rundown art gallery, complete with old refrigerators and a vintage Fung Wah–bus display, but the three groups have refurbished it with art-deco-masking-tape wallpaper and Chinese-lantern lighting. The guest list is provided by the Internet, via e-mail and carefully pruned invites. The sound system is cobbled together from various studios, the equipment from select apartments, and the talent from the network. Last Saturday, it came from the Zero G Sounds label; TODD GYS, a Detroit transplant, was the main event. Gys was celebrating the release of “Lon,” his new 12-inch single for the label, so he worked out a live set of acid bass lines and tweaked grooves from a Future-Retro “pizza box” synthesizer and a vintage TR-909 drum machine while the crowd hollered as they stomped the floor. EDDIE ODABACHIAN, the proprietor of Zero G Sounds, hauled up a replacement speaker before things kicked off and JON SCHMIDT helped man the entrance.
What’s most remarkable about these events is the volunteerism involved. You might see Mike Uzzi working the door before his DJ set or Flower on security all night. (This Saturday Schmidt, Merz, and the RLS camp trade off maintenance duties and provide the talent: local minimal convert MORGAN HADLEY spins alongside Schmidt before NYC/Detroit guru DEREK PLASLAIKO carves out an exquisite night of funky micro sound.)
For dance fans with more mainstream style in mind, local deep-house guru KC HALLETT has a new mix. The CDR, burned in quantity for Hallett’s recent voyage to Miami’s Winter Music Conference, is deep, soulful, conga-style house with uplifting vocalisms and jams that roll out like Bubble Tape. The DJ has been selling them at recent gigs, but the full-length mix is the one to seek out.
On the Web
Robot Love Songs: http://www.robotlovesongs.com/
Unlocked Groove: http://www.unlockedgroove.com/
KC Hallett: http://www.kcsgroove.com/