Danny "DPP" Patterson
Saturday night in late January and the Channel Center in Southie is having a gathering. Not entirely above-board, the party spills out the back of the Fort Point fortress in a mess of hipsters and hip-hop heads smoking cigarettes. Perusing the hall, I found one of the artist lofts humming with a bass-bin fuzz. Past an avalanche of coats and a makeshift bar, 30 young faces were going mad on a concrete floor. This was the doing of DR. CLAW, the latest DJ to make a dent in the Boston scene. Holed up in the corner with the Serato DJ program, two turntables, and a bleedingly maxed-out PA system, Claw rocks mega hip-hop hits, reggaetón blends, and party classics with a smooth, easy-going cutting style.
It seems every week Circuits finds a new hot DJ to hype, and today it’s Dr. Claw (a/k/a OMAR CABRERA). He’s been holding court the first and third Thursdays at Enormous Room with partner DJ A a/k/a DOC $$$, but now he’s seeing more action outside of Central Square, with upcoming gigs February 8 with RED FOXXWORTH at the Red Line in Harvard Square and at High Street’s Revolution Rock Bar next Friday, February 16. But most intriguing are his Saturday gigs at the Squealing Pig at 134 Smith Street in Mission Hill. Usually a proper Irish spot for soccer and thick pints, it’ll find Claw throwing down a set between 10 pm and 1 am. “I will be honest, it’s kind of a slow night right now,” Cabrera writes later via G-mail. “But worth mentioning because the owners of the spot are really nice guys. Not really a dancing spot, but I urge people to turn it into one!” For a good while, Cabrera’s partner in crime was MS. THANG, who’s currently on an extended trip to Mexico. The two have a promo mix, available here, that wraps reggaetón goofballs Calle 13 around the Roots, Boston reggae star the Mighty Mystic against Walé’s well-named go-go jam “Breakdown,” and hyphy sounds from Keke Da Sneak.
Back at the Channel Center art enclave, the night gets so overrun with partygoers that some of the neighbors are upset. Around 1 am, Southie’s finest come to close the party down. Guess Claw is that good.
Circuits loves getting CD-Rs, mixes, and vinyl in the mail (the e-mail address is at the bottom). The Fractal Affinity, from DPP a/k/a DANNY PATTERSON, is an elegant, broad debut that came out a few months ago on-line thanks to Belgian label Banshee Worx. Patterson is connected to the Berklee scene that unleashed MONOCLE and former Circuits subject and John Dahlback vocalist Elodee. His style has a progressive bent, heavy on the bass, but the touches of Trentemøller-like minimalien clicks and melodic vocals leap out of the mix and go straight to the feet. Patterson was programming computers by the age of eight, so electronic music is about as natural as can be, and it shows. The lead track, “Conundrum,” gets right into it with a monster of an introduction and a bass kick that might loosen a muffler or two. The single “Unforeseen” has been spotted on the play lists of bigwigs like Sasha; on record it gets a light dub retouch from ANITSERK (a/k/a Monocle). Patterson’s trained musical background (he played trumpet) comes through on the down-tempo beauty “Aurora Borealis,” and the Floridian gives a nod to ambient with the closing “Soul Deep.” He cut his chops with “Laptop Symphony” guru BT, even going so far as to work with him on the score of the Charlize Theron film Monster. The album is the culmination of four years of work and rework, and Patterson made sure to remaster and tweak the final version for one of the cleanest-sounding dance records in some time. You can find the album’s most developed track at this column on-line: “Amative Entanglement” is a pumping, pulsing, late-night driving jam with buzzy, progressive breakdowns and pads climbing throughout. Good stuff.