Mass Muzik moves

San Serac on fire; baile funk gurus Nossa play the Enormous
By DAVID DAY  |  August 15, 2006

Fontes, back when Mass Muzik first got its new sign.
The saga continues down on Mass Ave as the recently renamed MASS MUZIK, the metro’s sole underground-dance shop, is packing up and moving out. Owner/manager PAT FONTES spent a few weeks of negotiations with the landlord before reaching an impasse. The result of this, dear reader, is you can get an armful of hot dance tracks for a discount. “September 1st I’m leaving the location,” Fontes says of 49 Mass Ave, where the store has been for almost 10 years. “Until then, I’m marking everything down I can to build up the capital to move to a better location with cheaper rent. I’m trying to be positive. But overall it’s a kick in the head.” The usual suspects are to blame: gentrification and the area’s continuing disinterest in music. “The neighborhood has changed in the fashion of businesses and people. More money is coming in and richer people are moving the cheaper stores out of the way. It’s like they’re pushing the lovely poor out of the village. Where I am right now it’s not made for what I do. I’m an underground-music store and a lot of people aren’t too into this stuff. It’s the capitalism way, man.”

Fontes is marking things down for big sales this weekend and next. He hopes to reopen a new store in October while changing his inventory a bit to satisfy the new trends he sees. “I’m putting more and more of that crossover stuff in here. In the electronic-music spectrum, in the urban scene, I’m trying to look into more nooks and crannies of that nature.” It’s safe to say Fontes will succeed where others might fail; the guy has been running the shop for eight years and has held his ground. Until now. “When I look into my average customers over the last two years, if I can cut rent and space in half, it would sustain itself.” Watch for the new location via the Web site; meanwhile, head down there to pick up some cheap wax.

New Somervillean SAN SERAC (a/k/a Nat Rabb) is a comer in the new electronic underground. With a single on the fashionable OUTPUT RECORDINGS label and an album planned, Rabb is getting more and more area gigs. “We lived in Providence for a long time, cause my wife went to RISD,” he says as he preps to DJ his brother-in-law’s wedding in Manhattan. “When she finished, we moved back to New York, where we’d been living before, and were just kind of like ‘Fuck this!’ and decided to move somewhere else. She got a job up here. That’s the 20-second version.” Rabb recently finished a self-booked tour in the UK, Italy, and France and a 13-stop North American tour that ended with him opening for A GUY CALLED GERALD at the fantastic NYC outdoor dance party sponsored by the PS1 Museum. His 12-inch release came as a bit of a surprise. “I was like, ‘Hey my record came out today! And now I’m gonna make some lunch.’ It was totally exciting, but I didn’t get any for another month, so it was like, ‘Did this actually happen?’ When I was in London, I just bought a suitcase and brought back a whole case of them.” The single includes two remixes. “They turned out really cool. The stranger remix is totally bizarre, and the polygamy boys remix is very nasty. It just makes you feel very uncomfortable.” The nine-song album, which Rabb finished just a week ago, comes out this winter and will feature artwork from Certainly, Sir member and local artist JEFF GALUSHA. This Tuesday, Rabb plays his live electro-vocal set at Middlesex Lounge’s blue-flame-hot Heartthrob party; on September 7 you can catch him at the Milky Way Lounge with the Aquanet crew.

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