Dance marathon

Victor Calderone at Therapy, March 1, 2008
By MICHAEL FREEDBERG  |  March 4, 2008
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Victor Calderone

PROVIDENCE — A full brigade of House Nation citizens turned out for Victor Calderone’s marathon spin session at Therapy last Saturday. What was advertised as a 10-hour 10 pm–8 am dance party began not with Calderone but with Therapy resident Wil Trahan, who as one observer said “is playing terrific beats himself.” Still, when Calderone did start spinning, at 2:45 am, he took the night’s rhythms to a new level, as he’s done every time I’ve seen him DJ. At Underbar in Boston a few months ago, his music was delicate, a bit Brazilian in its touch, and fast. At Therapy, he introduced his set in an altogether deeper timbre, of thick, macho beats taken at a slower, equally macho tempo. Eventually his music evolved toward trance, of the highly embroidered type one often hears from Carl Cox or Dubfire, and then into a long passage of “electro” house (the genre of the moment), played, however, with a wry, almost obscene mouth, with vocal drop-ins like “He struck the fucking truck!” and “You fucked up!!” — this last repeated over and over and distorted in sample.

Calderone’s mixes dominated the dancers. His thick-beat-track overlays kept upping the ecstatic ante, and his quick cuts from beat tracks to vocal swoons or from beat tracks to yet more beat tracks gave the dancers no room for an opt-out. If his music got you dancing, his mixes turned you loose and beyond control.

The Therapy dance floor was by then packed — the nooks and passageways, too. This fiercely straight-appearing crowd (no muscle guys and definitely no trannys) included Calderone’s usual Hispanic fans and cadet-cap-wearing white kids, and there were a lot of women as well. Never have I seen so many gals dancing house music the way guys dance it: jumping and doing the strut, the lanky full-length body walk that house nation’s guys have imported from the breakdance world. As for the guys, they did their break walks, to be sure, but some took to dancing delicately, Miami style. Ricky Martin would love it.

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