A few months ago I walked into a Pete Tong DJ set in San Francisco’s SOMA district. The foundation thumped with base. Synesthesia-triggering visuals danced on the wall. We moved to the top level to watch the crowd move – arms waving like an amoeba, tentacles propelling bodies.
DEEP HOUSE! The crowd screamed.
The beat wove in and out, speeding up and slowing down. But soon our knees began to ache. We bent forward and back to keep up with the plodding rhythm. The DJ’s swapped out their mixing boards, equalizers. A new table. But we’d missed the axis road and were left behind, forced to try and catch up with a runaway train.
Maybe this is deep house at its worse. Overdone and burnt. Lots of sound, but little music.
Then there’s Justin Jay. A recent graduate from USC and producer of deep, planetary house.
For Justin Jay it feels like the DEEP is an after thought. He’s not propelling the masses. There’s no manic drug component here. Don’t freak out about keeping up. Two minutes in and you’ll be in the slow current, grooving to the alien environment he creates with synthesizers and glammy guitar riffs.
This is good deep house.
“You can’t lie to house music. House music is a true music.”
Deep House. Persistent and unapologetic. While the steady four-on-the-floor or boots and cats beat invites the listener that commits to it for the long-haul, it also alienates the one who seeks immediate gratification.
Yes, not everyone understands it and yes, its doors are closed to many. However, those closed doors are not accompanied by the pretentiousness of an exclusive club. Rather, they only weed out the listeners who selfishly demand everything from the song and nothing from themselves.
Deep House is itself demanding, requiring the listener to reciprocate by intently opening up before inviting him or her in – I believe the ability to reciprocate is what makes one a “true souldier.” Then again, maybe I am lost.
Last Thursday Jordy Smith won the 2014 Hurley Pro in glassy conditions at Lower Trestles. The South African beat the veteran, Kelly Slater, and then the prodigy, John John Florence, for the title. To honor his win, I re-watched one of my favorite surf films Stranger Than Fiction, a Taylor Steele production featuring some of the best shredders in the world.
The surfing is fantastic, but even if videos of Clay Marzo doing insane lay back turns aren’t your bread and butter, you’ll enjoy the sound track. Do surf directors also put together the sound track? I’ve always wondered how that works. If they do, then Pandora needs a Taylor Steele channel.
Among a handful of gems, Embrace by Pnau sticks out. My initial reaction was that it sounded eerily similar to an Empire of the Sun track. But after doing a little research, I realized Embrace was released in 2008, when I was in High School yelling Sweat Drip Down My Balls! at High School dances.
So I stand corrected, Empire of the Sun sounds like Pnau.
Jordy rips! Lekker!