NCM Turns 10 - April 19th 2008
NewCityMovement is now ten years old.
TEN marvelous YEARS of House music, design & culture here in Salt Lake City. It's hard to believe it's been that long since my friend Sergio Hernandez, a DJ transplant from Chicago and I started a party together at the old Manhattan Club called New City. Ah, those were the days. Of course, now my back is broken from carrying around all that equipment... mixers, turntables, speakers, my ungodly giant vinyl record box and various lighting gadgets. Was it worth it? Yes!
The idea behind that first club night encapsulated everything I wanted to project going forward with my music, events and subsequent website (http://www.newcitymovement.com/). Most importantly I wanted to share the special feeling this truly unique art form had brought me in my life and to keep it alive - in my own way - in Utah. To create time and space for unheard, underground, intelligent, deeper dance music to be heard hasn't always been easy, or popular. That's why 'New City' began as, and is in essence an imaginary place. A shining futuristic vision of Salt Lake City where all our dreams could be fully realized.
So, looking back on a decade of NCM has me reflecting on the essential question of why I still love House music and DJ in the first place? Without getting too P.L.U.R. on you, here's what I arrived at...
1. There is no other music format like House music. People think it's just repetitive beats but what they're missing about this deceptively simple medium is that rather than short, easily digestible radio length songs. House is rhythm in it's barest form, a human heartbeat, a tribal drum beat, a pattern, a circle. It's a universal long-format canvas for all kinds of other music styles, sounds and emotions to play off of and weave through. How cool is that? Once you've truly experienced a great house DJ or any DJ for that matter - you never forget how magical the long format listening experience can be. It's like having a deep conversation. Equally, when you hear cringe-worthy, commercial variations of House, like that annoying business suit at an office party who won't leave you alone... you'll do anything to get back to that deep, meaningful conversation.
2. House music continues to evolve. Because the formula is so simple, the possibilities for variation and interpretation are endless - yet still today, someone always comes up with a fresh way to make it feel and sound different. From disco to break beats to techno, it's all essentially the same but the references, production and execution continue to progress. London's ravey acid house, the loose trippy SanFran funky breaks and chunky New York tribal beats of the early 90's club/rave scene have streamlined into stuff like 80's referencing 'space disco,' 'minimal tech,' and 'afro house', to name a few favorites and is coming from all corners of the globe. We're talking about advanced recording techniques that push the limit of sounds, most of which cannot be produced with physical instruments. It's groovy, freaky math music and it's still packing dance floors from Tokyo to Helsinki.
3. Dancing is a celebration of life. (warning: and may lead to sex) When you dance, especially for long periods of time at some point you stop being self conscious, you can get lost in rhythm, soulful contemplation and in the end you ultimately feel more connected to everything. In a chaotic, destructive, racist, war torn world, it's one of the few things that instantly brings people from all walks of life together and makes them truly happy! It's not uncommon for other forms of dance or art, but something about the House formula is the most effective yet at delivering such an amazing all-natural high.
I enjoy and support all kinds of music yet House will always hold a special place in my heart and for better or worse. That's why I continue to seek out new ways to share and experience it. NewCityMovement turns ten this year and I have you to thank for that. You're support and friendship has fulfilled me in ways I can only hope to return someday.
Coincidentally, I met the man of my dreams, one Mark Hofeling ten years ago at the party that started it all... and this months NiteLite lands squarely on our anniversary! I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart for his unwavering friendship, love and support over the years. Many of you have known us both for a long time so we invite you to join us along with one of NCM's perennial DJ stars Nick James for a celebration of love, life and pioneering grooves this Saturday, April 19th at the W. Lounge.
Always & Forever,