A last coat of paint to a dj booth, the deck prepped for a party, and mother nature doing her very best to bless the event with sunshine, DECKNANIGANS was finally ready to blossom. Ian and Tavia had kindly presented their home to those in attendance as a place for beautiful music and friendship, and the party was underway to raise funds for the Sukritham home.
I arrived in the late afternoon to the bumpin’ sounds of a Techno dj. The patio was a blaze with beats and heat, but the beer was thankfully cold. I was fortunate to bring my long time friend and one of my djing mentors – KILGORE TROUT – to this event, and he was in full suport of the afternoon patio kick back, the Disco and the dj.
I began my set, after the deep and quirky beats, with Steve Bugs remix of Plastic Dreams (The Spastic Dreams EP). A bangin’ track from 2003 with a new funked out baseline, flanged high hats that clicked like a Matthew Herbert recording of pop rocks hitting your tongue, and constant cuts and drops of the original instrumental; a piece that still echoes the memories of warehouses parties circa 1990 whatever.
From the set the set took its turn into a more familiar place for me. Selections from the album “Sounds Of The Urban Jungle Vol 1” (New Breed) – an 2 x LP that focuses on the tribal elements and genre of house. These were the sounds of the jungle… a place New Yorkers call home. Conscious and deep tribal rhythms echoed from the subs and the tops. The supported of Decknanigans were game, so out came the drum. Dj’s drumming in two’s, the humidity seemingly more and more intense, and the smiles of old friends and new were shaping this afternoon set.
It wouldn’t be a ShiKing set if the vocal house didn’t rear its Pride like face, and so the set once again turned a new corner. With rippin’ cuts like Cunnie William’s “World Celebration” (Peppermint Jam), Ndea’s “On” (The Disco Anarchist), and Wizeman feat Imaani (Miami’s Defected In The House), this Dj was back in his element and could have played barefoot in his basement with a crowd of himself.
With the sun continuing to beat down, so did the wax mastery. Starting with Bob Sinclair’s “The Ghetto” (One of my favorite tracks sampled from one of my favorite Jazz-Funk-Soul infused artists – George Benson), and flowing through to Salt City Orchestra’s “I Thought It Was You”… the rekindling with basement parties gone by was in full effect for those in attendance.
Finally, it was time to deploy the Disco selections,as before mentioned – Kilgore Trout was present… he belly full of beer, and his comradary on this day deeply appreciated. First up was Chicago’s “Street Player” (I still have trouble accepting that Peter Cetera wrote this track)…. a gentle yet cheeky reminder that our house music was once dance floor worshiped by our Disco and Boogie fore-fathers. “Street Player” was of course later sampled by many a magician, but none so successful as Kenny Dope Gonzalez and The Bucketheads with “These Sounds Fall Into to My Mind”. Brilliant. I followed that up with T-Connections “Do what You want To Do” and then finally Al Wilson’s “Earthquake”. Thankfully this foray into the “boogie” was welcomed by the host and his talented Dj lineup.
After a sun bleached set and sweat soaked t-shirt… it was time to exit stage left and listen to the West =side Wax Dj practitioner Ian Elliot. I was anxious to hear his sounds as I had heard through the Guelph – Toronto connections that his record collection was deep and dirty. As the beats continued, my hopes for a great set were met. Ian was on spot, while dropping classic house, to what sounded like some Italo, Techno, and a plethora of other tracks that caught the ear and attention of yours truly.
Lost in all the music and celebration was the fact a fund-raising event was taking place around me. I wondered if money had be made to send off to Sukritham? Surely these fine people and the efforts would not be thwarted…
Message from Ian the day after Decknanigans v1:
A big thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the sun and stellar tunes! We’re happy to announce that after expenses ($90 for the soundsystem and transport) we raised $140 for Sukritham Home, and while that may not seem like much by Western standards, it will go a long way in helping these children with basic nece…ssities such as shelter and nourishment – your generosity is greatly appreciated! And, if you haven’t donated already but would like to, you can either add to our fund via PayPal at email@example.com or directly to Sukritham at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Leandro and Filipe showing up at 10:30 a.m. to finish the platform for the third turntable – thanks guys!
– watching the sun banish the morning clouds and rain – such perfect weather!
– the ShiKing dropping Chicago’s “Street Player” in the middle of a killer House, Disco and Funk set
– Louis and Alex duo-drumming on a single djembe to the aforementioned turntable action
– Daddy Wilkes slinging some seriously fat beats well into the evening
– the hookups…plenty of happy, like-minded souls offering to help promote future events – looks like our little family is growing!
– strangers off the street; one wild strawberry munching beanpole, wearing multiple religious symbols around his neck, making the rounds and checking in to make sure everyone was having a good time + early evening kid who mistakenly “heard you guys are selling beer, here…”
– a dear friend who stopped by with cherries and a donation and ended up offering to help us out in obtaining our Shiatsu licensing – thank you again for your kindness!
As the journey continues, Ian and Tavia have announced that DECKNANIGANS v2. will be taking place on Saturday July 31st. A familiar plot line featuring a brand new line up Dj’s! I can’t wait. My hope is that I can “finally” (I forgot the recording equip last time) interview Tavia and Ian, for their thoughts and imagination has inspired since the birth of this fund-raising idea.In the mean time, I send many thank you’s and best wishes to them as they plan and prep for what is sure to be another lesson in Westside Wax eduction.