MJ Cole 4.10.01
by Sterling McGarvey
Venue: MJQ - Atlanta, GA
A warm Tuesday evening marked a landmark for Atlanta. It was on this evening that the city was finally graced with a superstar of a relatively new subgenre to the US. He produced the "Iron Chef" track (see the Nude Dimensions 2 review). He produced an album that stands on its own as a symbol of craftsmanship in UK Garage. On top of that, he's a really nice guy. I'm talking about MJ Cole.
Keiran of Earthtone Sound System opened up with a set of some nice, warm, Deep House. The Tuesday night crowd slowly made their way into the club and began the mingling process. There were a few slight mixups during the set, as the sound occasionally wavered in quality. However, Keiran did an excellent job in spite of the technical misgivings going on throughout the booth. It was just that, around 12:15, things got a little ugly.
The sound cut off. For about 10 minutes.
The crowd was getting restless. It was already 12:25, and no one even saw MJ in the club. About five minutes later, I looked around, and spotted him at the bar. It was only a matter of time before he would don the decks.
Within 15 minutes, I was dancing and the first track I could ID came on. He threw in his remix of Masters At Work's "To Be in Love," which many individuals with either an Artful Dodger CD or a decent MP3 collection of 2-Step would have, judging by the huge pop the crowd made.
After that, it was a torrential storm of track upon track. People were dancing everywhere. Rhythmically. Arhythmically. Everybody was out there in the moment. It didn't matter whether it was familiar faces from Atlanta's DnB community like Hazeus and Adam Darby, or new faces I was meeting for the first time, everyone was out there working up a sweat.
The track selection was a veritable who's who of big tracks (in this case, the big tracks are a good thing; this was Atlanta's first big UK Garage event):
Plenty of MJ's tracks (after all, he's got a hell of a repertoire under his belt thus far, and they're quality tracks)...
And of course, the most crossed over track of the past year, good ol' "Dooms' Night."
For the uninitiated to the sounds of UK Garage, a visit to the fellas at Heavyweight Sound should bring you up to speed on the types of tracks he was dropping.
Suffice it to say, the evening was especially refreshing on a personal level because I have many of the tracks in my MP3 collection, and as many can attest, there is something to be said about hearing tracks you've come to love and cherish in Turbosound. Plus, I'm sure everyone might have found it awkward watching me sing along with at least four or five tracks back to back.
By the time Bobble took over on the decks, I was in a state of extreme soreness. Bobble continued in the spirit of the end of MJ's set, which was much darker sounding than his soulful introduction.
MJ Cole's debut was a rare treat for Atlanta. For those who dared to venture out that night, the next day at work was likely an ordeal of sleepiness and sluggishness, but the consensus among many seemed to be that it was worth it.
Respect is definitely in order to Bobble, Preo, and the many others who made April 10th one of the best nights to be out partying in 2001.
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