by Charles Michael Fulton
Venue: The Chamber - Atlanta, GA
When I walked into the Chamber last Saturday night, I was greeted with one hell of a surprise: Gene Carbonell was filling the sometime fetish club with the svelte, sexy sound of deep tech house. I ambled up to the bar and ordered a drink, needing to get a little loose before my big interview with the marquee DJ, Lucien Foort. This being the new millennium, I ordered an energy drink and vodka, to simultaneously tweak and chill myself out.
While waiting for my beverage, I had a moment to reflect on what a damn good job the Chamber has done with their sound on Seks nights. The bass was just loud enough, but not too loud to overpower the mids, and the highs were loud enough to be noticed, but not ear-damaging. And over this immaculate sound system was pumping my favorite sub-sub-genre, mixed with an artist's touch by my man Gene.
Do you know how erotic deep tech house is? By the time my r.b.-and-vodka arrived, I had time for not one, but two fantasies about my girl Angelina Jolie, a dark-blue leather couch, and those sexy, sexy baselines. Hey! Maybe if I do a really good job with this review, I can convince Gene to come to my house and spin the next time my girl Angelina is over, so I can make some dreams come true. Or maybe he'll at least make me a mix tape, so I can keep it by my bed for that perfect moment, and then, woosh, slip it in like it ain't no thing. And baby, it ain't no thing.
After Gene's deep grooves lubed the dancers up, Lucien Foort took over like a man with a plan. He started his set with some vocal tech tracks that brought even the unconverted out onto the dance floor. But by the time Lucien gave the floor their first break with an epic track, I don't think there was an unbeliever in the room. The place was a sea of smiles.
As a matter of fact, after about an hour of Lucien's intense work out, I noticed a smile on one of the go-go dancers. And I think they get their pay docked if they let that stoic, model-gaze-into-the-distance guise slip for a moment. So kudos to you, Lucien Foort, for breaking down both musical and social barriers.
Actually, it's been quite a while since I've seen a DJ break down the barrier between the performer and audience like Lucien did that sultry night in July. He seemed to have some extrasensory connection with the audience, knowing when, what, and how much intensity the crowd needed. At the point when he dropped that breaks tune, the audience fused into a single entity that shared the thought "fuck yes." It was one of those moments that I haven't experienced in years. It's been ages since I went to one of those really good massives where you know, you just know, that the whole crowd has given up control of their minds, control of their bodies to the DJ. It was one of those moments that reminds me why I go to parties.
After that moment of intense agency reversal, I had to get a recharge. I made my way to the bar for some more artificial-red flavored goodness. I took a few minutes to sip my drink and observe the crowd. The first thing I noticed were the lights. They were about as good as lights could get. Personally, I'm not a big fan of really big light shows; they have a tendency to disorient me and distract me from dancing. But the Seks lights were right at that cusp, where more would have been too much and any less would have made them look cheap.
Another thing was, people were having such a good time that they stopped trying to be so damn cool for a moment. I was able to easily make eye contact and share my enthusiasm for the moment with almost everyone around me. And it takes a really special night to allow that kind of openness in such a mixed crowd.
It was at this point that I turned to my friend Tim and he dropped that opening quote on me. I knew right then that it was the truest thing I had heard all night, and I was going to use it as my opening line. Thanks Tim.
I checked my watch. It was about two in the morning, and I still had a good bit of Lucien to enjoy. I put my drink down and waded back into the gyrating crowd. After another bit, I opened my eyes and went to the bar to refill. The nice girl behind the bar sadly told me that it had closed, and I realized I had spent over an hour lost in Lucien's elaborate mix!
When it came time to request the requisite encore track, Lucien was wise enough to drop three or four really deep, groovy tracks to let the crowd get that cool-down period that your gym teacher was always ranting about.
Lucien told me that he would be touring for another couple of years before he has established himself, so maybe, by the grace of the powers that be, we will get another chance to bask in his brilliance. Gene and company, I hope you realize what talent and scope we had the honor of witnessing Saturday night. And I certainly hope you have to wisdom to bring that vibe back to Atlanta very soon.
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