Saturday, November 28, 2009

review: 'fall deep' party with wolf+lamb

this past wednesday, devoted chicago edm heads were treated to new york city's wolf+lamb - actually, it was just gadi mizrahi, half of the duo - at a 'hardt and soul' loft party on the eve (read: morning) of thanksgiving.

i arrived at the south loop location around 1:30am, after wandering around and finding the right alley. entrance into the party was low key and facilitated by a bouncer manning the door and a freight elevator shuttling party people up to the event space. the venue was one big, wide, concrete room with a low ceiling, appropriately minimal lighting, and a view overlooking the city. the soundsystem could have been louder for such a big room, but worked for the 150-200 (in my very rough estimate) people in attendance; the place definitely could have filled up at least twice as much. regardless, the crowd was wholly enthusiastic and there was plenty of room to dance.

after catching up with some friends over the ending section of philip stone's set (i recognized a "lonely people only" track he had played at a previous party), i got up close to see party promoter gianna hardt play a solid, groovy set leading up to gadi's opening.

at around 3am, gadi took the reins with enthusiasm and plenty of showmanship, wearing (and frequently taking off) a masquerade eye-mask and scarf while dancing behind the decks. his mixing was usually on and he played to the eager crowd... until about an hour into his set. nearing 4 o'clock, gadi should have been cutting it deep to the tuned-in crowd, but instead he dropped the bpm's and quickly faded into some excruciatingly slow, soulful jams. almost the entire room stopped dancing; my quick questioning of some buddies revealed that all wanted gadi to pick up the pace. one person pointed out how this was the wolf+lamb style from nyc, but here in chicago the sudden change cleared a huge chunk of people from the dance floor and out of the party.

after about 15 minutes of this nonsense, gadi emerged from his hole and brought back that steady electro-inflected 4/4 beat that everybody was craving. unfortunately, this happened a few more times, but besides the self-indulgence of these slow interludes and the occasional poor transition, i think gadi played a good set with lots of fun tracks that the crowd ate up - being the geek that i am, i noticed him cuing a bunch of wolf+lamb material on his laptop. i took off around 6:30, while gadi - still in a dazed sort of focus - kept spinning to a happy little group of a dozen or so dancers.

props to gianna and her 'hardt and soul' concept: in my opinion, the space was perfect: it was discrete yet easily-accessible via public transit. the primary lighting, coming from the dj booth and a line of floor lighting-wire, conveyed a pretty cool vibe accented by the ambience of the view outside. an open free water fountain was appreciated, along with a not-too-expensive bar. good spot, good people, good music; all in all, a solid party.

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