A few weeks ago my physio finally gave me the okay on my ankle and told me i could head out and hit the dancefloor (and courts) again. Fuck yes. My first celebration, after missing all the Christmas and New Year's gigs, was Frankie Knuckles @ The Market.
Some of you may remember i went to see Frankie Knuckles when i first got to Melbourne two years ago. I was exhausted and jet-lagged (?) and my then-girlfriend was totally not into the music and wanted to leave early, so i did too. But the other night i was alone and just went out for ME. Just as i got to the front of the line, Mr Knuckles and his entourage headed in. Yes, i was 2 feet away from the house music godfather himself. Did i get an autograph? Nope. But it was good enough to be on the moving podium amongst hundreds of shirtless sweaty gay men dancing to Robert Owens and CeCe Peniston and Sylvester. What a fucking legend. It was a lot more vocal than what i usually enjoy, but to be there with a man who's been DJing for over 30 years and was one of the originals in the scene? Awesome.
The Market doesn't bother me as much as it used to. I used to get so frustrated there were men fucking in the women's bathrooms, but now i just expect it and make sure i go to piss a few minutes before i actually need to ;-)
One thing i did notice was a few of Frankie's entourage. Americans dance very differently to Australians. Down here noone really gives a shit and people kinda do whatever. Only the hardcore ravers try get a choreographed shuffle or stomp going on, everyone else just kinda bops around. But the Americans are so controlled - you can always tell them in a crowd. They have a style and they stick to it. I finally kinda "clicked" with a member of Frankie's entourage. Is this "true" jacking? They dance on the hi-hat, not the bass drum. The body bounces up on each hi-hat instead of whacking down on the bass drum like ravers and hippies do. It's like there's two movements, the bottom half of your body pushing down with the bassdrum and the top half of your body pulling up with the hi-hats.
So come this weekend i trusted Erol's judgement and hit another of his Hoola-Hoop parties. Illya was the headliner, a DJ from Sydney. I'd heard OF him before, but always figured he played electro given he was so huge. Turns out he's totally jackin'. I rocked up at midnight, party kicked up a couple hours later. By the time Illya hit at 3 it was banging. He had 3 CDJs going, turntables too from time to time, sampling and cutting like a fucking maniac. Normally i hate turntablism because it fucks up the flow of the music, but even though he was very harsh with his cuts it kinda worked for the jackingness of the tunes. Highlight for me was a Ghostbusters remix, i think it's just come out. Very wicked bassline, and he was mixing some other shit over the top, i have no idea, i was just going off.
And i used the hi-hat dance. I still can't dance like an American. They're so... it's like they've all practiced for years in front of the mirror till they're like little Michael Jackson clones... But it felt really good to get the top half of my body whackin a bit different to the bottom half. Not sure if i just looked retarded to everyone else, but that's not what i care about. It just FELT good, and that's what counts to me. I mean, at the end of the day everyone looks retarded when they dance, from the shimmying chicks in dresses to the shuffling Melbournites to the headbanging curled-up psytrance hippies to the kicking gabbers and the prancing Brisbane ravers.
Either way, it's all about the music and enjoying it. And i love this fucking shit.