Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Event Review: "Deep" Reunion at MJQ in Atlanta

So its Thursday in Chicago and I'm headed out with DJ Kwest_On to hang out at Red Kiva.  I mention to him that I'm going to Atlanta next week and am trying to figure out a way to stay longer than origninally planned.  Within minutes I get a call from Kai Alce.  While chopping it up and talking about what's going on in Chicago I ask "So what's crackin in the ATL? I'll be there on Monday".  Kai replies, "We're doin an MJQ reunion on Sunday". At that point I'm geeked and once I get off the phone I change my itinerary and make plans to arrive Sunday instead of Monday.  This could not have come at a better time.

This particular event was known as "Adult Skate" which could also be known as the "Deep" reuinion.  "Deep" was a 9 year weekly residency that took place every Saturday night in Atlanta at MJQ.

I vividly recall my first time attending.  One of my friends called me early afternoon on a Saturday to say, "Hey MJQ has a House night and was thinking about checking it out tonight".  Ok, I'm game.  Not doing anything worthwhile that night anyway. I had been to MJQ on a Hip Hop and Jungle/Drum n Bass night and stayed for 45 minutes.  The Hip Hop set was dope (DJ Boom Bip) but the Jungle/Drum n Bass did not necessarily connect with my soul. There weren't many people in attendance but like I said the Hip Hop set was really dope and made that experience worth it.

My expectations for Saturday were kinda low because when people say House music I don't always identify with their brand of House music.  Plus I didn't know who the DJs were.  We arrive at MJQ and as we enter begin to walk down a slight decline of an approximate length of 40 feet as we enter the actual club area.  MJQ was an underground parking garage with a more than adequate sound system.  It had really been a minute since I experienced something this underground and unique.  I soon embraced my surroundings and began to vibe with the music.  After grabbing a drink we all hit the dance floor and danced virtually all night.  Before the night ended I heard Lil Louis' song 6am.  I pretty much did not look into the DJ booth all night because the club was very dark and the lighting on the dance floor did not really allow you to focus your vision on who was DJing until you were right near the booth.  After 6am was done I went to the booth to give the DJ props and realized it was none other than Kai Alce.

From that point on for the next few years MJQ was my weekly opportunity to release all my stress from the work week.  This was also an opportunity to become cultivated with what had become the new sound of House music with Deep Soulful baselines, grooves, and live instrumentation as if it were almost new school version Disco and Soul Classics.  Little did I know these series of events would change my life and inspire me to fall in love with House Music again become involved with DJing again after experiencing a 5 year hiatus, something I never thought I would do.

Now that the "Deep" weekly residency with Kai, Kemit, and Cullen has ended, once or twice a year they  have a reunion to re-live the vibe we experienced on many a Saturday Night. Prior to it ending I would occasionally fly to Atlanta from Chicago from 2002 til 2004 with a few premises in mind.  To visit friends and family, and the Saturday Night Experience of "Deep" at MJQ.

The reunion was off the hook! We arrived around 10:30pm and there were a few people in attendance.  We went across the street to grab a bite to eat (I needed to get something in my stomach before partaking in my favorite vodka beverage for that evening) and when we returned at 11pm the place was steadily getting packed.

This event was dope on several levels.
The crowd was dope. A good mix of Black, some White and some Asian.
The event took place in the cafe of MJQ which has hardwood floors, is a tad bit more intimate, and still has a really good sound system.  After getting my groove on with something chocolate, sexy, and of the female persuasion I noticed they were opening up a dance cypher (dance circle).  Usually the dancers that really held it down were Twa and Soul.  Both are dope and have been featured in music videos as well as other projects. On this night they would continue to show and prove that they still have can do their thing on the floor. Errol did his thing too, as well as a young lady's name who escapes me.  I was really glad they opened up the cypher because that does not happen much in Chicago and I really only get a chance to experience this brand of dancing when I go to ATL, NY, Miami for the WMC, and occasionally in LA.
Every once in a while if I feel the spirit I join in and vibe with the energy.  Although, I was mostly a spectator, I did manage to briefly join in the cypher, celebrate, and absorb the energy that was resonating on that portion of the dancefloor.

The rest of the dancefloor was "crunk" for lack of a better ATL term.  Everybody in the spot was dancing whether it be in the cypher, coupled up, or individually in their own world.  All of the DJs did a good job of mixing a variety of rare and standard Disco classics, House music new and old school and a few mid tempo classics toward the end.

Before we know it the 3am hour was approaching and many people were wanting more even though their musical thirst had been quenched.  This evening provoked many memories of good times, the cultivating of many friendships, embarking on a brand of music that is not pretentious and soothes the soul, a musical era that would serve as inspiration, fulfillment, and celebration to many who had a chance to be there and live the experience. Hopefully we won't have to wait a long time before the next one.
May the legacy continue.

To find out more about Kai, Kemit, and Cullen please click the respected name below.


Thanks for reading!
Peace and Blessings,

If you don't know you betta ask somebody...JLC