Normally, I blog about an event the day after, but I partied last weekend at Deep Sugar till 5 in the morning; slept most of the day and Monday was an exceptionally lazy day. By no means am I a slacker, but as a freelance writer/artist, I make my own schedule. So you know what that means? I can live it up on the weekends (and weekdays if I want) with no regret, but I must say, there is nothing like a night/morning at Deep Sugar.
I hadn’t been to Deep Sugar in quite some time, considering I had moved to Los Angeles, and prior to my move, I was living all the way in Germantown (crazy far from Baltimore.) But I knew that since I had moved back to Maryland and had already had my night of dancing at U Street Music Hall’s Red Fridays, I would have to venture to downtown Baltimore and get in my monthly fix of Deep Sugar. And boy, did I ever!
Bringing my mom with me for the first time (we had never been out dancing together, it was a new experience) we made the 15 minute drive to the Paradox. My mom, being cautious of finding parking, decided we should get there right at 11pm. And…we did. Normally I don’t go early unless I have to, but it was nice seeing Lisa Moody already getting warmed up. Shortly after some great funky tracks, the room began to slowly fill as people from all different backgrounds, ages, sizes, and even fashion choices made their way onto the dance floor.
Let me tell you, Deep Sugar is truly an experience! You can try to be a wallflower and bop your head to the music, but trust me, you’re gonna wanna dance. Sweat, sweat, sweat! I can’t even tell you how soaked my shirt was. It was so wet, I had to take it off and wear my tank while jumping up and down, smiling, and getting lost in the infectious house.
From classics to tribal to soulful to deep to tech to gospel, Lisa and Nate played all types of house!
If you’re looking for some pure house and you happen to be in the vicinity of the DMV (DC.MD.VA,) then you need to check out Deep Sugar. Held at Baltimore’s legendary nightclub The Paradox on the second Saturdays of every month, Deep Sugar is a fabulous event hosted by the Deep Sugar Family. It’s a big family, but the lovely Girl Squad Ultra Nate and Lisa Moody hold it down in the main room.
Not only did I have such an amazing time (as usual,) but I met some cool people (lots of dancers) and passionate house junkies. Everyone comes with a vibe that is just all about the music. Every now and then you might sense an attitude, but once a certain track comes on, someone’s frown is turn upside down into a joyous smile. It’s hard to be upset when you get lost in the spirit of house. My mom and I even shed a few tears while dancing and getting lost in the spirit of some of our favorite gospel house tracks.
So, with all that being said (sorry for the lengthiness,) I must say that if you want to experience house music on the East Coast and don’t want to make a trek to New York, then check out Deep Sugar @ The Paradox. From 11pm to 6am the morning, come early and till dawn (like I did,) or come whenever you want and still dance till dawn. Haha, you can’t resist the enigmatic atmosphere of the dancefloor chanting your name.
Hope to see you next month at Deep Sugar. Save the date: Saturday, May 11th, 2013 with OSUNLADE. Yes, Osunlade. I can’t wait!
In 2002 I fell in love with the sounds of house, which stimulated my infatuation with house dancing. I grew up in a household in which boogaloo, popping, breaking, and hip-hop were being practiced by my brother and of course my mother, who is an old school popper. Dance was a key part of my cultural development and falling in love with the house culture introduced me to house dancing…my favorite abstract expression.
As a child taking ballet, modern, lyrical, and variants of jazz, I had always had a passion for dancing. While my brother, choreographer Jamile McGee, took dance serious and made it his career, I on the other hand didn’t pursue it as a career. But my lifestyle of house music led me to discovering a unique freedom and abstract expression within the atmospheric beats of house. House dancing is one of my favorite styles of dance and I do refer to myself as a house dancer.
Now, within house dancing you’ve got legends like Brian “Footwork” Green, Ejoe Wilson, Tony McGregor, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf Sellers and “Brooklyn” Terry Wright that are professional house dancers, but I think anyone and everyone who lets house move them is a house dancer. Yes, there are technical moves in the foundations of house, which including footwork, jacking, and lofting, but aside from having the skills down, house is truly a feeling; there is no right or wrong way to house.
You see, the beauty of house is the unlimited potential to express yourself. Whatever the beat compels your soul to feel, your body knows how to naturally respond. Even if you do have some 8 counts prepared, you still get lost in the music and the spirit of house moves your body.
This fluid expression in house dance results in so many different styles of house dancing. You can spend hours on YouTube (like I do) and see so many different house dancers with their own style. While one might be more driven to do footwork, another dancer might be more soulful and loose with big expressions via the arms and torso. It all really depends on how the track moves you at the moment.
With the freedom of mind, body, and soul being priority, that doesn’t mean house dance is obsolete from competition; the vibe of competing is less aggressive and more in the spirit of happiness. Events such as House Dance International and House Dance Forever bring house dancers, spectators, novices, and house aficionados from around the world together to compete, share music, and keep the culture thriving.Competition can be fierce, but there is still a level of joy and spiritual freedom in the competitors that you might not see in a hip-hop battle.
House dance is all about letting the music take control and losing all inhibitions; nothing is off limits, no style or movement is considered “wrong.” You could be jacking one moment, then throwing in a hint of vogue followed by some african movement. Now, there are battles and styles such as vogue and wacking that are often in their own categories at events, but freestyle and experimental rounds allow for anything and everything…in the spirit of house.
So, as you can see, I can keep going on a long-winded explanation of house dance and the art of it. But I’d rather let the videos do the rest of the talking. So I leave you with this. You know how you walk into an art gallery and you see that insane abstract piece that makes no sense, yet it speaks to you? Well, that’s the spirit of house. House is that weird abstract painting that inspires you to stare, speak, or even pick up a brush and let the innate emotion move your limbs…jack your body.
Last year one of the biggest dance tunes to storm the electronic dance music (EDM) community was Norway-based producer Todd Terje’s infectious single, “Inspector Norse.” The song is arguably one of the best releases of 2012, and it’s a track that you can’t help but to dance to. I myself have been out dancing and a few DJs have played it; forcing me to dance like a maniac and jump up and down with a smile on my face.
“Inspector Norse” is a tune that inspires many to get up and dance to the good vibes, but apparently it was actually inspired by Marius Solem Johansen–who goes by the internet alias Inspector Norse. According to the short “documentary” by director Kristoffer Borgli, Todd Terje was inspired by this failed musician Inspector Norse and his passion for dancing and making drugs out of household chemicals. Thus, the song was born!
The short film, WHATEVEREST, was well received by audiences and was even winner of Special Jury Award at AFI Fest 2012. But after careful research, it seems that this documentary is actually more along the lines of a mockumentary. Videos of Inspector Norse making drugs on Youtube and dancing never existed prior to this movie. Terje claims that he was inspired by the hundreds of videos of Inspector Norse, but there is actually only one video…which was upload around the same time this film was in the making.
So it appears it might all be clever creativity that is the driving force behind this story and the song, but one thing we do know is that whether merely fiction, fact or a combination of both (more so along the lines of fiction,) WHATEVEREST is still a beautiful short film. The film just gives us a glimpse into the sheer brilliance of Todd Terje and his witty sense of humor. He’s not just an amazing producer, but a creative guy with a vivid imagination of a guy named Inspector Norse who loves to dance. Do I approve? Yes, this gets my seal of approval. Great song, excellent film!
Watch the music video, which features clips from WHATEVEREST and then be sure to check out the full 15 minute “documentary.”
I’ve got a lot of favorite producers in my rolodex of house music, but I’m madly in love with the producers on French Express, especially the delicious deep house grooves from Jonas Rathsman. He’s been steadily earning my respect as a producer, and his latest free download “Bringing You Down” is quite spectacular!
Get into the groove and vibe with the sounds of “Bringing You Down.” Surely this track won’t bring you down; it will lift your mind, body, and soul…