If you’re looking for a myriad of house, techno and disco parties to get lost in every week, you’d probably be better off living in New York, Berlin or any city with an actual music scene set up for these genres. But just because we live in Vancouver doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a night packed with heated four-to-the-floor beats and keep moving relentlessly till we’re politely kicked out. That’s exactly the sort of thing that local DJs Zeeaa and AJK have been doing the last year with their monthly Midnight City parties at the Waldorf, as well as every week on CiTR on their program, Inside Out. Their anniversary night was headlined by a DJ set from the Aussie electro-dance outfit Cut Copy, who were already busy enough, playing two sold out shows the very same weekend.
The resident DJs kicked off the night with their signature sound, mainly spinning around the edges of deep and kicking house, which packed the downstairs dance floor. Showing off their decadent catalogue of records, AJK and Zeeaa spun back to back, mixing into some slightly more disco-touched niches with screaming diva voice hooks galore. However, things were kept fresh with notable cuts and remixes from the likes of Motor City Drum Ensemble, Jacques Renault, John Talabot.
Cut Copy were in no hurry to grace the floor with their presence, stepping in from their sold out show at the Vogue Theatre well past midnight. As they came in, they traded off the tables seamlessly from the hosts, blending in with the prevailing house atmosphere as they launched into their set full of unexpected gems. Showcasing their vast range of influences, the Aussies shamelessly blended disco with acid house, with a classic Motown number thrown in somewhere in between. I only noticed three of the band’s members at the Waldorf, but they were more than enough to keep the crowd engaged; frontman Dan Whitford’s stage presence carried just as well in the DJ booth as on the big stage. As a band that owes its beginnings to Whitford’s DJing career, Cut Copy clearly intended to be taken seriously and not merely a band showing off their favourite records.
My only complaint about Cut Copy’s DJ set was its short length. Thankfully, hosts Zeeaa and AJK took back the decks at around 1:30 am. For at least another hour, they kept the dance floor full of infectious rhythms till the lights turned on. Despite the unsurprisingly early shutdown, it was good to see Zeeaa and AJK continuing to fill a much needed niche in this city’s rather scarce choice of non-Granville street dance music. As long as they keep inviting highly welcomed guests, things can only keep getting better.