DEEPSPACE COMING TO A DEEP SPACE?
For two month’s now, the WSU-area after-hours spot known simply as the Lodge has been up and running. Proprietor Lee — who doesn’t want his last name used — reports the massive hall (capacity 2000) had just one night in business before it was forced to close down after underage kids got in a fight outside the club. "We have concerns with underage kids coming down. We don’t want a lot of burned kids sitting on the floor," he says.
But the big news these days is that the Lodge may be the site of Detroit techno’s big comeback on the local scene. Lee says he’s currently talking to Derrick May, Carl Craig and Kenny Larkin — who have all expressed interest in a rotating weekly residency at the club. If it goes off (and to be sure, Detroit has heard this kind of talk before. There is, to quote Lee from another "Pitch’d" column, "plausible deniability" that it all won’t work out) it’ll mark the first time May and crew have held down hometown residencies since the days of the Music Institute in the late ’80s. Says Lee, "They’re really trying to re-establish themselves in the Detroit market. I think they realize that they’ve been concentrating too much of their efforts on their careers in Europe." If the phenomenal May/Saunderson tag team from last month’s Solar anniversary party in Ann Arbor is any indication, May and crew are in top form and local audiences are hyped to hear what they can offer the local scene. Lee announced also that once the techno residents are in place, Wayne State-affiliated web site Alphabase Cafe will be broadcasting May and crew’s sets live over the Internet. Look for May to host a kickoff/birthday party come May. For more webcast/the Lodge info: www.alphabasecafe.com.
DUNGEONS AND DRAGGIN’
Promoter trouble may be brewing at downtown’s Labyrinth. The goth-cum-raver club has hosted the city’s best jungle night ("Step") Friday nights, and just last weekend played host to Ann Arbor’s Dubplate Pressure Records’ owner Todd Osborne and Tadd "SK1" Mullinix celebrating the release of their ’95-jump-up-style’s-not-dead debut 12," "Dreder Than Dred" b/w "Tel ‘embodanustyle," two thick slabs of ruffneck, old school jungle. And, lest we think it’s 1995, one track features an Eminem sample. It’s out now on the duo’s own Rewind imprint. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Osborne and Mullinix’s DJ performance at the Lab featured a sampler full of the ruffneck sound FX straight out of vintage ’95 hardstep jungle records — gunshots, ragga shouts, all that good free-based reggae stuff. But despite the decent track record of quality national acts (Odi, 1.8.7, DJ Wally, Danny The Wildchild, etc.) from the U.S. jungle scene and a lot of love for local jungle DJs, it seems the party promoters and club mangers are clashing. "It’s fun and everything, but the club itself isn’t doing its part," said promoter Eric Hinchman. "It’s hard doing this kind of music at the club level, and there’s just no feeling there."
No word yet on whether Analogue-man Gabe Zakal will stay on. But he keeps promising a live jungle performance from his band Cash Machine. Find the PIN and get the gig going, G-man. Meanwhile, Hinchman is concentrating on his DJ career and getting out of town bookings.
MY NAME IS … RAVE?
One unnamed Detroit rave promoter has successfully brought in hip-hop acts including the East Coast’s Hieroglyphics — and here’s a coup — Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the Wu-Tang Clan member that has a hard enough time showing up for label-sanctioned tour dates, let alone raves. ODB not only showed up but played an hour and a half set two weekends ago. Now, said promoter is now going after Detroit rapper Eminem for his homecoming gig, inspired, ironically, by the fact that Eminem’s new Slim Shady LP contains several mentions of "rave parties."
No word on the progress made yet, but apparently Eminem, having played a fun but sloppy record release party at LA’s House of Blues last Tuesday with Detroit’s DJ Head and MC Royce Da 5-9 providing back-up, is going to Europe to hone his live show and won’t be doing a Detroit date, rave or not, until early April.