9 Volt Mile
Northwest First & Couch
For Those Who Like To Get Down
“There are two types of people: there are some people who like music kind of excitable, and there are other people who like music kinda mellow, ok?” So proclaims “For Those Who Like To Get Down,” the title track on Marques Wyatt’s latest CD. Wyatt, a pioneer of West Coast house music, is definitely the type of person who likes his music kind of excitable, and brings that excitement to Portland Saturday for a set at the Ohm.
He mixes a variety of funky and soulful house (including tracks by Slow Supreme, Paul Johnson, Kerri Chandler and others) with the up-tempo and uplifting spirit that Wyatt has helped keep alive in house since its inception in the New York and Chicago clubs of the early ’80s.
It was then that a young Wyatt began listening to the likes of legends Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles, whom he met at the World in New York City. Wyatt even got to sit with Levan in the booth, learning about this new “house” music that was just being defined at this time, around 1985.
He soon returned to his native Los Angeles and began to spin records on his own and throw parties, which were still a novelty in his rock and hip-hop heavy hometown.
In a relatively short time, Wyatt’s parties caught on, including the ground-breaking Mac’s Garage, which featured artists such as Adeva, Jomanda and Liz Torres, and which continue to have a definitely unique vibe. By the early ’90s and the advent of the rave movement in LA, Wyatt’s parties were among the cream of the crop. Since then, he’s become a prominent globetrotting DJ, holding residencies in places as close as San Francisco and as far as Tokyo and London.
Besides his influence as a promoter and in developing the ever-growing Los Angeles dance scene, few can challenge Wyatt on the decks. On this new release he selects sounds new and old, all with the bumpin’ vibe that Wyatt is known for, with tracks like “Change For Me” by Osunlade and “Days Like This (Spinna Vocal Mix)” by Shawn Escoffrey being examples. But the “Wyatt sound” can be felt throughout, even in such tunes as “Feel Alive (Jamie Lewis Late Nite Mix)” by Demetrois Project and “Green Tea” by Slow Supreme.
Wyatt’s skills are smooth, to say the least. He transitions easily from Paul Johnson’s “Precious Lord (Vocal Mix)” to Iz & Diz’s “Love Vibe” and Majestika’s “Mind Magic (Dub)” and then back to the vocals on Mafikizolo’s “Loot (African Mix).” He’ll even change up the bassline from deep funk to the ’80s electro groove of “Outta Space (Meitz Remix Dub)” by Daniel Paul, and then shift to the Afro-Cuban stylings of Ola Jagun’s “Oda Oya (Boyd’s Vocal Mix)” and Docktor Rocket’s “Caf퀌� De Flore (Charles Webster’s Latin Lovers Mix),” before closing out the set with the deep house of Kerri Chandler’s “Brooklyn” and The Rurals’ “Rubbersong.”
If you do like excitable music, and you like to get down, then there is no place better than the Ohm on Saturday night. Wyatt will be spinning tracks from his album and more, as part of his CD release tour. It’s guaranteed to be live with high percentages of booty-shaking to be reported on the dance floor. Also performing will be the Cow Trippers and Nine Volt Mile, with an $8 cover.