The Phoenix Landing, Thursday night Drum n Bass, and Wine
by Twin Plates (formerly, The Subtle Doctor, formerly ZeroAltitude)
and pavel (formerly DJ 2crowd, formerly ChaoticRhythm)
a quality can wait production
12/06/2005 01:46:00 AM:
05.12.01 Edison-cos and beep iams @ Elements

I must follow Pavel's compliments with my own -- that was one wicked night. When I left my house for the long drive to Acton, I was working off of 4 hours of sleep and a really rough week of work. When Pavel suggested we bring a video cam, I could sense an adventurous night ahead of us.

So we drank a bottle of French Bordeaux in our traditional fashion (i.e. hiding in the car in a public parking lot). The wine was very mild and unobtrusive, which turns out to have been just what we needed, as we ended up in conversations that ranged from evolution to music. That is the sort of thing that helps you shrug off a week of insane hours behind a keyboard, and relax into a memorable night.

beep was keeping the energy high when we arrived. I was really looking forward to Don's set -- I had seen him a few months back at Solstice, where he was bringing down some very energetic and dancy tracks, and I have to admit, I was jonesing for more of the same. He most certainly did not disappoint. Mixing up the tracks between some straight up funky dnb and some familiar tunes, I got a chance to dance like crazy as well as capture some of the more choice moments on aforementioned video camera. I can't wait to see the results, which I'm sure you know will be posted right around here somewhere ASAP.

Huge massive props to Don and beep. And, Central Massachusetts REPRAZENT! ~e

12/05/2005 11:40:00 AM:
2005.12.01 Edison-cos and beep iams @ Elements

December 1st? What? How did this happen; didn't we just celebrate the New Year's??? I was really startled in the morning when I saw the date on my computer's clock. Now it's less than a month before 2006; it's practically here; maybe a bit early to review all of 2005 but it sure is tempting. I'll save it for later.

Luckily we had Elements to attend to help take my mind off the breathtaking pace of time. Eddie and I resurrected our pre-party wine tasting tradition since it lets us socialize a bit before entering the deafening craziness that is Elements. For this evening, we had on hand a French table wine, whose name escapes me at the moment. It was strikingly watery and easy to drink, which made for a fun conversation. Many topics were covered, two minor and one major discoveries were made, and an evolutionary theory proposed; look for write-ups in future posts.

The wine performed an admirable job of priming us for the night, and we bravely stepped into the darkness with course set squarely for the source of dark beats echoing between the buildings of Massachusetts Avenue. Entering Phoenix on the late side, we noticed that the first guest was already rinsing out the crowd. DJ beep iams was having a blast at the controls, and the peeps partook in his enthusiasm. He threw down a few of them mad beats and several of them crazy bass lines. The sound system was begging for a breather but no one gave a damn.

Edison-cos took over a bit before 1am; he had quite a job on his hands, keeping up the madness started by the guest numero uno. The first tune he dropped was a slow 2-steppy one. The crowd loved it; some slow tunes just pack a mad punch. From there, it was a varying set of slow and fast tracks; mad and calm; faves and obscures. The mixing was top notch, and at no time during the mix did I feel bored or even tired, despite feeling that way prior to coming into Elements.

A good DJ will make me forget my daily worries and will force me to be in the moment enjoying the thing that I love a.k.a. D'n'B. The two guests tonight did a perfect job; these are two local DJs I would come see again.

Props to Lenore for putting together another rocking night.

11/25/2005 12:12:00 PM:
Residents @ Elements [17 November 2005] (Part II)

I can' t share Eddie's enthusiasm for the social aspects of the night as I was jet-lagged from my Europe trip and fighting sleep, unable to think clearly enough to be chatting it up. However, I deeply enjoyed both the Bass and the Drums that were promintently featured by the various DJs throughout the evening. And what a DJ-fest it was. The event started out as a resident night, something I always look forward to since the Elements stars are among the best out there. The three of them tag-teamed, throwing down a great selection of tunes -- old and new, faves and obscures -- which helped me overcome the jet lag and get onto the dancefloor. It was a little slow in the very beginning, as the trio was patiently warming up the crowd, but then Bill (DJ Crook) put a little extra variety into his mix at the right time for me and really pushed the party into overdrive. Lenore and MDOC masterfully picked it up and ran with it, creating a jam-packed set that conbined darkness, fury, happiness, bubbliness, and everything in-between.

It was great fun until something outright crazy happened. A mini coup, you might say. A fourth DJ took over the decks, and an MC patched his mike into the console and started "doing his thing." As far as I could tell, the DJ was a guy from Bad Company, or EBITDA Positive, as we call them because we have no idea how to pronounce that other Bad Company's moniker. Anywayz, it was unexpected, crazy, awesome, sick, ill, nuts, f'd up, and so on.

The night was downright dope. The only let down was the wine for the night, which I believe was a Yellowtail Shiraz. To me it tasted like rotten grapes. Technically, wine is rotten grapes, but I don't think it's supposed to come across quite like that. Not only was this wine sweet beyond sense, it went down hard and left an acrid aftertaste that could only be remedied by a healthy dose of Guinness.

Mad props to Lenore, the Elements crew, and all the peeps who came out to enjoy this aweome night.

-pavel (out)

P.S. I don't usually brag about fave tracks since I am not a DJ and don't attempt to keep up with the huge assortment of releases and corresponding producer/DJ/track names. However, one track made its way deep into my soul, and I must praise it while I have the chance. The track is Fasten Your Seatbelt by Pendulum/The Freestylers. It's a flip to Tarantula. This track is OFF DA HOOK! It packs a ridiculous punch at a ridiculously low BPM. Hope to hear it more at Elements.

11/21/2005 09:38:00 PM:
Residents @ Elements [17 November 2005]

Just a quick note or two from your friendly neighborhood spider-man. I was definitely geared up for some fun romping with the Residents, and as usual, they did not disappoint. The highlight of my evening, however, was nothing more or less than: Erin showed up! I was sad to learn that it was knee surgery that had kept her far from her admiring fans for so long. On the other hand, she seems to have been wise in keeping off that injury for as long as she did -- her return was a dancy one, and it looks like with more time and TLC, she'll have put that ongoing impediment to rest for good (as 'for good' as knee injuries can be put to rest, that is). So, fond hopes for the return of a missed friend. Cheers!

Spider Man

p.s. Almost forgot: the wine for the evening was an Australian Shiraz called the Little Penguin. I cannot recommend this wine -- are all Shirazes so cloying and sweet?

11/09/2005 01:51:00 AM:
Calyx @ Elements (Moving Shadow, UK) [3 November 2005]

This time, I thought I was going alone. Pavel and I chatted mid-day, and he was leaving for Europe at around 3 or 4pm, and staying for a couple of weeks. I admit, I was going to have a challenge ahead of me -- I don't like going to Elements alone. Back in the day, I had a bunch of friends out there to hang with if Pavel was not there. Landspeed, Edisoncos, Joe, Erin, Ian, and so on and so on. Nowadays no one knows me, and I know no one. Well that's an exaggeration, but this much is true: no one is left with whom I have a standing habit of talking "for reals." Lots of people I say 'hi' to, but no one who would even remember my kids' names -- you know?

But Calyx -- that's not something I could miss in good conscience. You must go see the guy who produced a track you put on your first mix CD for Lenore -- that's just a given. You don't miss that. Even if it's snowing, and you're all alone, and... and there's a big giant lightning bolt hanging over your head, and the Devil himself says, "Dude, don't do it! I'm warning you." Screw you, Devil, I'm going to see Calyx.

So, I'm driving home, pulling up to the house -- it's already so dark at 6pm now, depressing -- and my phone rings. It's Pavel. His plane has been held back, and he's leaving Friday. What does this mean? It means, party at Elements!

Which is precisely what we did. One advantage of not knowing anyone at Els anymore is that you can do whatever the hell you want, and make a fool of yourself, and no one cares. Which is, to ring a common theme repeatedly, precisely what I did.

The show: I came early and Lenore was running her set to a surprisingly empty room. Considering how much I like her sets in general (see past reviews), it should be noted that this set was even more inspring than usual. She was mixing it up between some heavy dark stuff, and some lighter stuff with nice female vocals. I like that kind of mix, one that gets the energy level up without pounding the listener into the walls, so I was grooving. Enter Pavel. The place is slowly but surely picking up, though nowhere near as crowded as I had anticipated. Perhaps the Devil was giving people a hard time that night.

Calyx took the reigns and the darkness poured forth from his set. For a brief moment between about the 3rd and 6th tracks, I momentarily worried that I was going to get bored with the straight shots of darkness -- but happily, we hit a few familiar tracks, and though the tone remained intense throughout, his track velocity was very good, and I came to really dig the set as a whole. Not to mention the fact that I was jumping around like a veritable maniac. So I had a great time, and I thought Calyx was top-notch, both techincally and in terms of his set. He also had a nice level of enthusiasm, which made it easy for the crowd to get into the set.

In a self-conscious attempt to express myself in a different way, I would describe the night as a "fevered, sweaty, pulse-poundingly ill mix with some predictably loud-ass bass and some wickedly danceable drums." Word.

[pavel here] Word. Word. Word. My plane was overbooked and I was one of the unfortunate ones to get bumped off; biiiches. At least they gave me some ca$h and a night at the Logan hilton as compensation. Like Eddie said; I was in town; Elements was near-by, and he was going; there was no stopping me. The night was absolutoliciously off the hook. Mr. Calyx exceeded my wildest expectations, setting the floor ablaze with unstoppable fury. I hadn't danced like that since; umm... well... some time ago; anywayz; it was good; really good. I am glad I didn't make it onto the plane; it's that simple. [pavel out]

9/30/2005 11:49:00 PM:
Illux and JFuse @ Elements, Redux (9/13/2005)

QualityCanWait is an attempt to positively support the Elements and related DnB scene, and at the same time, honestly critique performances and the overall feel of a night out. In addition, it's an attempt to just plain say what we feel. At its best, it is all about Love.

Of course, with two hard-hitting reporters like us, there is always a chance of misunderstanding, leading to it getting to be about Hate, which is not our thing. So here is a small clarification regarding a review that we removed, and are putting back up in this post.

In our original post, we made a comment that might have made it sound like we thought that JFuse and Illux were appreciated simply because they have friends that appreciate them, without regard to their talents as DJs. That would have been a harsh thing to say, and in fact, we didn't intend to say it at all. What we meant to say in this regard was simply that since we are not personal friends of Illux and JFuse, we lacked a personal attachment to the show that would have made it better for us. We tend to have our own personal ups and downs that vastly influence how we like or dislike our nights of DnB (see our countless review notes for examples). When we adore the person playing on a personal level (for example, we adore the Residents), even if we are down or the track list doesn't make us oooh and aaah, we still have a kickass time.

Simply: we never intended to be haters on Illux and JFuse. We're all in this scene together, want to be friendly and want nothing more than to boost up any DJ brave enough to take the turntables and try to get a night moving and shaking.

On a critical note, we didn't get a strong vibe from Illux's set. In the original post, we commented that while Illux did a good job of providing smooth transitions, we just didn't get into the track selection that much. We also thought that Illux seemed nervous and detached, and would have liked to see her get more into her own set, which she did near the end. In personal conversations with Illux, we note that she has a strong personality -- she has great potential to connect with the crowd on a deeper level, and we'd like to see that.

JFuse's set started off with strong, forceful beats which is something we generally appreciate. But something in the lack of variety from track to track at the beginning made us lose interest to the point where we ended up leaving to play some pool before returning. We really dig sets that have track variety -- mix it up, play it smooth for a while to get the energy going and unleash with some Sick Rock for a while to get the crowd jumping, then roll it back again and keep us in the zone. When we came back, the end of the set was very jarring, which although it looked intentional, was not the kind of climax-of-dancing ending we tend to get a kick out of. We like the last tracks to lead up to a dance frenzy that will make us want to cry when they kick us out of the club like the dogs that we are.

Local DJs are the lifeblood of the DnB scene. As an aspiring DJ (this is Eddie talking now, the guy with the beard), I value all the positive vibes I can get, and hope to roll with the critical punches too. I hope this post puts a positive spin on things -- nothing will make me jump up and shout more than seeing JFuse and Illux progress to new heights behind the Twin Plates. We didn't love this evening, though, and hope we have now expressed things aright. Goodnight, Boston.

9/19/2005 03:28:00 PM:
2005.09.15 Dieselboy@Elements

Man, I am getting old for this! The night featured Lenore on the opening set and the legendary Dieselboy as the headliner. What can I say, Lenore put the floor on spincycle, and Dieselbody followed through with a proper rinseout. The evening reminded me of Elements of the the good-ole days, 1999, 2000, 2001, when every event was like this, and more imporantly, I could dance all night without repercussions.

The place was packed by 11, and the crowd was wild. Mostly new faces with a few familiars. Lenore had the visuals going right from the start, the stereo was cranked up to the max, and the atmosphere was top notch.

Nonetheless, the night left me feeling a bit empty. Going to a different party before hand, with ex-coworkers and closer friends than the casual Elements peeps left me wanting. It's happened before with other pre-parties, so maybe those are just a bad idea, unless we all go to Elements afterward.

A word about Dieselboy. The last time I saw him was at Venu, and he had an obnoxious MC with him. I didn't hear much of his set that night, and in fact, left the party rather early. This time, he was wise to come alone. His set was varied; mixing impeccable, and there really was nothing to distract me from enjoying my favorite tunes. Wicked night.


9/08/2005 06:44:00 PM:
The Perfect Night

As our appreciation of Drum n Bass nights grew over the years of attending Elements and other similarly refined events, our understanding of the basic and fundamental laws governing an outcome of a particular night developed ever so deeper, to the point where we can now summarize it in a rather simple equation.

Alas, before we present our findings, some background is in order. On a shallow inspection of a DnB event, there is a great tendency to place too much emphasis on the technique of the DJ, which explains why our early reviews were so frequently plagued by volumes of technical minutiae rarely of interest to a casual reader. We spent much time despearetly attempting to claw our way out of the trap of superficiality when luck finally caught up to us with the decisiveness of a lightning bolt. During one fateful Elements night, during which The Phoenix Landing was hijacked by a horde of Red Sox fans waiting for their favorite team to lose yet another game, it dawned upon us. Mind you, the inspiration did not precipitate out of the cold brisk air of that November eve; rather, it buoyantly sprung from the mouth of a jolly bouncer guarding the door from the raucous junglists attempting to rescue their favorite venue -- it was pure perfection -- "are you guys here for the Bass and the Drums?" asked he. The Bass and The Drums. What a concept.

Thusly, we had stumbled upon the two Elemental Compounds of a proper DnB night. How ironic that they were under our noses the whole time, imprinted in the very name of the genre so close to our hearts, yet it took us so many moons to truly understand their meaning and significance. The two elements served as an indispensible foundation for our formula, but several other compouds had to be discovered to complete the recipe. After much additional research and formulation, we had finally hit the golden formula. It consists of the following components:

  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Funk, or Darkness (see below)
  • Beer
  • People

Let's take these elements one by one, and discuss their merits.

Drums: The foundation of any dnb track is the drum line. You can add all the crazy, stomach-churning bass to a track that you want, and if you don't have a tight, catchy drum line, your track will lack the danceability you need on the dancefloor, and the edge you need to keep a listener tuned in. What makes for a good drum track? That's tricky, but we can lay down some basics here. You need (1) good mixing -- the drums can't be too loud or too quiet to carry the bass line, and the balance of treble and bass must be appropriate for the rest of the track, (2) a catchy riff or two -- your track can't sound like every other track ever produced, or familiarity will make it undanceable; try some syncopation or some triplets, keep it flowing, lay down a wicked unique sounding snare, (3) energy, that elusive, hard-to-define quality that separates the goods from the greats.

Bass: Next to drums, this is the other critical, make-it-or-break-it element. There are quite a number of ways to get a bass line right, and infinitely more ways to get it wrong. But put it this way: if your bass line, when played on an impressive audio system at e.g. Elements, doesn't make people look and stare, or cringe at the sheer madness, or jump up and dance from its brute funkiness... then the bass might not be cutting it. The funk or darkness of a track is largely (but not entirely) derived from the elements of the bass line -- see below.

Funk, or Darkness: It is a hypothesis worth considering that a track may either be funky, *or* dark, but not both. This largely accurate generalization falls down in a very special group of cases where a track manages to be both funky *and* dark, and hence garners the enviable title of "wicked," which in this context indicates elements of both funk and darkness. If a dnb track entirely lacks both funk and darkness, it is hardly worth calling dnb at all. Many of our least favorite tracks fail as dnb tracks in precisely this way. Funkiness is an ingredient from the Light Side of the Force, infusing a track with danceability and a general positive mood, while darkness is an ingredient fromt the Dark Side, and makes a track danceable by provoking an aggressive mood. Both elements of the track mood involve differing typical rhythmical elements, and can be recognized instantly. An example of a wicked track might be Klute's "Finger in the Hole."

Beer: Ah beer, how we love thee. It can have so many positive effects on the evening, from making you forget that you're tired, to helping you learn to live outside your shell, to just plain tasting good. As an accompaniment to dnb, it's a nice drink on account of it filling all of the aforementioned roles, while also being a drink that one gulps for several minutes, extending the enjoyment over a couple of tracks while the toes warm up in the Winter, or the head cools off in the Summer.

People: The crowd is a vital part of the experience of dnb. Let's play the etymology game: dnb comes from Jungle, Jungle is where we discover indigenous tribes, and tribes are generally groups of people who come together over a common practical or spiritual meeting point. When you want to experience the complete phenomenon of dnb, you have to go out and be among people who are there, as you are, for that reason. Whether you're someone who just likes to stay on the sidelines and people-watch, or are instead someone who would rather be up front and get all the attention, or neither, or some mix of those two, you must in any case *be there*. It's really not unlike the reasons people congregate for church (at its best), to talk about spiritual matters -- you go to be among people with a common purpose, and without that, you're missing the social component of dnb.

In conclusion, we love Drum n Bass, and we think that Great dnb sets itself apart from other dnb by having the Elements above.

~eddie & pavel

9/06/2005 12:17:00 AM:
Eddie @ Solstice

Big ups to Eddie on his first public gig! Until now, Eddie has been DJing at private events as well as producing mixes for our drives to Elements. Finally, he was presented with an opportunity to mix a few tunes in front of a live audience at the Solstice Cafe. Huge thanks to the star of the night Edisoncos for getting the crowd going and presenting Eddie with this chance.

Here are some photos of the event as well as a couple of clips.

Eddie did a stellar job; people clearly loved the tracks he picked. Despite the tiny dancefloor, peeps were dancing and otherwise enjoying the mix.

Huge huge congrats!!!


8/26/2005 04:31:00 PM:
25 August 2005
Damian (Soundbox, ADHD) [I think]

First off, while I know we hardly comment on the Residents anymore since we've said almost all there is to say in the past, in this case, I must mention: MDOC KILLED it! That was one of the more exciting opening sets for several weeks -- the track selection was on the mark, the intensity was high, and the mood incorporated all the right elements. I found myself disappointed I'd arrived so late.

Damian's set started off slow -- some sort of abstract kind of breakbeaty stuff, not unlike how I like to start my CDs. But the thing was, after MDOC's energy, it was jarring to have the slowdown -- I expect the slow start from an *opening* set, but not necessarily from the main performer. Considering the fact that I was already exhausted from my first week at my new job, this was enough to take me off of the dance floor. This gave me some time to chat with Lenore and some other folks, and just chill. The DJ did bring up some nice recognizable tracks later on, and kept the evening moving after all, but in my own case, the slow start paired with my own fatigue kept me from completely loving the set.

The crowd was also kind of weird. There were large, burly guys that appeared to think they were at a rave, running around with glow in the dark sticks. They dominated the up-front area, while people managed to sneak into our usual hideout area behind the speakers.

All in all, a nice evening, with an impressive opening set, a few nice picture and well-planted handstands, some dancing, good conversation, Guinness, and a brush with a DJ who shows a lot of promise, but should open his Main Performer sets with a little more energy. ~e

8/19/2005 11:15:00 AM:
08/18/2005: A bunch of British Dudes @ Elements

What can I say; the night started on a very high note, with Crook throwing down some truly mad beats. Yes, mad, I say. Then the first British dude came on and blahdy blahdy blah -- he was good, but not amazing. After him, the second British dude came on -- he was again good, but his track selection was very monotonous and metally. The night for some reason inspired a different sort of crowd to come out with nary a familiar face. It also inspired a particular type of dance called the Beer Dance. It goes something like this -- try it in your living room -- hold a full glass of beer in your left hand, while making circular motions with your right hand. Also move around the room in ballet-like motions. Imagine there are people in the room -- whenever you get close to anyone, pour a small amount of beer on their shirt, pants, or shoes -- you get the idea. Now, repeat all night, getting a fresh beer when your glass gets low.

So yeah, the night started strong but withered out toward the end. Croock’s set was better than the feature.


8/05/2005 11:27:00 AM:
04 August 2005: Rekkon, Alliance @ Elements

Greets! This was a proper night with proper DJ-ing and a crazy crowd. The night started off with Lenore's opening, and she did not disappoint. Her set was tight and full of amazing tracks, truly worthy of a feature set, not an opening. Rekkon took controls unceremoniously and threw down some mad dubs. Unfortunately he couldn't quite catch a groove and kept messing up the mix-ins. Still it was a good set that kept the crowd going until finally, well before 1am, Alliance stepped up to the decks. He took the already stratospheric energy level and blew it right out of orbit. Throwing down one mean track after anohter, connected by impeccable mix-ins, it was a delight to partake in the madness surrounding the stage; a madness that included goth chicks dancing like strippers and breakdance performances worthy of top international competitions. By curfew, the crowd including Eddie and YT was exhausted, and we were quite glad when the lights finally came on; for this was a night when nothing was held back; this was a night that extracted every last bit of energy from everyone, the DJs, the crowd, even the PA system; this was a night that will serve as a benchmark for many nights to come; a night that will not be easy to reproduce. But we will surely try.


7/29/2005 07:38:00 AM:
Word. It was a good show for sure; I missed the MC who graced the past two events at Bill's Bar. His personality contributed greatly to those nights. The stereo seemed to be louder than ever before; it even seemed like the under-the-stage subs were on. Unfortunately we missed the fashion show that occured exactly when we took our waiting-for-the-place-to-fill-up walk. On that note, here are some photos from the event, as well as a short video clip (QuickTime).

7/27/2005 10:53:00 PM:
26 July 2005: Dillinja & Lemon D @ Bill's Bar

Ever had one of those days that just seemed to keep kicking you in the ass? You wake up too early after having gotten to sleep way, way too late. Pounding head through the day, drifting through work trying to keep your eyes open, the heat of the Summer afternoon literally searing your skin every time you dare to leave the cold, dark, clausterphobic confines of your rickety office cubicle. Trying to get actual oxygen from the watery, thick air with every laboring breath. Welcome to my day.

And then a ray of hope: what? Dillinja is playing at Bill's tonight? Let's roll! Pavel and I show up early, avoiding any chance of waiting in line or even worse, being told the show is sold out. Head in, get some (non-sucky) Guinness, relax to some of the chill Static vibe, and then go for a walk to see some of the crazies running around this part of Boston.

When we get back, Static is handing over the reins to Benny B, and I gulp down some more Guinness and a Red Bull for pure caffeine goodness (see above for details as to how I'm likely to fall over any minute, asleep). After a few tracks that failed to establish a strong danceable rhythm (silver lining: great drinking music), Benny B did something that I don't think I've seen him do before: he got into a groove with a set of solid tracks, and I couldn't resist dancing. I still say Benny has to work on establishing that crowd connection earlier in his set, but kudos for bringing some energy to the dance floor before the main event.

I've never seen Dillinja and Lemon D perform, and I'm sometimes skeptical about big producers and the kind of vibe they bring to their DJing, but I must confess that even in my alcohol-induced fog, D & LD delivered on all levels. Gone was the hazy memory of my day, gone were the clumsy limbs that were previously attached to my awkward torso. This was a set to dance to, and that's precisely what I did. Not with as much abandon as I do in my element at Elements, but with considerable enthusiasm nonetheless. The pace was right, driving me for nice, long stretches and pulling back when necessary to allow me a breath or two. Notably, these DJs also responded well to the crowd, and were responsive with rewinds. My hat is off to these guys -- they bring it relentlessly, buffetting you about the head and torso with beats and bass, and giving you what you came for.

The people were also in a friendly mood -- I talked to the promoter-whose-name-I-forget and signed up for an email list, and of course edisoncos, Anna (!), a tall woman named Jana who thinks Pavel and I are gay, and several others -- oh, including this guy with a weird domain name who does experimental stuff in Worcester, no less: Check it. ~eddie

5/27/2005 11:26:00 AM:
05.26.2005: DJ Pan @ Elements

This is what I call a proper night. We got there early to catch all the opening set action, and Lenore managed to again impress us with her skill. Her set was a great prelude to what was to follow; as the space filled up, the beats became madder and madder. The transition from Lenore to Pan was somehow uneventful, but what followed will be etched in my memory forever. His set was ill, sick, contageous, pucking, feverish DNB goodness. Packing an amazing variety of tracks, from mellow to dark, from housy to break-beaty, the set was an exercise in dance floor control, and the mastery of the DJ shone through and through.

If you missed this night; well, what can I say; you missed a lot. Don't repeat your mistake the next time this fine DJ rolls into town.

5/17/2005 09:53:00 PM:
Good evenening; Pavel here, representing the QCW crew. Let me tell you about the last Thursday at Elements, alghough I have to admit, I have to strain pretty hard to recall anything special. We had two local DJs on decks and an opening set by our own DJ Crook. In hindsight, Crook's set was the highlight of the night, and it was all downhill from there, with a few bright spots here and there. Here are some pictures of that uneventful night.

5/05/2005 08:58:00 PM:
Evol Intent and C4C @ Bill's Bar Photos

here they are!


5/05/2005 01:56:00 PM:
Evol Intent and C4C @ Bill's Bar

Bill's Bar is the new happening DnB venue attracting some of the world's biggest names. So how did this particular night turn out? Good, but less than spectacular. We arrived there on the early side, and for the longest time the place was empty. I was depriving myself of DnB all week, so I had no trouble getting into it and starting to dance to the opening set. Being the only one on the dance floor was a bit annerving, but someone had to do it.

The night seemed to last forever. Evol Intent took over the decks at a tad past midnight, and opened his set with a promising selection of tunes that got the whole room jumping. Unfortunately very quickly he settled into a drone that became very tiring and practically put me to sleep.

C4C stepped up at 1 or so. Again, after a promising opening, the tracks lost their variety and spunk. He turned it back up for the last ten minutes of the night, but otherwise, his set was pure boredom.

In all honesty, my favorite parts of the night were: the opening set, the MC, the peeps. What spoiled the night for me was: the headliners with their lame sets and the popping subwoofers (guys, you need to get a compressor or something before you blow them).

Photos coming up.


4/23/2005 01:35:00 PM:
No time to write again, but there are some pics from the last two shows.

Nocturnicon Crew - 04/14/2005

A-Sides - 04/21/2005

Both great shows; big ups to the Elements crew!


4/09/2005 09:55:00 PM:
Oh man. Yes, yes, there was some lesbian action going down -- Pavel's pics display the gory details. Please do not tell my wife. Thank you.

The show was good stuff -- I can't say that the set was awe-inspiring, but it was solid, and it was good. Pavel and I had planned to leave early and then... didn't. So that tells us something. The wine of the evening was a South African Merlot which was somewhat spicier than the Merlots of the past, but still had a nice texture and drinkability -- for the most part. Pavel had some gulping troubles down near the end of the bottle. Can't blame him -- it got rather sour after a few glasses.

I was very sort the next two days after this show -- Pavel and I were in push-each-other mode, each proposing crazier and more frenetic dances while in the dark recesses behind the main speakers on the left. Then we had to reach our "usual spot" -- WALKING LIKE ROBOTS. Give Pavel a few beers, and he gets creative!

We had a blast -- the kind of time that reminds us why we went 56 times in a row, and why we'll keep feeling like we want to come back, week after week.

4/08/2005 07:58:00 PM:
2005.04.07 Basic Operations@Elements

Greetings, earthilings. I don't have time to write, but I do have time to share the pics. [engage]

4/01/2005 12:48:00 PM:
03.31.2005 Resident Tag Team at Elements

Having missed the last four weeks of Elements, we were eager to return, arriving bright and early. Just as we came through the door, Crook turned off the jukebox and started his set. It was great to be back. Shortly thereafter, Lenore and MDOC showed up and started tag-teaming. By mindnight, the place was packed, and the peeps were rocking. I personally prefered MDOC's track selection of the trio; every time he took the controls, the drums and the bass tempted me back onto the dancefloor. Having gotten to the Phoenix super early, we were thoroughly exhasted by 1am. Desperate for some rest, I lounged on the subs and managed to cause a couple of skips (whoooops!). I wish more of the familiar faces would have showed up and I had been more rested; still it was a great night overall, and I can't wait for the next one.

May I present The Photos.


3/25/2005 03:25:00 PM:
Let me amplify what Pavel already wrote.

The club is Pulse, located on an unremarkable street, surrounded by rubble and highways. The outside of the building is so drab as to almost completely avoid nighttime detection. It would be the perfect base of operations for a CIA sting.

Inside, you are immediately met with a mix of plusses and minusses. On the plus side, the decor of first room is really quite nice. The lighting is pleasantly indirect, the furniture is fine, and there is a decent pool table. It has a coffee house feel, and the DJ rig present is about the right size and volume for that kind of feel.

On the minus side, the bar is absolutely third-rate. The only beers were American, Heineken, and Corona. The shots were as expensive as $8 (Grand Marnier; compare with the Phoenix Landing at 5 or 6 bucks). The mixed drinks (I had a Red Bull and Vodka) were weak. Substandard in most regards.

On the plus side, there was no carding at the door that we encountered, and the people inside seemed curious about outsiders like me and Pavel, and that made for a feeling like people were looking our way, which was kind of fun.

On the minus side, even though it looked like there were a lot of cars in the lot (a plus -- it has its own lot), it was horrifyingly empty inside. Presumably, this must be the result of bad promotion, plus bad location, plus lack of Aquasky draw (which surprised me a bit, frankly -- until I saw the show, that is).

On the plus side, past the coffee house room was nothing short of a mini concert hall, with a very competent sound system and a fairly fancy DJ booth. There was lots of space, and there was a dedicated bar that was... not being manned. The lighting was very elaborate, which I thought was a nice touch.

On the minus side, the DJ booth in there was completely closed off from the rest of the room -- the DJ was not "in the crowd" in any sense. Rather, he was shielded behind a plastic/glass barrier in a room much like what you would imagine a radio censor sits in during a radio talk show.

As far as the music for the evening went, I honestly couldn't stand it, even when I was bouncing around for the exercise. I don't much like House. That having been said, there are tracks I've liked, and ways to mix it that are nice to listen to. Unfortunately those tracks, and that style, were completely absent. Once once or twice during the pitifully short set (less than 1 hour), did the unannounced DJ I assumed was Aquasky, play anything Progressive or Deep or Hard. 11 out of the 13 or so tracks that he managed to squeeze into the ridiculously underwhelming, short set were straight up, 140BPM, non-syncopated snoozers. There's only so much people-watching one can do before one gets bored even of that.

Pulse, the location, the interior, has potential. If I owned the place, I could turn it around. As it stands today, I hated the place, and I hated the show.

On the plus side, Elements, here I come for several weeks in a row!

3/25/2005 03:05:00 AM:
So last week, when we were leaving the AMAZING Ed Rush & Optical performance, promoters were giving away flyers for an Aquasky show in Providence. We thought; hey what the heck, we like this night, we might as well try something else different. Tonight was the night. Man oh man. Not only was there a total absense of Drum'n'Bass, but the place was simply dead. The venue was very nice though (will have to remember the name when I am not so drunk and sleepy). Two rooms; the first room had house playing the whole night on a rather puny stereo. The second room was huge with a stereo to match. I counted eight Cervin Vega folded horn subs, that's double what The Phoenix Landing has. It would have been nice to let out some real bass through them. But no dice, all we heard from Aquasky was house and something I cannot classify that sounded like Drum'n'Bass on painkillers; slowed down to about 130BPM. There was a large sign on the door "No photo or audio/video equipment; everything will be confiscated and not returned." So I had to take my pictures covertly. Here is what came out.

This night has enlightened us as to how good we have it with Elements. Yay. No more complaning from us.

3/16/2005 03:08:00 AM:
03/15/05: Ed Rush & Optical at Bill's Bar...

No words can do this show... errr.. party justice! I present the pictures. Go Elemental Compounds!!! I hope this night keeps going; because if it does, I am there.


3/12/2005 11:44:00 AM:
03/02/05: KLUTE

I'll let pictures do the talking.



2/28/2005 01:56:00 PM:
02/24/05: Karl K at Elements:

As much as I wanted to like this guy, I couldn't. The main annoyance that kept me off the dancefloor was his constant messing with enveloping controls. Just when I'd start getting into a track, he'd go and turn that knob. Very selfish of him. Not only this, but he played several tracks twice, and he played much too many New Wave songs. The chicks liked it. Eddie and I left.


2/09/2005 11:42:44 AM:
Elements Anniversary Party

The Elements Six Year Anniversary was absolutely sick. Ill. Contageous. The best pahty evah!!!

What was so good about it, you ask? First, the crowd was extra enthused. Many familiar faces, and many newbs as well were all enjoying themselves to the utmost degree. Second, track selection. No one beats the residents in track selection; they play the old school the new school and everything in between; they play my faves because they are their faves as well. Third, the volume. They nearly blew out their speakers. There wasn't any talking this night; only dancing allowed. Fourth, the festive mood of the hosts. Fifth, free T-Shirts.

Who knows whether Elements will make it to its 7th annerversary, but heck with a party like this, who cares.

12/12/2004 10:56:44 PM:
Color me so, so jealous! But, my son Soren was born on Dec. 7, so I'll be back any week now. Yes, that's right: I will once more embarass myself and everyone I interact with, indirectly, in the very near future! All hail crazy 2-time dads! -E

12/10/2004 06:32:13 PM:
Spirit/MDOC -- 12/09/04.

MDOC opened the night with his traditional mix of tunes, including many many faves. He was having a ball with a bit of scratching and experimental mixing; it's always fun to see the DJ enjoy the show as much as the audience.

Spirit stepped up to the decks shortly after midnight. He started with a string of very dark bassy break-beaty tracks that were difficult to dance to but a nice departure from MDOC's more "happy" set. The energy purveyed in Spirit's mix was insane; I was watching with amazement as the crowd around me convulsed to the complicated percussion and unpredictable rhythm. His set stayed in this mode pretty much the whole night, with occasional departures for more rhythmical but really fast tracks that drove the crowd to a frenzy. A rewind or two perfectly placed at the tracks that gave us a slow buildup and instantaneous release of energy put a inserted of much-needed interruptions in the dark beats. The guy had a great connection witht the audience. He got attention from the peeps, and he basked in it. Just the kind of DJ I like. The only weakeness in his set was uniformity. Dark; dark; all dark. But I suppose that's his niche. Not a guy to miss if you have the chance.


12/07/2004 07:05:29 PM:
I had much trepidation about going to Elements last Thursday as this was first of many upcoming weeks when Eddie would not be coming. I wasn't even sure I would go myself. On the one hand, I was looking forward to the beats and to the people, but on the other, I knew that I could be enjoying the evening at home with my wife Jenya instead of trying to forge new friendships, which is an especially arduous task for a timid person like yours truly.

The resident night turned out to be very low key, just the way I like it. Our beloved DJs put together an excellent tag-team set that included many old and new faves, had good variety, and had me dancing the whole night the way I haven't done in quite some time. Some of the best nights at Elements have featured the residents, and this one was up there on the scoreboard. I dare any celebrity, short of maybe Perfect Combination or Storm to challenge them.

Major props to the super friendly peeps.


12/02/2004 05:19:42 PM:
S - U - V! S - U - V! (The girls spell it!) S - U - V! (The guys spell it!) S - U - V!

Pavel: What? SUV is coming to Elements again, on a night that will probably be Eddie's last for a while?? How appropriate that our interest in DnB be tested in such manner at this deciding moment, when there is a fair chance that we will lose our vigor in continuing to overcome the sizable obstacles that stand in the way of our weekly forays into the parallel universe that is Elements. Alas, this is fate.

If you, our dear reader, browse our reviews way back to the very beginning, you will find that the first proper essay was dedicated to the performance of SUV and his sidekick we observed roughly a year ago, just after starting our regular late night DnB excursions. In fact, SUV, and in particular his MC, gave us the proverbial kick in the butt that inspired us to start this site with reviews and all the other goodness you find here. Of course, if you do read that fateful review, you will find that our opinion of the duo was not particularly high; in fact, they have continued to be a source of great amusement throughout the past year with phrases such as "you need more juice" and "eSs-Yoo-Vee" etched in our minds and becoming parts of our sarcastic vocabulary.

Eddie: So it was on a skeptical note that we packed ourselves into our individual cars and headed out to that cold but familiar parking lot to partake of a Chilean Merlot in the style of our past wine rituals. My own ride into Elements, when I travel without Pavel, has a lonely simplicity -- hop on the Pike, and stay with it until exit 18. Then you're practically in Central Square already. Drive Northish past the River Gods, hook a quick right then left, and voila, another right and you're at the parking lot. I keep playing a mix I did a couple of weeks ago, because that mix reminds me so much of Elements. So much so, in fact, that I gave Lenore and the gang a CD with the mix on it, hoping that they would share some of the excitement I felt when making it.

We arrived early so that we could see more of the resident stylings than we had in past weeks. But since we were having an unusual amount of fun with the Merlot, and in casting our eyes forward and backwards over the timeline of our Elements journey, we actually ended up inside on the late side. It was already fairly busy when we entered, and Crook was laying down some nice tracks that warmed me up quickly -- in fact, for the first time in many many weeks, both Pavel and I took time out to dance to the resident set.

Pavel: Yes, the middle of Crook's set, the part we had inadvertently stumbled into after much joyous wine tasting in the parking lot, got us wound up nearly instantly. The club was filling up quickly with every passing minute, the crowd starting to resemble a group of devotees patiently awaiting their master. Eddie and I weren't waiting; we were in the moment, enjoying Crook's mix and delighting in malt juice. We started to feel the approach of the headliner set as the resident scrubbed momentum and allowed the place to cool a bit, to affirm the spotlight on the mighty SUV, who, entouraged by Lenore and his Mc, arrived shortly thereafter.

They circled the bar, used the restroom, chatted with the Djs, sized up the audience. I had nothing but questions on my mind. Would this night be worth it? Would it make Eddie and me come back, or is it going to place an end to a great era, the age of Elementom. For me, this night has become so much more than just three hours of obscenely loud beats and drunk thrashing patrons. Since Eddie and I no longer work at the same office, this has become our ritual night of socializing and having fun together. As a bonus, we have met several great people at Elements, people whose company we will miss if this will turn out to be our final excursion here. Does this mighty Atlas even realize the enormity of the task squarely resting upon his shoulders? Finally, with swift assertiveness, SUV approached the controls...

Eddie: SUV's set started, and I was instantly surprised: where last time he began quietly with a softer tune, this time he came on strong with something forceful and dancy. Enjoying the track, I was bracing myself for the MC.

But again I was surprised: where last time, the MC began with a lot of hoopla, and nearly immediately admonished us all to indulge in more alcohol, this time he was doing it up differently: a simple yet enthusiastic introduction of SUV, followed by... well, hanging back, and letting the track gain momentum. My skepticism now diminishing, I couldn't resist hopping around a bit to the straightforward and refreshingly simple DnB beats that were heading my way. My reservations were quickly washed entirely away, as I noticed that tonight, the MC was in rare form. He seemed to know when I wanted to just listen to some beats, and which tracks needed some lyrical riffing, which he did in a characteristic and still riveting way. And where I could understand him, I was digging what he was saying: it wasn't the S-U-V chant of last time (though we did do that near then end, where it felt somehow appropriate, and notably short-lived), but rather was a smooth and flowing commentary on the beats, on SUV's goodness, and on the freshness of the track... I confess, I loved every minute of it. And I think the MC noticed that I did, because at one crucial juncture when I was resting near the TTs, just grooving and almost completely withdrawn in my own inner world of enjoyment, the MC came over and shook my hand and gave me an approving nod -- this brought me back into the world of Elements, and I again noticed that I was surrounded by strangers as well as people I knew, all grooving to the Drums and, well yes, and the Bass.

It was in this pleasant haze that I gave my CD to Lenore and told her I'd be away for a few weeks taking care of my Wife and new baby boy.

Pavel: In my drunk/tired/happy state, I didn't pay attention to any specific details of the mix or to the MC. All I remember is that I was truly enjoying myself; so much so, that when it came time to leave (around 1am, well before the closing time), I was very reluctant to do so. Alas, tomorrow's a workday, and I didn't want to be exhausted, and Eddie's eight months pregrant wife Cristen would undoubtedly appreciate his coming home early. We hurriedly snuck out and positioned ourselves outside the club for a quick cool down. The beats emanating through the door were oh-so-tempting... After hesitating for ten minutes, our resistance faded, and the pulsating woofer membranes lured us back inside. We headed straight for the dancefloor, and proceeded to soak in every beat, to absorb every bassline, and to resonate with every utterance of the MC. When MC told us to chant S-U-V, we gladly responded, in a massive rupture of joy. It was good.

When the lights came on, we had nothing to regret. The night had exceeded our expectations by a wide margin. We have gained new appreciation of MCs, and we renewed our vows of devotion to this thing we call Drum'n'Bass.

Eddie: Word! I'll be back, and when SUV returns, there will be the smile of respect, and not the smile of sarcasm!

- p & e

6/20/2004 03:05:13 AM:
PRESSURE SESSIONS @ KELLS. I went to check out Pressure Sessions at Kells Basement this Tuesday to see what the Other DnB night in Boston looks like. I gather it's a fairly new event trying to gather steam, and it's doing quite well. The Kells upstairs is just a bar with a House dance floor, and there were maybe, umm.., 5-6 patrons having drinks, and no one dancing. Downstairs was a different story; the fairly large venue was nicely packed with Junglists, and people were having jolly old time dancing and socializing. I am really glad for them... I personally didn't enjoy the night all that much; the sound system was really puny, the subs were overworked, there was distortion aplenty, and the midrange frequencies were severely underrepresented. The DJs, three of them, played ok tracks, but the combination of weak sound and slowed pitch kept yours truly off the dancefloor for most of the night. There was a nice bright spot when a chick DJ (visiting from Vegas, I gather) played some fast dark tracks. I had fun for all of 15 minutes. I noticed that the peeps were of somewhat different cros-section from the Elements audience in that they seemed younger and more uniform in their dress and behavior. I left before the night was over, and although I give them high marks for effort and for attracting a fairly large crowd, I don't think I will be going back.

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