New York City partiers have an unwritten rule that is slavishly followed: You do not arrive and fill the venue until exactly 12:30 AM. The rules gave Oscar P, the opening DJ at Basic NYC's recent event at Sullivan Room, exactly what he wanted: Carte blanche to create and control a crowd and its vibe. Within an hour, P was sweating over the decks and wringing out as many high notes and as much boom as the club's sound system could handle, causing the swelling number of individuals—who were initially more worried about their drinks—into a mass of enthusiastic clubbers on the dance floor.
Eventually, Cajmere, AKA Green Velvet AKA Curtis Jones, slipped into the booth and P teased the now-packed crowd by dropping "Percolator." He then mixed in his own "Time Machine" as a chaser, pouring gasoline onto the already high-octane expectations of Jones' forthcoming set. The vocals inflamed the crowd, warning that "if there is someone standing next to you, right now, who says they just don't like house music, they need to get out of the club right now, because they will get hurt!" The crowd went wild, and so did Jones. The party was perfectly ripe for him to pluck.
Photo credit: Sleepy & Boo
And he did. Sort of. Armed with a recently released album and new mixes of "Percolator" as Cajmere and multiple newly released remixes, including "La La Land" under the Green Velvet name, Jones was confusingly billed on the night as "Cajmere AKA Green Velvet."
Outside, people in the queue were asking each other who was performing. The answer was both—like the flier said. The reason was one of necessity: As mentioned earlier, Jones had new material out under both names he wanted to show off. Cajmere is a great DJ, and Green Velvet is a great performer when he gets a pair of headphones in his hands to use as a mike. You'd think that putting the two together would make for an amazing experience. On this night, though, what we got was a greatest hits medley with Japanese Popstars and Felix Cartel thrown in. Fortunately, those hits truly are great. Perhaps unfairly, however, one yearns for a bit more. Rather than a hodgepodge of Jones' characters and classics, a night of jackin' Chicago house would have been even greater.