When Ryan from MegaPartnering said he was looking for a House DJ in LA to play at their event, I was not sure what to say. MegaPartnering LA? It sounded exciting in the first place, but also included traveling for two entire days and a 15 hour time shift. Thinking back and forth, I was about to cancel. But after another conversation I reminded myself to take risk and embrace opportunities. So I went, and boy am I glad I went.
First of all I had the chance to take part in the event itself, which was packed with legendary speakers in the Entrepreneur-scene: JT Foxx, Jay Abraham, Nido R Qubein, Wayne Allyn Root and many others. On top of that, we had Sylvster Stallone and Al Pacino on stage. Both of them impressed me in their own way. Stallone is a guy with a big heart and sense of humor I never expected from Rocky. It was pure joy to watch him fool around with the host, JT Foxx, even having a round of shadow-boxing on stage.
Al Pacino on the other hand is the embodiment of art. Sophisticated, unpredictable, a nightmare for every interviewer. But JT – the creator and host of the event – did a great job by inviting Al’s girlfriend on stage. That trick somehow broke the ice and made Pacino approachable and very communicative. I liked his answer to the question: “Mr. Pacino, do you work out?” “When I feel the need to work out, I lay down on my bed and wait until the urge passes.”
The afterparty on saturday night started on a mellow key. Not sure how to connect to this very heterogenous crowd of business people from all over the world, I started with some Downtempo, Lounge and Disco tunes, but eventually Soulful/Chicago House turned out to be the best common denominator. We had a great time until late, and after a couple of drinks more and more folks started exposing their hidden dance floor skills.
Electronic Music Scene in LA
Los Angeles does not exactly have a great reputation for its dance music culture. Nevertheless, the home of Mad Decent, Hot Creations, Dave Aju, DJ Shadow, Flying Lotus, Skrillex and Steve Aoki has a long history in warehouse parties. Steve and Jonathan Levy started the Moonshine parties in 1989 in a warehouse in West Los Angeles. The first editions of Electric Daisy Carnival, Monster Massive, Nocturnal Wonderland and Together As One all happened in the mid-’90s. The Electric Daisy Carnival has established itself as one of the most popular festival brands in American dance music.
Clubbing in Los Angeles is best understood through the promoters rather than the venues. Droid Behavior, for instance, are the city’s most visible prophets of techno. Their centerpiece event is “Interface” with acts like Marcel Dettmann, Speedy J or Surgeon. More regularly, they do a Thursday night event called PRIME at Medusa Lounge in Silver Lake.
Droog is the tech house-centric promoter in Los Angeles and co-founder of Culprit records. He is known for his summer daytime pool series at the downtown Standard Hotel (owned by Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Benicio del Toro…). Jamie Jones, Matt Tolfrey and the like are frequent guests to the The Standard’s rooftop.
A Club Called Rhonda, promoted by Alexis Rivera, claims to be a “pansexual party palace” and one of the city’s defining club nights. Booking legends like Theo Parrish alongside populist house acts like Basement Jaxx and relative newcomers like Space Dimension Controller, Rhonda steers clear of top 40 by hosting talent from Europe and American underground scenes.
Similarly stylish but in a completely different way are the events put on by Mount Analog. Since opening in 2013, the Highland Park record store has quickly become an essential part of LA’s music scene. The shop is one of the few spots in LA where DJs can pick up the latest bits of cutting-edge dance music. Mount Analog has taken its mission a step further by applying its keen curatorial skills to a series of eclectic all-night events (see event calendar on their website).