The Beatdown

DJ Nutmeg is moving out of the house, but its foundation is still strong.

"My career used to be solely based around that scene, and when it started diminishing, I moved to clubs," he continues. "I don't know. It's kind of strange how this is happening again. I don't know if this is going to continue -- if this was maybe just a fluke kind of thing, or if people are genuinely getting interested again in the underground."

If you ask Schawe, he'll tell you that true house music never really emerged from the underground, even though it flirted with the mainstream in the early '90s -- filtered through artists like CC Penniston and Robin S., and later via acts like Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxxand Crystal Method. But its spirit continues to flourish, thanks to the efforts of the milehighhouse crew, Humble Souls/Mother Earth and Juke Joint, as well as other jocks such as DJ Fox and Jack Roland, who continue to represent in the clubs.

"I think house was just a remix of the disco era," Schawe says. "It was centered around dancing, eccentric outfits, drugs, the lifestyle. In the '80s, people were dancing, but it wasn't like the '70s. And in the '90s, people really started boogeying and getting down again. And it seems like now the dance scene is a little bit in a lull. I don't believe that nightlife in general is centered around dancing anymore. It doesn't seem to be a dance culture as much as just a social culture. People are going to go out and dance, obviously, but it just doesn't seem to be as important to the evening as it used to be. But I think house will eventually reinvent itself."

In the meantime, Schawe plans to get his own house in order. The soon-to-be former DJ plans to "find a job, pay my bills and figure out what my next adventure in life will be," he says. Before he assumes Baywatch duty, though, you can still catch him on Saturday nights through May 14 at Lime. And on Sunday, May 15, Nutmeg will be joined by DJs Idiom and Footer for a night of old-school hip-hop -- how's that for irony? -- at Moscow Underground.

Mahalo, Nutmeg.

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