Brett Starr and Rescue's new residency at 2200 (look for them on the last Friday of each month) kicked off with a bang last night; the two rooms housed a spectrum of excellent electronica, with Rescue and Starr opening the evening downstairs for Aarta, and Sami Tee and Styles Davis holding down the upstairs dance floor all night.
Rescue and Starr switched off from 10 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. downstairs, spinning soulful, bouncy house, while Styles Davis and Sami Tee created a lower-tempo disco feel upstairs. The space formerly known as Gallery 22 and the Loft is comfortable for both dancing and lounging -- but more people were on their feet than not.
Davis and Tee traded off at the helm, mixing mid-tempo, jazzy, funky sonic waves of sound with bluesy basslines and thumping drums. They'd switch up occasionally from disco-influenced to electro-influenced tracks, full of eerie beeps and New Wave-era chirps, before melding seamlessly back into soulful, jazzy house with wandering piano lines.
Downstairs, Starr and Rescue were blending disco-touched house lightened up just a smidge, then dropping in slamming beats and spaced-out sirens, followed by keyboard samples, joyful and driving. The always-appropriate "All About House Music" (DJ Noir) was followed by sped-up samples from En Vogue's '92 hit "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" layered over deep, funky house with blaring trumpets.
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Aarta came on shortly after that, and the sounds of Deee-Lite's "Groove Is In the Heart" filled the room, then the dance floor. His deep, groovy, soulful vibe has an uplifting, soul-cleansing feel to it, with gorgeous, spiritual-influenced vocals crooning over bell-like tones, crackling drumlines and bluesy saxophone notes. Aarta also skirted electro-house and New Wave genres, including such treats as psychedelic guitar riffs and blaring basslines. He was clearly having a good time, clapping his hands and grooving behind the decks.
It was a strong start to what's bound to be a popular residency in the metro area; Therapy has room to grow, and I'm excited to see who Rescue and Starr will be bringing to town in the future.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: I'm a fan of the lower-tempo music Davis and Tee spun, but Rescue, Starr and Aarta rocked the house, too. Random Detail: Laser lights playing over draped white fabric downstairs offered simple but intriguing eye candy. By The Way: Chris "Aarta" Lee is one half of the Portland-based Architects and has been busy remixing tracks for Alexander East.