DJ Jason Eldredge Reports from the East Coast

Former KCRW DJ Jason Eldredge left the station to continue his higher education in New York City and he’s reporting back on musical highlights of his new East Coast life:

Ray Mang

Greetings from the Empire State, where I’m happy to report that the underground music scene is still very much alive and well. After all, New York City is the place that gave birth to Studio 54, the Paradise Garage and David Mancuso’s Loft parties, and the Big Apple is still home to many modern day greats who continue to take their cues from those sub-culture phenomenons. Of course, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy take up residency in the West Village with their DFA label, who just recently put out a new single by the UK’s Ray Mang entitled “Bullet Proof.” An anti-establishment/anti-war song, this track showcases a catchy beat and features vocals by none other than Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite! (How do you say “de-groovy?!”)

Continuing to travel along the DFA lineage leads to an off-shoot called Jessica 6, who are a recently formed Williamsburg-based band consisting of three members from Hercules and Love Affair’s touring company. If you went to the LA Weekly Detour Festival in downtown Los Angeles in 2008, you saw all of them play with Hercules, including lead singer Nomi Ruiz who sang Antony Hegarty’s parts from the album with pure grace (not an easy task). Nomi and Andrew stopped by my East Village Radio show one Friday afternoon this winter and spun a guest DJ set that included “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks. Brilliant! Their single “Fun Girl” is available now on iTunes. I recommend the remix by Olivier “Liv” Spencer from House of House.

House of House
House of House

Speaking of which: there’s no reason why any fan of dance music should not have “Rushing To Paradise (Walkin’ These Streets)” by the New York City duo House of House by now. I played this 13-minute jam back in May at the KCRW Radioactive party and it brought the house (of house) down. Previously only available on a 12” from Whateverwewant Records that was going for upwards of 100 €, this pure NYC house banger has been re-issued in wide digital release for a more affordable price on Pete Tong’s White Label. It still gives me chills every time I hear it.

Ironically, in this saturation of underground, NYC has also revitalized my love for straight-up pop. All of you Kylie Minogue fans will be jealous to hear that I was on the floor at the Hammerstein Ballroom the night they recorded the Kylie: Live In New York album– and yes, it was as great as it sounds.

In the smaller clubs, no weekend is complete without trips to places like Santos Party House where I saw Belgian DJ duo Aeroplane play their remixes of Friendly Fires and Grace Jones during 2009’s CMJ Festival. I can’t wait for the US debut of the Moritz von Oswald Trio as they play reinterpretations of Ravel and Modest Mussorgsky at Le Poisson Rouge this Saturday night.

That’s all from the East Coast for now. Stay warm and be sure to subscribe to KCRW!!!