On Thursday night, Loyal Order and Faresh Brand hosted an evening of music at Spirit in Lawrenceville entitled Drummer vs DJ. Apparently, this wasn’t the first event in this series. But for me, due to a few choice names on the bill, it was the first one that was an absolute must-see type of event. Those names, Selecta (James Scoglietti) and Throck (Dave Throckmorton), happen to be the best-in-the-city at their respective crafts IMHO, so I was SUPER excited for this. I was also really interested to see the other performers, most of which I had never seen.
The lead up to Selecta and Throck, who played fourth out of the five sets, was well sequenced. Pete Butta and drummer Loran Mann kicked things off with a hard hitting set of more popular stuff (Kanye, etc) that really set the tone for the night. Honestly, my expectations for this were for there to be about 25 people, mostly dudes wearing baseball caps and hoodies (like me!), nodding their heads to experimental hip-hop and break beats. I was really kind of surprised (pleasantly) to see a large and diverse crowd up on the dance floor from the get go.
Next up was DJ Hank D performing with drummer Young D. Unfortunately, apart from a few great moments, I ending up missing the majority of this set. I hadn’t seen Throck in a while so I chatted with him for a little back by the pizza counter. It was cool to hear what he’s been up to musically, including bits about (the sorely missed) Space Exchange Series and Thoth Trio, as well as to get some basic hints about what might take place in his upcoming set with Selecta. The third set of the night was by DJ/producer Preslav Lefterov and a drummer whose name I didn’t catch. This set took things in more of an electronic/house kind of direction and was a nice change of pace, especially for the dancers in the crowd. But honestly, with absolutely no disrespect to these guys, after about 30 minutes, I was ready for some hip hop. So much so, in fact, that when I noticed Selecta standing a few feet from me in the back of the room, I shared this sentiment with him to which he simply smiled.
It was probably inaccurate, but up until this point, I kind of got the impression that many or most of the people at Spirit did not know what was about to happen. Selecta is really popular but Throck hasn’t done a whole lot of his hip hop/drum ‘n’ bass type stuff lately. So when I saw Throck up there setting up his cymbals and re-tuning all of the drums in the house kit (including the bottom heads), I just smiled in eager anticipation. I don’t remember what they opened the set with, but I can say that they absolutely KILLED it for about 45 straight minutes. It was basically one classic-era hip hop banger after another with some ridiculous “Throck-Oc” solos mixed in between. In the video below, I was fortunate to catch what was possibly the highlight of the set for me (before my camera froze up). Selecta set up Throck nicely to stretch out with a short but high-level solo, which he managed to segue out of with the beat to Bobby Byrd‘s/Eric B & Rakim‘s “I Know You Got Soul“. It was perfect! For the whole magical 45 minute-ish set, I felt like these guys were tapped directly into my wavelength. This was EXACTLY what I wanted and needed on that particular night. Classic shit from start to finish. Unfortunately, I could not hang out to see DJ Nugget. It was just too late. But, I REALLY look forward to more of these events in the future! Attendance is highly recommended. Enjoy.