Classixx Provides the Rhythm of the Night at Rio Room
Uncle, I'll toss a few things in the "pro" column of the 12:30 A.M. Dallas club arrival time. I knew you weren't going to be out 'til late, so I opted to get a few chores done instead of getting irritated. I got a manicure, I went to the gym, I cooked (COOKED!) dinner, I tidied my abode and got all the way ready. Like, I put lip-liner on, which is an unnecessary addition to my routine, all before I got in my carriage to head to Rio Room just after midnight. Oh, I also wore some supremely uncomfortable shoes, since I knew I'd only have to wear them for 90 minutes. So, fine, that part was nice and those shoes are pretty dope.
At 12:30 A.M., Rio Room was bustling but not yet packed, and L.A. duo Classixx was already on the tables, warming up the crowd, not a Macbook in site. Classixx, made up of childhood friends Tyler Blake and Michael David, were chatting energetically between songs, watching the crowd and at least implying they were curating the mix as they went, and as the crowd responded. They brought something a little more disco and funk-driven to the '83 Series last night.
I got a chance to chat with Blake Ward, who's in charge of the series along with Parker Lawson, Andrea Pambechy and Matthew Giese. Classixx are among his favorite DJs, maybe his favorite, and it's fun watching everyone succumb to the pull of the dancefloor.
Starting out in Oklahoma, Ward worked at Sam's Club by day and hosted a dance music radio show on Oklahoma City's Spy Lab Radio at night. His dual identity allowed him to host weekly parties in Norman and Oklahoma City, further spreading the gospel of synth and bass until he outgrew his own niche and headed South. It's only getting better: He teased me with a few names for the next round of Thursdays, and there is a lot to look forward to this spring. As soon as I can kiss and tell, you know DC9 will give you the official scoop.
Can I impress upon you how fantastic the sound system is at Rio Room? I know there are complaints that DJ sets aren't all that fun to see live, but let me remind you it is because you are supposed to be listening, not watching. Dancing, not looking. Rio Room is peerless in giving electronic musicians the laboratory to deliver their chemistry, both aesthetically and sonically.
By 1:15 A.M., I was two drinks in, the crowd was finally there, and as the collective buzz peaked the dance floor was finally packed. Classixx mixes are sexy in an upbeat, tongue-in-cheek kind of way. The funk influences keep things grown up, but they envelop you in a dreamy, disco-tinged beat. Even the heavier tracks seem coated in glitter, which works to keep the crowd upbeat and flirtatious. Even the girl on the "pole" got a decidedly non-creepy dap from the bouncer.
As the night started to come to a close, Classixx went to town on a version of Corona's "Rhythm of the Night," a song we all giggled about and then bounced around to in non-ironic glory. Even the gentleman on the tables seemed to be in on the joke when they pulled the beat back from a seeming transition only to relaunch into the chorus.
On the way out, I stopped to ask Ward if he ever made it back to Oklahoma, just to throw another party where it all started.
"No, never," he said.
He left home for all this glitter, Dallas. Don't you take it for granted.
Overheard: "I don't ever introduce ANYONE to ANYONE. That way I don't get caught."