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Friday, February 6, 2015

Get Down Friday Night (Basel Feb 2015)


So far...

Saw a few monks on the plane to Switzerland.  They were all really nice and friendly.  I had to ask one of them to move (she was sitting in my seat after I'd already set up camp there.)  The plane was half-full at best, so initially I felt bad telling her she was "in my seat."  She was very gracious and found it funny--problem solved.

I flew with Swiss Air and along with accruing miles on my "frequent flyer" account, not having to pay extra for checked luggage AND being served drinks (juice and water) plus a snack (pretzel shaped bread with butter on it) I discovered another reason to fly with them to a small airport like Basel (I usually would fly with EasyJet)--NO WALKING ON THE FREEZING TARMAC!!!  It's amazing how little things can make such a big difference.  ...Did I mention the complimentary chocolate?  I was actually encouraged to take as much as I liked (I took a polite 2 small bars.)  While the serious chocoholic friends of mine would sniff disapprovingly at the milk chocolate we were offerred, it was free.

On the bus to town, I had my bags on the seat next to me (oddly, the luggage racks weren't very close or convenient--the Swiss are usually very good about practicality and organization.)  A few stops later, a woman boarded the bus looking like she was about to die of exhaustion so I did the kind thing and offerred my seat.  I think she was going to be polite and decline, but her condition got the better of her and she accepted gratefully.  Unfortunately, a few stops later I had to get off and people were boarding (they board through any open door in Switzerland--but everyone buys their ticket before boarding.)  As the Swiss are also known for being very timely, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to grab my luggage and disembark in time--but everything turned out fine and someone rushing to the stop was even able to board.

I was treated to dinner before my set at Acqua Lounge and opted for the vegetarian menu (the other choices were fish & meat--beef.)  I understand that in Italy (the restaurant is Italian) it is common to have a set offering for the evening--here at least you get to choose meat, seafood or vegetables.  It was definitely not gluten-free, with the bread sticks, green salad with cheese-toast for croutons, pea-filled wheat ravioli (only 4, but all very delicious with an amazing sauce,) and the main dish of grilled vegetables on bread slices in tomato sauce.  That main doesn't sound very exciting, but mostly because I don't know the proper terminology to "jazz it up." It was amazing.  I probably could have had a proper dessert, but after such a foodgasm I didn't want to ruin it by eating too much.  I had an espresso that arrived with chocolate truffle-drops (I think Hershey has probably trademarked "chocolate kisses" as a sweet.)  After that I was eager to get up and earn my supper!

After fiddling with various wires, audio cables and electric sockets I was finally ready to play some music.  To fit with the ambiance already set by the music, I started out with some deep house and within minutes, people started to dance.  Normally, that's how I like to get things going (i.e., people dancing in short order) but as this place is a restaurant and bar, I'm used to people chatting, drinking and not dancing.  Since it seemed people wanted to party (on a Thursday, no less) I kept the music in that vibe...  If you've been to one of my sets, you know that I generally prefer to "change up" the music so it doesn't feel like I'm playing the same stuff all night.  Even when it's a night of a particular musical genre, I find ways to wiggle around within those limits.  At a certain point, I felt that I'd taken the house as far as I could and needed to change the energy, so I did something kind of adventurous...
I played the song below--which was sampled in a really big club hit.




...They ate it up!  So then I played a few more soul classics, switched to Pharrell's "Happy," a D&B remix of Lorde's "Royals" (get it here, it's on the reggae tip--kind of a nose-thumb at Lorde as she claims to hate reggae,) Fugees' "Ready Or Not" remixed by DJ Hype (or it Zinc? the whitelabel confusion continues,) into another Ganja Kru (DJ Hype, Zinc & Pascal) joint, this time a twist of "Lowrider" by War.  The mini-D&B set was followed by "Welcome to Jamrock" (Damian Marley) and its source material, "World A Music" by Ini Kamoze (yes, the "hotstepper.")  Bringing the tempo (and energy) back up, I played some hiphop, snuck in some Jon Lucien (to be fair, it was the break of one of the hiphop tunes) and then laid down the funk before heading into disco and then back to house...

All in all, it went well and we turned what we expected to be a slow night into quite the party...

Tonight it goes down at another friendly venue, Grenzwert!  See you there?

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