Check Yo Ponytail 2 @ Echoplex
Better than... spending another night looking for Soundcloud mixes.
You know DJs have skill when Shazam is completely confused by what's playing. That was the case at Check Yo Ponytail 2 last night, where the Club Cheval DJs chopped up tunes from artists like Nicki Minaj and Ciara into dance jams. When Shazam finally did start identifying tunes -- like "Wet" by Snoop Dogg and "Coke, Dope Crack, Smack" from J-Doe -- it was a sign that the crew was winding down.
Club Cheval is a group of four French DJs: Canblaster, Myd, Panteros666 and Sam Tiba. Each one has carved out an individual career and unique sound, but when they are on stage as Club Cheval they work together. When I got there just after 10, the crew was already in the mix, and didn't stop until the venue closed at 2 a.m. Throughout the night their selection veered from techno to hip-hop to house.
They played in pairs -- Sam Tiba and Canblaster, Myd and Panteros666, Canblaster and Myd, Sam Tiba and Panteros666 -- and sometimes as trios. Occasionally, one DJ would spin a few tracks solo. A set of headphones made the rounds like the DJs were playing a game of Hot Potato. As the night peaked, just past midnight, all four hit the decks. Their arms reached over one another as they fiddled with the mixer's knobs and wound back the Pioneer CDJ-900s. It looked chaotic, but they did this all with very few slip-ups.
Together, Club Cheval made tracks like Duck Sauce's recent hit, "Big Bad Wolf," and Paul Woolford/Bobby Peru's five-year-old jam, "Erotic Discourse," sound equally fresh. Club Cheval had the selection, the skill and energy to make for an awesome night. It's just too bad that they didn't have the big crowd to go along with it.
In fact, it was an unusually slow night at CYP2. While that was a shame, it may have also been expected. That last night's gig kept the Echoplex barely half-full is a reflection of the changing dance scene. Club Cheval doesn't play dubstep. They aren't the sort of DJs who play all the bangers all night long. They also don't spend most of the night playing their own tunes. In other words, they don't do the things that have been bringing kids to nightclubs in droves. However, Club Cheval does have their fans and those people were pressed close to the stage dancing for the duration of the night. Maybe in time, the masses will catch up with Club Cheval. For now, though, we'll just have to relish in being amongst the few who caught the crew last night.
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Personal Bias: I love seeing DJs work without a laptop.
The Crowd: People who like to dance and know all the words to house songs that you would never hear on the radio.
Random Notebook Dump: I think we've finally hit a point where there are more photographers than DJs in L.A.