Machine Soul: A Friday Night Odyssey Into the Audio Spectrum

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It’s hard, you guys. Seriously.

Minds out the gutter: not that. No, I am referring to how hard it is to get me to leave the Greatest Bar on a Friday night to go anywhere else. What can I say, family? Working Dirty Water Fridays’ Boston VIPs Show is one of them jobs that isn’t really a “job” at all; it’s more like a labor of love (for fun interviews/ladies/cocktails/the look on Dave Larkin’s face every time the mozzarella sticks disappear). So yeah, there’s like a 99.99 percent chance I am not coming to your show on a Friday. I just love them Dirty Water Fridays too damn much (I see ya, SJ!).

That said: if I do end up leaving Greatest early on a Friday, you best believe it’s for something that falls in the category of “unmissable”. This past Friday night (December 5) was one of those rare situations.

In the 5 1/2 years I have been spinning on the Boston nightlife circuit, I have had the privilege of getting to know countless fellow mixmasters & mixtresses within the 617 fraternity. As cliche as it may sound, each one truly is unique & awesome in their own way, with their own signature stamp on their sound & a story to tell that, to me, really fleshes out what you are hearing on the decks.

Among these many talented & gifted names, one that stands out to me is veteran DJ Patrick Barry. Known to many here as the resident DJ for the Red Door in Portsmouth, NH, Patrick – who is also the founder of Key Street Music Events – has performed everywhere from the Northeastern U.S. to the north of the border in Canada, mixing it up alongside such luminaries as Danny Howells, Lee Burridge, Mr. C, Chloe Harris, Juan MacLean, & Tanner Ross, just to name a few. My earliest encounters with Patrick were of the Wednesday night variety, at the Re:Set party (Wednesdays at Phoenix Landing, 512 Mass. Ave Cambridge); I recognized right away the type of consistent hard work Patrick puts in every night to achieve success.

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Photos courtesy MJS Productions

Looking elsewhere among the aforementioned 617 fraternity, I also see the tag team behind the Audio Spectrum, Daniel Sevelt & Jonathan Santarelli. Each accomplished veteran DJs in their own right, Daniel & Jonathan present the Audio Spectrum broadcast on a weekly basis, providing a vehicle for up and coming DJs from around the East Coast & abroad to share their sound and tell their story. I first met Jonathan in March 2012, on a night I was spinning the main room at the legendary RISE afterhours club (306 Stuart St. Boston). Just over a year later, he was brought in to engineer the old Sterlingtology Radio show. I met Daniel a short time after this. As a longtime listener of the Audio Spectrum, it was dope to get to know the creatives behind the show, and to have a member of this unit working the engineer’s position for Sterlingtology Radio.

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So when I found out Daniel & Jonathan, in league with your beloved Mistress Jada Sinn (whose shared history with me in the community is already well documented), were producing the first in a series of live showcases for the Audio Spectrum – a team effort of creative, musical, technological & promotional endeavor – I knew this was something that I would need to go out of my way for to be a part of. Especially upon finding out Patrick Barry was to headline the first in this series (in a THREE-HOUR performance. Niiiiice). The setting would be the electrifying Wonder Bar (186 Harvard Ave. Allston), site of several of my own dance nights in years past. This was unquestionably the MOVE last Friday; after finishing up my Boston VIPs interviews with Mike Pires of the Kush Groove clothing brand & rapper Tony Blu (repping that weekend’s 100 Gram Jam, a party that may well require an entry all its own), Mike & I headed straight to Wonder Bar to be a part of this inaugural event.

The downstairs room at Wonder Bar created an exclusive kind of a feel to the event; like one of the few & the proud to be witness to a first of its kind showcase. For the first two hours of the night, Daniel & Jonathan held down the party, bodyslamming beats for the intimate crowd before them. Going hard in the paint like this is a hallmark of the Audio Spectrum tag team. They understand the importance of bringing the audience to its feet with their energy & music, not to just stand there with their heads down playing like they’re in their bedroom. These are longtime journeymen in the industry with a solid handle on their profession, and judging by the vibe amongst the gathering I saw upon my 11PM arrival, it showed.

Then came Patrick’s blistering set. Family, the man dug deep for this one. Knowing he had three full hours to destroy Allston, the man pulled out every available weapon in his crates. The ladies, the fellas, they were sweating, they were getting it in, they were having the time of their lives. Patrick has that ability to make a room feel like it’s levitating off the ground and into some sort of electronic dance music heaven. Like an out of body experience; it’s a rare & precious talent. Patrick killed it & killed it HARD on Friday. It was well worth making the trip to Allston to see it go down (That said, a two-hour version of Patrick’s set will be heard on this week’s edition of the Audio Spectrum show. Totally go out of your way to experience it!).

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I must admit, though: of all the night’s highlights, it was something more than the music that was my personal highlight. For me, it was the time spent with Jada. To see Jada looking so happy & proud of her boys’ achievement, did my heart good. It was great to have this hang time with her.

All in all, this was a dope event. I was happy to be in the building for it & I am proud of the whole team involved with it. It does me proud also to say that MJS Productions (Jada’s promotion label) is throwing me a special Sterling Birthday party in my honor, on Sunday, December 14 at Wonder Bar. The Audio Spectrum duo will be on deck, and headlining the event is the powerhouse team known as Bastinado, killing the set on the tabletop REACTABLE. This will be massive. Thank you’s again to the MJS squad for honoring me with this special event. As I wind down my DJing career this month, this is a very cool commemoration of the career I have had so far.

Facts only.