Fundacion Dos May 27, 2005
I stand (or should I say dance) corrected. Sasha failed to impress
at last December’s premier of his Fundacion residency at Avalon.
Nothing of the sort can be said of the second installment on the
last Saturday of January of this new year. It was truly one of the
best nights out that I’ve experienced in some time, and Sasha’s
mastery at the decks was the driving force.
Now I should say that both my review last December and this one
are heavily dependent on my overall perception of the vibe of the
night, and although said vibe is weighted predominantly on the quality
of the music, other factors certainly contribute. For the premier,
I was suffering from a bit of mental fatigue from having just finished
graduate business school finals. Furthermore, the “hype hysteria”
surrounding the new residency contributed to my misinterpretation
of the format of the music being presented.
Rather than being tantamount to live music production, ala Moby,
Underworld, etc, Sasha’s new format is actually just an improvement
on the traditional DJ medium. In other words, he’s still playing
tracks, but through the use of digital manipulation with the Ableton
software and his new controller, he’s able to remix the tracks
on the fly to produce essentially new ones rather than just mixing
them together in the usual way. That said, the quality of the music
for the second round in January was quite a step above what I heard
The residency is adequately entitled Fundacion for many reasons.
Sasha is pioneering a fundamentally new form of DJing for starters.
More importantly, though, the foundation of the vibe of any night
out at a quality club is the music, and Sasha set that stage like
only he can. I love all kinds of electronic dance music, but more
often that not, I can be found lounging and listening at a club
rather than dancing.
From the moment I walked into Avalon this night, though, I wanted
to move. At first, I perched out in the balcony, taking in the scene.
A little annoyed at the coat check being closed, I wanted to find
a place I could chill out and get warmed up. I found that place
dead center of the balcony behind the sound and video board. I didn’t
need any warm up time, though, because the music and the energy
caught me right away. My coat was off and I was up and dancing.
I wasn’t the only one either as people began sprouting up
as fast as the balcony was filling up. Soon I was ready to get closer.
On my way to the dance floor, I made my usual observations of the
energy of the club. It was as positive and uplifting as downtown’s
New Year’s Eve party, and that’s saying a lot. The place
was a buzz with people who were way into the music, a testament
to Sasha’s draw. Avalon never has the usual Hollywood crowd,
looking to see and be seen, and this night was no different. Since
the club centers on the music, so does the crowd. As well dressed
and beautiful as any other LA club crowd, this one was all the more
so from the positive and accepting influence of the tunes. The dance
floor was packed, but I found some room to groove stage left. Writing
reviews has its perks. For some reason, no guys were dancing with
all the hot girls on stage in VIP, so I gladly took the lead. Needless
to say, this was one of those “other factors” I alluded
to earlier that perfected the night.
Through four hours of dancing with two sets of beautiful ladies,
Sasha had me mesmerized. Finally, after some tag teaming with Lee
Burridge, who was equally as impressive, he ended the music sometime
after 6 am. It continued in my head for sometime after, though,
as I begrudgingly left the club. I must reiterate that it was one
of the best nights out I can remember. Now that’s vibe!
-- written by Matt Davidson