This past April I flew down to Washington D.C. for what I hope would be an epic weekend. Here is my review of the Phonic Excursion.
My buddy Pete and I left his place around 8pm went a mile down further in DC and had dinner at a restaurant/bookstore combo called Busboys & Poets. We walked a mile back to his place, then headed out to Phonic, which was a mile back towards the way we came. We walked into the restaurant the Federal Lounge and we checked in with the people who had tickets on will call. I had bought mine ahead, but Pete hadn't so he just paid $20 or so to get in. We walked downstairs into a room filled with sound and lights. Immediately I recognized the guy who ran the place, Robert. He was standing behind the CDJs spinning some tunes. I did not introduce myself immediately as I wanted to get a drink and see the lay of the land. As I sat down at the first bar on the left I noticed another guy I had chatted with on this online music player/chat site Turntable.fm a while back. His name was Justin. We got there around 10:30 which was quite early as the show would go until 3AM. I hoped I would last until the last track. I introduced myself to Justin, and his reaction was "finally you're here". I had to agree with him. The club started up that previous fall, but I had been in contact with many of who I would meet that night for years on turntable. I then walked up Robert and introduced myself. He said he thought he recognized and was glad I was there.Robert
Pete and I had a few beers listening to the choons Robert was playing when all of a sudden a very familiar figure walked down the stairs. Matty, as I call the Prince of Phonic walked down and over to us as he immediately recognized me. I had "met" Matty on turntable almost three years prior to us meeting in real life, so it was awesome to finally meet him. He said it probably wouldn't be too crowded as Rayel was playing up i Philly and Armin was playing up in New York City. It was amazing to think that shows so far away could have an impact on crowd size at a small club like Phonic. Next came a character I was not as familiar with. On the new music site Plug.dj (turntable croaked last December) he goes by the name of Shogee. When he showed me his license I didn't even try to pronounce his real name. Along with him was a guy named Kevin, or Afturmath on Plug. Most of these guys live outside of DC and had commuted in for the show. This would be the first show that I was not responsible for driving myself home afterwards so I imbibed accordingly. Next I met another fellow I had been in conctact with for years. His name was Danny. He was sitting at the bar, and I sat down next to him to see if he'd notice. Right away, "Magilla Gorilla (my name on Turntable) ,it's about time" We talked at the bar, but I could hardly hear a word he was saying. I wear ear- plugs because of my high frequency hearing loss, and even then it's hard to understand someone two feet in front of you. The music got louder and soon everyone in the club was under the spell of the Argentinian Chris Schweizer.
Each tune recognized my energy increased, as well as the amount I drank. I remember dancing around and throwing down. The atmosphere of Phonic combined with what Schweizer was playing created a truly unique effect I had never felt before at other clubs. The crowd was not hostile like many of the ones I have been to here in Boston. It was as if everyone was in it together with the common goal of having as much fun as possible without detracting anyone else's vibe. Schweizer played only a few feet from the crowd, it was intense how close I was to the performing DJ, a man who had played in front of thousands at A State of Trance months before in Buenos Aires. I even remember during one song this guy at the front was frantically waving his hands over the decks as if casting a spell, and Schweizer didn't even flinch as he continued the transition. As the night wore on the members of WeHaveRobotEars gathered around for a picture. Sadly Danny was in the bathroom, but it's incredible of how many of us there were. My college buddy Pete was not the biggest fan of the trance genre played but even he got into it. The spirit of dancing and having a good time was contagious at Phonic. After all the dancing and drinking I did I was coming to my limit around 2AM. I told Pete we had to get out, and it's a good thing we did because I got sick on the sidewalk about 50 ft. up the street. I figured out at 6am that morning back at Pete's I had left my ID and my credit card back at Phonic. I am embarrassed it all happened, but hope I can make a valiant return to Phonic someday and stay until close. They still get A list DJs from around the world, and I am very jealous of my WHRE friends who live down in that area. Until next time, I will stick to my original game plan, and hopefully that will work out better.
Brad BaldwinWHRE crew