Treetops’ Freedom BBQ: Small Party Vibe, Big Party Sound

.gif by Daniel Montuoro

“Oh yea, Troutman is right over there,” a young, slick gentleman told me, who was walking the same direction. I’d gotten turned around, and as the mind goes when you get older, he directed me in the right way to Lot 45. There was a tech house party for me to get to, and with the ambient explosions, I didn’t want to end up lost and get blown away by an errant Roman candle.  The magistrate of massive bass himself, DJ Pony, was in the final moments of his set as I slid through the doors, so instead of making the rounds & saying hi to people, I ducked into a dark corner and jammed out to the precious last minutes of the deep dopeness. Deep dopeness isn’t a thing, but we can pretend. It’s one of those freedoms guaranteed to us by the founding father somethings. This also gave me the freedom to gawk at the utterly gorgeous visual art by Levitation Theory. This kind of projection was fantastic. If you don’t believe me, just check this out.

.gif by Daniel Montuoro

Yes, it was that bonkers all night. And it didn’t just stay looking like psychedelic eye candy, there was a significant amount of imagery that gave the mind something to play with as well. Watching a DJ from Berlin drop dope tech house while seeing plastic army men rotate on an American Flag backdrop was enough. Even the biggest partier probably took a seat and thought about the meaning of freedom at least once in the night. Even if it was waiting on line for the bar, the modern unisex WC bathrooms or the food truck! That’s right. I got a delicious burger and hand cut fries while I listened to Dan Caster tear shit up. Lot 45 was unique in that it had a decently sized dance floor, a bunch of couches AND a chill space outside with more seating, food and a separate smoking area.  While all of this seems a little extravagant, it had this very understated feel to it. The couches were comfortable and 2nd hand while the music was minimal, but utterly perfect for the venue. The population was dense but never packed or oppressive. I didn’t see a single instance of groping, grinding, bro stupidity, pretentious Berghain refrencing, or overdone costumes. There were people dressed in Freedom (take that however you’d like, what you’re imagining was probably there) for the event, but there was also an Owl mascot costume. I’m not kidding, here’s proof.
86While we all enjoyed the spectacle and the dance floor, we all knew why we were here. Treetops had brought over some of the best talent out there and Eelke Kleijn had people tittering 5 minutes in. I haven’t seen people titter in years. There were girls skipping onto the dance floor holding streamers, while fireworks went off in the background. How’s that for a Freedom set? 79 Eelke Kleijn had been given room to work. Freedom to stretch his wings & walk around. His hard-hitting fusion of progressive, techno & house elements was staggering. The room was throbbing with energy and the set was way, way better than I had any right to experience., Treetops gave him an extended set so his mastery of the medium really came through. If you were somewhere boring like the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore (for shame) and didn’t hear this, I am sad for your ears & serotonin receptors. They would’ve liked this quite a bit. To get a taste of it, check out his podcast, Outside the Box. He just finished his 100th episode, so now you’ve got taste & round numbers to motivate you to listen to it.

I had to be up the next day so I missed the closing act, Teddy Roosevelt. I know, that makes me sound like a terrible American. Which, for missing this guy’s set, I totally am. Here’s just a taste of this dude’s power (don’t worry, he’s nowhere near his final form) and get excited for the next Treetops event after the burn.

This is Terry Gotham, see you on the American dance floor.

Photos by the Irrepressible Daniel Montuoro

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Mixes Of The Week: D:[JR] & Teddy Roosevelt

For this week, I wanted to spotlight two mixes friends I don’t get to see very often released in the last couple of days. These two are interesting ghost talents in their respective cities, and I couldn’t choose between them, so you’re getting them both. Don’t ever say I don’t give you things. First up is Existential Frequencies by D:[JR]. He’s one of the most technically skilled & thoughtful DJs I’ve ever encountered. The first time I saw him spin live, it was the kind of night that involved watching very fucked up people attempt to fix a gas leak. All things were ok, and he spun a set I’ll never forget. This one is ridiculously well mixed, with seamless transitions & track choices that make me go and spend many dollary doos on things from his track list. It’s soothing, if not a bit dark.  I’ve always thought that this guy was just as competent of a selectro as most of the talent working in NYC. He’s got a dope day job and living the life, so I can’t blame him for not showing up on more billings. This is another understated talent here that keeps me grooving as much as I would in the lounges & bars I orbit. The mix is uptempo but takes its time getting there. It’s almost as if he’s not trying to impress anyone, and just building for the listener who is in it for the long hall. An admiral goal, and one that he pulls off. It’s the slow builds that do it for me in this kind of house, and he doesn’t disappoint. It stays techy, but has spasms of soul & funk that are most welcome. Great work by the former president.