Last fall, Will Eastman’s Bliss Dance Party hit the decade mark. Tomorrow night, the Nouveau Riche crew celebrates their fifth anniversary, at U Hall. And tonight, a burgeoning DC dance night turns one year old.
Clockwork, the monthly dance party thrown by DJs Ratt Moze, Chris Nitti and Philip Goyette at the Rock and Roll Hotel, hosts an all-star cast of DJs, including Brick Bandits DJ Sega and Tim Dolla. Rounding out the line-up are DJs Blastercase (Baltimore), Will Power (LA), and Cold Case (DC) for what should be a great night at the H Street anchor. I’ve been to quite a few Clockworks (including a false start at the Red & Black), so I took this opportunity to speak with Ratt Moze (government name Matt Rose) about tonight’s party.
Clockwork has a symbiotic relationship with the Rock and Roll Hotel’s growth as a weekend dance party destination. Rose credits this, in part, to the Hotel’s upstairs renovations, including a more accessible and visible DJ booth: “I think any DJ would agree seeing your crowd face to face makes a huge difference in how you play out your set.” The party has also benefited from its hosts settling into their musical grooves, putting a premium on diversity of songs and styles. Still, while the H Street explosion has been a net positive, he’s weary of it turning into Adams Morgan: “There are only so many times I can handle being asked to play Rihanna in one night.”
While a live performance from Libby of Baltimore’s Lazerbitch was stellar, Rock and Roll is moving away from live performances upstairs. The Clockwork boys will have to settle for guest DJs, including the Dirty Sweaty Nasty kids from Virginia (in April) and Jerome Baker III & Stereofaith (in May). Rose would love to see Scottie B on the bill, as well.
Tonight’s club music centric bill is a step towards that goal, but the lack of Baltimore club nights in DC is a sore subject for Rose: “I love Baltimore Club music so much, and to see the way it has been tossed to the side locally is disappointing.” He thinks it will take more than club music masters like Dave Nada and DJ Sega to keep it alive; the return of Low Budget and Jonny Blaze are bright signs on the landscape. But Rose puts the genre on the back of one man: “The beating heart of Baltimore Club music’s survival is James Nasty,” says Rose, who finds Nasty’s production and touring “unmatched” by his peers.
There is a lot going on tonight (and every Friday night), but meme-fanatic Rose has an elevator pitch for tonight’s Clockwork: “the atmosphere and music will make you feel like this.”