I'm normally not in favour of reviewing DJ shows, since the whole point is to bring the music itself to the forefront, without emphasis on any particular creative output (in other words, a DJ spinning usually results in a collage of creativity). Yet some DJs manage to put together such an awesome set, creating an amazing mood and atmosphere, that they deserve special mention. DigDug is one such DJ.

I had early danced to DigDug at various shows in the Seattle area, but this was a show where he was the sole artist. We started the night at the Aristocrat's where another awesome DJ was spinning some great stuff (and no one was dancing) -- I believe his name was DJ Nori. We then made our way to the Contour.

The show was incredible! For the 3+ hours Dig Dug was manning the turntables, there was not a single let up in terms of novelty of the music as well as the energy. The music was hard techno with some trance and bits from 80s music thrown in. All against a backdrop of Indian and Thai movies (which I couldn't quite fathom) and a couple of Fire Dancers.

I've always thought of Contour as fairly decent, with a nice attitude by the staff. But certain events occurred that made me re-evaluate my opinion. To me, the attitude of the bouncers is fairly important. I don't like an atmosphere of intimidation. While I myself am an extremely passive person, I think the whole point of dancing to music is to have fun and life's not worth getting into a tiff about something inconsequential.

Anyways, they had these dancers who did some nice fire displays and some guys kept going past them (stupid, but what else do you expect at an establishment serving alcohol). One of these guys was kicked out by the bouncers which I thought was heavy handed (unless they refunded his $10).

While this isn't as bad a thing as what I've seen at other clubs (in terms of behaviour, the Backdoor Ultralounge and the Ohm club in Portland gets my highest marks), I've resolved that I no longer will go to Contour just for the sake of going to an afterhours club.

I don't know what to think of the Fire Dancers themselves. They definitely provide a pleasant distraction, but sometimes their timing is off--I mean they appear at a time when the DJ is in a great groove. But this can be easily rectified.

More importantly, I think their performance area should be more clearly delineated, and it's the responsibility of the security to make sure no one drunk walks by them. It's ridiculous to not provide a decent perimeter and then penalise those who are inebriated by the very alcohol provided by the club. To expect drunk people to think rationally and then be surprised if they don't is downright Orwellian.

That said, what the Fire Dancers do is really very cool and very pleasant to watch. My complaints notwithstanding, it definitely gives the show some character.

Overall, DigDug is definitely worth checking out at any event. You get your money's worth and chances of you being disappointed if you like electronic music is very low.

Music ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org || September 7, 2002