Dance Music Pick of the Week: Garth and Jeno at Focus
Before Jay Denes' Naked Music label arrived from New York, there was a West Coast sound in dance music that was meatier, funkier, and more tribal. While the Naked sound set Kenny G.-like moods to a house beat, the pre-Denes flavors of left coast house music were heavily spiced by dub reggae and the psychedelic bliss of a handful of British expatriate DJs who arrived in California in the late 1980s and early 1990s to escape rave crackdowns and drug violence in the U.K.
Along with Los Angeles-based Doc Martin, who spent time the Bay Area rubbing shoulders with Garth in the late '80s, these spinners represent the true West Coast sound, hybrid in its origins yet unified in its reverence for up-tempo funk. When you experience a Garth and Jeno set, you feel the music and you soak up some of its history. Garth and Jeno, perhaps more than any other DJs, have connected San Francisco's countercultural past with its cyber-cultural present. Just because it's not rock doesn't mean it's not subversive. They have a gravitas that's missing among today's laptop spinners. Check them out Tuesday, August 25 at Focus OC.
Garth and Jeno spin Tuesday, August 25 at Focus at Tapas, 4253 Martingale Way, Newport Beach. 18+. Doors at 9:30. $5 before 10:30 with RSVP; $13 after. Info: focus-oc.com.