Dance Music Pick of the Week: Ben Watt at Focus
Ben Watt is one half of Everything But The Girl, the pop group he co-founded with his wife, Tracey Thorn, in the 1990s. As the act turned to electronic influence, he came to DJing and he hasn't really looked back--even when DJing is not half as lucrative as being a pop star.
Watt's spin sessions and production have been beacons of shiny, sometimes gorgeous house music that always had a sheen of purpose and quality about it. His Buzzin' Fly label has been a talent well (Justin Martin; Terence Trent D'Arby) for true-house DJs the world over. Where deep house is boring and progressive house is for glow-stickers, Watt's style always exudes class. You could be sweating to his DJ sets, or you could be sipping champagne. Either way would be appropriate.
But Watt's forays to European after-hours parties and Ibizan massives (he was a resident on the famed Terrace at Ibizan club Space over the summer) have changed his style. This Brit has a third wind: Like other house heads such as Dubfire of Deep Dish, Watt has been inspired by the dark, dubby, late-night techno of the continent, and he's been integrating some of the sounds into his sets. Check out the constantly evolving, but ever apropos sounds of Ben Watt Tuesday in Newport Beach.
Focus presents Ben Watt Tuesday at Tapas, 4253 Martingale Way, Newport Beach. 18+. Doors at 9:30. Tickets $10 advance. Info: focus-oc.com.