Lunice @ MFAH Mixed Media Museum of Fine Arts, Houston June 27, 2014
If ever a DJ could be considered a virtuoso, then Lunice would certainly fit into that category. Dressed in all black, with tight jeans and an oversized, fitted, extended drop tee, the Montréal producer/DJ created his own art during the June version of the monthly Mixed Media event at the MFAH.
Armed with a laptop and an MPC controller, Lunice began with a seemingly random series of sounds that emanated from the flurry of hits he pounded into the rows of buttons in front of him. Whether he utilized this time to check his levels or declare to the crowd that his set was about to begin, the random sounds turned into a rhythm, which led to a furious adventure of sound which would continue for almost two hours.
The organizers of the event, which includes the ever-hip and talented DJ Sun, made a wise choice to move the stage from the far end of the outside patio to the section closer to the middle, which I believe worked better as far as sound and crowd participation is concerned. You could certainly hear the music loud, crisp, and clear all the way over to the far end of the parking lot at First Presbyterian Church, making the Museum District one large bastion of trap music for the night.
Now, imagine a world in which a young Kanye West dedicated his efforts to being a DJ, and instead of an overabundance of obnoxiousness, he was humble and unafraid to interact with his fans. Lunice pretty much embodies that dream scenari, and even looks a bit like a young Kanye, with a confidence and determination in his eyes that entices, and an energy that makes the crowd jump.
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It might have been during Future's "Move That Dope" or Cheif Keef's "I Don't Like", but there was a point of the night where the bass and the beat and the moon and the stars aligned just right that lead to a wave of exhilarating joy and musical bliss that possessed Lunice to jump into the crowd and vibe heavily with the hundred or so Houstonians that chose to remain until the very end of the warm summer night. If the phrase "turn up" were ever to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary, Lunice's image and show style would definitely be included next to the definition.
Earlier in the night, the duo of DJ Gracie Chavez (Bombón, DIRB!) and DJ Navo alternated time behind the turntables as they warmed up the crowd with a seemingly endless selection of fun "cumbia crunk", salsa, and other Latin rhythms. You could see Lunice himself vibing to the beat, which he later expressed his appreciation to the gracious Chavez.
Lucas Gorham of the band Grandfather Child followed with his one-man electronic soul/disco/funk set, performing under the name The New Mercies. He used an iPad, electric guitar and talk box to wow the crowd with his his talent and complete immersion into his music. He plays on Monday nights at Voodoo Queen in the East End, so go check him out ASAP.
Personal Bias: Very rarely do I ask a DJ for the name of a specific track that they played during their set, but twice last year I was compelled to do just that. Both DJ Dayta and DJ Klinch were gracious enough to put me on to the music of TNGHT, and I've been jammin' it ever since.
The Crowd: Not as large or fancy as earlier Mixed Media shows, but definitely energetic and "turnt up."
Overheard In the Crowd: "Wow! I love when a DJ leaves his tables and gets rowdy with the crowd. It gets me so hype!"
Random Notebook Dump: Took a few minutes to appreciate the art inside the building. Always a nice mix of "I can dig that" and "I can't believe THAT'S art!"
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