from: Crider)
to: ezine)
subject: Get on down and partee at the Shelter and Body & Soul NYC!

_"Shelter was really fun, Timmy played alot more current stuff than I thought he would and Danny Krivits and Francois K @ B&S played more older stuff than I expected, although playing a fair share of new offerings. Shelter and B&S are old school-style throwdowns where that neither of the clubs are fancy, no elaborate lighting, signs, decorations...etc. Sound systems were where great emphasis is placed in both clubs, imagine that! People come to dance in t-shirts, track suits, tennis shoes and jeans and some in old disco-days attire, chanting, blowing disco whistles, yelling..."work! work!," singing the words to the songs, smiling, winking, twirling, break-dancing, waving their hands in the air, shakin and groovin! There just wasn't alot of this standing around, stylin and profilin which is so prevalent today in most venues TRYING to be sexy. Sexy here, was a natural by-product of personal juiciness that was just a minor part of the whole experience. The floors STAYED packed throughout! Nothin like it brutha, in this whole wide world! Shelter went from like 11pm til at least 1pm the next day! That I am aware of, alcohol was not even served at either club! Imagine that! How many today could have a good time without some substance? Shelter was great, mostly Black crowd but with a good share of Asians, Hispanics and a sundry of others, a true reflection of the diversity of life itself! B&S took me over the line....I had so many "moments!" First of all...B&S did'nt even have an outside sign I don't think. The taxi driver didn't even know where it was, we actually were stopped right in front of it but didn't even realize it! LOL A local walking his dog directed me in the right direction. As soon as I walked in the door, I was hit with the sweet fragrance emanating from sticks of lovely, imported incense. As I walked towards the floor, I was met by a gorgeous down-tempo piece being played by an equipment guy to warm up the system. I immediately fell into DeeP meditation and felt blissed out of my gourd! The whole experience, the people, the setting, the music, the dj's seemed so familiar, so was so me and I it. It was almost that I was back as a child again, the very happiest of my days of around 6-9 yrs. old again. It felt sooo good to play again, like a little kid! It was a most enlivening, magical time, mostly because there was no Chuck, it was so nice to leave him behind and not be bothered by the distractions of petty personality quirks. Truly, I could dance anyway I wanted to w/o having to worry about whether I was dancing in a feminine or '"gay-looking" way or if I was too old to be in there and if I was dressed properly. I just felt free to let whatever, come out. I see exactly why they call it Body & Soul! Finally! Places I can call home, it means more than you'll ever know. All these years, suffering in pain and tears, feeling like something was wrong with me because of the way that I feel, living outside of the mainstream expectations that destroy one's individuality. It means so much to know that there are sooo many others that feel the same way about love and life. We must not EVER let this be taken away from us. I feel that now that maybe I can learn to love myself for once, so I can move on and actually live and maybe love someone else. Francois dropped..."God Made Me Funky" the place broke into a loud, celebratory roar of approval...I have to tell you that I have never danced to that track with the loose, funkiness that I did this time, it felt like I was truly dancing for the first time in my life, like life was dancing me! All 100% sober the whole time I was in NYC! I was VERY high, naturally! The high point was when Francois started sampling all these old samples from the original vinyl. My smile went from laughing so hard to breaking out into pouring tears of joy when he sampled..... "get, get on down, get, get on down, get on down and pawtee'!" It was all I could handle. One might think, well, what's the big deal?'s sample that stuff all the time and they are so over-sampled in so many releases. Well, if you don't get the point, it's because of what it means to me and where it has come from and where I'm hearing and feeling it. So noticeable was that in neither club was it about mixing skills, dj tricks, playing the most current tracks. It was all about great music and playing to the energy of the people. The dj's were not separate from the people, but rather very close in distance and energy, co-participants! Very few dj's today know how to play a set that mirrors the experiences of life itself. Countless times a track would end and an R&B track or reggae-style dub would would be thrown in with great effect. In B&S it was notably very roots-oriented with a great amount of afro-based drums and percussion. To me, very earth-based, reaching the deepest fibers of my very existence, to a place indescribable with words. Hell, tracks from old that were not even made with dj-friendly intros and lead outs were thrown in beautifully. The music reflected real living, not some forced idea of what a particular dj thinks housemusic should be about. Time and space were not of relevance, just an excellent experience of being in the moment. I left NYC so re-vitalized, so centered, already knowing that it won't be long before I return, again and again.

Club Shelter
Body & Soul NYC