On Thursday Sound System opened their new weekly at Rhino with a night of Chicago and New York styled deep house headlined by none other than Damon C. Scott of Storm Queen. The MK remix of the track by Scott and Morgan Geist has been on top rotation for weeks since it dropped back in November, filling the club with revellers looking to see the newly minted star vocalist in action.

Promoting a vocalist headliner on a night filled mostly with DJs is uncommon, but certainly not unprecedented. Storm Queen’s home cities of Chicago and New York have a long tradition of local DJs frequently bringing their vocal talent around to the club to spice things up. Seeing a house vocalist get top billing on the night, however, is a refreshing change and well deserved for one of this calibre.

The loft dance floor at Rhino started to fill out about midnight, with residents George Francis & Jakuze, Harry Dolphin, and Conka taking charge of a diverse audience of students and dedicated house party-goers. As 1 am rolled around, security started to clear out a space on the dance floor, indicating that this would be a fully interactive performance – with the headliner right on the floor with his fans.

Mr. Scott was instantly swamped by the crowd, but clearly relished the attention, ingratiating with photos and hugs before and after diving into the extended vocal arrangement of the “Look Right Through.” Pouring his heart and soul into the music, Damon showed his natural vocal talent clearly, and its hard to fault his performance. It did, however, consist almost entirely of a single track and, considering that Storm Queen’s repertoire extends well beyond this one song, it might have been nice to put at least one other less well known track out there as well. In all, he could not have been out for more than 15 minutes.

Photo credit: Brendan Clarke

However the night was not concluded with Mr. Scott’s performance, with LKid taking to the decks to satisfy the crowd with more Chi-town influenced tracks and some very well received exclusives of his own. The audience was well up for it until past 3:30, when things started to wind down.

In all, the night made for a storm of a premiere for the Sound System group. I found the deep-house night particularly well suited to Rhino’s no-nonsense venue, bringing to mind some of my favourite NY basements, lofts, and haunts spinning deep and sexy vibes until long into the morning. This will be one to beat as Sound System returns this Thursday with Hannah Wants.


About Author

A New York City native, Brendan has been on the club circuit for years, starting out as a regular at Twilo and Shelter during the rise of progressive techno and house in the late 90's. He has hosted a number of radio shows and managed electronic music promotion at WRTC Radio, where Gabriel&Dresden kick-started their trance career. He has also worked in the New York recording business as the Technical Director of KMA Music Studios. Most recently, Brendan has started his PhD at the University of Southampton, and writes on music, nightlife, and recording technology.