TVD at Den of Thieves welcomes Analog Soul Club, tomorrow, 8/21

The third Thursday of every month The Vinyl District curates DJs for all-vinyl sets at Den of Thieves. This Thursday we’re excited to present the Washington, DC collective known as Analog Soul Club with founding members Mettabbana and Sir Ramases on the decks. Chances are you won’t hear anything you’ve ever heard before and that’s not a bad thing. These guys aren’t in the game to be esoteric. They’re eager to share their booty so you can shake yours.

Sir Ramases, aka Ramases Harnett, is the founder of a research collective called Afro Ritmo Records which focuses on what he calls “the music of the original African man’s vintage past.” His keen focus on vintage global sounds embedded to vinyl have him very busy in 2014 with DJ gigs stretching from Venezuela, Surinam, the Dominican Republic, Panama City, as well as select dates in the US and Canada.

Besnik Hyseni’s (Mettabbana) musical journey began with collecting international music, 8-tracks, cassettes and vinyl as a teenager in his native Kosovo. Today his sets include melding vintage and raw analog and urban electronic music from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and his native Balkan homeland.

I’ve had the honor being inducted into the Analog Soul Club. They invited me to DJ with them one night last spring at Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar in Adams Morgan. It was a highly combustible experience to say the least with seemingly every selection thrown on the turntables acting like a squirt of lighter fluid onto an incendiary dance floor.

I wanted to shed a little light on who these international men of vinyl mystery are, so we set up a quick Q&A with founding member Besnik Hyseni.

How did Analog Soul Club come to be?

Analog Soul Club was something that came out of my interest to bring more vintage global music to DC, initially with an angle on how funk music influenced local music styles all over the world but it quickly became more about having a night that brings forgotten global tunes you can groove to and gives you a glimpse of e.g. ’70s nightlife in Rio, Lagos, Havana, Dakar, etc.

I wanted to do it in a divey spot in DC and Mig bar at the time (now known as Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar) is where I did the first night in 2011. I started looking for other DJs who play vinyl but specifically focus on vintage global groove recs because I was playing my same records and it was getting monotonous. There was only so much I could keep up with in replenishing my collection. Ramases was interested in showcasing some seldom heard rhythms.

How did you and Ramases come together?

I met Ramases at Backbar where he was playing a vinyl set of stuff like vintage zouk, forro, and Angolan semba and immediately knew we were supposed to work together, which is when the idea came that this could become a DJ collective of like-minded selectors. We played one of the most memorable Analog Soul Club nights with you, aka DJ Crown Vic, and we’re now a three in the collective planning to play more nights in DC and travel in the region.

Wow! I’m honored! I know Ramases is a word-wide rabid vinyl digger much like a rogue ethnomusicologist. Do you dig like he does?

I don’t travel specifically to find vinyl like Ram does, but if I happen to be in a foreign country I will ask everyone I talk to about places I can find records from local markets, to pawn shops, to people’s houses. Ram rides donkeys into the jungle to find dying artists and buy their last vinyl copies.

You also DJ other parties in DC. Can you tell us a little bit about them? There’s a focus on global sounds, correct?

Yes, I play global music of all kinds focusing on offshoots and hybrids of global bass styles including rasterinha, zoukbass, kuduro, kwaito, cumbia digital, etc. At Tropic of Bass at Jimmy Valentine’s I do with my DC-NYC-Philly crew, 1001 Beats with the Meso Creso arts collective where we bring interesting special guest DJs and also other one-offs at cultural events and clubs when I have time.

Instead of playing to people’s anticipation, my goal is to always bring stuff that is rather surprising but just as good to dance to. It is most rewarding when you have a room full of people who come to these events with a completely open mind just as I do when I go to see another DJ.

What was the music you listened to growing up in eastern Europe, specifically Kosovo? How did your vinyl fetish develop?

I had an 8-track player my dad bought in the ’70s and a seemingly random collection of 8-track tapes in the house. When I was 5, I was obsessed with this 1977 Trinidadian track by Kalyan called “Hello Africa.” My uncle also had a reel-to-reel tape recorder and I remember listening to Paul Simon and Raffaella Carra tunes in his garage. I had some vinyl records mostly of local folk singers like Qamili i Vogël, but didn’t have an international vinyl collection per se until I started traveling more.

What can we expect to hear this Thursday at Den of Thieves?

Well, hard to say what exactly we’ll play but will surely be something that will keep your hips moving so come and find out.

All Afro Indo Latin Euro Carib Brazil Vinyl Records!
Thursday, August 21

Den of Thieves
2005 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

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