So many DJs, so much talent, too little space to write about all of them. But in our continued effort to cover the club scene, below is a taste of San Diego's "DJ elite"-subjectivity and personal taste fully part of the deduction process:
Unite, from Tribe of Kings
The Tribe of Kings Soundsystem joined forces in 1998 to spread reggae and its culture to whomever would listen. Unite doesn't just play reggae, though; he's also a master of mixing old-school funk and hip-hop. The guy can match beats like a pro, but it's his ability to read a crowd and use the mic to transform any party into a full-fledged dancehall that places him among the best. Check him out on Wednesdays at the Morena Club to see for yourself. www.myspace.com/unite1.
Having been friends for many years, the boys behind L.A.M.M.B. only recently decided to push the musical boundaries of the club scene here to the next extreme with the club night Dos Tres. "L" and "A" are Lee (Dr. Indulgent) Reynolds and Alex Villalobos (also known as the Get Ugly DJs), who shared a pivotal role in introducing San Diego to "machine funk" with music from artists like Mylo, Tiefschwarz, Freeform Five and Lindstrøm, all the while helping the Beauty Bar establish itself as the new hotspot for hipsters and "e-tards" every Saturday night. While their stint at the Beauty has ended, the ugliness has branched out to Kava Lounge and Red C, as well as several stints in Tijuana and beyond. Mark E Quark-the "M"-built a name for himself in the late '80s and early '90s with a regular gig at Soma and then another one at The Flame until 1996. Though he went from playing disco to acid house and deep house, he now experiments with several genres, returning to the freeform style he learned while living in San Francisco. The second "M" is music producer and percussionist Morgan Young. He began DJing in L.A. at the Viper Room, spinning mixes including everything from AC/DC to Aphex Twin. His percussion experience now pounds through in the "beat-centric" sets he spins at several venues across San Diego. Barry Weaver-the "B"-is the man who brought us the clubs Electroluxe and Vice/Versa, where he invited acts unlike any San Diego had ever been exposed to (Avenue D, Princess Superstar, etc.). His discerning taste in music dragged us into the world of electroclash before any of us knew what the hell it was. Life's never been the same since. www.myspace.com/viceversaclub.
While he hasn't played a gig in San Diego for quite some time, you can spot him burning up clubs across Tijuana nearly every weekend. After spending time in Europe learning first-hand what the house scene is really all about, he returned to Tijuana and helped form the Connected crew with Tony Tee, thereby transforming our neighboring city into the party mecca it is today. www.myspace.com/djmariopd.
Everyone knows and loves these guys-and why wouldn't they? DJs Bart Blackstone and Atari have been behind some of San Diego's best parties for more than a decade. Their disco-rocking events at Whistle Stop Bar and The Casbah always leave you dripping with sweat and even a few tears. God bless One Nation. www.myspace.com/one_nation.