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Monday, April 2, 2012

Live Review, 3/31/12: As You Like It Brings Tiger & Woods to the W Hotel

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

click to enlarge Laura Jones at As You Like It on Saturday
  • Laura Jones at As You Like It on Saturday

As You Like It In the Clouds: Tiger & Woods, Laura Jones

March 31, 2012

The W Hotel

Better than: Yet another all-nighter in a converted warehouse.

The As You Like It collective has only been going for about a year and a half, but in that short time, the loose-knit mélange of electronic DJs and promoters has managed to put on some memorable dance parties. AYLI shows have featured dance luminaries like Nicolas Jaar, Maya Jane Coles, DJ Koze, Osborne, and others in what often end up as all-night dance club spectaculars.

The As You Like It folks tried something a little different on Saturday, throwing a daytime party in just about the last place you'd expect to find an outpost of an electronic music scene. Atop the fourth story terrace at SOMA's W Hotel, producers and DJs worked a giant, climate-controlled tent, with hardy souls braving the intermittent wind and rain for balcony views of the city skyline. Mysterious Italian duo Tiger & Woods played the headlining set late in the afternoon, while British DJ Laura Jones (affiliated with influential Visionquest and Leftroom labels) closed the set and AYLI resident DJs filled the rest of the towering eight-hour party.

click to enlarge clown_on_phone_w_hotel_2_1.jpg

A happy consequence of arriving so late was that I came just in time for Tiger & Woods's set. For those of you who don't know, the duo (anonymous fellows who affectionately call themselves Larry Tiger and David Woods after the golfer and the sitcom curmudgeon) make disco edits -- essentially, tweaks to original disco tracks, subtler in fashion than remixing, that suit modern tastes. After a slew of 12-inch vinyl releases, the duo brought out their debut full-length, last year's Through the Green on Running Back Records. On the record, the duo expertly curates a variety of mid-tempo disco beats, picking and choosing moments in disco's lost past and spinning them into newfound grooves. The pair brought that same notion to Saturday's performance, using samplers and drum machines to recreate and re-imagine Through The Green's 110-ish BPM standouts like "Kissmetellme," "Don't Hesitate," and "Love in Cambodgia."

After Tiger & Woods finished, some of the crowd headed home. The remaining audience was treated to the stylings of AYLI resident Rich Korach -- himself a student of disco -- and finally, tech-house producer Laura Jones. Her comparably ravey set, played amidst the backdrop of the nighttime SOMA skyline, punctuated the event, drawing some bedraggled party attendees off the lounge furniture and onto the dancefloor.

The Briton's set ended at 9 p.m., sending a gaggle of blissful partygoers free to wander off to their next adventure well before midnight. It's clear that AYLI's experiments with the W and the daytime event enjoyed enthusiastic praise from the departing crowd -- the likes of Tiger & Woods generally don't show up behind the decks until at least 1 a.m. at most club parties. Since As You Like It is often known for events stretching til dawn or later, our collective sleep cycles would appreciate it if they repeated the experiment sometime soon.

click to enlarge crowd_tent_outside.jpg

Critic's Notebook:

No Fotoz, Plz: This writer was informed that Tiger & Woods would not be allowing photos of them from the event to be published, in keeping with their trademark reticence. Still, the pair were perfectly willing to hold court in the outdoor terrace, drawing a posse of newfound female friends whilst chatting and chain-smoking. I'll clear the mystique only by stating that the duo is a couple of unassuming, mustachioed thirty-somethings in Nike baseball caps and t-shirts.

Technical difficulties: Jones's gear suffered a mysterious meltdown at the beginning of her set. While event organizers and sound technicians swarmed around her in an effort to fix the problem, Jones kept her cool and threw on the few records and mix CDs she had brought with her. Eventually, the team solved the problem and Jones's set went off without a further hitch.

W Tee Eff: Kudos to the staff at the W Hotel for their willingness to host such a high-risk event. Clubbers are a notoriously, err, stimulated crowd, and as the AYLI folks mentioned on the event's Facebook page, the W has been burnt by rowdy events in the past. However, the hotel graciously lent eventgoers access to the high-altitude terrace, as well as restrooms inside the in-use health club. Folks in the bathroom line even had access, incredibly, to the adjacent hotel pool, but I didn't notice any out-of-place swimmers.

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