Black & White Festival with Jamie Jones, Carl Craig, and Butch (event review)

Last weekend Governors Island hosted the final show of the summer festival season. The people of Ibiza United and Basic NYC put together a star-studded lineup of some of the biggest names in the underground dance music scene for this year’s Black and White Festival. The first day, ‘black,’ featured Resident Advisor’s #1 ranked DJ of 2011, Jamie Jones, along with Detroit techno legend Carl Craig, producing powerhouse Butch, and other DJs like Antonio Piacquadio, Derrick Carter, Elon, and Ramon Tapia. The event featured all-black attire, upgraded sound system, and was a much more intimate experience than past Governors Island shows.

I arrived just in time for Butch to man the decks. He was delegated the sunset slot, which in my opinion adds a degree of difficulty to a DJ set. As the sun sets and nighttime falls, the atmosphere at an event changes and yearns for the music to follow suit. Butch – who was voted producer of the year two consecutive years by Groove Magazine – has an arsenal of productions necessary for any type of party or crowd. Tracks like “Rawhide” and “Revolution” made it into his set and illustrated the prowess that Butch has come to represent.

Butch – Rawhide (Original Mix)

Butch – Revolution (Original Mix)

Antonio Piacquadio was next as he turned the music into overdrive to warm things up for one of Detroit’s hottest techno exports, Carl Craig. When I heard Carl was one of the supporting acts, I was amazed and delighted at the same time. Someone of his caliber could have easily been the headlining act — and his set matched the notion. Being a product of the birthplace of house and techno, Carl’s techno sound is full of soul and rhythm – and since Jamie Jones followed suit, he played to the bouncier and housier side of his techno guise. Photek’s “Mine To Give” and Kenny Larkin’s remix to Kevin Saunderson’s “Future” were some of the notable tracks from his set.

Photek feat. Robert Owens – Mine To Give (Original Mix)

Kevin Saunderson feat. Inner City – Future (Kenny Larkin Tension Mix)

As the clock struck 9:30, Jamie Jones appeared to the cheers of the crowd. The Hot Creations label head was in the house and his disco deep house sound was ready to kick things off. Over the course of the year, Jones has been an underground act that has appeared on the bill of some progressive- and electro-heavy festival lineups, including Beyond Wonderland and EDC New York. Dance music’s popularity has created a world where DJs are the artists that people start to look up to as musicians, and the availability to see these acts is more rampant than ever.

My infatuation with certain DJs is no secret, and I’m guilty of wanting to see them as many times as possible. Eventually, I started to notice that even though these DJs offered their own bootlegs and remixes of all the Beatport charting tracks, their sets generally stayed within the confines of loud and jarring builds and drops. When I started to explore outside the commercial sound, Jamie Jones was one of the acts to influence my learning process as his Hot Creations imprint and own productions on other labels offered a refreshingly different and unique sound.

His two-and-a-half-hour set was impressive to say the least. Even with the huge crowd of people behind him, Jones seemed focused on his set and allowed little distraction to get in his way. The sound Jamie has developed encompasses deep rhythmic house with slabs of disco influences through and through. It’s the type of music that is palatable on all fronts because its gives off a natural dance vibe. Some notable tracks from his set were Deep Inside’s “Hard Drive” and his forthcoming collaboration with Ali Love and Hot Natured partner Lee Foss on “Benediction.”

Deep Inside – Hard Drive (Original Mix)

The Bottom Line

The growing interest in the underground dance music scene is becoming more and more evident with each show I attend. The chilly night brought the all-black-wearing crowd into the tightly packed tent, and gave off a vibe of unity. You didn’t find people roaming around the sandpit hanging out with friends, but instead everyone was packed into the tent dancing the night away to a perfect soundtrack. The crowd was distinctly different from other Governors Island shows — you could tell there were music lovers present as opposed to the run of the mill partygoers. I think I speak on behalf of many pure house fans — these are the type of events we want to see venues like Governors Island play host to more often. We hope next summer brings more of these caliber events — this time preferably during a warmer part of the season.

Also, be sure to check out the photo gallery from the event on our Facebook page

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