Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tour Detroit: Erno The Inferno
If it wasn't for Ernie Guerra inviting us to play at his Tour Detroit party a couple months back, we would probably still be believing all the heresay about the dirty D. Honestly, I've always known Detroit for it techno, house, and hip hop and was a little nervous how people would react to our disco-centric sound. Lucky for us, Ernie loves disco(new and classic) which was a huge relief right from the start. The city isn't saturated with disco DJ's like NYC is, so it was pretty cool hanging being able to hang out in a vacant lot eating pulled pork white castle sliders and being able to talk about classic 12"s with an abandoned train station in the background. Ernie grew up in Detroit, so he knows the city backward and forward and introduced us to just about every dope DJ in town. In short, we were in Ernie's house and the only thing I didn't want to do is leave.
Ernie's dad played drums in a disco band. Not to say it was a like father like son story, because Erno actually started off playing a lot of alt rock and punk jams, but I think the connection to the beat was always there and I'm sure his Dad's collection must've been raided at some point. Besides, even though he has a deep affection for disco, it definitely isn't his only bag. Ernie's influence comes from all over Detroit and during our stay he played us everything from dope minimal and house tracks, rare funk, soul album cuts to his friend's new hip hop demo and new indie rock. His range is kind of a reflection of the city's diversity because every DJ, producer, and musician he introduced us to was definitely doing their own thing. We would go to one party and meet funk, house, and techno DJ's, rock musicians, artists and singers all in the same place, chilling and drinking together. The independent DIY spirit is heavy over there and frankly speaking, I think it allows people to explore their own groove without infuence of outside hype. Unlike NYC, with it's hipster party scene, photobloggers and magazines full of DJ's trying to go POP!, all anyone wants to hear in Detroit is the final product, and if it's good it's good. If you seem like you're riding on any kind of coattails whatsoever, you will get spotted from a mile away and get called out for it! That kind of shit makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But as most small cities, once you've stayed there your whole life you get to know it as your own skin and there's always the danger of getting too comfortable. That's where Tour Detroit comes in. That's the party Ernie's been throwing with his partners Joe Vargas and Steve Roberts for a while now. The party usually packs around 400-500 people in a different location once a month around the city and they usually fly in DJ's into Detroit to see some dope new names throwing down. They've already featured artists like Osborne, TNT (Osborne and Tad Mullinax), Dan Balis from Escort, Wurst Friends, and more. He keeps the city connected with the rest of the DJ world that way and it couldn't be better. Definitely worth checking out in you're in the D.
This friday, June 19th, we'll return the favor and feature Erno The Inferno at Off The Record. I talked to him yesterday and he's already got a bag of vinyl ready. Come get blazed to some of that Detroit heat.
For a listen:
Ghostly Podcast #20
DJ Set with Kyle Hall