By Frank Duke
Video by Kyle Robbins
It’s a cold Friday night, much colder than usual. I arrive at the venue ready to experience this event for the first time. I am not alone. This is the first time any of us have been to an Expand event. We all latently enter the venue, warming ourselves up to this experience. The decor has potential, the bar is attentive, and that the atmosphere is fresh. I look to the stage and see an orange blockade of speakers. A Pure Groove System. These speakers pack power and finesse.
As I walk the room, say hello to friends of mine, I hear the atmosphere of the room begin to build. Reverberate, colorful, vast, dark, and deep. People begin to trickle in, grab a drink and then make their way to the dance floor. The ambiance begins to evolve, the sound system is getting warm. The stage illuminates with vertical red strings that dance among a flashing background. The dance floor’s overhead lighting echo’s the stage’s presence.
Luis Valencia begins to evolve his opening statement. I start to walk around the floor, get associated with Luis’ music, trying to find the sweet spot in the room. The music is warm, intelligent, and grooving. The night develops.
“Hello!”, "How have you been?”, “Are you pumped for the night?”, become common phrases within the crowd. Atlanta is known to be friendly, hospitable, and kind. We begin to discuss the system, the room, and the new parties starting in the city.
Guy J makes his way into the booth. He sets up his gear, chats with Luis, and prepares himself for his set. Guy J is known to curate more than just music. He communicates a tonality of passion, power and poise. He often plays rooftops in Ibiza, ground shaking clubs in Buenos Aires, intimate rooms in Canada, and tours of Europe regularly. The system begins to rattle. The music consumes the room. Guy J has just recently released his new album “The Trees, The Sea & The Sun” on Bedrock Records. The dance floor gravitates into his groove. The lighting augments the music. The night is fully resonating.
The crowd and I left happy that evening, no doubt we’ll be back for more.