Evolution is a beautiful thing. While it has been nice to see California smooth-house artisans such as Kaskade, Jay-J and Andy Caldwell gain international clubland acclaim, their Kenny G.-like dance music often lulled us into a deep siesta. But artists change. Kaskade has moved on to trancier climes, Jay-J is now a New York big-room spinner, and now Caldwell has found a tougher voice.
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The Los Angeles-based Andy Caldwell, once the spokes-spinner for laid-back OP clothing, has been such the quintessential, lazy-day DJ that we half expected him to be recording barefoot with Jack Johnson by now. I know, we get it -- house music doesn't always have to be about dancing. And digging into its jazzy, soulful roots should be commended. It's just that, well, we'd always prefer a little more cowbell. With Obession, Cadwell's studio album due Oct. 20 digitally from Uno Recordings/Tommy Boy (the hardcopy version comes Nov. 3), the jock has found a grittier, more tribal voice. "I got more into the electronic sound with the European house scene, and [I] wanted to express that in an album," the DJ states. "I was really feeling stagnant creatively and broke out of the soulful house shackles about a year ago."
Change is good. From Calvin Harris going on a DJ tour of super-clubs to P. Diddy taking on electro influences, we say bring it on. Just don't put us to sleep. Caldwell will be rinsing his new, more-energetic flavor tonight at Code in Newport Beach. Good thing. If we wanted to be lulled into a stupor we'd turn on the radio.
Caldwell DJs tonight at Giant at Code, 4221 Dolphin Striker Way, Newport Beach. Doors at 9 p.m. 21+. Free with RSVP.
Download the Obsession single "It's Guud" here.