It's a little strange to sense all the buzz surrounding Europe's new dark wave of dance floor sounds, which combine tribal drums with deep, chugging bass and a simmering sense of bacchanalia. The likes of Loco Dice, Sven Vath, Dubfire and Radio Slave have been churning out this latest club-land flavor, which lies somewhere between minimal techno and dubby house music. But it's been done before.
Rewind to the mid-1990s and behold one Southern California native Doc Martin, who was rinsing out evil, "druggy" house for the after-after-hours underground. Dry, loopy tracks would declare "New York-London-Amsterdam" ad nauseum; or a song would state, "It's dark in here ... it's wet in here ... it's deep in here ... I like it here." Even before DJ's DJ Danny Tenaglia was declared the king of the "twisted" sound, Mr. Martin was tweaking bodies and minds.
A DJ hero who has been at it since the late 1980s, Doc has never been a flavor of the moment. He's always been his own man, anchoring his strictly underground Sublevel events while jetting off ocassionally to headline the world's greatest superclubs. (London's Fabric is a frequent destination). Check out Doc's timeless, bottom-heavy grooves Tuesday at Focus.
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Focus presents Doc Martin Tuesday at Tapas, 4253 Martingale Way, Newport Beach. 18+. Tickets $8 in advance. Doors at 9:30. Info: focus-oc.com.