Photo Jeanne RiceFor the past six years, Rootdown has been one of those famed Los Angeles clubs you've always heard about but never ventured into. Jurassic 5 played there back in the day. DJ Shadow used to do live shows there. LA Weekly frequently recommended Rootdown as a real rave-up, but unless you're one of the few hardy trainspotters who've squeezed into the tiny Gabbah club on Hollywood's Melrose Avenue every Thursday night when Rootdown is held, you've probably missed it. Yet before you collapse into a deep I'm-so-out-of-it depression—it's all right, I've been through a few of them, too—you should know that Rootdown organizers last month launched a monthly version of their club at the roomier Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa.
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At the OC version's Oct. 18 premiere—dubbed Rootdown Saturday Night Special—renowned hip-hop collective Breakestra were the headliners; also spinning eclectic sounds were DJ Wyatt Case; Rootdown co-founder (with Breakestra's Miles Tackett) Loslito; and his sister, OC's very own DJ Soluz. Much like its LA sister edition, Rootdown's OC debut proved that the club will specialize in the diverse—hip-hop, some reggae, rare grooves, jazz, funk and even Latin tracks were all laid out during the course of the evening, according to Loslito.
"B-boys dancing to salsa is an eye-opening experience," Loslito says. "But everything we play is about keeping people on the dance floor." OC/Long Beach musicians such as Josh One played at Rootdown in Los Angeles, but Loslito says the Rootdown Saturday Night Special won't concentrate on talent strictly from the OC. They hope to fly in critically lauded DJs from the East Coast and San Francisco, the kind who attract too big a crowd at Gabbah. And the matter of Detroit's larger size won't change Rootdown either, promises Soluz—in fact, the intimate vibe and the thematic familiarity should be a key factor in making Rootdown OC a success.
"A lot of Orange County people already go up to the LA club," she says, "so it should have the same feeling."
Rootdown Saturday Night Special at the Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600. Sat., 9 p.m. $12. 21+.