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Best of Boston 2009

Party pros

DJ Lupe Loop and Paul Dailey
By DAVID DAY  |  September 6, 2007

DJ Lupe Loop

Paul Dailey, "20th Anniversary Mix" (mp3)
Weekend Warriors, or WKND WRYRZ, is the Sunday-night lounge party at ZuZu in Central Square. And DJs TYRONE TANOUS, CLAUDE MONEY, and the UNDISCO KID, would be hard-pressed to find a crew to match their eclectic lounge mastery. But they did.

DJ LUPE LOOP shared the decks with the guys August 26. The Brooklynite (real name: Kathleen Cholewka) plays in the faux French band Les Sans Culottes as Edith Pissoff. Her DJ name is inspired by Cuban music legend La Lupe, and in an age of laptop DJ mixing, she plays strictly vinyl. “I’m nuts for it, I still am. I don’t go to the gym, I lift boxes of records. But believe me, the other day I came out into my living room and thought, ‘What am I doing with these?’ ” Lupe Loop’s vintage style fits right into the Sunday-night scene at ZuZu, which resurrects wax weekly. “I DJ everything, late-’60s/early-’70s Latin music, rock to ska to disco. I’m a total disco nut, I’m totally into that. But it all flows, it’s all a groove. One night after DJing, this guy came up and said, ‘I don’t know how you got from salsa to Dreamboat Annie, but you did, and that’s amazing.’ ”

On this particular night, Cholewka spins after Tanous, who has dropped the System’s “Don’t Disturb This Groove.” She goes from that electronic R&B jam into — what else — Gentle Giant. “I err on the side of liking everything. I like to be the spirit of the party . . . but I also like to impose my taste a little bit. Every time you listen to a DJ, you should learn something.”

Her record bag is very much an indication of her eclecticism — everything from reggae disco to French yé-yé. Her look, a fashionably tight black lace dress, is also right at home among the chic Sunday-night crowd at ZuZu. “I’ve been going out to clubs in New York City since I was 16. I like to keep it on an international funk tip, but expect the unexpected.” Practically the motto for Weekend Warriors.

“DJing is more about sociology than mixology,” says PAUL DAILEY via e-mail. “Good DJs sense other people’s tastes and value them as much as their own. A great DJ can read a dance floor like a book and pull out a song that exactly fits the place they’ve reached in tonight’s story.”

Dailey is writing to “Up All Day” on the eve of his 20th year DJing. He is Boston’s most successful techno DJ, with regular gigs all over the country, a satellite radio show, and a residency at Rise. “Unless you get very lucky, it is hard to make a career out of DJing and dance music. I decided that the best route for me was to work hard at my day job and then only take gigs doing what I love.”

Dailey was not always a techno DJ. He started out, as many DJs do, playing mostly hip-hop, and he mentions Edo G and EPMD as early faves. “I grew bored with the same old thing week after week. I got to play in London back in 1993, and the next night Carl Cox played in Brixton, and it just blew my mind. I knew at that point techno was what I wanted to play.”

After 20 years of DJing, what advice does he have for those just getting into the game? “Have realistic expectations and make sure you are in it for the right reasons. If you want to be a superstar or make loads of money, go audition for American Idol or get your MBA. But if you love music like oxygen and have relatively good taste, go for it.”

Although Dailey thinks that interest in dance music is waning, he does notice the proliferation of new producers and new promoters. “Now it seems like every person in the crowd is a DJ, a producer, or involved in one way or another. But it can be a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”

Loads of his mixes are available at his Web site; his latest, a 20th-anniversary mix (also available at “Up All Day” on-line) is a cavalcade of classic hits — everything from Masters at Work to Jamie Principle to Jaydee’s ultra-classic “Plastic Dreams.”

“In a city like Boston, in order to DJ and only DJ, you need to play hip-hop, down-tempo, jazz, weddings, or some other combination of things I didn’t want to do.” Instead, Dailey’s been pioneering the techno trend on the East Coast for two decades, with a third just getting under way.

Related: Wired for sound, The Bladerunners, Techno or yes, part II, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Carl Cox, Celebrity News, Dance,  More more >
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