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A Saturday Night Underground

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There, next to the Rio Room dumpster, was one of club's well-suited security men, manned with a velvet rope and a flashlight. The beautiful people were in Rio's front room, but Saturday night another set of Dallas misfits were making their way down the stairs into that glow-in-the-dark basement.

The Rio Room basement has seen this crowd before. In the summer of 2010, Suite's Friday night parties, then hosted by Big J, made an impression. Dallas DJ collective Track Meet is the perfect crew to reinstate the tradition. Those in the mix were treated to an impressive display from Zebra Katz and Njena Reddd Foxxx. His early catalog, especially "I'm a Hipster," retained its performance art feel, but the two deftly transitioned the set from art party to dance party, as they very literally created a circle in the middle of the floor to flow, to vogue and to read. An extended arrangement of "Ima Read" included some light moshing, a Reading Rainbow interlude and Reddd Foxxx out-posing the crowd upside down, on her head, balanced with her legs in the air. Like, for a while.

Later that night, the third in a series of after-hours parties hosted by DJ Trademarx (CJ DeMarx), We Are Dark Clouds' Kenny Lucas and Mattie Stafford, gathered folks at The Compound on Peak, as designer Tania Kaufman's flier for the event was passed from phone to phone.The home, occupied by a gentle giant known to all as Rob, has a backyard that looks like a music video and has turned these summer nights into summer mornings for more than a few.

The Lip Service crew manned the decks, along with performances by We Are Dark Clouds and Cutter. Artists Tony Bones and Houdini were tagging the storage facilities in the yard. One doesn't always stay in the underground long; you have to be an early adopter, and those basement parties seem to pop out of nowhere.

The Compound only has the shelf life of the summer, which isn't to say either will go away completely, but you have to pay attention for the next iteration. Plenty of tricks up the collective sleeves of these party-throwers, but they might make you chase it.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.