The folks behind Rio Room and PM Lounge have been Dallas' most avid DJ talent scouts, scouring charts, mixes and remixes to find acts who can be described as "hip" or "now" or "up-and-coming."
Quite admirably, they've braved the likelihood of having to forgo a packed venue and bottle service festivities in order to bring in a DJ that is damned good: Jacques Renault. In other words, they've chosen quality over cash flow.
They also made the interesting decision, surely at the behest of staff promoter and social media wiz Blake Ward, to add Austin DJ crew Flying Turns to the bill. Akin to other all-vinyl disco-and-house-oriented DJs from Austin such as Ian Orth, Daetron Vargas and Eric Wallenstein, three of the five members of Flying Turns played a refreshing opening set. Being in a club like Rio Room and seeing DJs leafing through sleeves is rare.
After a well-blended set from the Austin lot, Jacques manned the CD-J's for what would prove to be a trademark set from the Washington D.C. native.Coming from the school of thought that a DJ should only play songs that make people dance rather than obsessing over genre tags, Renault dabbled in disco edits, acid, techno and early house, spanning the more refined and tasteful reaches of classic electronic music in the way many DJs schooled in the art of record shopping are won't to do.
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Dropping tracks like Machine's "There But for the Grace of God Go I," Alexander Robotnick's "Problems D'amour" and Tyree's "Nuthin' Wrong," Renault offered vintage dance anthems, interspersed with the occasional post-2000 jam.
It wasn't a set that a Dallas DJ like Luke Sardello, Alvin Booth or Rick Simpson couldn't easily keep up with, but still, having Dallasites get together for such an event shouldn't go unappreciated. Besides, Renault has garnered acclaim not just for his DJ abilities and New York parties, but also for his remixes, edits and original tracks - not to mention co-founding his On the Prowl label with Marcos Cabral.
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For the night's crescendo, Renault played his own remix of Midnight Magic's "Beam Me Up" to stir the crowd one last time, as the bouncers prepared to usher everyone away, and several Rio Room staff members continued their bizarre habit of repeatedly mopping the middle of the dancefloor.
The remaining patrons seemed to delight in knowing the guest of honor was not just a DJ they came to see because he's supposed to be good according to a person or blog, but because he is good.