Pretty well any night of the week, someplace in Dallas has a DJ waiting to help you get your dancing fix. Funk, soul, hip hop, house, drum and bass -- there's something for most anyone, no matter how particular your tastes may be. Recently, we picked out the best of the local DJ residencies who stick exclusively to vinyl. But, of course, there's so much more out there. So here now are the best DJ nights in Dallas, pulled from across all formats.
Battletech at Crown & Harp 1914 Greenville Ave.
Battletech started in 1997 and is Dallas' longest-running drum and bass night. Possibly the longest Dallas DJ weekly across any genre, in fact. More than just a DJ weekly, Battletech has become more of a spiritual home for drum and bass in Dallas spearheaded by residents DJ Titan, Phooka and Spenca A. Anyone that thought Drum and Bass was dead might be surprised at the consistent audience that comes out for fast breaks and jungle vibe every week. Battletech has migrated from club to club over the years, but has always managed to find a new home whenever they needed to move. They currently reside at Crown & Harp every Tuesday.
Cool Out at Crown & Harp 1914 Greenville Ave.
Weekday DJ residencies are notoriously hard-pressed to find an audience. Most people have to work the following morning or are still hungover from the weekend, but somehow Cool Out has managed to become a consistent hot spot on Monday nights for the past seven years. Over that time It has become the spiritual home to boogie, disco and loft classics in Dallas. Tony Schwa is the grand disco funkologist in charge and often hosts the city's best crate diggers in guest slots for an always upbeat monday crowd that shows up week in and week out to shake their shoes on the dimly lit dance floor upstairs at the Crown & Harp. Unlike the other residencies on this list Cool Out ,also has a resident vinyl dealer in the form of veteran crate digger 5D. 5D's booth Nostalgic Wax is always set up at the back of bar.
Free Bass at Sandaga 813 813 Exposition Ave.
Held down by residents Night Nurse, Zander, Genesis and Soy Capaz every month the Free Bass party is a multi-genre DJ event that places a heavy emphasis on cross-pollinating DJs and producers from different circles under the same roof. During the glory days of rave culture it was not uncommon to see house, drum and bass, bass and techno DJs all on the same bill. This is one of the few residencies where that still happens. In addition to music they also host artists often doing live painting and vendors selling their craft which contributes to the community vibe of the event.
Dubstep fell victim to a massive backlash when it fell out favor after jumping the mainstream shark a few years ago. In the wake of that backlash, bass music DJs scattered to a variety of different bass sub-genres like trap, future garage, juke and glitch hop. These sub-genres have found a home on Wednesday nights at Beauty Bar for the Trillwave party. Trillwave has been pushing bass frequencies to rattle the brain and move the feet since September 2012. Resident DJ's Dubble A and Trailer Swift hold down the support slots every week. Standout acts such as Brooklyn's Sweater Beats, Portland's Gang Signs, Philladelphia's Tanner Caldwell, Maddy Classy crew from Austin and also from Austin Spud Crowley have all brought their brand of bass music to the Trillwave dancfloors. Trillwave recently threw their first Friday party at It'll Do Club with Druid Cloak.
Saturdays at It'll Do filled a gap that was long overdue to be filled in a city the size of Dallas. A no-frills venue with a big dance floor and a top-notch sound system to revisit the longstanding legacy of house music in Dallas. On most Saturdays they fly in some of the best DJ's from around the world. Resident DJ Red Eye is the consistent resident playing often appropriate warm up for their international bookings or hold down the main floor all night with technical DJ skills that often out class their road shows.
Grin & Friends at Sandaga 813 813 Exposition Ave.
Demarkus "Grin" Lewis is a well respected DJ in the international house music scene. Although not as well known to the general population in his home turf here in Dallas (a reoccurring theme amongst successful local dance producers), among the local house heads he is a pillar of the community and respected for his inspiring soulful house sets. On the second Thursday of every month Lewis curates the Grin & Friends party at Sandaga 813. The event is a smorgasbord of key players in Dallas house music scene past and present on the decks as well as in the audience. Dallas has always been a big house music town and the Grin & Friends party is further evidence of that.
Dance music in many forms rears it's syncopated head at Just Pho You Mondays. Residents Andrew Gleibhoff and Matthew Levy hold it down every week bringing through a variety of local DJ's. According to Gleibhoff, "We cover pretty much all genres other than mainstream EDM, with a focus on deep house, techno, drum and bass and electro". What differentiates Just Pho You Mondays from other local DJ nights is the added bonus of Vietnamese pho being served till 2 a.m. On a night of the week not normally associated with left field entertainment, Just Pho You Mondays is an unexpected treat for dance music fans who also happen to love Vietnamese food.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.