Text by Harlow Sharp | Photo cred: wearenightowls
Curtis Jones arrived at Sound as his ethereal persona Cajmere last Monday. Cajmere has been releasing music for over 20 years, from timeless hits like “Brighter Days” and the club classic, “Coffee Time (It’s Time for the Percolator).” While playing sets as two different stage characters — Green Velvet and Cajmere — he also runs Cajual and Relief records, responsible for some of the biggest dance records in the past two decades. He has recently played sets alongside Claude VonStroke as the duo Get Real, a dazzling combination of Claude’s innovative sounds and Green Velvet’s bewitching style in the booth.
Resident DJ Isaiah Martin laid down a splendid opening set on Monday night, giving Cajmere the stage just before 1am. Donning his usual futuristic shades, he settled into a powerful groove that built throughout the set. Cajmere mixed in some of Green Velvet’s newest releases on Relief Records, collaborating with Patrick Topping on the tracks “When is Now” & “Shining.” Both tracks have exceptional analog synth rhythms and heavy basslines, coupled with Velvet’s raw vocal cuts.
In 1997, Green Velvet released a track called “Answering Machine.” This rumbling Chicago house cut had unusual and hilarious vocal features consisting of a variety of voicemail’s, making this track an instant classic. Fast forward almost 20 years, and Green Velvet updates the voicemail’s left on the earlier “Answering Machine,” in a another stellar collaboration with Patrick Topping. “Voicemail” incited a body-jacking frenzy as the club erupted, signaling this as the track of the night.
As the clock crept towards the 3am close, “Percolator” echoed around the club as the finale drew near. After anticipating myself leaving around 2am, Cajmere’s dynamite performance held me in a trance until close with the rest of the lively crowd.
Cajmere’s alter-ego Green Velvet will be making a highly anticipated debut at CRSSD Fest in San Diego this March! Tickets still are on sale at www.crssdfest.com