What felt like a dream has now set itself in the hearts, minds, and ears of Honolulu’s music scene. Dig This Vibe is a reality, there’s no doubt about it. The enthusiasm of a handful of people brought an all-vinyl funk and soul night to Mercury Bar in Honolulu on February 16, 2013.
The first of its kind? Maybe not, but it’s been a long time coming. And it’s here to stay.
“All the heads came through”
Even though the super popular Pow Wow Hawaii—with its stronghold of street artists and parties in Kaka‘ako—was happening that night, it seemed like “all the heads” came through for Dig This Vibe: Katch 1, Woes, True Story Texstiles, Spells, Hypoetical, DJ Seeko, Omega 6…
These words don’t come from my mouth, but instead from the hip hop scene veterans who knew just about everyone in the room. Any prejudices or bad vibes attendees might’ve had they pushed aside for the sake of music.
At least, that’s what I hear. As for me, I’m just happy we got this thing to happen.
Dig This Vibe recap
There were four of us spinning: Shitzr, Aloha Got Soul, Oliver Twist, and Alston. Both Shitzr and Alston played all 45s, a feat I’d never be able to accomplish (I can mix about seven together, but that’s my limit). The crowd was mellow at first. Being that Mercury Bar is located down an alley near Fort Street Mall, I wondered whether a lot of people would show up. They did. It was packed—at least for our expectations.
What I liked best about Dig This Vibe was the variety of records we spun. We all had our own styles to groove to, so there was always something different to vibe to.
Shitzr (Doomzday Mechanics Krew)
The low key Shitzr played arguably some of the nights craziest joints that got the crowd to put down their drinks, soak up the sounds and think: goddamn this is some good! Alas, his collection is so deep I wouldn’t even know how to start naming the tracks he played. Cheers to Shitzr.
Aloha Got Soul (Roger Bong)
Shitzr sandwiched my Aloha Got Soul set. He went first with a few songs to warm things up, then I spun my set, then Shitzr followed again with more burners.
The informality of our sessions added to the laid back vibe of the first half of the night. I mixed funky Hawaiian cuts—including Lemuria’s “Hunk of Heaven” and Summer’s “Kona Days”—with a few of my favorite jazz-funk tracks, like Donald Byrd’s “Think Twice”. Albeit short and sweet, my set has me pumped for the next Dig This Vibe show (no details yet, but I’ll let you know).
Oliver Twist (Le Feelings)
As for Oliver Twist, you had to be there to see the smile on his face. Oh wait, nevermind that—here’s a pic:
The most respected and well-known DJ at Dig This Vibe—Ollie used to open for hip hop acts that came to town, like Atmosphere and more recently, Ras G—Oliver Twist injected Hawaiian flavor into the dancefloor, which, by the second track, was singing wildly along to a jam I’ll call “Kanakaville”.
A good friend of mine who I used to make beats with (it’s been nearly 9 years now, Ryan!) looked at me wide-eyed, “What is this?!? I need this!!” We all do.
Alston (Le Feelings)
Keeping the vibe alive, Alston hopped on with 2 hours and 15 minutes to spin rare funk and soul records from a collection that few of us will ever have but will always long for. The. Funk. Was. Nonstop. I’ve only met him once, but it turns out the Kailua native now lives in Brooklyn and regularly spins for six hours straight.
Nonstop funk is this guy’s specialty.
Oh, and he spun only 45s. Huge props to his digging dedication, turntable talent, passion for music (Alston sang along with almost every track he played, you’d think you were watching the original artists performing live right before you), and the ability to get everyone dancing.
Our Next Move
So there you have it: Dig This Vibe featuring Le Feelings at Mercury Bar.
If you missed it, there’s always next time. If you came out but missed my set—thank you for supporting a good thing, come through again at the next show!
As for a recording, the audio file I have is low quality and features a ton of ambient noise. I think the handheld mic was on, or maybe I was recording directly from my built-in laptop microphone. Whatever. It was our first gig and there’s plenty of time to polish.