James Nasty digs up Baltimore Club classics for Windup Space party
“It's raw, simple, almost primal music that is meant to be the soundtrack to the time of your life.”
That's DJ James Nasty talking about Baltimore club music. He’s a longtime fan. But for an upcoming gig, he’s been researching it and other historic Baltimore sounds more meticulously than he would for his weekly Moustache party at the Ottobar.
The online magazine Gutter asked him and DJ Benny Stixx to come up with a dance party where only Baltimore music is to be played. The two will finally show off their set lists Friday at the Windup Space at a party where they’ll play songs that stretch as far back as the 1940s.
Nasty took on the magazine's challenge because he's a fan of the city and its sound.
“I saw this as a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of the local music both past and present,” he said.
He’s been researching his set, which will last from 10 p.m. until midnight, for two weeks. It’s still a work in progress. “I will probably still call some audibles once things are underway and I can get a read on the crowd.” Stixx will spin from midnight until close.
Nasty called what he’s prepared so far a journey through Baltimore music history.
He’ll play some songs that are 60 years old, for instance, the Orioles, one of the first R&B groups, and one of the pioneers of doo-wop. “So people can get their slow dance on,” he explained. And also songs from the 1970s, represented by selections from the label Ru-Jac Records.
Nasty expects to play classic Baltimore house – the Basement Boys, and some of the DJs associated with it, like Spen and Karizma - and Baltimore club’s greatest hits – Rod Lee, known as the don of Baltimore club, and the producer of emerging talents like Bossman and Paula Campbell; Miss Tony, the 92Q personality and drag queen who died in 2003; veteran Scottie B; and some of Nasty’s own recently-finished club tracks.
But his set list won't just limited to the genre."That 15 to 45 minutes will be easiest part of the night for me," he said.
There will be also be local art-pop - Future Islands - and electronic hip-hop - Spank Rock, the Death Set. Count on Blaqstarr and his protege Rye Rye to be played.
Nasty just aims for the party to be an inclusive musical love letter to the city.
“I hope everyone leaves with more knowledge and appreciation for all the great music being produced in their home town,” he said.
James Nasty's set list will include, though won't be limited to:
Tim Trees, "Bank Roll"
B Rich, "Whoa Now"
The Death Set
Ru-Jac records catalog
Doors at the Windup Space, 12 West North Avenue, open at 9 p.m. Cover is $5.
B Rich's "Whoa Now:"
Photo: James Nasty (Handout photo, Josh Sisk)