Archive for February 25, 2012
While carnival season was well under way back home, it seemed that Brazilian brand Casalatina, which was born in London, decided an inter galactic theme was better suited to celebrating their fourth showing on the scene. But did this “A Space Odyssey” spectacle sparkle like a shooting star or sink scorching into the stratosphere?
There is absolutely no doubt that the international influences that have swept the capitals clubbing circuit in recent times have made for a much more colourful playing field here in London, the green, green grass of home getting a massive splash of red & yellow in the form of the inbound so called Spanish armada back in the noughties (gosh makes us sound old!!!). And while the proverbial torch has been passed from brand to brand to hold high & burn bright, Space, Matinee & SuperMartXe all part of the rapturous relay, run, the current leg in the hands of the wonderful WE, the Spaniards haven’t had it all their own way in our captivating clubbing backyard, as the red in that colour splashed playing field has got a grain of green running right through it, as The Brazilians have definitely landed on London & in a big way. So, with The Week very much the pioneer of the South American dream, a succession of parties both at Fire & at the Coronet in part fulfilling its readymade following, although right on the tail of The Week’s second showing, a new London born brand was to show its Brazilian credentials & cards, very much taking the initiative away from its Sao Paulo prominent player.
Casalatina was the inspiration & idea of dancer come choreographer turned promoter Thiago Drewry who considered that a there was room on the capitals clubbing circuit for a brave new Brazilian brand & being native of this South American country himself, was well positioned to propose the venture to the Orange Group powers that be. And while The Week had established a foothold in the capital, it would be Casa (we often drop the “Latina” bit, oops) that would take up the set the 2011 season alight with its home grown Brazilian charm, the second instalment “Super Carwash” propelling the party into the eyes of the clubbing elite, the involvement of fellow Brazilian Mauricio Ortiz, he of SuperMartXe fame, giving the brand the boost it needed and setting it on course for a season of spectacles that have confirmed it as one of the capitals more prolific parties. With “Sugar Daddy” reaffirming a fervent following, even in the difficult times both the clubbing world & Vauxhall in particular were going through, it was just a question of when as opposed to if that Casa would storm the scene again, the latest & fourth instalments, “A Space Odyssey” flying in the face of calls for the theme to reflect & celebrate the carnival season sweeping across Brazil, meaning we were more than keen to see how it would fair & compare to the “Super Carwash” benchmark.
With initial plans to arrive literally as the doors opened at 11 p.m. somewhat scuppered by an over indulgent disco nap, we were in playful mood before we even left the house, our liason with our near & dear D.J. pal forced into feigned false starts a few times, we probably pushing our luck a little too far when we tried the same on opening Casa spinner Junior Mora, our arrival at not long turned 11.30 p.m., met with a distained look from our Brazilian protégé player. However, all that was after the warm welcome at the entrance by the larger than life Chrissy Darling, looking just the galactic part in her colourful & star spangled costume, while the charming JJ Clark made the smoothest of starts even better than we could have wished for and with the coatcheck staff recognising us in an instant we already knew this evening was going to be one to savour, host venue Fire certainly ticking all of our expectant boxes from the off. But it was an expectant Steve Pitron that was to grab our attention as we sped towards the main room D.J. booth, the space only scantily scattered with selection of scenesters, although our eyes were diverted onto the stage production which was striking to say the least, a phallic like rocket on one side & a full size astronaut moon walking man (not a real man you understand) on the other, a whole stream of stars framing the whole affair and certainly living up to the Casa style of staging. Mind you Mr Marsh was a little if but amusingly disparaging of the efforts, he remarking as he spotted us, “…it’s amazing what a few stars & stage props can do…”, although it was first Mr Pitron and then our protégé player that received our discerning devotions, Junior warming up this “A Space Odyssey” event wonderfully with a captivating collection of chunky upfront house hits, all blended in brilliantly with bits of Brazilian beats to befit the occasion, while Steve was determined to divert Disco Matt from the task in hand, darts in & out of the lounge space interrupting our devotions to Junior’s superb set and a rapidly filling out main room.
So, with earlier doubts that this “A Space Odyssey” take-off would nose dive like an exploding Space Shuttle in the stratosphere, Casa was having none of it, the afterburners on its towering trip into wonderful weightlessness propelling this party proudly, a whole host of familiar faces having flocked to Fire to succumb to their own spot of space dusting & dancing, the list pretty endless, although notable inclusions being Suzana Quentin looking gorgeous as ever, the adorable Andrea, full of beans, our premier protégé player Zach Burns, ready for duty, as was Brazilian beatmaster Doug Silva, accompanied by partner Weverton De Castro, while we managed a brief audience with Jodie Harsh as she swing by, the lovable Lunarde Martins lauding more of his attention on us as we refreshed ourselves with Steve in the lounge, Steven Galo also in the thick of the action, as was Chrissy & Aaaron Elder, while the marvellous Mhardenn Teixeira was very much in playful mood, chasing us round the club although pushed from a few Pitron prompts. But all eyes were on the stage, as the first of a few showings would dazzle the audience, the “A Space Odyssey” theme a little absent from their costumes it has to be said, but their performances & stage presence as sparkling as the sun, pyrotechnic ticker tape explosions & our much loved roof rockets illuminating Fire like never before.
With Junior’s jamboree of a spectacular “A Space Odyssey” set over, for us all too soon, it was time for Doug Silva to assume the decks, an immediate brace of Brazilian beats belting out to a audience that were seemingly lapping up every tiny morsel of his music and while the tribal tones were not particularly doing it for us, Mr Silva was mixing up the music marvellously, a whole host of uplifting house hits making their mark. But when he selected the towering tune “Gravy”, we felt a little more Beyond than Brazilian, a further successive string of sounds affirming our feelings, although we were far from complaining, spinning on our select spot with the marvellous Mhardenn not far away and Junior (oh we can call him Celso now) right by our side, Steve having retired to rest before what would turn out to be a breathtakingly brilliant Beyond to beat all others. But saving that for another review, it was Casa we were concentrating on, not least as the arrival of a camera & microphone, Chrissy Darling the interviewer & we the interviewee, caught us a little off guard & tongue tied, a short series of quizzical questions leaving us a tad tongue tied, yet eloquent enough to pour praise all over this prolific party, while her final on the spot shocker left us hoping that the “husband” humdinger wouldn’t make it further than the film editing & cutting room floor.
With this Odyssey outing going from strength to strength, our premier protégé player Zach Burns mixing up the magnificent music in the second space, that along with the arrival & deck assumption in the Casa main room of Alan K, we were very much spoilt for choice as to where to lay our final music hat of moments. Would it be Mr Burns & his barnstorming beats or Mr K & his euphoric & energetic house heaven?, we deciding to share our dancing devotions between the two although doing so with alarming speed, perhaps due to over indulgence in energy boosting refreshments akin to rocket fuel that kept us firing on all cylinders, while the cavorting crowd were also showing no signs of slowing down, the main room podiums packed, even the stage appearances continuing unabated, from trio’s of females to males, all impressing immensely, making our decision to curtain call this Casa carnival decidedly difficult. However, with Beyond now on the brain & an expectant Pitron performance in mind, it was time to wave a fond farewell to Fire, the need to recharge our own batteries as well as those of our nibble size tweeting toys also paramount in our plans, we gracing our exit after goodbye wishes to our flock of fabulous friends & familiar faces that were seeing this glorious galactic gathering right through till the end, wending our way home to reflect on another Casa club night that made a magnificent mark.
So, in concluding our refection of this brilliant Brazilian brand’s latest impressive instalment, we can say with conviction and answering our original question, that “A Space Odyssey” certainly did sparkle like a shooting star and, once the party got going, showed no signs of sinking into the sub space stratosphere, the music, the effects, the lighting & the production all living up to the high bar benchmark of “Super Car Wash” wonderfully. If we had to pick on one part that fell a little short of expectations, then it would be the dancers costumes, which as we said lacked the space themed spice we would have thought should have been their centre-piece. However, in truth we are nit picking a little, as Casa Latina is much more about the spectacle, the music & the staging, Thiago, Mauricio & Lunarde masterminding all these ingredients impressively to produce a party to be proud of, that music doing much of the talking for us, not least performances from outstanding opener Junior Moura and the blending of beats from Doug Silva two heavenly highlights. But like so many of our meets of late, it was also the people that made this memorable, a big thanks going to each & everyone that came to say hi, along with all those mentioned by name, you made this a space adventure to savour and we cannot wait to walk on the Casalatina wild side again soon. (DISCO MATT)