Since 2009, Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter have put on 250 Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday parties in New York City. By bringing the party to over 25 venues and spending nearly two thousand hours in the DJ booth, Harkin and Carter have turned Mister Saturday Night into a veritable institution. With 250 parties down, then, what better time is there to pause and reflect on what has gone by? This is where ‘Then and Now’ comes in – a snapshot of the music that has underpinned Mister Saturday Night’s flourishing over the past eight years in the form of an 85-minute mix.
A Mister Saturday Night (or Mister Sunday) party is characterised by the diversity of music on offer, much of which is unknown by the average party-goer. ‘Then and Now’ therefore kicks off in a suitable fashion, with a powerfully evocative Ethiopian ode to longing which segues into an emotionally-charged Northern Soul classic. This is followed by the first focus upon the dancefloor: ESB’s contemplative ‘On Cue’ which is subsequently complimented by the melodic 303-workout of Baba Stiltz’s ‘Aches’. With these transitions, Mister Saturday Night’s skill of weaving together different types of music into a coherent whole, held together by mood, becomes apparent.
‘Then And Now’ soon veers into less contemplative territory with the inclusion of the bass rumblings of FaltyDL’s ‘Hardcourage’ and the twisted acid-swirls of Marcellus Pittman’s ‘There’s Somebody Out There’. Justin Van Der Volgen’s delicate, disco-influenced remix of Soft Rock’s ‘Talking Jungle’, meanwhile, provides a break from the relative darkness whilst refusing to relent on the mix’s high energy. From then on in, Mister Saturday Night’s 250-party celebration goes full pelt and delves into a handful of the most memorable tracks from their numerous parties and mixes over the past eight years.
This is most enjoyable when the warped saxophones of Oni Ayhun/rRoxymore/Jaguar Woman/Aquarian Jugs’ ‘DR-1’ are followed by the driving bass and classic house-reminiscent vocals of Alden Tyrell and John Marks’ ‘All We Need (’87 Mix). This is the Mister Saturday Night event in a nutshell: a high-energy party rooted in house music and all of its traditions yet with an eye upon the different and the unknown. By closing the mix with ‘Back Door (Getting Down)’ by Mystic Pleasure, Mister Saturday Night convey the fun, joy, and exuberance that their party has come to represent on over 250 occasions. Here’s to 250 more.
Words: Ciaran Gill
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