Excellent opening DJ

if you come to this site with any sort of regularity, you know how excited I was to see JD Twitch and JG Wilkes of Optimo play the Tribeca Grand on Saturday. Though their weekly Glasgow party has been legendary for years, they first caught my ears in November with How To Kill The DJ [Part Two]. The free mixes on the Optimo site quickly ratcheted my appreciation to feverish levels and my expectations were sky high by the time Saturday rolled around - and man, did Twitch and Wilkes deliver.

I couldn't imagine a stronger start to their three hour set - the Frankie Knuckles Chicago house classic "Your Love" into a remix of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" into the instrumental version of the DFA Black Leotard Front epic "Casual Friday" into Soulwax's "NY Excuse." (Talk about a first impression!) The big hits continued all night. I've never recognized so much of a DJ set before, yet I was continually being surprised. That's one thing through headphones; experiencing it on a packed dancefloor is in an entirely different league and way more fun. Their live style is similar to the mixes, though not quite as dizzying - pretty much any genre was game, but each song mostly ran its course. I was surprised to hear them drop so many crowd-pleasers - their mixes tend more to the obscure - but it worked marvelously as the floor was nuts all night.

Other than the start of the Optimo set, two moments stick out to me. The first was when the ragga jungle tune "RIP" (which starts What On Earth?) sent a sea of arms into the air, only to slam into Joy Division's "Transmission." Awesome. The other was when they dropped the reggae "Ring My Bell" (also on Jamaica Street) and then got everyone skanking with the Specials' "A Message To You Rudy" - a 1-2 that is still making me smile. I also loved hearing WestBam's "Oldschool, Baby" (featuring Nena of "99 Luftballons" fame, and featured on Michael Mayer's Fabric 13) near night's end.

There were plenty of other highlights though - T.Rex's "Hot Love" (the original schaffel), Capricorn's "I Need Love" (Italo goodness), LCD Soundsystem's "Tribulations" into Blondie's "Atomic," and on and on and on. The sound cut out a couple times, but the genuine love of music in the air on Saturday made for the one the best parties I've been to in ages. It's rare to see the dance floor almost full when the last beat rolls around.

I must also mention JDH and Dave P - the excellent opening DJ's who hold court every Saturday at the Tribeca Grand. They tag-teamed a fantastic set - starting strong with the Console mix of the Notwist's "Neon Golden" and then getting nasty with Ferenc's "Yes Sir I Can Hardcore," the DFA mix of the Blues Explosion's "Mars, AZ," Charlie's "Spacer Woman" (yes!), and plenty more. I'd see them again any time.

And the best part of this all - Optimo go for it again tonight at the Glass House in Brooklyn. Monday nights are tough, but rarely are they this tempting.