You were not going to meet many girls at Bumpshop--and that was kind of the point. The party was too loud for idle chatter, and from the "No Requests" sign to the warm claustrophobia of a busy night, this party was strictly for the believers, that momentary glory of loping down those stairs and hearing those records. The world's finest soul, funk, Latin 45s, some worth thousands of dollars and others mere pocket change, all originals and no reissues, as this was the kind of crowd that would notice such things. Three-minute dispatches from a distant past: one glorious afternoon in the garage in 1972, reefer and a borrowed keyboard; neighborhood sensations who ruled the school but never made it out of Oakland; ladies and gentlemen that poured their hopes and fears onto a strip of magnetic tape, only to find that the engineer had set the levels wrong. Oh well, it sounds better with that hiss. We'll fix it next time.
The Bumpshop crew of DJs Mao, JBX, Finewine and Dave Griffiths closed a fantastic four and a half year run in the early hours of Sunday, running through personal favorites and party anthems and even taking requests. The guest that night: Young Chris, a true soul afficionado renown for his disturbingly resonant hand-claps. "I think I've only missed a couple of these parties," he shouted in my ear after finishing his set, somewhere after 2 am. An hour later, as the party was winding down and the residents traded off every few minutes, JBX broke Bumpshop's strict genre rule, dropping the Ultramagnetic MCs' thoroughly modern "Bait." From behind the booth, where the "No Requests" sign had been changed to read "No Reissues," he shrugged and smiled. Had to do it. Time to go home.