Review | Looky Looky at Club Toilet 2017 – Detroit
[Listen to Looky Looky’s recent album, Part Flamingo]
Many of the best decisions are spontaneous. While plans are invaluable, ingenuity is often impromptu — my Saturday night of this year’s Movement in Detroit is a perfect example of this adage.
My original plan for the Saturday night of Movement was to stay at the Discwoman Detroit III party until close. My friends and I arrived at the Discwoman party shortly after Juana [DC | Sequence, Discwoman] took the decks and got the dance floor moving, a skill that she’s proven consistently and that has made her a highly esteemed DJ in DC and beyond. After hearing Juana’s quality techno selections, we caught some of FBI Warning’s live set before one of our other friends texted us to come to Club Toilet. We talked it through and decided to join our friends at Club Toilet. Our group of five crammed into a four-seater Lyft and rode off.
While plans are invaluable, ingenuity is often impromptu …
When we arrived the venue, we stood in line for a few minutes. Buddy was working the door, and after introducing himself, he asked if we’d ever been been to Club Toilet. We replied that we hadn’t, to which he said that Club Toilet would blow our minds. Buddy then let us in to what would be the highlight of my 2017 Movement weekend.
I was immediately struck by the music. A bouncy synthesized bassline groove laid the foundation; lush synthesized sounds created a vast, nebulous atmosphere over which buoyant synthesized motifs and effects danced; a particularly satisfying snare drum sound cut through the soundscape. The music was on the Italo disco spectrum, but it was unique, unlike other Italo I knew. On the stage were two artists, one armed with a drumstick, the other sporting an impressive beard — who was this Italo disco duo? The text printed on their shirts gave them away: they were Detroit’s Look Looky, a collaboration between Sfire and Perspects. I took a few moments take in the music before observing the next aspect of the party — the vibe.
The music was on the Italo disco spectrum, but it was unique, unlike other Italo I knew.
The factors that determine a party’s vibe fall into three categories: the attendees, the venue, and the music. These vibe categories can be further broken down into subcomponents, and often the subcomponents can contribute to multiple categories.
Club Toilet’s attendees could best be described as smiling, sweaty, and shirtless. I didn’t notice many phones on the dance floor; in contrast, I witnessed dancers genuinely happy and excited to be present in that moment. Positivity and acceptance were two themes that radiated across the dance floor.
Club Toilet’s attendees could best be described as smiling, sweaty, and shirtless … I witnessed dancers genuinely happy and excited to be present in that moment.
The venue was perfect by every measure. From Buddy’s warm welcome at the door and the helpfulness of the rest of the staff to the sound system, lighting, and the art on the walls, Olympus was the right choice for Club Toilet.
From Buddy’s warm welcome at the door and the helpfulness of the rest of the staff to the sound system, lighting, and the art on the walls, Olympus was the right choice for Club Toilet.
Looky Looky’s musical performance resonated with me. I am a techno enthusiast, but after hearing a great deal of techno up to that point of Movement weekend, I needed a palate cleanser. Look Looky’s Italo disco performance was refreshing, but it was much more than that — it was good live music that everyone connected with. To quote DC-based DJ Tommy Cornelis from an interview we did with TNX last year, “Disco … gets the girls twirling, it makes you happy, it makes your heart smile.” The music Looky Looky played that night made the audience dance, but it also gave us a sense of happiness during their set, fulfilling our night. The success of Looky Looky’s performance owed a great deal to their musicality and versatility, and they demonstrated these qualities when the venue’s smoke alarm went off. Looky Looky played on seamlessly despite the loud alarm — I thought that the beeping was part of their performance. Eventually Perspects got on the mic and requested that alarm be turned off because it was killing his vibe, and this moment gave their performance an extra level of authenticity — they didn’t plan on the smoke alarm going off, yet they were able to adapt when it did, and even when it bothered them to the point that Perspects asked for it to be turned off, him getting on the mic illustrated one of the most valued characteristics of live performance: imperfection. Looky Looky’s set was exactly what I needed that night, and I will look back on it fondly many years from now.
The success of Looky Looky’s performance owed a great deal to their musicality and versatility, and they demonstrated these qualities when the venue’s smoke alarm went off.
Club Toilet’s attendees, Olympus, and Looky Looky’s performance were instrumental in giving Club Toilet the perfect vibe. Achieving the perfect vibe can be challenging, but it is key to success in the party-throwing industry. The party attendees may not recall every part of the night in detail, but they will remember how the party made them feel. Accomplishing the right vibe will make the party attendees feel good, and the memory of that feeling will bring them back to future parties, which keeps the parties going.
Instead of planning which parties to attend this weekend, try following the plan a close friend of mine taught me: “The plan is there is no plan.” If I had followed my original plan for the Saturday night of Movement, I would have missed Club Toilet. Me and my friends’ spur of the moment decision to go to Club Toilet brought us to Looky Looky’s memorable performance. Embrace spontaneity and go into the night — you may have the experience of a lifetime.