NEW YORK – Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano made a stop in New York City to play at LAVO in front of 500 people on Thursday night, June 30th. This summer is absolutely red hot for the duo from Suriname, performing alongside artists such as Swedish House Mafia and Avicii, and already releasing big tracks on Laidback Luke’s MixMash Recordings and Erick Morillo’s Subliminal (17 July). They are coming off a massive 2010 in which they performed at Sensation Amsterdam, WMC, ULTRA, and Pacha Ibiza. To be able to see SJ-RM for the second time this year is a huge deal for me since they are, in my opinion, two of the best DJs in the world. They are known for their true house sound in a day and age where electro and other dance music genres are mistakenly categorized as house music. It was evident in their set last Thursday that Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano are at the top of their game right now and are set to take over very soon!
Nicole (SwedeHeart) and I got to listen to DJ Steve Powers who was blasting some great tunes from the time we entered the club around 11pm, including Avicii’s “Levels”, which I was really happy about! It was a solid opening set in a club where as a DJ you may have to lean toward more commercial music due to the upscale vibe inside LAVO. At around 1:00am, Powers had the room bumping with Afrojack’s “Take Over Control” which never gets old. The ties started to loosen, and the dance floor filled up nicely as it finally felt like I was in a club.
As soon as I saw Ryan Marciano’s big head of hair appear in the booth around 1:45am, I flipped! It was certainly surreal to see these guys playing in front of an intimate crowd of less than 500 when they are usually playing to more like at least 8,000 people. The size of the crowd didn’t matter because they brought the HEAT no less, starting things off with “You’ve Got Me Fired Up”; a fitting song to play because everyone was fired up from Power’s opening set. Moments later, two men that looked like Ghostbusters with CO2 tanks on their backs blasted us all with 25 seconds of smoke! Next, the duo played “Red Room” by Dennis Ferrer and my personal favorite, “Flirt” (Club Mix) by John Dahlback.
But everything to this point was a warm-up because in my mind, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano really didn’t start to devastate the floor until they played “Back and Forth” (Fedde’s Future Funk Remix)—a truly iconic SJ-RM sound. The Oliver Twizt Remix of “Polkadots” was amazingly and abruptly mixed in toward the conclusion of the former song followed by “Hey Hey” by Dennis Ferrer.
What was so great about seeing them perform from less than three feet in front of our faces was to see the unspoken communication going on between Sunnery and Ryan throughout the entire show. With Sunnery James taking two CDJs on the left and Ryan the right, the two fused their musical ideas and became one while each still gave his own style to the mix. Together, they have the ability to give their sets a nonstop upward progression of unrelenting deep and dirty house—just what the doctor ordered.
I have said so many times in the past that Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano tell a story with their live performances and this performance was no different. You get the sense of who they are and what they are feeling at the time. Also, they read the crowd and can figure out what it needs. When they pound on the cue point repeatedly that says “HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE….” as they’ve done both times I have seen them, it really gets everyone on the same page and reminds us that we are here for the music.
I truly cannot remember the last time I went to an event and legitimately got upset because I realized it had to end at some point, but this was the case on this night. What really made this performance special was their ability to manipulate the sound so much that it felt new again. Isn’t that what we all love about music? The reaction you have when a big drop is changed to something new and unknown is the feeling we were getting all night long from these two. Some more tracks they played (in order) were “Pacha On Acid”, “Kids” (ID remix), “Live Your Life” (Chuckie Remix), “Bounce”, “Love Don’t Let Me Down”, “Phazing” (ID remix), “Zero 76”, “C’Mon” (SJRM Remix), “Mush Mush” and the list goes on.
After three hours of HOUSE….HOUSE…HOUSE HOUSEHOUSEHOUSE they signed off and were nice enough to talk with us for five minutes right as they finished around 4:30am. Up close I could really see in their faces how much fun they have DJing. Sunnery told me how he is “so glad house music is coming back to the states” and to tweet him his picture he took with me. Hold on, I’ll do it before I leave! Are you kidding me? What a nice guy!
If you are interested in seeing (in the words of Sebastian Ingrosso) the “Suriname House Mafia”, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano will be playing the first day of Electric Zoo (Friday 2 September). Special thanks to our friends at Plexi PR for accommodating EDMNYC at this event.