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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 5, 2006

THE NIGHT STUFF
Subphonix faithful congregate for love of d-n-b

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Guest DJ Shimon mixed it up as the Subphonix crowd got into the drum-n-bass vibe at the Mercury lounge, 1154 Fort Street Mall down Chaplain Lane, on a recent night.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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SUBPHONIX

WHERE: Mercury, 1154 Fort Street Mall (entrance on Chaplain Lane), 537-3080

WHEN: 10 p.m.-2 a.m., first Friday or Saturday of the month. This month: Tomorrow

COVER: $5

21 AND OLDER ONLY? Yes

GUEST DJ THIS MONTH: Los Angeles-based DJ Whizard

PAST GUEST DJs: Sypher, Dylan, Robyn Chaos, Mowgli, Shimon

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Bartender Dezsy Dezsy also mixed it up drinks, that is for late-night Subphonix patrons at the Mercury lounge in downtown Honolulu.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Subphonix is all about jungle love.

Affection for jungle music, that is. Otherwise known as drum-n-bass. A sub-genre of electronic dance music working speed-of-sound syncopated drum breaks and intricate, internal organ-shifting bass lines into a tranceinducing dance floor mix.

Beats-per-minute are typically off the charts. Turntablists crank up the music dead-waking loud, beat changing as wildly and as frequently as a Bush administration speech writer.

The mostly twentysomething drum-n-bassheads who gather at Mercury lounge for the monthly Subphonix night are the genre's most ardent Honolulu followers. Follow the breeze-blown booming bass from Fort Street Mall down the shady alleyway that is Chaplain Lane and into Mercury on a Subphonix night and you'll find the faithful in their church.

They fill a small corner dance floor framed by a simple speaker setup. Soloists, couples and threesomes oscillate to the beat, arms often raised, or file right up against the DJ table, intensely studying the skills of residents Meilo, Antikkz, Synrgy and Empyr.

Subphonix has amassed a loyal and growing following since promoter Pacific Jungle Management launched it in October, replacing Audiolab's long-running d-n-b night at Mercury.

A hundred or so fill the darkened lounge easily by midnight. The crowd is mellow and polite. I dug seeing d-n-b fans working the preppy, goth, Banana Republic, PacSun, Hellraiser sequel, aloha crisp, b-boy and prom-ready looks, all mingling in one place.

Out-of-town guest turntablists are usually a given at each Subphonix.

"Drum-n-bass is God! I am only its disciple," said one enraptured dude who identified himself only as Jorma from Hale'iwa. ("My mom knows me," he insisted.)

Services drop again tomorrow night.

NIGHT NOTES

CRAYON WEEKEND

The Unity Crayons crew is all over post-sunset live rock this weekend. Tonight at Le Poisson Rouge 1.5, catch Suspicious Minds, My Ex Is Dead, Explore and others at Detox, 8:30 p.m.2 a.m., $5. New-band showcase Virgins of Punk moves to Ong King on Saturday with The Uglysticks, Chemically Treated Grass and more, 8 p.m., $5. Reunion Show, also on Saturday, has Grapefruit, The Sticklers and The 86 List at Pipeline Cafe, 6 p.m., $5. More details at www.unitycrayons.com.

ON THE CINCO AND SEIS

Maacho and Cool Connection at Detox, 10 tonight, $10 ... Big Trouble Rising at The Pub and nontraditional 5th of May foam party at Lakeside Lanai, Kemo'o Farm, tonight ... 808 Ska Showcase with Go Jimmy Go, Black Square, Battle Royal, Golfcart Rebellion and KTUH DJ Big Bar at Detox, 9 p.m. Saturday, $7 ... Skyline, at the Hanohano Room, 10 p.m. Saturday.

Reach Derek Paiva at dpaiva@honoluluadvertiser.com.