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It's not called Shore Thing for nothing. Sunday afternoons by the pool at South Beach's Shore Club: bottles bucketed by the dozen, bikinis barely there and less, and the bad-ass bump and grind of kick-ass house. This is where the swing set swings, all the way through sunset. Oh, and that four-to-the-floor thumpety-thump? That pumps courtesy of DJ Louis Dee, Miami's classic house kingpin.
Of all the club music genres, house has by far endured the longest. Sure it has sometimes splintered into strains — tech, acid, deep, hard, funky, tribal, and a dozen combinations of all of those and more. But as a whole, the brand that DJ Frankie Knuckles first made famous truly has remained at the center of dance culture, no matter how many times thug crunk or kitsch rock tries to blast it aside.
And that's a large part of DJ Louis Dee's allure. The cat is a house heavy, all right, stoked in tradition, and he remains committed to the cause. So no, you won't find him flip-flopping between genres — ever. Hell, you'd be hard-pressed even to name a strain he plays, but if you were forced to call it something, it'd have to be "world house." Unless you've got a better term for slipping a John Creamer and Phillip Charles "rework" of nueva trova singer Carlos Valera's "Una Palabra" between a French kiss-off from Sebastien Leger and a polyglot bop by Sylvia Tosun.
In fact Dee is so worldly he clocks quarterlies at Toronto's Century Room and Mexico City's Petra, in addition to his frequent forays into New York (Pink Elephant, Guest House, Body). That's not to mention a Miami lineup of residencies that gives his house a home nearly every night of the week.
And to think it all began when the Queens-born head spinner began covering for the likes of Sweet Peach and Stephan Luke back in the days of Chaos, where Dee was then the light man. From fill-in, Dee quickly found his niche and nabbed his first residency, at Tantra. That was nine years ago, and he has been there ever since. Along the way there have been spins at Level, Crobar, and Karu, to name a few, and a deep and constant appreciation of the true-blue beat built by DJs and blessed by anybody who dances hard and long and strong.
Is it a revolution? Not really. But it boasts enough revolutions per minute to start one, if, that is, you can pull yourself away from the tabletop — or the dance floor.
DJ Louis Dee's current top five:
1. "Rainy Days," Stephen Luke
2. "Horn," Roman S.
3. "Bambou," Sebastien Leger
4. "Only One," Chris Lake
5. "Underlying Feeling," Sylvia Tosun