Head Spins: DJ Ed Whitty

South Beach's smiling Irish tech-house heavy.

Carlow, Ireland, is about as far away from South Beach, Florida, as one can get and still be in the same hemisphere. (Actually, since the dominion lies along the prime meridian, it is common to both the Western and Eastern hemispheres, but you knew that already.) Throughout nearly the entire 20th Century, the town's dominant employer was the Irish Sugar Company. That shuttered its last factory in 2006, and now many residents manufacture hair dryers and electric toothbrushes for Braun Oral-B. In other words, Carlow is the kind of place people leave.

But even a town full of minuses can have its pluses, and in the center of Carlow there's a joint called Nexus, the one venue where all things unequivocally connect. Think of a place like South Beach's Blue, but with a cross to bear, a past to forget, and an unintelligible accent — a dark and shady nightspot where students and hipsters collide over buckets of beer and the best in hard-charging house. That's where our subject, DJ Ed Whitty, got his start, and that's where he'll never have to return, unless it's on a holiday of his own terms.

Whitty is one of those Euro DJs who eschew the Continent's standard island trappings and instead keep to the beat of the cities, specifically Budapest and Manchester, from which Corvin Dalek and Mark Reeder respectively spring. If you know those heavy-house masters, you know they've branded their sound "wet 'n' hard." And if you've heard Ed Whitty on the WOMB, you know he is our town's foremost practitioner of the practice.

He traces his tracking to a float in the 2004 edition of the Love Parade, Berlin's annual bacchanal. There, he spun alongside Dalek as well as the likes of Tom Wax, from Frankfurt, and Martin Polansky, from Szczecin, Poland. The star spot gave Whitty instant cred back in Dublin at the Foundry, and just enough hype to help him move to Miami for good.

Whitty knew a few cats in Fort Lauderdale, so he kicked off Spank Sundays and ran it for the one full year most parties should never exceed. He parlayed that into a residency at Pearl, a couple of spots at the annual Ultra Music Festival, and a slew of dates in the usual places such as Laundry Bar, Discotekka, and, yes, Blue.

These days Whitty is teamed with Enzo Entertainment and a cat named Promo Joe at Voodoo Bar, the latest attempt to revitalize that forsaken stretch of Washington Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets. And when he's not saving neighborhoods, he's on the WOMB or in the studio, producing tracks for Miami's own ESP Records.

Would Whitty rather be back in Carlow, dropping wet 'n' hard white labels for the few who get it? Unlikely. And we wouldn't want him back there either — 'cause then our town would be deprived of what that town wasn't smart enough to keep around in the first place.

DJ Ed Whitty's current top five:

1. "It's All I Need (This Is Love) (Ed Whitty Mix)," Ean Sugarman feat. Lex Empress

2. "Tactics (Ed Whitty's Miami Mix)," John Gibbons + Scimon Tist

3. "Party Animal (Workkidz Mix)," Mark Knight

4. "South America," Tom Sawyer

5."Shake It (Shaker Mix)," D-Unity

 
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