"Just Chilly." That's how he said to write him up. No "DJ." No "Mister." No "Sir." No nothing. "Just Chilly." Which kinda makes sense considering the cat took his name back when "chill out" was the parlance of the day and anything more need not be said. Not that Chilly needs to chill, mind you — 'cause his head-spinning is about as cool as they come.
The cat is also extremely considerate. Chilly quickly says this article is to be clear about one big thing: DJ Mark Leventhal gave him his start. The time was '97, the place was South Beach, and Leventhal (along with partners Bill Spector and Conrad) was throwing a party at Lua called Hercules. In those halcyon days, the Beach wasn't big or dumb enough to be split into factions, and everybody from every walk hung at Hercules.
Flash-forward a decade or so, and Chilly counts among his past gigs a residency at Leventhal and company's other legendary weekly — Home Cookin' at Groove Jet. Of course there were the stints at other heyday hotspots such as Ready Bar and Red Square. Chilly has also spun, at one time or another, at just about every eatery opening in town, as well as established places such as the Forge and the now-defunct Pearl.
DJ Chilly. Dolce Industry Wednesdays at Gemma Lounge. www.myspace.com/dolceparty
And with Dolce Entertainment, the seven-year-old company that is not to be confused with the upstart Ocean Drive club, he has put the beat to everything from a Zurich street parade to that local Election Day blowout atop the Sony Building that no doubt you heard — even if you were in Hialeah.
Dolce has also just launched its Dolce Industry Wednesday up in that deep, cool Lincoln Road spot known as Gemma. The venue, which has the feel of a private club and immediate proximity to all the action, seems perfectly suited for an event that's meant to be a gathering of insiders. And the play-off between Chilly and DJ/cohost M2M (with "live custom visuals by three-time Club Awards nominee superstar VJ Psyberpixie") gives it the kind of conversation that industry folks demand. Call it white-label classicism.
It's an inside knowledge Chilly picked up when he posted at South Beach's SFP Records, where for five years the cool cat handled both the label's business affairs and some vinyl extracurriculars for the likes of DJs Ivano Bellini, Tracey Young, and Edgar V. And though Chilly's top five tunes range from Chaka Khan to The Clash, the head spinner's true calling is house. In fact a mere mention of the word gets Chilly waxing excited.
"One of my biggest house artists at the moment is the Afrocentric DJ Nicodemus," Chilly says. "He does the Turntables on the Hudson party in NY. And one of my longtime favorite producers who continues to bang out powerful tracks is Dennis Ferrer — that 'Cure and the Cause' of his is an instant favorite and floor-filler. Dennis's latest track, 'How Do I Let Go,' is wreaking havoc with me also.
"For our Dolce Industry Wednesdays, expect these and also tracks by the very popular man-of-the-moment, Sergio Flores," Chilly adds. What he doesn't say outright, though, is that he himself is a man who very much knows about moments. Maybe because Chilly is too cool to have to.
Chilly's current top five:
1. "Beneath the Crescent Moon," Marc Evans
2. "Reach," Roy Davis Jr. feat. XL
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3. "Lift Up Your Hands (B.O.P. Groovy Dub)," Dawn Tallman
4. "Any Love," Chaka Khan
5. "The Magnificent Dance," The Clash