Miamians take a rightful pride in our reputation as the northern-most capital of South America. But if we're ever going to truly be considered a world-class city, it'll be because of cats like DJ Mednas.
Mednas, who derives his moniker from a mix-up of his given name, Mehdi Nassiri, was born in Casablanca and raised in both Marrakech and Tangier. Like many a Moroccan, Mednas crossed the Straights of Gibraltar and ended up in Madrid, where he spent seven years, some of it at the American University. To complete his degree (in international business, naturally), he next hit St. Louis, the so-called the "Gateway to the West". Unlike those who heeded a certain nineteenth-century call, however, this young man did not continue westward. He went south, to Caracas, before finally landing in Miami, where he obviously was meant to be all along.
Even from a purely geographical point of view, Mednas has an enviable background. Hell, he's already lived in more countries than many people visit in a lifetime. When you consider collision of cultures to which he's been privy, it belies a scope few folks can even fathom.
It's that kind of pan-globalism which informs not only Mednas the man, but Mednas the DJ, who first went pro in Spain, and now counts just about every hot spot in South Beach on his roster. And if that's not enough to assure you he's a committed peripatetic, Mednas has just added D.C. to the equation, where just last Saturday night he held forth at the Spot Lounge in Dupont Circle.
But it's Miami that concerns us, and it's here when he takes the decks every Thursday and Friday night at the Bancroft Supper Club. Like his stints everywhere from Mokai to Mansion, Set to Wall, or the Shore Club on one of its infamous Sundays, the Bancroft boasts a bona fide contingent of jet-setting nightcrawlers hell-bent on never sitting still.
And sure, Mednas may keep his house a little more pure at, say, Mokai or Set. And he may have gotten a little tech-y back when Nocturnal still reigned. But check Mednas now, when he slips deep sounds in at the start of an evening, and builds upon a framework of happy, sexy beats, breaking into electro around the stroke of midnight. The strains he's spinning become almost superfluous -- this is music to move to, period. And it just happens to have "house" written all over it.
That means a Stefan Luke remix can go alongside Sandy Rivera's "Persuasion" without missing a beat. And it also means Mendas can house up something from Kings of Leon or Black Eyed Peas, as he's done on countless bootlegs. Mostly, though, it means a man who's made tracks from Morocco to Madrid to the Midwest is now making tracks in the M.I.A. And if that's not world-class, there's no such thing as an atlas.
DJ Mednas's Top Five:
1. "I Feel Love ( Stephan Luke remix)," Ministers De la Funk
2. "Wouldn't Hurt Me," Quincy Jones
3. "Ain't Nobody," Chaka Khan
4. "Excuse Me Mister," Ben Harper
5. "Black," Pearl Jam
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DJ Mednas. Thursdays and Fridays at Bancroft Supper Club, Miami. Djmednas.com