Head Spins: Ryan Evans, the Vagabond's Saturday-night special
Seven hours. That's how long Ryan Evans mixes up the mayhem at Buck 15 every Friday night. Seven hours. But if you're the kind of DJ who can begin with '90s hip-hop, segue through commercial house, and peak with classic rock 'n' roll, seven hours is just another drive-by. The kind of drive-by that leaves the dance floor riddled with musical bullets and keeps people talking well into next week.
But the Orange County, California native isn't simply the kind of DJ who stands alone in this world of ours; he's keen on teaming with other head spinners too. It's what he did back in the day, when he got his start at Revolver, spinning alongside heavies such as Lazaro Casanova and Gregg Foreman. And it's what he did through stints everywhere from Poplife (when it was at I/O) and Spiderpussy (wherever it happened to be).
It's also what Evans does now Saturdays at the Vagabond, where he shares the booth with fellow resident Ray Milian and club co-owner Carmel Ophir. Here, though, Evans tends to keep his sound extra-dirty, and he's as likely to slip you some Crazy P as he is to let loose with Bag Raiders.
Ryan Evans: Fridays at Buck15, Miami Beach. Saturdays at the Vagabond, Miami; myspace.com/iamhotryan
Yet even when Evans is at his dirtiest, there's always a time of the night when Michael Jackson feels right, and the Serato-slaying DJ remains inordinately fond of pulling out the vinyl and taking it Off the Wall. Evans might charge hard with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" or smooth things out with "Rock with You." Either way, both tracks off that LP are perfect metaphors for what best drives a dance floor.
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And after seven years of sets, Evans should know about these things. In fact, it might be that he knows a little too much, and he is dead set on not seeing himself in the booth seven years from now. So Evans has turned to production, both of his own work as a solo artist, and that of Vagabond bar manager Henri Lemaire, whose guitar rock has a reported electro-pop feel to it. And though neither cat's music is yet ready to be unveiled, it's a cinch that both are gonna do what the hard-bucking DJ has been doing since 2003 — move something spectacularly. Keep your ears peeled.
Ryan Evans's current top five:
1. "It's All Right," Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions
2. "Love Has Come Around," Donald Byrd and 125th Street
3. "Mother's Little Helper," the Rolling Stones
4. "Make You Mine," Miami Horror
5. "Township Funk (Crazy P Remix)," Mujava
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