Interview: Good Life party starters Alfredo Rico-Dimas & George Zygouris unite in the New Year
“Two house[music]holds, both alike in dignity,
In fair Good Life where we lay our scene.”
Grievances among Boston nightlife are to be expected, especially this time of year — but CreateSpaceCollab & Social Studies have thus far transcended any predisposition to a star-crossed fate. Both events, occurring at the same venue dubbed Good Life, continue to book from an extremely talented & intrepid pool of DJs. This Saturday, to start off the two thousandth & fifteenth year of our calendar, they pair up to bring us a member of techno royalty in Derrick May.
An original member of the Detroit triumvirate, May has produced & provided the heat necessary for club culture since the early ’80s. Just listen to this and we’ll be on our way:
Recently we sat down by a warm fireplace at the W Hotel Lounge with Alfredo Rico-Dimas & George Zygouris, members of each crew, to chat about their origins, special memories, & the all-encompassing pull of a party as Boston moves on to a New Year.
Georgette Bibber: Tell us of the beginnings of Social Studies & CSC…
Rico-Dimas: Brenden Wesley & I started Social Studies three years ago when Good Life gave us the first Friday of the month to bring Jacques Renault & Marcos Cabral to Boston.
Zygouris: Brenden was being a boss.
Rico-Dimas: He was the first to bring a lot of people. This was when there was a bit of a disco revival in terms of edits. Everybody was doing disco again.
Did you grow up listening to disco?
Zygouris: I listened to industrial. Which was my foray into electronic music.
Rico-Dimas: Post-punk. Joy Division. New Order. It’s all connected. Our party was supposed to be a one-time-kind-of-thing, & we needed to name the night something. Brenden had often mentioned “Social Studies” as a name he wanted to use but didn’t know for what. I convinced him to use it for the party. We didn’t have a logo & the flyer was not the greatest. The party however turned out to be a ton of fun.
Jacques at some point played Manolo’s remix of Corona’s “Rhythm of the night” & that basement went nuts! Three years in, we’re happy to have had so many of those “raise your hands” moments, & finally a party with a logo. It’s still a crazy feeling to know we’ve shared the DJ booth with artists like, Kenny Dope, Moodymann, Dan Bell, Omar S, & so many people we respect & consider friends at this point. On the other side of the booth though, music does unite people, & that is something pretty special. Our experiment seems to be working. We try hard not to disappoint & keep bringing DJs we trust (as obscure as they may or may not be).
Zygouris: Alfredo’s Friday night is the sleeper party of Boston. I may be a little biased, but it’s one of the most legit parties. CreateSpaceCollab was a house party vibe with bookings that brought the scene to life. It began in 2010 founded by resident Matt McNeill with Dan Hogan, Magda Kenar, & Joanne O’Donnell. They threw parties at various locations & then began a residency at Good Life. They brought DJ Pierre, Joey Beltram, Brenmar, etc.
Then some of the members moved on & Chad Spigner & myself jumped on board. We jokingly refer to it as CSC 2.0. We started booking the likes of Fred Falke, Derrick Carter, Perseus, Mike Dunn, Kaytranada etc. for our Sweet Shop party & A/S/L? parties at Good Life as well as our Fourplay party which was at Mojitos. We branched out to multiple venues & also did various loft parties building a reputation for fun & floor killer music.
Rico-Dimas: This is beyond us. It’s the club. It’s hard to experience this kind of closeness to the artist as if they’re family.
Zygouris: We are fiercely loyal. I’m looking at the attendees hoping they’re having a good time.
Rico-Dimas: This is our passion. People should lose their shit on the dance floor. Lose interest at staring at somebody. The music speaks for itself.
Zygouris: House music is so fucking popular now. We don’t come from that big room environment. All bullshit aside.
Rico-Dimas: We’ve found our niche.
If someone is uninformed of the legendary status of an individual such as Derrick May, why should they attend?
Zygouris: Regardless of the familiarity of the DJ booked people should trust CSC & the Social Studies crew as tastemakers who consistently bring well-known & future heroes that always move a dance floor. I have faith. Whoever doesn’t come to Derrick May & says they like house & techno is a liar.
Rico-Dimas: It’s important to go explore things that one is unfamiliar with. As far a Derrick goes, of the three godfathers of Techno, he’s the most enigmatic, the most opinionated & the most organic of the three. There’s a reason why he calls Techno “Hi-tek soul.” It’s jazz, soul, it’s African-American music. It’s a vision of the future & yet it’s music planted firmly in Detroit.
What’s your wish for a celebrator’s post-party experience?
Zygouris: We want people to leave this party the same way we like them leaving all our parties. With a smile on their face & perspiring from dancing all night. We also want people who are not familiar with the artist to be a bit more educated with the classic side of the genre instead of just the pop-ier side of house & techno.
Rico-Dimas: We all relate differently to music so it’ll be a unique experience for everyone. Personally I’ll probably leave covered in sweat & exhausted. More than anything we really just want people to feel the music more than to think about it. Actually, scratch that. We want everyone to leave euphoric.
Can you share a cherished memory of a particular event or artist?
Zygouris: One of my most recent cherished moments was when Matrixxman & I arrived at Good Life & he immediately started dancing on the dance floor. Then afterwards he told me how great our resident DJs Matt McNeill & Chad Spigner are. Local support & a good open are pivotal to building the energy of a room. Plus, usually you don’t see the main event getting down.
Rico-Dimas: Probably to see the Black Mahogani girls bond with the crowd at the Moodymann Party. A lot of friendships were born that night on the dance floor, true Detroit-Boston connections.
Zygouris: My dream booking would be a Thomas Bangalter private loft party with some of our closest friends, no cover, & open bar.
What is the direction for 2015?
Zygouris: What we’ve always done, throw great parties. He does what he does. We do what we do. We try not to be like anybody else. We’re friendly. We have mutual respect. I’ll promote for him, it’s something I support. I like going to Alfredo’s party because it’s different than mine & very specific.
It’s also a history lesson.
Rico-Dimas: Our parties are super academic, but from the DJ perspective they see the individual versus the crowd — which pushes their game to the point where they say fuck it & let loose.
Zygouris: This is our first official collaborative party, but we have shared this story.
Rico-Dimas: There is no competition. We each have our own personality.
Zygouris: It’s a community.
Social Studies & CSC present: Derrick May, with Brenden Wesley + Matt McNeill :: Saturday, January 3 @ Good Life, 28 Kingston St. in Boston :: 10 p.m., 21-plus, $20 advance, 21-plus, no dress code :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event