First of all: Welcome to the USA, Mr. Renato Cecin! And please—make
New York your second home! What a Cecin-sational debut! What an
introduction to the Alegria family! Burning hot, this man from São
Paulo, this Mr. Renato Cecin, took the entire Alegria family on an
intergalactic cosmic rocket ride fueled by relentless beat mixing
and an escalating energy level that sent the boyz into overdrive—for
the entire duration of Cecin’s four-hour set. A marvel to behold and
a joy to be a part of, this was one of those legendary sets that
make you glad you were in the house.
This was Alegria Musica, Summer Edition, 2009—and producer Ric Sena
promised a renewed focus on music—and that’s what was delivered, par
excellence. Since 1996, when Cecin returned to Brazil from Vienna,
Cecin has held residencies at São Paulo’s uber-club, The Week, as
well as X-Demente and Level Club. Cecin has clearly paid his
dues—and can rightfully claim the mantle of one of Brazil’s most
prominent deejays—but that was just his background. To watch the man
work and to feel the energy heating up like a house afire, flames
licking the walls, was to take flight on musical currents that
lifted and soared, and churned with a charging intensity. This was
music of the urban future, a highly elaborate layering of North and
South American tribal, house, and progressive house from a
representative of the most populous city in the southern hemisphere.
What Cecin did with “I Believe,” for example, or “I Need a Man” was
to create a hypnotic musical tapestry of overlaying textures,
weaving in a haunting Spanish guitar, at one point, in the midst of
cacophony—with everything ringing like a clarion call to celebrate.
If this was new music, music of the future, bring it on!
Everywhere you looked, all around the jam-packed club M2, it was
clear you were witnessing the distilled essence of joy. Joyful
abandon at the hands of a maestro of release. These people were
working! There was the inimitable and bodacious Holly Goheavy on the
box, and fashionista circuit twins Chris and Eddie on the box, and
ferocious diva Inda Matrix working the railing, and Michael Circuit
Dancer working his poi, and Joe Caro working his blue laser, and
Alex and James sporting spiffy suspenders, the sartorial detail du
jour, and a whole bevy of the flyest girls, totally fun girls, and
boyz, boyz, boyz—such a toothsome array of Brazilian beauties and
New York hotties, stunners everywhere you looked. And smiling
beneficently, joy all over his face, was Ric Sena—clearly thrilled
at the crowd’s immediate embrace of Mr. Renato Cecin (and at the
news that Alegria Wonderland, happening concurrently in Lauderdale,
was equally sizzling).
And lights—by Stephen Wyker—who, at one point, created a gorgeous
tableau of red, white, and blue, which illuminated the boyz along
the sidelines, making their silhouettes as iconographic as an A&F
billboard. And as the lighting rig lowered, the ALEGRIA ball flashed
a profusion of rainbow color.
In truth, words can’t do this party justice. It was all about being
there, completely there—enthralled by the music, breathless with
body rushes as the giddy galloping rhythms encircled the room. And
when Cecin’s set ended at eight am with a groundswell of cheers and
applause, there was Paulo to keep it going. A Portugese by birth,
Paulo is as relentless as Cecin had proven himself to be at his
inaugural Alegria—and the two men were perfect complements. Paulo
took the baton and burned it hotter, all through the morning and
into the afternoon.
Sena himself has said that Alegria Labor Day is one of his personal
favorites—and after last night’s Alegria Musica, few would argue.
There might be something cathartic about the end of one season and
the start of another—the return to the city and its propulsive
rhythms—and certainly, last night’s exemplary roster of deejays
grabbed hold of New York’s legendary and indefatigable energy and
twisted it into their own red-hot creation, making this Alegria a
benchmark for sheer musicality. For in the end, that’s what this
party did best: it took flight and soared.