No matter what, I always look forward to my monthly gigs at Mua Restaurant & Bar in Oakland, California. I’ve been a part of the place since before it opened and had the pleasures and frustrations of building some of the various incarnations of DJed music there. What’s always been awesome is that a restaurant (in an old car rim & wheel warehouse) has given local DJs a place to play, and as I see it, a space for eclecticism without the pressures of crowd or scene.
A quick list of notes from the last 7 years at Mua when it opened in October of 2008. It started with 2 Technic 1200’s and a crappy 2 channel Stanton mixer which was already used up and having issues. DJs were friends or acquaintances of the owner (that’s how I got my opportunity) playing an eclectic mix of rock-dance (think DFA and early Mad Decent), 80’s, indie tunes, UK styled dubstep, old school hip hop and disco funk on Friday and Saturday nights. Many patrons came in the early days looking at the large space with hopes and dreams of it being a club for their parties. My late night mixes of DMZ and Hyperdub influenced dubstep didn’t fit into their expectations. My expectations were off in a different space as well. Compromise was bound to come, after all most people dining were enjoying the food, atmosphere and music.
After a few months and some pleading, the mixer got upgraded to the Rane TTm-57 and opened up the door for the serato DJs. I still kept about 4 shelves of records in the booth for courteous DJs to use should their computer fail for whatever reasons. We began to have open auditions on Mondays for DJs who wanted to play. I got to meet a lot of great local DJs and also have my horizons expanded. With a very limited budget, I decided on 2 or 3 criteria as far as booking went. Be passionate about a wide variety of music, humble to spin the music, and be able to select interesting and energy appropriate for the day of week or time of night. I’m still amazed by some of the DJs I was able to meet and have play at Mua. I’m blessed to have met and worked with all of you.
In a short period we had DJs 6 nights a week playing a mix of great music past and present to the dining room and the late night bar crowd. 2009 was just a fun year, as Mua settled into what it would become, an Oakland destination for food, friends, first-dates, large parties, birthdays, parents with kids, singles and single parents with no kids, young and old, the sexy, the shy, the grungy and the fly. A place where you could see everyone, but was never really a place to be seen.
We did have a packed club dance floor for a summer in 2010, which was a bummer for the people who came to eat late at night, but a boom for the bar. We had Go-go dancers for a weekend, which was neither here nor there. Some live painting. Ever changing art on the walls. A moving DJ booth, which now sits atop the mezzanine overlooking the main dining space. There were some very fun costume contests on Halloween. Plenty of Bay Area sports stars dropping in for dining. Plenty of Bay Area music legends doing the same. Local and state politicos in to eat and mingle.
Thankfully I stopped overseeing the nightlife a few years ago, and now just get to play music I’m excited to hear and play an atmosphere to the dining room. The open format and anything goes nature of Mua’s first two years has settled way down, and now it just goes and I’d like to think people know mostly what to expect when they enter through the outside garden and drawn steel door to the narrow bar adorned with LED lights and gleaming bottles of liquor to the wide open dining space.
Below is my set from last weekend. And if you scroll through some archives on this blog you can find a few other sets from Mua.
Friday, September 11, 2015 ~ 2hr30min
I Cant Lose (Pomo Remix) – Mark Ronson feat. Keyone Starr
Vulnerable (Pomo Remix) – Tinashe
Same Old Clown (KON Remix) – Chico Mann feat. Kendra Morris
Dontcha – The Internet
Angels (Theory edit) – The XX
Let’s Roll – Mishal Moore & DJ Fonti Project
Get Funky – Matty G
We Start Over (Tuff City Kids Private Acid Mix) – Steve Cobby feat. Trudie Dawn Smith
Day One (Telephones Remix) – Jose Padilla
Applecake – Awanto 3
Give It To Me Right – Melanie Fiona feat. Busta Rhymes & Raekwon
Atmosphere – Jack J
Pleasure Principle (Classixx Recovery Mix) – Janet Jackson
Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) [Basement Boy Strip To The Bone Mix] – Crystal Waters
Where The Sun Goes – Redfoo feat. Stevie Wonder
One (Live Edit) – Seven Davis Jr.
Eight Days On the Road – Aretha Franklin
Chelsea Rodgers – Prince
7th Street Groove (Omegaman Remix) – Empresarios
After The Dance – Tittsworth feat. Q-Tip, Theophilus London, & Alison Carney
Firefly – Mura Masa feat. Nao
Bibi Na Mpu (Maurice Fulton Dub) – Mim Suleiman
Muevelo! (Lata & Javier Estrada Remix) – Professor Angel Sound
One (The Very Best edit) – Swedish House Mafia
Gone – Jaisu
Big Tymin – Nef the Pharoah
Thick (Theory’s remix) – D.I.T.C.
Scanner Resurrection – Chief
Possible – J Dilla
Natural Born Killaz – Dr. Dre feat. Ice Cube
Wasn’t For You – De La Soul
Pump Ya Brakes – Diamond D feat. Rapsody, Boog Brown & Stacy Epps
Summer Breeze – Amor Jones
Don’t You Know – Jan Hammer Group
Body – Niia
The Worst (Jhene Aiko Cover) – Van Ike
Tears – Linkwood
That’s The Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
Rain Fall Down – The Rolling Stones
Pretty Little Ditty – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Team (HBK Remix) – Lorde ft Sage The Gemini & IamSu
Sloppy Cosmic – Funkadelic, Moodymann
G 006 (SMURPHY RMX) – GARCIA
Come Get It (Tekstrumental) – Hi-Tek
Bush Society – Mark Barrott
Modern Family – The 2 Bears
It Hasn’t Happened Yet – William Shatner
Shame (Instrumental) – Madlib & Freddie Gibbs
Camelblues – Mndsgn
Champion Sound – Sizzla feat. Errol Dunkley
Carla – Daniel Lanois
Cowbelgian – Awanto 3
Homeland – DJ Madd feat. Marina P
Jenga – Big Makk & City Tucker
I Want You – Matty G
Backseat Freestyle – Kendrick Lamar
Do Not Fuck – DJ Rashad feat. DJ Manny, DJ Spinn & Taso
Boundary Regulation – Kuedo
Click – Dotcom
Bottoms Up – Trey Songz
Auburn Blaze – Appleblim
You Never Show Your Love – Jessy Lanza, DJ Spinn & Taso
This Could B Us – Prince