Far from the pop, hip-hop and mainstream house endlessly emanating from downtown clubs, the Cardiff Lounge in Campbell has kept the South Bay underground house scene alive with Get Down.
Held every Tuesday, the weekly party celebrates its six-year anniversary on April 30, with legendary DJ Mark Farina and local artist WäDL, who will do live painting while Farina spins some of his signature house mixes.
Farina, who has been DJing since the late ’80s, is best known for his deep house tracks, where the standard house dance thump is embroidered with jazz and soul flourishes. He’s also known for his trademark style, “mushroom jazz,” a more downtempo, ambient sound.
As with any subculture, those considered “legendary” by its devotees often elicit little more than a “huh?” from outsiders. While San Francisco has long been considered the house-music haven in the Bay Area, San Jose has had trouble keeping the scene alive.
According to Gabriel Black—resident DJ and co-founder, along with Arturo Garces, of Get Down—house nights will flare up every now and then in downtown San Jose but gutter out just as quickly.
When asked why he thinks Get Down has had such a long lifespan compared to other house nights, he laughs and says, “Low expectations.” With house being such a niche genre in the 408, the club owners don’t expect a huge take at the bar, especially considering it’s on a Tuesday.
Breakdancers that frequent the parties are never much for buying drinks, but the spectacle they provide well makes up for it. “It’s not unusual to see someone spinning on their head or sliding across the floor,” Black says.
The night has developed a regular community, the kind where a friend can come and play bongos for a couple hours with the DJ and then split with no one missing a beat. For Black, the night is really an opportunity to provide a venue and a crowd for DJs, dancers and artists that might not otherwise have the opportunity.
Tuesday, April 30; 8pm on
Cardiff Lounge, Campbell