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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Paul Johnson Returns for Boompty Anniversary

Club Noise

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It’sbeen more than seven years since one of house music’s most-prolific legends bumped Milwaukee crowds. Now with more than 130 EPs to his name—including his 3-million-selling club gem “Get Get Down”—Johnson returns as part of the one-year anniversary party for the eclectic EDM monthly Boompty at Red Light.

“It’s been great working with Red Light this past year,” said Georgie Geewiz, who co-organizes the night with Mike More. “They are very supportive of our party … the people at Red Light know what it takes to make music work.”

Boompty blossomed onto the local night scene in early spring of last year, as a response to the void of national and international DJ acts being showcased in the city. The 2007 closing of Mantra Lounge left Milwaukee Street’s Three as the only venue consistently dedicated to showcasing EDM talent.

“It was a great beginning, as there wasn’t much else to do in Milwaukee or places where you could hear this kind of music,” Geewiz said. “We started Boompty at the right time. People were screaming for a new place to call home.”

Fast-forward one year later, and Milwaukee’s EDM community continues its rebuilding efforts. The addition of new nights, including Projekt and Get Sum, has invigorated the scene with a bolder, bass-driven sheen. “We think Milwaukee is at a turning point right now, for the good,” Geewiz noted. “There has been a lot of discussions going on about our EDM scene and people are working to make some changes. We just try to focus on why we started doing Boompty, and that was to help keep the vibe alive.”

The return of Johnson cer tainly sets the vibe straight. Johnson, the night’s biggest booking to date, will bring the classic house flavor he first unleashed in 1985. Since then, the producer/DJ/label A&R rep has licensed more than 100 CD and house compilations worldwide. His angular, funky basslines are the kind that continues to define Chicago house.

“He has been an inspiration from the get-go in this [style of] music, and it’s an honor to host him for our one-year anniversary party,” Geewiz said. In the meantime, Geewiz and More will continue looking for new ways to keep their monthly Saturday party fresh—aside from the cheap PBR and Tootsie Rolls offered at the bar on their nights.

“We have discussed a few fun things before…,” Geewiz said. “[Like] bringing back Kris Kross.” Talk about a serious party. Boompty celebrates its one-year anniversary on Saturday, March 15, at Red Light (1758 N. Water St.) with Chicago’s Paul Johnson. Two-dollar cans of PBR and Amstel Light and $3 Effen Vodka mixers. Music 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Cover charge: $5