Fresh faces

June 12th, 2013

Some of the ladies behind "Wonton Wednesdays" at theVenue. (Courtesy Alex Kamm)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This post marks the start of a new blog on the Pulse. "SuperCity" will be published every Wednesday.)

Thank God it's summer. The only way I really can tell is to look up and see more vibrancy in the scene. A lot of people are home from college and happy to be back in Honolulu. You totally can tell.

“There were so many people everywhere,” DJ Soundcheck told me last Thursday over a beer at Rakuen, where he had recently found himself raging at "Rakuen Wednesdays" with DJs Augustine, Neekz, Mixmaster B and Shift.

"It was madness," he said.

The madness continues across the street with promoters Racesauce and Shishi Nainai Entertainment with support from Element Group and Eightball Hawaii, who bring the party downtown to theVenue. "Wonton Wednesdays" is gaining speed as THE spot to be with a fresh-faced promotions team running an 18-and-over party that enforces a strict dress code.

I love it. They are essentially preparing the new generation to go clubbing in Honolulu.

The dress code was reiterated recently at Racesauce's Saturday night home at Ginza Nightclub, as too many people have slipped inside with hats or jeans. The problem is too many friends think they are the exception to the rule — and when you’re talking about promoters like Racesauce and Element Group, they definitely have a lot of friends. I can only imagine how hard it was to see so many of them showing up in tanks or snapbacks.

I’m not going to lie. I love streetwear, but there’s definitely a time and a place to rock that. I’m happy for the guys who were able to get their message across without destroying the killer vibe at Ginza. The club's confetti cannons, lovable staff, amazing sound system and open-format playlist sets them apart as one of the top nightclubs in the city. It would have been a shame to walk in to all that and see everyone in boardshorts.

Wonton Wednesday resident Massfunk with Norman Jay Santos

"Wonton Wednesdays" resident DJ Massfunk, right, with Norman Jay Santos. (Courtesy Alex Kamm)

Anyway, back to Wednesday. "Wonton Wednesdays" features two of my favorite DJ/producers as their residents: Massfunk and Frizel.

Massfunk is probably one of the youngest producers I know who's been killing it in the EDM scene for the past five years. A lot of the barely legals who raged with him when he opened for Afrojack or Skrillex are now of age to drink with him at theVenue, and the ones still not quite 21 can come hear his music, too. It’s a win for everyone!

While he's ridiculously shy for how talented he is, that never comes across in Massfunk's stage presence. You can tell this kid is obsessed with music. House, progressive house and trance are his forte, which is nicely rounded out with DJ Frizel, who will happily play just about anything.

Frizel is one of those open-format types who has a deep affinity for EDM but can get as old school funky as you want. I loved his set at the Mai Tai Bar's "Hot Island DJ Spinoff" earlier this year, where he made everyone over 30 feel damn comfortable with more than a few old school nuggets.

Tonight, June 12, he competes again at Dave & Busters for a highly coveted gig at Lovefest. The "DJ/Go-Go to Lovefest" series will be held every Wednesday on the D&B's rooftop until the finals on July 10.

This weekend, our friends from Collective Effort are back in town to partner with BAMP Project on the two-day Republik Music Festival. The EDM portion Friday, June 14, at The Republik will reunite me with one of my favorites from a trip to the Electric Palms Music Festival in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, earlier this year — miss Kate Culbertson, a.k.a. Pretty Low.

Pretty Low at Pink Kitty in Cabo for Electric Palms Music Festival April 2013

Pretty Low at Pink Kitty in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, during the 2013 Electric Palms Music Festival in April. (Courtesy Christa Wittmier)

As an up-and-coming dubstep and trap DJ/producer based in Los Angeles, she has roots in Hawaii and is super excited to be coming back. I was lucky enough to escape down to Cabo to see the festival and was in the DJ booth at Pink Kitty when she delivered a whole lot of nasty to all the spring breakers in town. They had no idea what they were in for when she got on the decks, which was one of my favorite moments of the entire weekend. It's always fun to witness a crowd getting completely destroyed.

I can't wait to hear her set Friday night. It's going to be a stellar weekend!


Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular "Bacardi Pool Party" on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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