Getting groovy at Sapphire

Music fans bored of humdrum tunes are in for a rare treat as DJ Ollie Clarke takes to the turntables at Sapphire this Wednesday, 7.30pm, with an eclectic mix of funk, soul and rare groove from the mid 1960s to 70s.

Chunkygrooves, sponsored by What’s Hot!, Cayman’s premier monthly magazine, will be hosted monthly on the second Wednesday of each month, enabling attendees to experience a set with a difference.

‘This is for anyone who is looking for something a bit different. Anyone who is into funky music is going to really enjoy this,’ the DJ said.

Hailing from the UK, DJ Ollie Clarke has had a passion for music since he was a young boy. He started collecting records from the age of eight and has become the proud owner of thousands. So many, in fact, he has lost count.

What makes this event so interesting is that many of the DJ’s records are rare and almost impossible to find today, a fact that will surely pique the interest of music fans.

‘I can pretty much guarantee that about 90 per cent of the music people will never have heard of before. This is for music aficionados. If people are really interested in music then this is something that is going to really interest them,’ the DJ said.

The music is essentially made for dancing, but as Ollie explained, it doesn’t have thundering hard beats that are going to drive you crazy if you want to just sit down, relax and chill out.

The sounds will further be enhanced by a projected montage on the ceiling of Sapphire featuring music pioneers and celebrity figures from the 1960s and 70s era, creating a truly groovy event.

Teritia Peart, product co-ordinator, said: ‘We are delighted to be sponsoring such a fun event and this is just the start of many joint collaborations What’s Hot! magazine will enter into to provide even more fantastic events for Cayman’s residents and visitors to enjoy.

‘We are confident the event will be a huge success and encourage everyone to keep up to date with Cayman’s entertainment scene by checking out What’s Hot! magazine, published monthly, for more groovy events.’

The DJ’s records are stored with a friend back in his native homeland – practical reasons prevent him from carting them overseas – and thanks to modern technology the DJ will be able to share his rare and groovy sounds, spinning the records as if they were with him in Cayman.

DJ Ollie Clarke’s friend uses a recording studio to digitally record the records. The music for the set is then saved as a high quality MP3 and emailed over to the DJ. A piece of hardware/software called Final Scratch allows DJ Ollie Clarke to play the files on two turntables, enabling him to still mix in exactly the same way as if he had the records in his hands.

Stefan Candby, manager at Sapphire, said: ‘Sapphire often plays host to some of the island’s top DJs and offers the ideal venue for Chunkygrooves. The bar was recently named as one of Grand Cayman’s hot spots in Condé Nast Traveler thanks to its sumptuous décor and fantastic drinks menu. We are delighted to host such a unique music event and are confident it will be a success.’

The DJ explained that he became hooked on rare groove, funk and soul after a trip to a local music library back in the UK where he picked up a CD featuring this genre.

One song in particular caught his attention and the DJ explained the genre has become a passion ever since, offering a welcome reprise from the often repetitive beat of house music.

Ever heard of Willie Henderson’s Break Your Back? How about Marlena Shaw’s Wade in the Water or Syl Johnson’s Come On Shock It To Me? DJ Ollie Clarke’s groovy set will be a fun learning curve for all as he shares a rare record collection unlike no other.

‘I love to share music. That’s what it’s all about,’ he said.

Chunkygrooves will be held at Sapphire, Seven Mile Shops, on the second Wednesday of each month. For more information go to www.chunkygrooveslive.com.