Black Coffee Helps MNS Celebrate 20 Years in LA

When Black Coffee comes to Los Angeles, everyone on the local house music scene pays attention. He was in California as one of the headline acts at the Coachella 2016 festival, so it made sense that he would sneak in an LA show. What didn’t make sense was that is was going to be on a Monday night, but when Black Coffee is town, you have to make a special exception!

That’s when I found out more about the Monday Night Social (MNS), run by the affable DJ and promoter Freddy Be, who is celebrating the event’s 20th Anniversary this year. Starting back in 1996 at a small French restaurant called Louis XIV, they then moved to Las Palmas in 2001, Nacional in 2005, Playhouse in 2009 and they are now onto their second stint at the amazing Sound Nightclub in Hollywood where the recent Black Coffee event was held.

If you’ve never been to Sound Nightclub, the name really does do the venue justice. All four corners of the dancefloor have a serious stack of Pioneer speakers that pump out a crystal clear, perfectly EQed sound that was as good as anything I’d heard in a very long time. For sound quality, it reminded me of The End nightclub (RIP) in London, which if you ever visited Mr. C’s legendary venue in Holborn, is no mean feat! The soundsystem alone will ensure I visit the venue again and with Black Coffee was at the controls, let’s just say that the fearless clubbers who made they way out on a Monday night were truly blessed with a sublime aural education.

Photos by TroyAcevedo/WeAreNightOwls

There was certainly something special about seeing and hearing Black Coffee in such an intimate environment. As one of the world’s leading DJs, the fact the event was on a Monday night meant that everyone there was attending through the love of the music, not just because it was the the Hollywood place to be seen. I know where I’m usually ‘seen’ on a Monday night, lying on the sofa watching House of Cards!

I met people from Boston who were in town and simply couldn’t resist the show, alongside some of Los Angeles’ premier DJs, dancers and party promoters who knew that this was one event not to be missed. I’m not going to lie to you, I haven’t felt like that on a Tuesday morning for a LONG time, but it was definitely worth it. Ably assisted by RAXON and Akashic Records Crew, Black Coffee tore the roof off with a sumptous set of tech infused Afro grooves that culminating in his monster smash ‘Dance Again’. We were scraping people off the ceiling after that dropped!

Photos by TroyAcevedo/WeAreNightOwls

I had a chat with promoter and DJ Freddy Be about this special Black Coffee event, his 20 years at the helm of the Monday Night Social, and why he’s been on a 2 decade mission to ruin Tuesday’s for everyone in Los Angeles since 1996!

Monday Social celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary this year. Did you ever expect to make it this far?

It’s been an incredible ride and I’m grateful to have come this far and keep the fire burning for almost 2 decades now. Ultimately, the goal was always simple; to deliver great music and first rate events! Over the years, Monday Social has always had an edge on the music scene here in Southern California, serving as a platform for developing and incubating relatively unknown artists alongside international DJs dropping cutting edge music.

How did the event end up being on a Monday night?

Well I guess it’s mainly because Monday was the only night available to host a new weekly party at Louis XIV, which is the original home of the Monday Night Social back in 1996. The venue was a unique French restaurant / bar / lounge, just south of Melrose and La Brea, that served amazing organic food paired with chilled intelligent grooves and a hip European crowd who were always huge fans of the music.

Obviously there’s a reason why Monday Social has stood the test of time and the fact of the matter is we have out-lived almost every venue we’ve ever hosted our events at so. I think the party sort of speaks for itself. One thing that I’ll always remember is something Hernan Cattaneo expressed to me once when giving his continued support:

“Anyone can throw an event on a Friday or Saturday, that’s easy. But to be able to pull off a Monday that’s been going for almost 20 years is truly something special!”

Things like that go a long way, so I think the integrity of the night and the relationships we have with artist and DJs goes a long way!

What have been your highlights over the past 2 decades?

Every chapter that’s opened and closed has had it’s fair share of highlights. From the days of the late, great Louis XIV hosting parties with Coldcut, Groove Armada and Fatboy Slim were all very surreal considering the capacity was only 150 people and the DJs would play for us for free food and a couple hundred dollars!

Have you had Black Coffee play for you before?

This was actually the first time we’ve had Black Coffee play at Monday Social, which was amazing. He has previously performed at the venue once or twice before on a Friday which I know people were buzzing about, so it was great to finally get him back to Sound again to represent the Monday Social. I’ve been hearing great things about Black Coffee’s DJ sets over the years but had never actually had the chance to hear him play til now. A few of my good friends are huge fans though and have always said we should try to book him at MNS if there was ever an opportunity to have him play on a Monday. It was great experience and a really fun, enthusiastic crowd that stayed true til the very end! I loved his diversity and all the influences that come across in his sets. His sound is sexy, well rounded and ranged from more world influenced dance rhythms to deep house and techno beats.

What does the future hold for the Monday Social?

More great parties, quality DJs and forward thinking music which has always given Monday Social the edge it is known for. My philosophy as a curator is always to keep things fresh and interesting for people by pushing the musical boundaries and booking artists that not only excite me as a DJ, but excite the fans within the underground community that have a true passion and integrity for quality music. MNS has always attracted like-minded people within the dance scene and a majority of those coming to our events on Monday nights come for one thing, and one thing only… and that’s the music!

Amen to that.

Los Angeles club culture can be a really mixed affair, but Freddy and the Monday Night Social gang really did offer up something special with the Black Coffee event. A truly intimate experience with one of the world’s best DJs throwing down on a superb soundsystem, to a friendly, knowledgeable crowd of party people who definitely knew how to get down. Is there really anything better than that…

the less said about Tuesday though, the better!

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