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Can You Dig It?

It's impossible to hyperbolize here: the Brit DJ titan John Digweed -- along with longtime partner Sasha -- is progressive house. Digweed started DJing as a young teen in the late '70s and early '80s, but it was in the early '90s that he finally got his big break, spinning at the legendary Renaissance club in Mansfield, England. It was there that he picked up the skeins of what would become his proggy sound, locking on house's steady four-four groove, but weaving in and out with new, purely electronic sounds and textures.

Either DJing with Sasha, or producing with Nick Muir as Bedrock, or releasing tracks through his own Bedrock label Digweed became the leading proponent of the style, which would come to absolutely dominate clubs abroad and stateside by the turn of the millennium.

And while many associate him with the thump-thump of big-room sounds, Digweed (like all the best DJs) is a record sponge, with an encyclopedic collection of rare groove records. The influence of that funkiness and soul always seeps into his sets.

Digweed, though hailing from across the pond, actually boasts strong ties to South Florida, largely through a longtime friendship with nightlife figure Carmel Ophir. Both are co-owners of the Vagabond, along with Broward/Palm Beach club svengali Rodney Mayo.... And all of these guys are big-hearted fellows, adamant about giving back to the local community.

Thus Thursday's event at the Vagabond, headlined by Digweed, is about charity, and not pulling in the profits this superstar DJ can generate in his sleep. All proceeds from the event will benefit Communit Partnership for Homeless, a non-profit homeless shelther that helps men, women, and children really get off the streets, via healthcare, daycase, job training, and more. What's more, advance tickets are just $10 -- partying for cheap never felt so good.
Thu., July 16, 10 p.m., 2009

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