When you see a flier for a global dance night, you're typically going to be bombarded by a large list of musical styles, attempting to tell you what sounds to expect. The barrage will include weird foreign words like "Gnawa" and "Kuduro," often unpronounceable and requiring some research to understand. World music in a globalized, Internet-informed culture has taken on a particularly elastic quality, no longer defined exclusively by its country of origin.
"I could play an hour of just French club music and people would swear it was all African or Latin," says DJ James Gyre, one half of the duo who will be presenting a new global bass monthly, ¿qué qué?, at Shadow Lounge beginning Fri., Oct. 21. With the new event, Gyre and fellow Brillobox resident DJ (Adam) Cucitroa are venturing into the slice of night life made popular by events like the monthly Pandemic at Brillobox and Global Beats at Shadow Lounge.
As DJs, they're interested in the many sides of the "global music interaction," as Gyre describes it. Their goal is to create a dance experience that takes modern-day workings of folk sounds and blends them into a culturally aware set.
"We're casting a wider net for global musical interaction," Gyre explains via email. "Fundamentally global movements like hip hop, house, dubstep and moombahton won't get passed over; these genres have more than enough cultural reference to, and influence on, international music to include them in the tapestry."
Despite the underlying headiness, the music remains fun, beat-driven and electronic. "It's not going to be a history lesson; it's going to be a dance night," Cucitroa explains.
Geographically, Shadow Lounge offers a good midway point between the hip kids of Lawrenceville and young professionals of Shadyside. And as a site with consistently eclectic music programming, the venue offers ¿qué qué? a solid place for its ethno-musical exploration. "We want to promote to a whole new type of crowd," Cucitroa explains. "People who are looking for something new but don't know where to find it."
¿qué qué? with DJ James Gyre and DJ Cucitroa. 9 p.m. Fri., Oct. 21. Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. 412-363-8277 or www.shadowlounge.net