Crowded House: Five Orlando music scenes that know how to pack them in 

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The Milk District

The heart of the eclectic Milk District has been beating with a little more bass recently. For years now, Sandwich Bar has been a bastion for classic house music by hosting a procession of local dance royalty and DJs that have rocked thousands – names like Kimball Collins, Dave Cannalte, Doc Martin, LTJ Bukem, King Britt, Three, Q-Burns, Robby Clark and Sleazy McQueen. But recently, concentrated events two doors down at Spacebar and the residency of enterprising party crew Body//Talk have converged to create a new synergy that's given the Robinson Street strip new definition as a small but rising indie dance scene.

click to enlarge Grassrootz at Spacebar - PHOTO BY JEN CRAY
  • Photo by Jen Cray
  • Grassrootz at Spacebar

Although Spacebar has hosted its own dance-oriented nights, only a few have stuck, according to owner Tommy Mot, whose own considerable scene cred as a DJ goes back to the international glory days of Orlando's '90s dance wave at clubs like Firestone, Knock Knock, Icon and the Blue Room. Several months ago, Mot tapped Body//Talk honcho Phil Santos to manage Spacebar's calendar. Now, the bar's beat menu is bolstered by Santos' new monthly Late Night Swim events and the district has become home base to the monthly Body//Talk parties, which take over Spacebar, Sandwich Bar and the parking lot that joins them.

"I think they found their niche now," Mot says of Body//Talk. "For the Body//Talk parties, we have bands in here most of the times now and the DJs will be over [at Sandwich Bar]. ... Both rooms are packed. There's really a lot of kids that are into cool shit, that wanna hear different things. They're not pigeonholed like you see downtown."

click to enlarge Grassrootz at Spacebar - PHOTO BY JEN CRAY
  • Photo by Jen Cray
  • Grassrootz at Spacebar

But more than just another scene, the edge and ethos here are the difference. "It's super open and non-judgmental," says Mot. "There's so many different types of people there – gay, straight, dudes, chicks, geeks, nerds, skateboard kids, film people ... If you're kind of not an open-minded person and you come to this place, you're gonna feel uncomfortable. So it has a tendency to keep the douchey lameness away and it just keeps growing with cool, open-minded people. So in that sense, Body//Talk is in a position to be as big as they wanna take it, really." – Bao Le-Huu

Heard first in the Milk District

Listen to: "Late Night Swim - Mix 001"
Under this DJ moniker, Body//Talk founder Phil Santos is as inclusive of rhythm genres as he is of his parties

Listen to: "244 E Houston St"
Resident DJ for Body//Talk, motion | UNDRGRND and Grassrootz

Listen to: "Everything I Do" (feat. Chuck Mendler)
Deep and clean late-night house

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April 1, 2020


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