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Erick Morillo spins back-to-back with Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano on Thanksgiving Eve

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Thanksgiving Eve is the homely cousin of New Year’s Eve, but that hasn’t stopped the city that never sleeps from stepping into bed with her once a year. Rarely one to argue with tradition, and knowing that a 7-hour back-to-back set meant I wouldn’t be leaving Pacha until the sun came up, I spent most of Wednesday evening napping in preparation for the early morning ahead of me.

Legendary DJ/producer Erick Morillo has certainly seen his fair share of Thanksgiving Eves, having shared last year’s affair with Danny Tenaglia. With a career spanning over two decades, Morillo has racked up a series of chart-topping singles, a piece of the Pacha NYC ownership pie, and an eponymously titled street sign, “Erick Morillo Way,” in his hometown. Although Morillo’s successes are being obscured — as is the case for many legends — by the new “electronic pop music” climate, his set with Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano reminded me of the emerging failures of a system that privileges serial producers over quality DJs.

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano might be relative newcomers, but with about half a dozen releases in the last year, their output is more restrained than many of their peers. Spending less time in the studio and more time behind the booth has allowed the DJs to flourish in this arena. They’re capable of seamlessly transitioning between mainstream festival sets and dirty tribal house performances without skipping a beat. The resounding soundtrack for the night was full of cowbells, drums, horns, and old school vocals.

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano go Back to Back with Erick Morillo on Thanksgiving Eve at Pacha NYC

I spent the majority of the evening staring at Doutzen and going deaf — wear your earplugs — but aside from the blows to my self-esteem and hearing, it was a successful trip to the jungle.

1. GTA & Henrix & Digital Lab – Hit It (Original Mix)

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“Hit It” combines tribal influences with a main stage drop, successfully satisfying diverse musical palates. The track was one of my favorites from the evening and has already seen support from Congorock, Steve Angello, and Laidback Luke. Each time I listen to the preview I’m left wanting more. No word on an official release date but it will be dropping via SIZE.

2. Franky Rizardo – Caracoles (DJ Chus Iberican Remix)

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Chus adds a better groove to an already great track. The vocals and wind pipes are addictive and the beat is impossible not to dance to. Hips swayed as this track blared through the speakers.

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano go Back to Back with Erick Morillo on Thanksgiving Eve at Pacha NYC

3. Shazalakazoo & Chernobyl feat. Suppa Fla – Zica Memo (Gregor Salto Remix)

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My feelings about Gregor Salto are well documented. With the exception of “Azumba,” his productions don’t receive nearly enough credit, and “Zica Memo” falls under that category.

4. Harry Romero, Alex Kenji & Erick Morillo – Flamenco (Original Mix)

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Morillo finally released “Flamenco” yesterday, and the energy-packed production kept people on their feet in to the wee hours of the morning.

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano go Back to Back with Erick Morillo on Thanksgiving Eve at Pacha NYC

5. Nalin & Kane – Beachball (Chris Lake Remix)

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“Beachball” might be repetitive, but the groove is absolutely infectious. I left Pacha with the song ping-ponging through my brain.

Photo Credit: Warren Whitmore

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