Originally released in 1998, "Icy Lake" is one of only three recordings by Dat Oven, a NYC-based house duo made up of Jeffery Gratton and Shunji Morawaki. "Icy Lake" is, in Gratton's words, "extremely controversial club," the result of "a decadent decade of partying." The track pivots around a Christmas Eve answering message, a reference to a terrible encounter turned into the centerpiece of a mysteriously cold, fierce, and weird dancefloor anthem.
"Icy Lake" was championed by house legend Junior Vasquez at massive NYC tribal house clubs like Palladium and Arena; but when that era died, the track was long forgotten. Last year, "Icy Lake" was rediscovered on YouTube by DJ/producer Total Freedom, thus triggering an obsession for him and his transatlantic family: the crews behind LA-based label Fade to Mind and their London sister imprint Night Slugs.
Here at THUMP we were so intrigued by the story, that we teamed up with Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 and director Wills Glasspiegel (watch his radical footwork video here) to make a short film about it. Icy Lake connects the dots between legendary but oft-forgotten moments in 90s nightlife, vogue/ballroom culture, grime's Eskibeat movement, and the radical club constructions of the NS/F2M families. At the same time, it tells a story that transcends time and geography—a story about how music is born, lives, dies, and is resurrected, with technology that makes communication between the past, present, and future possible.
Night Slugs and Fade to Mind have teamed up to re-release Dat Oven's "Icy Lake" as an EP, featuring remixes from L-Vis 1990, Total Freedom, and DJ Rashad with NA from Nguzunguzu. Find it here. Vinyl will be released on May 6.
Directed by Wills Glasspiegel
Written by L-Vis 1990 and Wills Glasspiegel
Produced by Vivian Host and L-Vis 1990
Shot and Edited by Wills Glasspiegel
Additional Camera by L-Vis 1990, Sean Mattison and Oliver Rivard
Original Palladium Footage from Darrin Friedman and Jay Ine
All music taken from the Dat Oven Icy Lake EP on Night Slugs/Fade to Mind
Starring Kingdom, Total Freedom, Kevin Aviance, L-Vis 1990, Anthony Aviance, Bok Bok, DJ MikeQ, NA, Prince Will, and more.