By Ben Goodale
The air is thick with moisture and music as people shuffle along the corridors of a crowded entrance hallway. The atmosphere of excitement grows steadily as the cacophony of sounds being released from large speakers in the main room rise in volume and gain more clarity.
Every Wednesday evening the Jambalaya (or as locals call it “The Jam”) holds a night of modern electronic bass music dubbed “Whomp Whomp Wednesday.” These events give opportunities to local electronic music artists or those who may be passing through the area to showcase for all to enjoy their unique and jaw-dropping music. It is a good place for many people in this area to connect with others or even learn more about yourself by listening to immensely vibrational sound.
Jambalaya owner Peter Ciotti thinks that these events bring people together with similar music taste and lifestyles.
“Being a musician myself, I can see the value that these events have within the community,” Ciotti says. “It’s important to have a space for people to express themselves without fear of judgement.”
At a break between DJs, the dance floor thins out quickly as a smelly tidal wave of sweat-drenched dancers makes its way outside to revel in the refreshing chill of the pacific coast.
Torran Korman, a 21-year-old psychology major who attends Humboldt State, thinks that these events are beneficial and good for the community.
“I feel like I can truly be myself when I’m in there,” Korman says. “That has lead to me meeting a lot of people that I consider close friends to this day.”
Grinning and rosy faces make their way back towards the promise of music in the heart of the venue.
The main stage is inhabited by a talented disc jockey and electronic music artist who goes by the stage name of “Psy Fi.” As he begins his set, he looks out the bobbing sea of faces and smiles, gleaming with appreciation at the opportunity to share his music with all of the people before him. The crowd reacts with a swelling cheer, beginning to wobble around and dance to the deep tones being produced.
While conversing with electronic artist “Psy-Fi”, also known as Oakland’s own Miles Ross, he gave his opinion of how the night went.
“The crowd here is really open-minded,” remarks Ross. “I felt like I could play some tracks that other crowds wouldn’t have gotten down to.”
As his set winds down, it seems that the source of energy for many people attending and dancing is also winding down; the dance floor becomes sparse quite suddenly as the speakers grow quiet, and the night of music comes to an abrupt end.