The Passion of the Crates Reunion

Published On October 5, 2012 | By Sweet1Lani | Music

Back in the day (2004-2005) a young group of passionate DJs hailing from Pitt, invaded Shadyside with crates of vinyl every Thursday for a night of feel good music you couldn’t help but shake your ass to.  The core group of Bonics, Maddbuddha, Nice Rec, and Dan Dabber, proved so inspiring people would drive in, from as far as New York, to experience Passion of the Crates. They embodied the role of true DJs, vinyl hoarders who read the room so well the eclectic crowd would dance the night away.  Maddbuddha (aka Paul Dang) recalls, “Passion of the Crates was really birthed on the dance floor and us DJs laid witness to its inception and its natural ending every night. For me, I was just in awe of it all. My DNA was changed since then.”

Lucky for all of us, the fellas, along with Shineomite, Selecta, and Nate Da Phat Barber, are reuniting for a House Party Reunion/ Fundraiser for Paul’s documentary Still City, on Saturday, October 6th at 720 Music, Clothing & Cafe.  It’s an all night rager from 10pm-4am. Rest up so you can last all night and not miss a thing.

Still City is Paul’s love letter to Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in. After 10 years of production, it is finally coming to an end, but still needs $25,000 to complete post production. One of the reasons behind the reunion is to raise money and awareness about the film. “It is a multilayered documentary / experimental film about Pittsburgh and its creative, underground, and music community, archived and documented for the last 10 years. There is some profound and captivating footage shot over the years done with love, conviction, dedication, and a thought of painting a unique and different canvas to the city,” Paul explains. Sounds like a worthy cause to us!

In honor of the reunion, we asked the boys to share their favorite memories from the good old days.


“The root of ‘The Crates’ is our individual love and relationship with music.  Vinyl was our medium and Pittsburgh was and still is a jackpot for records.  We each have our own ‘specialty’ that we bring to the table.  The irony is that ‘Serato/digital vinyl dj’ing’ was just being born at that time.  It’s like we made a team knowing (but we didn’t know) that times were about to change.  And they did.”

“Pre-digital vinyl era: I was living in California at the time and I was coming back to Pittsburgh frequently to film my documentary, Still City. I remember lugging records in two luggage cases with maybe a couple pairs of clothes to change for the next several weeks. Like, there were more records than anything I had while staying in the Burgh. That’s Passion of the Crates”

Dan Dabber:

“My favorite memory is working with those guys on a cd/mini-zine we were inspired to call Incompleter’s Digest. We all contributed significantly to that project and I felt a great sense of pride and comradery for the POTC crew after that.”

Nice Rec:
“One of the most memorable moments to me has got to be watching DJ Phinesse breakdance during one of our more lackluster nights.  It was winter time and the crowd was pretty thin during the early hours of the night. At that time pretty much every week was well attended so it was a out of the ordinary to have it a little less crowded. None of that really matters though, all was redeemed when a circle broke out later in the night and I had the privilege to witness Phinesse get his ozone on. He’s a bigger dude and I can’t even recall seeing him dance much in my life let alone getting in a circle, it was a beautiful thing.”

Latest tracks by Nice Rec

It’s BYOB so bring your favorite libations and $5 to get in!

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