House of Sutiki Is Helping Build Bend's Dance Music Scene | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

House of Sutiki Is Helping Build Bend's Dance Music Scene

Local DJs and promoters are booking bigger names alongside regional talent to play Bend, including San Francisco's Justin Martin

Back in the day, Danny Fry's friends gave him the not-so-uncommon nickname Danimals. The longtime DJ, booker and event promoter has embraced the moniker, playing gigs as Mr. Danimals for the past few years.

Fry has been organizing events around the world for two decades, throwing parties with international talent from Italy, Singapore, Paris and England, as well as stateside hotspots like NYC and Detroit, in exotic locales including Maui, Bali, Bangkok and Miami.

Born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Hawaii, Fry has called Bend home for the past five years, and he's been using the name House of Sutiki for "the event collaborations I am hosting with friends here in town," he explains. "Rythmyk is one of two branded nights I have going at the moment. Rythmyk is a house and techno night that launched back in April at The Barrel Room," at Immersion Brewing, with a party featuring the DJ Nikita from Brooklyn.

click to enlarge House of Sutiki Is Helping Build Bend's Dance Music Scene
Courtesy Justin Martin
San Francisco DJ and producer Justin Martin will headline House of Sutiki's Rythmyk event on July 11 at the Domino Room.

In 2019, Fry had moved from legendary clubbing capital Ibiza to Bend and, "wanted to do something to bring that vibe here," he says. With Rythmyk, Fry has been working closely with local DJ and producer Giancarlo Gatto to curate events, and their goal is "to create a vibe where it feels like you could be at a great party anywhere around the world. Whether you're in NYC, Miami, Santiago, Ibiza, Bali, etc., it's always all about the vibe and the energy of the party. We want to bring that energy here, and also want to showcase some of the great local talent we have here in town."

The DJ and electronic dance music scene in Central Oregon, "has changed immensely over the last five years or so," Fry tells. "I really noticed the shift when Rüfüs Du Sol came to play the amphitheater [in fall of 2022]. It took me by surprise how many people were into electronic music and what a cool vibe there was at the event."

This shift and growth in audience interests has now allowed Fry to bring an artist like San Francisco's Justin Martin to town on Thursday, July 11. Headlining the Domino Room, "this is the first time he will play in Central Oregon, and from what we know, he is one of the biggest DJ/producers to play here up to this point," Fry says.

Coming up in the Bay Area underground dance music community for the last 20 years, Martin was part of the independent electronic music label Dirtybird Records with Claude VonStroke. His characteristic brand of house music has been described as "melodic and tough," a style that combines emotive and body-moving elements to make sure audiences are grooving on the dance floor.

"I'm always trying to find music for my DJ sets that rattles sound systems, but still has enough melody and interesting texture to expand your mind even if you're sitting at home on a snowy or rainy day," Martin describes.

“I’m always trying to find music for my DJ sets that rattles sound systems, but still has enough melody and interesting texture to expand your mind even if you’re sitting at home on a snowy or rainy day.”  — Justin Martin

He's since remixed the aforementioned Rüfüs Du Sol, and in 2020, established his own label, What To Do... Focusing on his releases plus collaborative works, Martin aims to push his limits and reach new creative levels and with the label, telling fans to "expect music with emotional depth combined with raw dance floor grit."

This ethos is right in line with Fry's ambitions for House of Sutiki events. He'd like to provide people with the opportunity to "feel like they can escape for a little moment, and feel free to dance and express themselves in a safe and creative environment. That's the experience we aim to deliver."

House of Sutiki will continue the party on Saturday, Aug. 10 with "another Rythmyk event featuring some amazing local DJs, artists and performers," plus "guest DJ Luca Bacchetti from Italy will headline the party," Fry says. "The theme of the event is 'a high desert dream,' which will bring art, music and live performances together to create a fully immersive experience."

As for Justin Martin's July 11 appearance at the Domino Room, the lineup also includes a solid offering of local DJs and electronic musicians including Father Sean, Schaab, Sofie and organizers Mr. Danimals and Giancarlo.

"See you on the dance floor!" Fry exclaims.

House of Sutiki presents Rythmyk featuring Justin Martin With Mr. Danimals, Giancarlo, Father Sean, Schaab and Sofie

Thu., July 11
The Domino Room
51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend
Doors/show 8pm; 18+

Chris Young

A journalist, editor and champion of his local music community, Chris graduated from the University of Oregon before founding Vortex Music Magazine, a quarterly print publication that covered Portland's vibrant music scene, and MusicPortland, a nonprofit music industry advocacy group. He's since moved to Bend...
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