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Inwood Club Brings '90s Music Back With Retro Dance Parties

By Carla Zanoni | April 3, 2012 8:54am

INWOOD — For uptown party planner Sasha Inoa, music at many nightclubs has become stale with the same songs played over and over again, regardless of the venue. 

So when she had the chance to start a party at Inwood newcomer Negro Claro she decided to turn to the past to find something fresh. 

"There’s a huge library of good '90s music, we wanted to bring people out to re-live that," she said of the rap, House, reggae, alternative music with a twist of salsa and merengue, the club now plays twice a month called "Back to the 90s."

Since the night's kickoff in March, which Inoa organizes with another promoter who goes by the name Audubon, buzz has been building about the club at 3805 10th Ave., which opened in August 2011 with a downtown feel, swank wooden interior and sophisticated aesthetic.

"You had this huge group dancing and everyone was having a great time. It was like 100 people singing karaoke at the same time," producer and video star Michael Diaz said after attending the previous 90s party in March.

"Everyone was enjoying it and simultaneously having flash backs of where they were when that song came out," adding that although he’s lost when it comes to keeping up with new music, he knows every lyric from 90s favorites like Notorious B.I.G., and A Tribe Called Quest. 

Diaz, who is best known for his role as rap-spoof producer Juan Bago, also said the appeal of the night was the age and ethnic diversity of the crowd. 

"People who appreciate '90s hip-hop are of all ages," he said. "That music is the golden age of rap."

Led Black, editor of the Uptown Collective, also attended the last '90s extravaganza and said it was a treat to hear some of his favorites such as Biggie, Nas and Jay-Z at the club, but dismissed the idea that music from the 1990s is a thing of the past. 

"I think that is a testament to the speed of culture and technology [that] yesterday is considered retro," he said. “But on a positive note, I think retro denotes a form of nostalgia and I really do feel that a lot of great music was made in that decade."

Negro Claro’s "Back to the 90s" is held on the second and last Thursday of every month. The next nights takes place on April 26 and May 10. 

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