Jonathan Toubin was just awarded New York’s “BEST DJ” in the Village Voice 60th anniversary “BEST OF NYC”: “We might live in an EDM world, but Jonathan Toubin has no truck with today’s musical whims. Since 2007, Toubin’s Soul Clap and Dance-Off has brought throwback pizzazz and retro cool to New York’s late-night underground. Culled from an endless array of long-forgotten Sixties soul singles, Soul Clap is pure musical dynamite, the kind of after-hours party that exposes today’s iTunes-bred, press-play DJs for their relative lack of roots and ingenuity. No fist-bumps or atomic bass drops here; instead, Toubin lovingly crafts five-hour sets that bring lost chestnuts from the likes of Vernon Harrell and the Blendells into clearer focus for a new generation of dance enthusiasts. You can try to put your moves to better use, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find more cathartic, sweatier fun elsewhere in the city.”
“Few people recognize the roaring, crackling songs; even fewer can really dance the blues. It doesn’t matter. The evening’s not about proving you know the most obscure records or looking good; it’s about some kind of soul-shaking alchemy. Before you know it, it’s the opening scene of “Dirty Dancing,” all swerving hips and bare shoulders—you would’ve sworn you’d be the last to dance, but there you are, breathless…. Spellbound bodies slip into the song’s shuffling rhythm, and Toubin reaches for the next bit of black magic.” (The New Yorker, 2016)
“Jonathan Toubin is a multihypenate in every sense of the word… Toubin fuses obscure rhythm and blues from the ’50s and ’60s, with rock ‘n’ roll and soul 45s. His ongoing New York Night Train parties easily draw those typically found sulking in corners of bars out onto the dance floor.” (Interview Magazine, 2015)
Jonathan is pretty much the only DJ we actually like.” (VICE Magazine, 2014)
“Particularly chic… one of the most popular spinners in Williamsburg and the founder of the New York Night Train dance parties. His fare is already cleaner and more appreciative of American pop music history than much of the rest.” (NY Times, 2013)
“The most-liked man in the soul music scene” (Rolling Stone, 2012)
“Thee Commons is one more bit of evidence of Latino L.A.’s further dominance in the independent music scene. Sure, you can reminisce all you want about the days of Mika Miko and Moving Units (they were definitely fun!) but, that was then and this is now. Besides, L.A.’s Latino scene has a couple of Grammy winners to boast of if you’re into keeping track of that type of silverware.
What separates Thee Commons from their local brethren (Quetzal, Las Cafeteras, La Chamba, etc.) is their focus on that old-school rock & roll sound a la Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. There are flashes of cumbia chicha here and there reminiscent of Los Mirlos and Los Orientales De Paramonga as well.
“Rabbit And Rattles” is one of the tracks off their upcoming Sunburn at Midnight vinyl EP. The band’s style sounds like it belongs on vinyl. It’s super retro and I was surprised that a fight between sailors and greasers didn’t break out after I listened to it.”
Written by Afroxander