Observing the crowd from a dark corner in one of Atlanta's premier Saturday night hot spots, a tangible fever suddenly permeates the dancing bodies. The origin of the change in the texture of the evening is understood: DJ Kai Alce has stepped up to the decks. Positioned behind the tables, Alce wields the mesmerizing powers of music upon the club-goers and sends them in to a trance of deep house rhythms. Whether his innate ability to elevate the souls of the people stems from his Haitian roots or his extensive house-related upbringing is a question most easily answered as a well-blended cocktail of the two.
Born in New York, Kai Yuri Alce spent his early years on the island of St. Croix amidst the sounds of the Caribbean. His parents moved back to NY just in time for young Kai to experience the birth of hip-hop, a movement he associates with the beginning of his relationship with music independent of that of his parents. While seeing Kurtis Blow perform at a nearby school may indeed have influenced him to delve further into what was slowly becoming his passion, the strains of his Mother's soca and his Father's jazz can still be heard in the tracks Kai spins today. Still, as a true child of the 70s this DJ's penchant for airy vocals and soulful sound exposes his disco roots.
After moving to Detroit in 1980 Kai began listening to 'Electrifying Mojo', as well as The Wizard AKA Jeff Mills. When the 'Music Institute' opened in Detroit in 1987, it quickly became the city's premier underground dance music location. Kai began working there at the age of 16 and subsequently witnessed the evolution of house alongside it's most formidable DJ's: Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, D. Wynn, Alton Miller, and kin Chez Damier. Among the benefits of working at the club was Kai's easy access to the studios as they created such hits as Innercity's 'Goodlife' and Rhythim is Rhythim's 'It is what it is'. Surround by such mastery one can't help but be inspired.
After completing high school, Kai moved to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College. Having maintained contact with relatives in Florida, he was prepared for the obscurity of the house scene in Atlanta. Whether out of saintly benevolence or mere concern for his own sanity, Kai set out to cultivate it. He began spinning at Club Velvet while still attending college, and it was simply a matter of time before he had set the vibe at Atlanta's Traxx, Kaya, 688 Madhouse, Oxygen, Nomenclature, Ying Yang music café which paved the way for people such as India Arie, Donnie. He now is the main resident at DEEP: Saturday nights at world famous MJQ concourse which is now in it's sixth year, hosting the like of Phil Asher, Tedd Patterson, Jovonn & King Britt to name a few. It was at the latter that he decided to solidify a direct link between the South and D-town roots by creating "Deep Detroit House Sessions." So far Alce has hosted the likes of Chez Damier, Alton Miller, Brett Dancer, Moodymann, Mike Huckaby and Theo Parrish. The success of these parties is acknowledged not only by the crowd, but also by the DJ's themselves, who often ask to come again soon.
Kai's aspirations continue to soar as he balances overseas tours, travelling most recently to Milan, with his various projects in Atlanta. Next he plans to begin producing his own tracks, which will stretch his contribution from not only spreading the word of house music across the world, but preaching it. This move will undoubtedly turn this tangible fever into a global pandemic.