House music is on tap at 'Descent', June 23

Tue. June 20, 2023 9:21 AM by Ross Forman

dj alan ray

photo credit // provided

Descent, produced by DJ Alan Ray, featuring DJs Saint Devera, Sean Parks and Virago

Beat Lab Chicago and What’s Good Chicago have teamed up for a special party to kick off the final weekend of Pride Month 2023: get ready for “Descent” at Passport Bar Room (1601 W. Grand Ave.) on Friday, June 23, starting at 9 p.m.

House music is on tap all night for the five-house fiesta, featuring the distinctive sounds of DJs Saint Devera, Sean Parks and Virago.

Tickets, $10 for this 21 and older event, are available at

Descent is produced by local DJ Alan Ray, 36, who has been spinning for 12 years.

“Beat Lab Chicago is a music project I lead with a lot of familiar local house and techno DJs/producers,” Ray said. “(The) project started (on) a Wednesday at Berlin Nightclub Chicago and we are now doing livestream recorded events at Le Nocturne Chicago and a few various other side projects with other house music collectives in the city. Typically, I play every Beat Lab event and also book the community to participate. That’s what makes Beat Lab-Beat Lab.”

Ray also is guest DJ for House Collective at Hydrate Nightclub with DJ Ethan Cole and others, such as Brady Prince, Janky and Saint Devera. 

Ray got started as a DJ playing CDs in the car en route to the club with friends. His first official gig came when he was 25 in Saint Louis. “I asked to play my EDM music and after I was paid to play music I like I got hooked on it and now I’m the house music DJ you know today in Chicago.”

Ray’s run in the DJ booth has included Beat Lab Chicago, Black Light Blackout, Community Get Down, Night Shade, Mary’s Attic, Splash House, Slippery Slope and Berlin Nightclub.

He sang the praise of Hydrate – from the sound to the lighting to the staff and the overall vibe.

Now Spinning … DJ Alan Ray

Favorite DJing Memory: “Beat Lab Holiday Event was one for the books; it was a great night.”

DJ style: Multiple sub-genres of house music, primarily tech house or minimal deep tech, some techno.

Inspirations: “Growing up in Saint Louis I was inspired by Alexis Tucci and all the multiple events and projects she threw around the city. She is doing a lot of new things within the community as of late.”

Favorite DJs: Saint Devera, Janky, Brady Prince, Sean Parks, Karsten Sollors, and others.

Three DJs To Watch: Saint Devera, Wolfy and Virago

What Makes A Good DJ: “Playing to the crowd while maintaining your style, brand or sound. Dancing while your playing, having a good time with the crowd, all the while paying attention to your decks. Treating your peers with respect and kindness.”

Your All-Time Favorite DJing Gig: Promo Missouri Event at Union Station Saint Louis and charity events with HRC. 

Drinking In The DJ Booth: Water or Red Bull and vodka

Favorite Actor: Kristen Wiig

Favorite TV Show: Schitt’s Creek

Favorite Movie: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar 

Favorite Sport: St. Louis Cardinals Baseball

Hobbies: Love festivals: Movement Detroit, Electric Forest, Dirtybird, ARC, EDC, Desert Hearts, Market Days, Chicago street festivals. Hanging with my best friend Andrea and her papillon Evee and having Ralan time with Ramey.”

Little-Known Fact: “I’m a kitchen designer by day.”

If I wasn’t a DJ … “I would have more money.”

Boxers or Briefs: “Definitely, pump briefs.”