In the 90's Saj Awan & Ryan collaborated together throwing raves and events in Miami & Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Years later Ryan moved to NY with his growing internet company Netcreations and Saj ran his underground record shop Resonance Records. 

As the internet boom hit...Ryan's company grew really fast and went public while Saj's Resonance Records went to online mail-order. As the 90's were coming to a close, with Ryan's huge financial success they decided to team up again and open up their first nightclub, so the hunt began in NYC. Mayor Giuliani was running town at the time and was shutting down all the good clubs... The Tunnel... Twilo's... etc. They decided it was not a good idea to do this in NY. So Saj had this crazy idea to move into a mansion in Beverly Hills and put a nightclub inside of it... like the Playboy Mansion. Ryan liked the idea and both flew to Cali to start looking for the location. Four days of looking and the only decent home they liked was NBA's legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar house.

 The only thing good it had though was a racquetball room that could be turned into an nightclub, but the rest of the house was made for a super tall person and wasn't very soundproof. One more house was on the list to see, but it was way more expensive and in the Hollywood Hills area. The owner was throwing a party that day too, so it was a great opportunity to check it out. It was a 8 minute drive up the curvy Hollywood Hills...but wow what an explosive view when they got to the very top! They arrived at 2260 Sunset Plaza Drive and the current owner was Dr. Winky from club DV8 fame.

The house was high-tech, modern, soundproof, very was like a Fortress! They both already knew this was the place they were looking for and both agreed that "The Fortress" was the perfect name for it in less than a month...Ryan purchased the home and they moved in!

It was the year 2000...a great way to start the new millennium! Ryan kept running his internet business in NY while Saj started designing and building the nightclub inside this amazing spectacular home. 

This place was made to entertain was just unbelievable.  It was a 6 month project to design the dream nightclub with things that Saj saw in Miami throughout his DJ career.....Since the beginning of the rave scene he was fascinated with everything made by High End lighting and also discovered the brand new EAW Avalon system just installed in Club Space in downtown Miami.

Those metallic metal grills are what caught his eye and they sounded great! Saj teamed up with E3 to do the install and the project started to commence...but there was a problem.  The EAW Avalon speakers had to be made when you placed the order, it would take three months until delivery time. 

In the meantime, Saj started designing the lighting rig and installed all High End 
lighting...Technobeams...Studio Spots...Dataflashes...F-100 Fogger.  He used Martin Lightjockey for DMX lighting control and Pangolin for the full color water-cooled laser system that was custom built by some crazy guy that was flown in from San Francisco. 

A huge monolith tower was created to show off the power using Crown Macro-Tech series amplifiers and their digital IQ processor. Saj wanted the crowd to see the amps in action so he installed Furman VU meters in between each amp so you could see the levels going through them. It's exciting when you can visually see the power driving the sound. 

  6 - EAW Avalon DC2 3-way full range speakers
  4 - EAW Avalon DCS2 subwoofers
  2 - EAW Avalon DCT1 supertweeters
  6 - Crown Macro-Tech 2402 amplifiers
  5 - Crown Macro-Tech 1202 amplifiers
  1 - Crown Macro-Tech 602 amplifier
  1 - Crown IQ USM-810 digital processor  
12 - Furman VU-40 LED audio meters
  2 - Furman PL8 power conditioners

DJ Booth:
  1 - Rane MP22z DJ mixer
  1 - Pioneer CMX5000 dual CD player (CDJ-1000 didn't come out yet)
  2 - Technics 1200 MKII turntables
  2 - EAW JFK series DJ monitors
  2 - Ultimate Support Speaker Stands
  1 - Odyssey DJ Booth Coffin & Stand

  4 - High End Technobeams
  2 - High End Studio Spots
  2 - High End Studio Colors
  4 - High End Dataflash Strobes with controller
  1 - High End F-100 Fog Machine with controller
  1 - Martin Lightjockey DMX Software
  1 - Martin 2532 Direct Access Controller
  1 - Custom Full Color white light water-cooled laser with 3-phase power
  1 - Pangolin Laser Controller

Here are some of the more memorable projects that Saj was able to be involved in while living at The Fortress:

FHM Magazine photoshoot with the Hilton Sisters shot at The Fortress House!

Here we have a music video we shot at The Fortress. We originally were told it was going to be an R&B video...haha...sure it was! Here you have Eightball & MJG "Pimp Hard" music video...the Uncut Version. 

We used to book the house for all kinds of productions and one of them was a sci-fi horror called .Com For Murder (2002). Directed by Nico Mastorakis.  The actors were: Nastassja Kinski (Cat People), Roger Daltrey (lead singer of The Who), and Huey Lewis (80's pop band of Huey Lewis & The News).

Here is the summary of the plot:

This high-tech, psychological thriller is set in the shadowy world of the Internet. Sondra Brummel is recovering from a skiing accident in her boyfriend's mansion, and accidently contacts a possible killer in an Internet chatroom. She and her friend Misty enter a virtual game that that becomes all too real.

This movie is pretty cheesy and got bad reviews, but it's great to see how the early days of the internet was supposed to look like in the future.

One day I saw this lady walking next to the Fortress House on the street looking around.  I was out getting the mail and asked her if she was lost.  She said she is a scouting agent looking for location to shoot a horror movie.  I told her your at the right spot as this house has a cold and powerful look. She loved it and we ended up shooting the film Queen Of The Damned (2002).  This was the last film that Aaliyah was in as she died. The movie was release six months after her death and it was dedicated to her.

Here is the summary of the plot:

The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires.

This was the last big budget movie production we did at The Fortress it was called Big Fat Liar (2002).  The movie paid us a lot of money so with it we installed a 12 person hot tub with underwater speakers and LED lighting and it was all powered by solar!

I also got a cameo DJ role in the film, it was my first time on the silver screen! I was pretty excited. This movie has one of my favorite supporting actors Paul Giamatti (Sideways) and Frankie Muniz (Malcolm In The Middle).

Here is the summary of the movie:

After a young boy's school essay erroneously finds its way into the hands of a Hollywood producer who turns the idea into a hit film, the boy travels to Los Angeles to claim his credit.

It's track 4!!! What a trip!