I don’t make it down to Ludlow as often as I used to anymore. I hadn’t found myself in a sweaty basement full of hard-working, hard-drinkings in a while. The allure of DJs and all of that right? A very good friend, a very old friend was performing, and I couldn’t miss it. To the point, he had given me the privilege of being my very first interview. It was a rare full band appearance, so I took my place at the bar, sipping a vintage Miller Light for effect. Continue reading
I didn’t quite know what had happened. The last time I was standing on this boat I was reviewing a Dirty Dutch party by DJ Chuckie. The boat had been completely re-lit, redecorated & outfitted, such that there was an additional dance floor. Who knew you could just add a dance floor to a party…that’s on a boat? DiSORIENT does. While the icy weather kept the boat docked (literally, late February, when the Coast Guard told all sea-faring vessels to get off the water because of whatever iteration of Blusterfuck 2015 we were on at that point), the party went on. Those ravers, burners & party people who braved the arctic blast were treated to a dope party on 3 floors, with better lighting than I can find in most clubs that have concrete foundations & power-grids not floating on the Hudson. Continue reading
(I’m going to be covering this for ElectronicNightLife later this month, and if you’re interested in the harder end of the dance music space that doesn’t involve diplo, you’re in luck. This is going to be an astonishing night of trance, with a focus on hard & psy-infused variants I’d wager. This is going to be a big one, so don’t miss it,)If you’re not at OpenUp100 on January 31st, you’re going to be missing something very special. Simon Patterson, the trance genius he is, realized what NYC hasn’t had since New Years Eve last year. Astrix hasn’t been back since his legendary performance with Infected Mushroom at Best Buy Theater. Boy have we missed him. The Israeli psytrance guru has been knocking clubs & parties around here on the East Coast for over a decade (as my ticket to his performance at Nation in DC back in 2004 reminds me). He’ll be bringing his signature brand of hard trance & psy-trance to the stage of Slake, the increasingly crucial venue for people who can’t tolerate big rooms here in NYC. Here’s one of his better progressive & psy mixes to sink your teeth into.
It’s hard to introduce Simon Patterson properly. When you’ve had 17 straight Beatport #1 releases, explaining how dope your sound is can get kind of tiring. Open Up has become one of the most listened to DJ podcasts, especially in the trance & psytrance arenas. This guy is going to do some amazing work on the 31st, I have no doubt in my mind. As a vintage (read: old) fan of this tempo, space & genre of music, I’m gonna be raging hard all night. If you can’t figure out why, check out his mixes here:
Get tickets here and I’ll see you guys there. This is definitely going to be one for the record books. Psy is so hard to come by in NYC & if you’re into the genre but haven’t heard either of these headliners play live, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Just in case you don’t believe me that this is a match made in heaven, check out a collab between Simon & Astrix. It is some potent psytrance, and that’s what I know we’re going to be served up all night at Slake. Esscala has been killing it with these bookings lately, and this event is going to ensure they start 2015 with a bang.
I had been hearing murmurings about The CityFox Experience, an event series from a team based out of NYC & Zurich, for months now. After stories about their now infamous temporary club concept events over the last year have been murmured across the Gotham Underground, I decided it was time to see what these cats were up to. Boy, was I impressed.
The CityFox Experience seems to be an experiment in generating high quality events in places you wouldn’t expect them. This harkens back to the pop-up party concept of years long past, especially in the era of bottle-service, mega clubs and festivals making the one-off “night of dope shit” almost impossible to come by these days. So, my companion & I decided to take a chance and found ourselves on the water outside of an enormous building with surprisingly ample parking & good traffic management. Just one of the details attended to with finesse.
After a month off, my companion & I hugged the door lady, a delightful lightworker & old friend of mine. The bass leaked through the space as we exchanged coats for drinks, taking it all in. I FEEL has come into its own, as my previous notes on them reflect, and it was nice to see the space/community & execution becoming mature so much that it’s commonplace and the people running the show are smiling, enjoying themselves and mingling with their attendees. Everyone knew what they were there for and they were getting it in spades. Sexy, sexy spades.
This was the month where the I FEEL community really cut loose. The theme ensured a dance floor filled with leather, lace, masks, tight pants, tighter corsets & an entire wardrobe of inappropriate clothing. This would’ve made for a delightful event in and of itself, but then the music. Oh my stars, the wonderful music. After consuming our drinks, making the rounds and being only slightly disappointed the X-frame & the St. Andrew’s Cross weren’t getting active use (hey, those parties are out there, don’t judge), we nestled into the dance floor with our people. The musicvibe swirled around as Holosound‘s set crescendo’d. Holosound had been building the energy ever so subtly since we arrived and the dance floor was so excited to see where the night headed. Especially the last half of his set seemed to be one huge song, and 55min in, the serotonin was hard to refuse, as we all lifted with him.
(This is a repost of a review that I did for ElectronicNightLife.com, so head over there and show them some love in thanks for getting me into crazy parties.)Saturday night at the Manhattan Center (or Hammerstein Ballroom for all of us oldsters) was one of the best dance music events I’ve attended in almost a decade of partying. The evening started out with a stunning set by Chrome Sparks. While I’ve been a fan of the group for a while, I had no idea what they sounded like live. Their live show was a tremendous fusion of indie feels, signature synths, live percussion & a rocking vibe. The Glitch Mob fans who got there early were treated to a delightful performance that I hope resulted in hundreds of new followers for them. They totally deserve it, and just in case you want to know what they sound like, check out this cat video featuring their track “Marijuana.” When it dropped live, the crowd was massively into it.
The venue was perfect for this show, with the floor filled by the time Chrome Sparks finished up. For a mid-tier venue to be totally filled more than an hour before the headliner starts requires a special talent and that’s what The Glitch Mob was providing. The M Machine took the stage after a couple of minutes of tech and completely blew away the unsuspecting crowd. I’d not heard them live before either, but now they’re a must-attend if I end up at festivals they’re performing at or if they return to NYC.
Their set was a potent argument for their rise to Headliner status. The crowd was with them every step of the way, as they blended big room, deep house, banging electro and a couple of fun surprises with ease. Even when their system crashed mid-drop, the crowd accepted their apology, with no one moving from the dance floor. They kicked back into their set a minute or two, finishing out strong with some huge bangers that had the crowd “massively stoked” for Glitch Mob. That’s in quotes because I actually heard an attendee say that to his friend as they walked by.
This was their first show in NYC since 2012, and Gothamites were hung out to dry when Glitch rolled through on their Love Death earlier this year. If you were at the Terminal 5 show you know how special this group is and the quality of the shows they can put on. The big fans (i.e. Me) went down to the show they did at Electric Factory in Philadelphia to see them, so I had a good idea of what to expect. Or so I thought.
Their set was, in a word, legendary. This was a completely different set than the one I’d seen only a few months ago, and whoever convinced them to change it up needs to be given the highest of fives. The set started out with an assortment of everyone’s favorite tracks off of Drink The Sea, their debut album. The crowd surged as the Blade launched the percussive onslaught that is The Glitch Mob live. Their massive drums, controllers & synth systems were on full view to the audience, so anyone who wants to have the “press play” argument won’t find any supporters here. Boretta, Ooah & ediT had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands, as their electic fusion of rock, breakbeat, hip hop & bass music flooded the ballroom. Their Derezzed remix from the Tron movie Daft Punk score had the floor rocking out in ways I’ve not seen since I saw Rammstein at that venue in high school.
Pulling tracks from We Can Make The World Stop, the trio started filtering into their more recent work, which, was a potent choice. While the Love Death Immortality tour started with Mind Of A Beast & Our Demons, the new album’s tracks hit the crowd about halfway into the set, pushing the energy higher and higher. Becoming Harmonious & the rest of the Love Death Immortality album were celebrated by the crowd, as they’d been waiting to hear these tracks since the album came out. They even surprised the dance floor with their Tupac remix. Hearing their massive “California” rework live was fantastic, but not the thing I was looking most forward to.
They played their Prodigy – Breathe remix. I’ve been waiting to hear this live since The Prodigy released their expanded 15th Anniversary edition of Fat of the Land (their seminal late 90’s album). They didn’t play it in Philadelphia, which was my only regret at that show. However, here in NYC, the track killed. The crowd loved every second and the dance floor exploded some more. This & their Seven Nation Army remix showed they knew what the crowd wanted to hear, and boy did they deliver. The mandatory multi-song encore was more of exactly what we wanted and a well deserved victory lap for the trio. They’ve come a long way since their Drink The Sea mixtapes, and I’ve been so happy to see them become the super group we all knew they would be.
This was one for the record books folks, and if you missed it, you have my deepest condolences. This show was dope and I can’t wait to see what the three have up their sleeves next. (Photos by Dylan Smith)
I really had no idea how it had happened. The night before Above & Beyond’s sold out Group Therapy 100 at MSG, I found myself hanging out with the producers of my favorite new production team, InDeep, in the coat room of an urban queer friendly funky house music party on the 3rd floor of Slake. We were there celebrating the arrival of InDeep Events to Gotham. After rocking events in LA & Denver, they’ve started making waves here in NYC. While dumb people were nervous about how popular the smooth, meditative vibes that Bender & Matt Lange create, I knew the night was going to be incredible. I love being right.
After making our way downstairs from the dope party happening in the Red Room, we found ourselves floating in the delightful multi-genre set by Cameron Kush, one of the resident warriors here in the NYC local scene. He, Alex English & DJ Dali are the best DJs you never notice on the fliers for shows you go to. They are the ones warming you up, keeping you going, and putting music into your face that you’d never come across. Nothing but love for these Bass Sentinels. Cameron Kush pulled in electro, progressive, jacking house, and fluidly switched into UK bass that smelled strongly of Future Garage to some of the more international listeners. A gorgeous set front to back, I could do nothing but congratulate him when he finished. After turning the decks over to Bender, my crew and I were exceptionally excited. The place had filled out nicely with Slake attendees that had shown up to other parties were slowly migrating over to the mainstage just because it sounded like a dope party. Bender’s set ensured anyone in the room that didn’t think so changed their minds immediately. There was a mastery & comfort behind the decks that I didn’t expect, but was a welcome sight. The effortless & almost hypnotic deep house vibes that he was pushing out started to attract people from the hip hop party happening in the next room, which is always a good sign.
You couldn’t see any drunk bros in the crowd, and I can’t say I’d seen any obnoxious hitting on/asshattery either. The vibe was reverent, especailly as Matt Lange took the stage. The AnjunaBeats Lieutenant gave us hope for the future. I’ve always been a particular fan of Matt Lange’s approach to deep house, as it feels very respectful of the artists & sounds that have come before him. The mix was a soulful journey that included some NYC specific tracks that some of the more seasoned vets in the crowd tipped our hats to. The bar was mobbed, the dance floor was packed, and you could see that even people on the 3rd floor had started to filter down into the space. The slow consumption of other dance floors is a hallmark of the NYC club era, with multiple floors & scenes in a single place. Sometimes however, quality is recognized and people flock. The track below is one of my favorite and the one below that is a mix that shows what the guy is capable of.
A great time was had by all. Amazing effort by InDeep Events on their first East Coast event. Here’s to hoping it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (Photos by Kat Gallagher with permission from InDeep Events)