Optical, Loadstar & Delta Heavy Give Slake A Rowdy Night To Remember.

P1090184The D&B kids didn’t waste any time. RAM Records was here to shake the foundations of Slake and the rumbling could already be felt as I waited for my id to be checked. Even before midnight, kids that were expecting it to be some kind of joke party walked past us, leaving. The bridge & tunnel crowd was making its way out as the army junglists, ravers & the rest of a delightfully motley crew settled in for a long night of dope beats. Dali, Alex English & Cameron Kush had started the night properly, and now the crowd was antsy in its pantsy for the trio of RAM Records wizards to get into it. First up, Optical (yes, that Optical).  Once again, the crowd was sweaty & rioting before 1 AM. I know I bang on about this with the parties I go to, but it’s only because the parties I attend that don’t earn a review, can’t manage to do this. While any producer can get the crowd hyped by lining up 3 prep cooks & having talent at 1:30 AM, it’s exponentially harder to get the kids flying around an hour earlier. Optical pushed amazing tracks that rolled off perfectly. The set could’ve been nestled into the World of Drum & Bass party last week & no one would’ve noticed.  To give you a feeling of how good Optical is at this, here’s a mix he did to celebrate his label, Virus Recordings, turning 15. That’s right, this guy’s got a label that’s almost older than Bieber, to put this live show in context. P1080039When Optical handed it off, Loadstar wasted no time in getting to work. The set was a masterful selection of some of the hardest neurofunky, almost dubby fast/slow tunes I’ve heard on this side of the pond.  The Intergalactic that was dropped about halfway through his set was perfect, played in NYC, where there’s a park named after one of the Beastie Boys. The kids went wild for this, but what caught my attention a little after that set was how they were dancing. Throughout each of the sets, the people were dancing with…each other. Not just staring at the stage like mindless zombies, but dancing with their friends & random people they met at on the floor! At some point towards the end of the set, the kids started “Getting Low” to the lyrical work in one of the tracks he was mixing. And, it caught on. You couldn’t see it from the stage, but you had the whole back end of the dance floor actually getting almost to the ground during the build. Then when the break drops, dozens of kids jumped up in the air and probably got massive head rushes while giving the producers agita. It’s like that wedding dance thing, except at a party you actually wanted to go to. 

P1090415Finally, Delta Heavy had arrived. This was an act I wanted to see as much as Metrik (which started out the #marchdnbmadness). This track is why: And yes, he played it live. The crowd had been singing along to tracks off & on all night, but the support for this one took the cake. You know that moment where you recognize a track but the rest of the crowd has no idea what they’re in for? Nothing of the sort happened here. The first riff from the song caused a surge in the crowd, as they all knew what was coming next. As he spun into it and the chorus hit, the entire room sung along. Can you imagine? D&B heads acting like they’re at Z100’s Jingle Ball because they were just THAT happy to be experiencing this? I really hope someone recorded this set, because there was a bunch of melodic dubstep & a touch of future house that melded with the hard d&B. 3 AM and the dancefloor was as thick as it was at 1AM.  But then they did something no one expected, and the night went from amazing to something none of us were prepared for.
P1090596That’s right, that’s 3 headliners spinning b2b2b. To stress, the 3 talented selectros just threw their USB sticks onto the decks and went to work. It was the last night of their tour & they hadn’t had a crowd still moving this late, so they went to town. I’m not sure how to describe what we saw. Three of the best at what they do taking time to mix into & between some of the hardest, heaviest tracks in the genre right now. This last hour was something special, something I can’t even communicate if you weren’t there. It’s something a dedicated fan experiences every once and a while. Spontaneous collaboration, no ego, and a whole lot of bass that smacked around the crowd. The crowd that wouldn’t even leave when they brought the lights up at 4 AM. This was one of those nights that you’re not entirely sure happened, but are left different. I now expect more from every drum & bass show I will ever go to in the future because of the way I was spoiled by Friday. This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.
P1090369(Photos by Sarah Vale Photography)

 

 

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Attend: Delta Heavy, Loadstar & Optical @ Slake ft. Armanni Reign

We had Hospitality, we’re getting Crissy Criss & now, to round out #marchdnbmadness, Slake is closing it out with RAM Records. That’s right, Delta Heavy, Loadstar & Optical are showing up. I am so pleased that attention is being paid to Drum & Bass and I’m hoping this shows producers here in NYC that these shows can sell. Crowds show up ensure that these artsts get booked again & that the old stereotypes of the d&b crowd being a rough night on the bar go out with the night’s profits. Slake will get rowdy so get tickets here for this D&B extravaganza. Continue reading

Attend:More Fridays! – Hospitality ft. Nu:Tone, Metrik & Etherwood @ Slake!

I almost fell down when I heard this was happening. A real, live, actual Hospitality night here in NYC, and at a club that doesn’t make me cry. That’s right ladies & gentlemen, Slake is hosting three of my favorite Hospital Records DJs first Friday of March. The talent assembled here is simply stunning, but before I dive into the stupendousness that is the three of them, I wanted to shout out Slake for making this event happen. It seems they’re the one of the only clubs taking risks on talent these days, bringing in stuff other than craplectro, big room & VIP house. I hope they’re keeping the lights on with this, because it’s one of the things you hope make them the cash they need to stay open & keep doing it. But, onto what you’re still reading for: 
This is a set of previews from Nu:Tone’s latest album, from Nov. 2014. It’s the drum & bass you used to write home about to your best girl while you were fighting in the struggle. The lightness that Nu:Tone is able to issue forth doesn’t sacrifice any of the dope jungle, liquid or soulful roots you need in a proper D&B album. This may seem like surface stuff, but put the whole album into your world, and you’ll find a surprising amount of depth and throwback themes & vibes to turn your head while you groove.
Metrik dropped an album about 5 months ago, but it contained one of my absolute favorite tracks of 2014, Make The Floor Burn. The album is rapturous joy, a sonic journey that most producers should spend a semester studying. The progressions, chords & bass are unmatched, except by other members of the Hospital Records stable. When London Elektricity says he’d take a bullet for the record, you know it’s not something to ignore.
Bringing up the rear is the irreplaceable Etherwood. Etherwood creates drum & bass that I can only describe as crushingly beautiful. I would go on about his attention to detail, deep understanding, or perfectionist production skills, but really, that would just be more time you spend reading this and not listening to his album preview. So, go listen to that. When you’re done, here’s some icing for your drum & bass cake.
 
DJ Dali is one my hometown favorites that ensures parties like this actually happen. He & Nicky Twist going B2B on some d&b will be a sight to behold, and my Konkrete alumni know what I’m talking about. Cameron Kush holds the record for the weirdest set I’ve heard at Slake that maintained a full dance floor, so I’m always interested in hearing what he’s got cooked up for us. Tickets can be purchased here & the event info is right here.

Update! Dali & Alex English have dropped another D&B mix to get you hype for Saturday night. Respect!

Matt Lange, Bender & Cameron Kush Make InDeep’s Debut A Night To Remember.

IMG_4200I 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. IMG_4605After 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.

IMG_5094You 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)

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Attend: Matt Lange & Bender Drop In At Slake Before ABGT100!

I have been waiting for something like this to happen for years. Slake is such a fantastic venue for showcasting the best in different genres of music, with Above & Beyond coming in, I know what I’m doing the night before. ANJUNABEATS HO!

Matt Lange has been one of the AnjunaBeats institutions I’ve tracked for years. The smooth complexity of his beats have a depth & lush richness that is hard to describe until you’re surrounded by it. The AnjunaBeats vibe is one I’ve been hoping would come to NYC since I discovered the label after being young and stupid and mistaking them for Armada in a YouTube search years ago. Best mistake ever. Slake has been on fire lately, bringing the best artists out before they blow up. To get my euphoric AnjunaDeep feel down at a club a couple of blocks from the Empire State building? Yes please.

The local fire that is Bender will be holding it down in support as well. There’s a playful, almost Loki-esque vibe with the house coming out of this guy. Don’t let it fool you though, there’s a deep iceberg of quality selection, mixing skills and crowd reading under the seemingly youthful exterior. Bringing a local DJ on to support Matt Lange is the right move, especially considering the terrible habit of headliners bringing their own support acts. While I’m always glad to see new talent from different places, there are piles of local DJs who deserve the spotlight and Bender is at the top of this Tri-State area list.

Cameron Kush has become synonymous with Slake, More Fridays & Tech Noir Saturdays in the same way Alex English is now a household name in households that love dubstep, electro, UK bass & future garage. The dude’s command of bass, trap, electrostep and whatever else he ‘s rocking out to that week will bring us in right. The resident is definitely a name to watch here in the city, and if you don’t believe me, check out the mix above from Slake. This looks to be a great night and a wonderful overture to Above & Beyond Group Therapy 100.

Get tickets here!