Attend: Groove Therapy 10 Year Anniversary

I was lucky enough to hit up a couple of Groove Therapy shows when I was in the city and the events at SRB, Sullivan Room & other spots were utterly ridiculous. On May 15th, Slake is going to have a heavy dose of vintage Groove Therapy. The label has been holding it down in the scene for a decade (as you may have guessed), which, in NYC, might as well be a century. Staying in biz that long is no easy feat, and this party is a testament to their resilience in a fast-changing, expensive as fuck city.

This is going to be an absolute shitshow. The lineup is a who’s who in NYC rave massive. This kind of music doesn’t get played out very much anymore and it’s a FREE PARTY. That’s right, just like the good old days before the 30-40 buck tickets came out. Slake is hosting this ridiculousness so it’s also nice & central for people from all parts of the city.
To show how long these cats have been running around, I’ve included a Lenny Dee set from 1995, and a heavy techno mix from DJ Gonzo from 3 days ago! It’s not as if these people have retired, they’re still out there doing work. They know what their crowd has wanted through the years, and I’m going to be really interested to see what happens when these sounds come out from under the EDM rug. They’ve been swept under since the explosion of Big Room, but it seems that’s faded. These guys are going strong and I think their community will be out in force to support.
The collab/b2b aspect of the event is going to be proper. Double Dragon going to give us a legit jungle set, coming off #marchdnbmadness, we’re all itching for more. I have no idea what genre or genres Dali, Hiyawatha & Alex English are going to drop, but I assume the set is going to be one for the record books. This b2b2b will be more than enough to get the party started. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

They’re opening up the 2nd room for this night and piling in a bunch more of the Groove Therapy DJs. PJay, HOWHARD, Integrity, Steve Nice and HardBass Addicts all ring a bell if you’re a veteran of the NYCRavers & previous eras of parties. Back when before CandyBall was banished to Exit in Brooklyn & when Brooklyn warehouse parties had not a soul for blocks in every direction. These tunes will definitely bring you back and help show us where the local scene is going. To get your name on the RSVP list, go here.

Advertisements

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)

 

 

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!

Attend: Drum & Bass Returns! Sigma And Crissy Cris At Slake!

Hawly crap, just when you thought you’d never see the light again, Drum & Bass returns to the NYC club scene! This two-fer event pack is giving me a whole lot of love for the Slake management right now. After absolutely nailing the Above & Beyond pre-party with Matt Lange, now they’re pulling in some delightful talent to make me question going to underground stuff this weekend & next.


Saturday, Wilkinson, the 2014 award winning D&B producer is headlining with Sigma, another prodigy. These two are going to put on an amazing show, and it’s one I am seriously considering staying at late into the morning. This might mess with my schedule, as I hadn’t put Slake on my Nov. 1st H-Ween schedule, but these DJs earn your ears, in a big way. The smooth, groovy D&B is definitely some of the best we’ll get here for months, so do not sleep on this y’all. Dali & Alex English, two of the steadfast dance floor warriors NYC owes its soul to, will be providing bass in your face support. So get tickets here, and the 160bpm will thank you.


The next week, a huge, even MASSIVE event is happening on the 8th. BBC Radio One Xtra’s very own Crissy Criss is crossing the pond with a merry band of DJs, including Jumpin Jack Frost. The potency of the UK team here cannot be underestimated. I think every veteran of Konkrete, Camo & the other d&b parties need to get at this event, especially if you’ve been a fan of his radio show. This looks to be a proper evening filled with high flying dance & sick fam attendance. Tickets are here, and this is a great way to kick Fall in the teeth.