From The Trenches: Laura Sanfiorenzo, DiSORIENT’s Cat Herder

(I was honored to sit down with one of the majordomos in DiSORIENT, NYC’s premier Burner camp & underground party cohort. If you’ve enjoyed yourself at a DiSORIENT event in the last couple of years, you probably have Lady S. to thank for it. Been a fan of their work since 2006 when I hung out in their party dome, while searching for the DiS art car in the deep playa. They’ll be making Glamtech happen again, and as I’ve said before, this is not a party to miss. See everyone on the 13th!)

Laura S.1. What is your favorite thing about the NYC underground/burner dance music culture? What is your least favorite thing about it? The unspoken and unconsummated relationships. No matter the kind of parties fit your taste in NYC, you will always see the same people. These are the people that love the same music as you and are in it with you for every show and every set. You may not know them or their names or their stories, but you know their faces and you see them every time you are out. You share with them a nod, a smile, a wink, something to let them know that you know they are there and that you are there for the same reasons. That moment, those relationships, that is my favorite thing.

My least favorite would be the posers, the people in it for the money and nothing pure, but parading themselves around as something more. Underground culture was developed to get away from that. I find it a shame to see so many production companies using that culture and what we have created to line their pockets.2. How do you juggle your day-time responsibilities with the “bad bitch corralling Burners” night-time persona that you’re known for? Ha, I didn’t know that I had a persona I was known for, but I can dig it. The short answer is coffee, a lot of it. But in reality, I really have no idea, none of us do. I spend most, if not all of my time, multi-tasking and working as a unit with the rest of our production crew (for Burning Man and parties) to make sure it all gets done.

Most, if not all, of what I do and what Disorient does could not be done without all of us working together, even if it looks like only one or two people are doing things. Disorient is volunteer run, which means that we are all doing this for the party and for that indescribable Disorient feeling. That’s not a big motivator for some, but it is for us, and somehow we all find a way to make it all work, just for that feeling. But, ask any of us how we do it and all we can say is, “I don’t know, we just do.” Continue reading

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Bioluminescence By DiSORIENT: A Night Of Fire & Ice

Disorient BiolumI 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

Attend: Disorient presents: BIOLUMINESCENCE – Lux Aeterna

It’s finally returned, bigger, longer & with better views of the city! The not-quite-annual, yet much-anticipated BiOLUMiNESCENCE winter boat party is back! This time the boat has been severely upgraded, from the Queen of Hearts (old & busted), to the Hornblower Infinity (new hotness). While the name of the party is best known for being the title of the theme to Requiem For A Dream (yes, that one), it also refers to the Latin idea of “eternal light,” that, especially by late February, we’re all gonna need reminders of. The last time I was on this boat, I was reviewing a DJ Chuckie/Dirty Dutch party. I can safely say that the party will be qualitatively different, on every discernible level. The costumes, the deco, the people, the music, will all be totally different. Hooo boy will the music be different. Continue reading

Attend: Verboten & DiSORIENT Drop The New Year’s Afterparty

Instead of being like every other website and giving a scroll-fest/listicle about the clusterfuck that is New Year’s Eve, I’m only going to make one recommendation about what you should be doing on January 1st so get Tickets here. And it only applies if you’re still standing the next day. Verboten, the Great Bulwark Against EDM in Brooklyn is continuing the insanity from their New Year’s Eve event with some further quality. The all day drinking & brunch will be soundtracked by maestros Damian Lazarus, Hector & a posse of support. This party is going until 10 PM January 1st, so even if you sleep all New Year’s Eve, you’ll be rested for this, which isn’t the worst idea. Our friends at Talon&Claw will also be showcasing their finest, but a NYD whiteowljaguar set isn’t even the best part. They’re going to be closing out the main room (!!) but wait, there’s more! DiSORIENT, the premier Burning Man camp here in Gotham, is taking over their second room.

This sets a very interesting precedent, one I hope will be copied all over the place.  The idea that a burner camp/crowd will control a space inside of a permitted/retail venue is something that’s only happened a couple of times. The couple of times, are always the stuff of legend. Most L-train venues have to stay focused on making rent, generating revenue through door & bar and keeping the cops, community boards and people who moved to Brooklyn expecting quiet off their backs. This means that it’s hard to really cater to the high-art crowd that Burning Man draws. Which shifts crowd demographics ever so slightly. A small difference, but to some people that’s all that matters. This alliance will ensure that there are wacky people in Pornj costumes and a crazy side room, as opposed to just residents, vendors and a more relaxed bar. Additionally, they’re bringing their own squizzad of DJs, so you can be assured DiSORIENT’s singular take on “house + something else” issues forth all day, so really, Tickets here. Speaking of which, how dope is the music in both rooms? Check this stuff out, and know that there are half a dozen DJs I’m not even mentioning, because, you need to get there to hear it all:

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Party of the Month: Black & Light Ball: Enter The Golden Age

http://kostumekult.com/events/blb13/ An amazing party that starts with a Sunset…set from some stellar DJs in an amazing space. Get there early to ensure you don’t miss a second of the shenanigans.

As April showers turn into…May showers, the annual unholy alliance between Kostume Kult & DiSORIENT comes out of the gray rainy mists to dazzle the denizens of Gotham City. While DiSORIENT has pulled off amazing stuff documented around here previously, I’ve not mentioned Kostume Kult yet. They’re one of the best & most flamboyant crews in the NYC burner community. Even though the event is technically in June I’m going to be excited about it all month, so here’s the event not to miss in the next 4 weeks.

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Lightsabers, HulaHoops & Diamonds: GlamTech Sparkles.

I’ve always been a fan of hula hoops. Even more so when they strobe, glow or otherwise dazzle.

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GlamTech, as a party, a cell of DiSORIENT and an artistic philosophy, was in full effect at the Warsaw. This two-room venue has been the home to GlamTech for years, but it was totally new to me, as was the entire GT experience. After picking up a native Polish beer that I could not spell or pronounce to save my life, I attempted to stealthily move my way through the crowd. This idea fails pretty hard when you’re wearing a disco ball hoodie, so I was greeted by friends and the random well-wishers who congratulated me on purchasing appropriate plumage for this specific event. The crowd that glittered with lights, mirrors and a rainbow of colors parted and I sadly realized I’d missed my BFF DJ Pony’s set when he greeted me in his amazing outfit on the dance floor. I offered my mea culpa to the gorgeous & talented fellow while trying not to be distracted by the cascading rainbows that hoopers, the projectionists & the deco wizards surrounded me with.

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Party of the Month: GlamTech by Disorient

Just in time to welcome the spring, DiSORIENT is busting out one of their signature events. You know it’s time for GlamTech when all of your friends start getting allergies and/or start planning out how they’re going to cover a tuxedo jacket with mirrors. Including the tails. Because, go big or go home. While DiSORIENT is known for its flair & general bon vivant affairs, this one brings out some really well done costumes & sets every year.

The Diamond is an interesting theme, one that does require a lot of work, a bunch on pressure and some heat to create. There shall probably be a liberal dose of blinky-shiny being invented by the many tinker/hackers that populate the event, and of course, art, video & 2 rooms of music. Because expecting anything less from DiSORIENT is essentially passe at this point. While I’ve sadly missed the event for the last two years in a row, the third time is certainly a charm. And, it seems my reward is a merry band of DJs that are going to rock le house.

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