I’d not been out to an I Feel Party in a couple of months, but there I was, in the middle of a packed dancefloor, significantly earlier in the evening than I thought I would be, dressed in some of my better Middle Eastern finery. Their rotating concept/theme wheel had landed on “Magic Carpet Ride” an amalagam of various Middle Eastern & Arabic motifs. Any concern I had that this was going to be the Arabic equivalent of blonde chicks at Coachella in War Bonnets, was swept away the moment I entered. The music pulled me towards the depths of the floor, in front of their increasingly impressive LED & lighting work. The raw Brooklyn space had been wrought into a moderately decorated floor & hallway, which led to an outdoor hookah lounge/chill space and a massive outdoor area for smoking and hanging around. Continue reading
(I wanted to make a special point to start discussing events that specifically fundraised for art projects, be they Burner or whatever, simply because I think there can be a lot of hedonism in these kinds of events, and hopefully, if people act transparently, a lot of good art and job creation, as it were, can come out of the want to go somewhere and dance on days that end in Y. So I’m starting a feature where I yammer about an event raising money for art that I think is cool.)
This one came at me from a friend, so I wanted to make sure y’all heard about it. From what I can tell, this smells of an underground affair with a few of the DJs I’ve mentioned here before, fundraising for some art people trying to get out to the Playa. For our viewers playing at home, generally, NYC people raise money for outstanding ridiculousness at Burning Man, by throwing banging and/or refined & dainty affairs all over the city before they head off. A couple of friends at Modus Operandi are working on something I’m very eager to see and I’m going to bust ass to make it to this Friday night.
Buy Tickets Here: https://undergroundheroes.eventbrite.com/
With the falling of the leaves brings the hiking of the skirts & the costuming of the masses. Starting from around October 10th to Halloween, Gothamites can expect a calvalcade of cacaphonous costume parties. That time of year when it’s acceptable to dress up as a Sexy Ronald McDonald or DeadPool, just because. One of the better offerings this year is going to be the Heroes of the Underground brought to you by the glorious human beings at Carmel Productions (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/163448247192921/).
I looked up to see Guncle, the adorable Cerberus of the Gotham night smiling through his almost decadent scarf covering his nose & mouth. His eyes belied a huge grin as I passed my ticket up to the booth for his review and after an embrace I changed into my costume and checked my bag. The theme for the evening was a stunning mix of dystopia, cyberpunk, post-apocalypse & a general techy layered on top of the already beautiful Red Lotus Room.
1.Was there a moment or a time when you thought to yourself “DJ, that’s gonna be my thing!” or was it something more gradual? I don’t know if it was so much a moment of realization. It was more, as long as I’ve followed secular music, you know, growing up without secular music, growing up on Christian music, classical music & a little bit of country and oldies. In high school I discovered electronic music…it was around the time electro-clash was popular in New York, in the Brooklyn/Williamsburg scene & I was in Kansas. And I was just like, “Fischerspooner’s like the coolest thing,” and was into weird stuff like Ms. Kitten & the Hacker. You know, little bits of that. I discovered Paul Oakenfold’s Great Wall album in high school. That was the first dance album that I discovered that I really fell in love with. So yea, that was how I started into electronic music.
2. If you couldn’t spin house/deep house, do you have any idea what you’d do? Do you have something you like besides your bread and butter? I don’t consider myself a deep house DJ, I consider myself a PonyStep DJ. It’s not all deep house, I play a lot of deep house but I mix it up. I throw in tech house, progressive house, some indie electronic stuff that kind of fits into house sets…if I couldn’t play deep house at all, I would throw in whatever I found that I liked that wasn’t deep house. If I was shut out of house entirely, I would just move into techno, progressive tech & some progressive trance stuff. I play progressive trance slowed down to a progressive house BPM sometimes and it mixes really well.
After fitting a bite-sized version of Black Rock City into a raw space in Brooklyn, Digital Native is back with an event that I really could not be more excited for. The theme, the location, the talent and the eventual execution is a long time coming. I have no doubt it will be spectacular.
I’ve always been a fan of hula hoops. Even more so when they strobe, glow or otherwise dazzle.
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.
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.
“Excuse me, could you please make some room and let him through? We have a celebrity in our midst!!”
I thought nothing of it until I looked up and saw Guncle, the St. Peter of Brooklyn’s pearliest & most ephemeral of gates, ushering me forward. As he is one of the most visible and delightful members of the underground, the line parted like the Nile, as we all know not to question the man when he wants something. After presenting my ticket, I received my wristband from Bob Bob-omb, the resident Techno Viking of Digital Native. In case you weren’t aware that East Coast burner camps had techno vikings, one would only need to look down to reconfirm this fact, as there were two large swords on the check-in desk, which were a wonderful way of reminding people coming in off the street not to screw with this party. Digital Native was here with The Love Muscle, and they weren’t getting pushed around by anyone while having a good time. After thanking my friends Guncle & Bob (it’s Mr. Bob-omb when you’ve done something wrong), I dropped off my outerwear & headed to the bar to take in the space. The BEX was there, performing, keeping the attention of the crowd on the dance-floor, DJ booth, and generally being the Mistress of Ceremonial Awesome that only she can be. The combination of sound, well-costumed staff, the alt-culture bus and the ridiculous art made me want to dust my costume off and take a sip from my camelbak if you know what I mean.
Fresh off their success at the End of the World, this post-apocalypse 2013 is starting out hot for Digital Native. Working with another Burning Man camp called The Love Muscle they’re pushing out into their first big event of the year. I’m not really sure where they got all this talent, but the event is kinda drenched with it and I hope no one is selling plasma to pay for all of this awesome.
From an aural perspective, Digital Native never disappoints. Besides the ever-present deep house delight that is DJ Pony, another Digital Native stalwart B3AR will be making an appearance. His mix of Manhattan house & a dash of whatever he’s feeling at the moment, whether it’s electro-swing, some upbeat IDM or other surprises are always welcome, and he’s kept dance floors packed in at least three states by now. Joining him is the Sultan of sexy bomping base & breaks, Alex Funk, who is making the trip up from Baltimore to join Evan Collier, Dirtyfinger & Dopeshoes behind the decks. Dopeshoes drops a mix of house, R&b, disco & the occasional dancehall track, and while I can’t speak to the other two DJs, I have no doubt they’ll be able to melt my face with the best of them.
One of the things that keeps me coming back to Digital Native parties is their no-bullshit approach to art. Every offering they serve up has dollops of blinky, shiny painted/techy/fluffy goodness. The Centerpiece is rumored to be a luminescent heart the size of your average raver, but way less drunk/on ketamine, but probably just as bright and glowy in the dark. Add in some great body painters, old school lanterns, art car ridiculousness and live art creation by Craig Johnson II, there’s plenty of eye candy to match the sweet shit they’ll be putting out of the speakers. And just in case you were concerned, the door will be massaged by the deliciously luminous Guncle, who will put his website back up so I can link to it one of these days. The infamous BEX will be Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening’s festivities, who, besides being a general lady about town, is skilled in enough ways of performance, healing & dance that she’ll keep you distracted, occupied and enjoying yourself for hours.
Here’s all the details make sure not to miss it. My last party of the month recommendation was fucking sweet, and I bet you I’ll be 2 for 2 with Digital Native proving me right once again. And yes, it’s 21+, so no worries about being over-run by younglings when you’re just trying to have a good time.