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.

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: 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!

Attend: Open Up 100 – Astrix & Simon Patterson At Slake!

(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,)OU100_A6 FLYER- BACK_ORANGE FINAL1 ASTRIXIf 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.

Attend: Nora En Pure Delivers For InDeep 12.11.14!

Nora En Pure

My friends need to stop being awesome, cause all these Thursday night parties are killing me. InDeep has returned to NYC after the huge success of their debut event. Nora En Pure has been on the rise for a little while now and if you’re a fan of Indie Dance & Deep House, this is definitely going to be someone you need to catch. I’m always a fan of lady DJs that find their own unique sound away from what gets NERVO booked and all of that. She’s getting some backup from Alex English, a man who NYC would be noticeably less fun without. This night will be a definite surprise for the heads out in club land, so I hope you’re one of the people who gets to ask if you “were there” come Friday morning. Her latest podcast is fantastic, with superb track choices, flawless execution & really original transitions. Like, sometimes I want to hear a flute solo get me from one track to another in a deep house set.

Just in case you can’t wait, check out the latest InDeep Mix, ft. Vijay & Sofia Zlatko. These two have been killing it with their tracks getting picked up all over the EDM blogosphere. They’ve got another 80min of groovy, deep house for you, so between this & Nora’s mix, you’ve got almost your entire morning mapped out. Get tickets here & groove your Monday workday away, thanks to InDeep!

Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Menno de Jong

In anticipation of his upcoming massive event Dec. 12th at Slake, Menno de Jong & I had a brief conversation about my favorite topic: TRANCE!)

cover

1. Is Trance back now in 2014? Did it ever leave? No, it never left. People’s idea of what is popular changes with time but Trance has been around for 2 solid decades now. It may fluctuate between 140, tech, uplifting, prog and psy but it’s been one of the more consistent genres if you think about it, largely due to the very loyal fanbase!

2. Do you regret not being a label boss anymore? Intuition had some amazing gems on it. It was a golden era and a pleasure to work with guys like Jonas Steur and Airbase. Although I don’t own a label anymore I’ve been helping Black Hole Recordings out with the A&R for In Trance We Trust, where I’ve recently started to release my own music. All I can say is watch that space, some amazing artists are bringing their music to the label!

Continue reading