Basic Throws a Party, Matias Jofre Shines

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After wallowing in maudlin self-aggrandizing pity all week over my recently departed companion, I hurled myself into the night, back to that ever so important stretch of L train stops in Brooklyn. There was a minimal & euro techno party going down at a private loft somewhere on Meserole and I was going to be one of the thousands dancing to forget their troubles on a Saturday night to thumping bass somewhere in Brooklyn. While the headliner, a techno wizard with 2 decades of album releases under his belt looked to be an amazing act, the earlier sets looked pretty enticing as well.

Luis Campos & Matias Jofre are two institutions here in the city. Luis Campos holds it down at Psycheground, one of the handful of actually good psy-trance events still in NYC, while Matias Jofre drops a dope party called Rite of Wednesdays once a week, bringing his (S)innerScene crew out on the weekends as well. Sleepy & Boo, the seemingly pervasive dj & promoter duo added heft to the lineup, so I knew I was in for something fun. Techno is a genre that I absolutely cannot stand in headphones, at home or by myself. I admit this without denial or shame as I require a well designed & equipped sound-system that is able to keep the beat pervasive in my awareness. The loft, I discovered much to my delight, had just such as system. As my greeter spent an inordinate amount of time affixing my wristband, I felt the techy, euro’y throb of the beat and realized just how long it had been since I’d been to a proper non-weeknight techno party.
The crowd was older, more ethnically diverse, ever so slightly better dressed than their equivalent cohort at a dubstep show (House fashion varies by sub-genre, still gathering data on that one). The private loft, emptied out save for some tasteful cylindrical spandex & strands of glowing LEDs wrapped around the lode-bearing steel, had  a dark, cavernous feel, with the visuals adding to the panache of the production. I headed to the dance floor to watch Matias Jofre drop what would turn out to be a masterful tag-team set with Kiwi.

I’ve been a fan of this guy since I was privileged enough to see him drop some amazing beats on a Sunday morning apartment party way back in 2010. His flavor of minimal techno, combined with dashes of worldbeat and tech house has always been at the top of my list when it comes to local DJs that are really keeping the feel of a good, globally minded dance floor alive. The bass oozed through the shadows in the space, the unadorned crowd kept moving, without a single energy drop, from the time I walked in the door as Matias was setting up, until he stepped off the decks hours later. At that point I remembered that I was a bit too excited for the opening act, as Jeff Mills took his place and the spaced out, respectful crowd pushed in a bit, to watch a master at work. And then, about 30 seconds in, he turned his back to the crowd and DJ’d…backwards.

Now before I got all concerned that we’re in Brooklyn, and DJ’ing with your back to the audience is the new hipster thing, I checked his set up. Seems there was a big 909 machine facing us, and his decks couldn’t fit there, so they went behind him. That’s right folks, it’s just that his set up was too sick, not that he held subtle disdain for DJ worship culture. The techno was exactly what it needed to be. Sharp, light (almost fluffy at times), exceptionally well-produced, and had this deep groovy vibe that would have felt alien in the cold universe that techno can be at times. The dance floor had a chance to get up close and personal, with no raised DJ platform, so people got an intimate look at the man in the act of making the magic. He was definitely not playing from a pre-created mix as some other supposed luminaries have been known to do occasionally 😉

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