I don’t say this very often, but this event is truly important. Not only is it going to be a sweet party with some of the best breaks anywhere on the planet at this point. Not only is it going to be at The Paper Box, one of the last semi-retail venues in the area of Brooklyn it’s in. Not only is DanceSafe going to be there (so happy about this), but it’s to help one of my favorite people. Lexi, or as you know her, Illexxandra has been producing some of the most innovative & infectious dance beats Brooklyn has ever seen, and she needs our help. Because Vitamin B has actually created a community over the years, it’s coming together to support her in her time of need. For this reason, above all else, you should support this party. This is what community in dance culture looks like, and we need to lionize it as such. The music will of course be second to none.I won’t go on about Lexi anymore, so just put the bass in your face. Tim The Enchanter continues his global quest to get people to go “omg breaks are dope” that is shaping up quite nicely actually, as his recent work illustrates. There’s always been an accessibility to the genre when Tim gets behind the decks which I think other DJs could take notes from.Tektite is one of my favorite truly real people in Brooklyn. His taste in music, food & design are all second to none, as this perfect set of his illustrates. Shisaa is a recent addition to the team but acquits herself quite nicely. This is some global bass that fits in perfectly with the rest of the Justice League. I wanted to save this for last because it’s gigantic. Parametric’s 2.5hr Vitamin B set from their 6th Anniversary. As I said, this is a group that is a true member of the community. Get tickets here and drop by the DanceSafe booth when you get there. If you’d like to donate to her fund personally, show this link some love. This is what we’ve been fighting for ladies & gentlemen.
I am so proud of these people. Vitamin B has survived & prospered in NYC against all odds. Even though they throw parties in the House borough of a House city, on a House coast of a House country, they’ve been holding down the Breaks universe here in Gotham for what is an eternity in the NYC club scene. This institution has continued to showcase the finest talent they could get, with a following that grows every month. When I started this blog, Vitamin B was one of the first parties I covered, and I am so pleased they’ve weathered the venue closures, explosion of EDM around them and the general fuckery of NYC nightlife with grace & awesome nights. If you don’t know what you’re doing this weekend, now you do.
(So, the whole “party of the month” thing started feeling a bit restrictive and obstinate, so I’ve decided to start a new segment called “Attend.” This will be a series of previews for events that you should…be at. Starting with one of the finest nights Gotham has to offer.)
It’s that time again! Gratitude is partnering with Evolver to lead an army of burners, builders, movers, shakers, candlestick makers, producers, riggers, bands, builders, VJs, healers & dancers to life for 18hours of classes, dancing, participation & performance. You read that right. Eighteen freaking hours. That’s 3x the party of any club or bar out there. Get with it. All afternoon, there will be classes on yoga, dance, art, environmental action and a bunch of other groovy stuff, hosted by Evolver. And then at 9 PM, there’s this guy and his friends.
So, take that, and add an epic story, with a cast of characters and a whole lot of stuff on fire. One of the things that really separates clubs/EDM from Burner culture is fire. You see explosions at huge festivals, and poi is showing up more and more, BUT no one burns like Burners. This show at 9 PM looks to be pretty bonkers and I’d imagine it’s a perfect reason to get there an hour earlier than you’d planned. Then after that insanity, there’s 3 different areas of sound, each with a retinue of Sonic Ronin that will blow minds.
One of my very favorite party groups here in NYC, Vitamin B, has decided to bust out a bunch of mixes to get you through August. They’re planning something huge for their anniversary this fall, and decided to tide our breaks-related thirst over. Tektite is flying high off his Stanton Sessions set (found here) and has just dropped a new mix on The Armory, a funky West coast podcast that keeps it quality when it comes to eclectic beats, breaks and bass.
Tim The Enchanter has put together a minor Public Service Announcement for all you kids out in radio land that may not be too familiar with Breaks as a genre. His mix, from the Essential Breaks radio show has a bunch of new stuff in addition to some classics that you may have heard a DJ at one of the smaller stages at EDM fests play while you were getting a drink. Trust that there’s a lot of good in this genre and put it into yo face. I say that a lot, but it’s true quite often 😉
Ms. illexxandra has blessed us with a VIP recreation of her Transformus 2014 set. There’s a bunch of twerk, breaks, house, future bass and soulful bounce in this hour. Is Soulful Bounce a genre yet? If not, she’s making it happen. This is some of the funkiest mixing you’ve heard. Can’t wait to see her again when she gets back from the Playa.
Enjoy the weekend and take it easy!
(After watching the UMF Live Stream this weekend, I was surprised at the severe homogeneity of music spun on the main stage. So in the spirit of underdog advocacy, I’m going to start writing about the less commercially popular genres of electronica that may never be classified as “EDM, bro.” I decided to start our journey with Breaks, or Breakbeat.)
I’ve listened to a tremendous amount of breaks in my life, but it’s not always on my daily rotation. I tend to listen to breaks in peaks and valleys, listening to only it for weeks, then going months without a single track. I was playing jazz trumpet at the time and the syncopation & irregular spacing of the beats instantly drew me in. I couldn’t find too much of it back in the Wild West days of Napster, Audiogalaxy & Kazaa, so the closest thing I could find to real breaks way back in the day was Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim.
The combination of the jumping bass, rambling beat, Walken being awesome and the broken sounds became an instant classic for me and a large portion of the US listening public if I recall correctly. This spiraled into a love affair with the DJ Icey.
I later got into Stanton Warriors, who recently took NYC by storm. But, the artist I’ve always gotten the most out of, is Krafty Kuts. Krafty kreates melodies that mash dozens of tracks a together over an hour, and is one of my undisputed masters of breaks. The vibe is undeniable, and check out his Summer 2013 mix in case you don’t agree with me (below).
It’s intensely difficult to find this kind of music in NYC, which is predominantly a House, Hip Hop & Electro town. Which brings me to some people I care about very much, Vitamin B.
These guys have been holding it down when it comes to breaks for years now, and there’s an authenticity here that can’t be matched anywhere else in the city. They’ve been in a few different spaces recently, but they’re settling in one of the premiere new spots in Brooklyn. That being The Paper Box. They’ve been nailing it with the talent coming in, with Mafia Kiss showing up on Friday. This guy did the very first Armory Podcast for my west coast readers, and is generally awesome breaks DJ. There’s a fluidity to his transitions that seem to maintain your energy & momentum as he flows through samples & tracks.
If you’re a long-time reader, you know I’ve sung the praises of these guys before, but now that I’ve gotten a slightly wider audience, I wanted to echo my sentiment again that THIS IS SOMETHING TO GO TO. Tektite, Tim & TAFCABI continue to be resident beat jedis, and this is a no muss, no fuss event. Show up in dancing shoes, go early for hoopy hour until 11:30 so you’re done with it by the time I get there, and enjoy yourself. This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor this Friday.
In this installment of Hometown Fire, I wanted to give a shout out to one of Brooklyn’s finest, tektite. This guy is one of the hardest working heads in the breaks business and is responsible for the longest running monthly breaks event in NYC. Vitamin B is a fantastic party that has been growing in size for years. He, Tim the Enchanter & Barney Iller bring in some of the quality talent from all around, with Tektite also spinning in parties all over the city. Check out this mix from over the summer that he did. There’s a smooth competency to match his ridiculously potent beats, transitions and fantastic track selection.
Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/fb/511435
This event last year was actually my inspiration for my “Party of the Month” series & this year’s version looks incredible. At a secret 60,000 sq ft. location in Brooklyn with different theme camps, areas domes, lounges and ostensibly, activities! There’s something for everyone at this event, with the Impresario Drew Meeks being joined by Daniel Zen, Tim The Enchanter, The Wizzard Disorient himself & an old friend KaytiBunny and a literal cavalcade of stars. I’m actually kind of concerned the post is going to be too long and you’ll stop reading because of all of the music I’m about to shove into your face. And just to top it all off, this is all being done to support the artists, Figment (discussed here), Dance Parade, Burners Without Borders and other charitable organizations. Yup, it’s non-profit and awesome.
An-ten-nae is Acid funk/crunk/spunk at its finest, and OneGoodReason has pulled some strings & called in some favors to get some excellent West Coast talent out here. Kraddy is another highlight, Android Porn (one of his best tracks) being one of my very favorite tracks of all time. The Human Experience is showing up with a delicious funky, dubby, soulful batch of goodness, being backed up by Love and Light, emerging to remind us we’re wonderful with heady beats. I’m not going to mention every DJ spinning, but there are some real stand outs for me on this line-up.
Connie has a devoted techno & tech-house following in Brooklyn & once you put one of her mixes on, you’ll understand why. Smooth perfection awaits you. Orion Keyser does wonderful house-related work & I can happily brag that I’ve paid the man for his time and skill. I’ve not had the honor of doing so for the deep, funky & stunningly smooth stylings of REsy (discussed previously here, here & here), but give me a minute. Tektite & Tim The Enchanter are doing something that looks like a vs. set, which, has officially has a billion percent chance of being awesome.
In the Silent Disco (Fuck Yea Silent Disco!), the hits just keep on coming, with dueling beat warriors pushing out some of the best underground music in NYC. Alex Funk has been talked about quite a bit around here, as has Barney Iller. These two could just spin for 6 hours and people wouldn’t mind in the slightest. But they’re being joined by some other stalwart Burner warriors like DK, Friar Tuck, Kannizle & 2Melo. I could yammer on about how awesome they are, but, the music does the talking way better than I do. There’s even live acts, with the rock band I recently interviewed (Suntalk) performing. I told you it was going to be ridiculous.
The VJ work is going to be second to none. VJ Krunch is joined by a platoon of VJs & art by DomeStar, Thunder Gumbo & Livio Mancini. It’s going to be as wonderful for your eyes as your ears. KaytiBunni Roberts is bringing like 30 flow performers to amaze while Kae Burke & Anya S will be repping Lady Circus in glorious fashion. Rewi Bracy & Jeff Robinson of Hoop Hooligans are actually traveling all the way from New Zealand (yes, really) for the first time to perform for all you lovely people. Locally, Seanna Sharpe has been amazing audiences overhead for years, traveling the world & finally settling down in NYC to blow minds and win hearts.
This is an event with all of the trappings, so dust off your favorite disco tuxedo and angel wings. Just in case you need some help, DanceSafe will be there along with Gratitude’s own Love Patrol to ensure that people remain hydrated and can deal with the massive sensory experience that this is going to be. If that’s something you’re into (I’m a HUGE fan of these kinds of services at dance events), drop them a line, they’d love your help.
There are very few tickets left, so grab them if you want to enjoy something special this holiday. I know it’s a touch pricier than the events you usually see me recommend, but this is one of the few cases it’ll be worth it I wager. If you can swing it, swing for the fences & enjoy yourself in grand fashion. Check out this photo gallery from 2011 if you don’t believe me: http://gratitudenyc.org/2013/gallery/gratitude-2011
This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.
Tickets Here: http://vitaminboat.eventbrite.com/
(Update: Stanton Warriors visa had issues, so they won’t be there, but Joro Boro & DJ Shakey will be there! Should be a full house and it’ll still be an amazing time! Keep it going and get over there!)
Back after the summer break, the party scene in NYC is heating back up. As the kids are back at NYU, the burners are home from the playa & the social-climbers have returned from the Hamptons, let’s get back to where we once belonged. In case you’re not done partying on a boat for the season, my friends at Vitamin B and Gemini & Scorpio bring forth one last naval adventure before it gets too cold to be waiting in line on the pier for the bouncer to stop fucking around with wristbands while your date is shivering their ass off. Gemini & Scorpio are lending a hand as well, so this should be a great mix of people buccaneering around Manhattan for a few hours. Captained by the nautical marvel himself, Guncle, I think we’re in for a wonderful time featuring a fantastic group of seamen performers.
Vitamin B had an unfortunate incident at the now departed House of Yes after some overzealous NYPD decided to pad their quotas for the month and are throwing a joint fundraiser with G&S to defray legal costs and re-ornament Guncle . The resident DJ Jedi Masters of Vitamin B will be bomping some of the choicest cuts, samples, jams, tunes and whatever else they found in their gargantuan aural archives. Tektite, Tim the Enchanter & Barney Iller (who has been discussed on this blog previously here, here and here), will be joined by a very good friend, $mall Change.
This guy has the best sense of funk, disco, dub, soul and smooth house I’ve ever heard, and he’s adding some breaks-y fun into the mix to ensure the Stanton Warriors are buttressed with hours of quality sonic therapy on either side of their live set. You heard me right. Stanton Freaking Warriors.
The Stanton Warriors are one of those groups you’d probably recognize instantly, if you realized how often their remixes/tracks are pushed into some of your favorite sets. These guys have a list of remixes longer than the baggy JNCO pants I wore back in high school, and they’ve maintained an impressive track record of live competence with quality releases. They’re a fantastic pick up for Vitamin B, who have been steadily pulling in impressive talent month after month this year. And, to cap it off, it’s not only on a boat, but it’ll be ending on the early side, so you can scamper off to another party afterwards and brag about how awesome your evening’s been already. See you there!
I finished my beer by the 8ft tall Christmas Tree at the bar down the street from the L train and ducked back into the chilly air, pushing past a few yupsters smoking American Spirits below the ironic red, neon sign that says BAR above the door to a place that sells artisanal cheeses and microbrews. It was that time of the month again, Vitamin B was back, and it was time for my fix of epic breaks.
I arrived on the early side because the guest opener, DJ Orange Krush was someone I definitely did not want to miss. A dj, designer & all around excellent human being, I first encountered her particular flavor of shake your booty, funky house & breaks on the Boom Boat, the Disorient day boat party, a day that is not to be missed if you are down with sick music with a cool mix of burners (just try to ignore the volume of bad “I’m on a boat” jokes made). She was rocking out the dance floor early on in the day and the crowd was eating it up. Tonight was no different. I arrived to see the sparsely populated dance floor swell. I give far more credit to DJs that make dance floors happen as opposed to just maintaining them. To get people out of their shells is much more difficult when they think they’re alone, so the music has to be that much better. And it was. The influences ran the gamut from Latin, to hip hop, tinges of chip, dashes of tech and this underlying bassline that just could not be ignored.