Going out in New York City isn’t as fun as it used to be. It’s not that the scene has changed, because I’ve only been here for three years—it’s more that I’ve started to notice things that bother me and desire things that don’t exist here. I’ll be at a party on North 6th Street in Williamsburg, having fun chatting with friends or editors or those people who I always run into at shows, and then suddenly I’ll be over it. I’ll realize that the DJ is a client of the same PR company that promotes most of the records he’s playing as well as some of the resident DJs at the party, and I’ll get sucked into a k-hole of my own cynical thoughts. Even if people don’t buy records, they’ll buy tickets to the shows and populate this scene this PR firm pushes, without knowing they’re being guided. It creeps me out.
Especially during RBMA, shows in New York felt like going to work. Every few feet stood one of my editors, a PR person I work with, a gaggle of RBMA artists, an RBMA employee, or another writer. I felt obligated to attend shows even if I didn’t care about the lineup, because they were basically scene-y clusterfucks packed with industry types and random people who happened to hear about the events via the aggressive marketing campaign that took place around the city. Like, Hank met this “model” at a noise-oriented showcase who literally couldn’t have given less of a fuck about Pete Swanson or Prurient.
Toward the end of RBMA, I jetted off to Detroit to cover Movement for Billboard. The festival itself was a gay old time, but what really impressed me was the scene that lives independently of the annual bash. On the scale of American electronic music festivals, Movement is pretty underground; the headliners were artists like Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, and the lineup favored Berghain residents over Top 40 regulars. But it’s “underground” the same way that Brooklyn parties are “underground”: they’re branded and sponsored by companies like Red Bull and Beatport, and marketed to pretty massive audiences.
Unlike New York, Detroit seems to have another layer to their underground, a level below the branded and promoted “underground.” The Wild Oats label manager, Midori, took us to a few non-Movement parties in Detroit, which was incredibly nice and cool of her and we owe her big time. The parties basically blew our fucking minds. People were DANCING, not bobbing from foot to foot. It didn’t feel like a crowd of RA readers in a room together. NO ONE WAS ON THEIR PHONES. All Mike and I could do was stand there with our jaws on the floor as we watched Detroit native http://soundcloud.com/jaydaniel cut it up on the turntables. He’s a really active DJ, the kind of guy who clings onto the knobs on the mixer with his fingers, bouncing on the balls of his feet. On our way out, I hugged him and told him meekly that “they don’t do it like this in New York.”
OBVIOUSLY we needed a mix.
Roy Ayers- Running Away
The Jammers- Straight Down To the Bone
Was Not Was- Tell Me That I’m Dreaming
ESG- Standing In Line
Jackey Beavers- Mr. Bump Man (Theo Parrish Edit)
Billy Cobham- The Muffin Talks Back
George Duke- Diamonds
The Spirit of Atlanta- Messin’ Around
Jo Bisso- Don’t Fight the Feeling
Rinder & Lewis- Anger
KMFH- Grungy Gloops
Nitzer Ebb- Join In The Chant (Lies! Instrumental)
Rhythim Is Rhythim- Move It (Only Mix)
Robert Owens- Bring Down The Walls