“We saw the shuttering of every space [queer folks threw] parties in, every space that wasn’t a typical gay dive bar. They’re all gone now.” The artist grieves both her home [Casa Diva] and the community it provided, and the fact that spaces like hers are “even rarer or nonexistent in the neighborhoods that [queer folks are] still occupying.” “Taking drag out of nightlife is like taking it out of queerness,” Charlene says, adding that drag “happens in the spaces that were left to us.”
“We are part of a legacy of people who have been doing similar work for years,” Rhodes explains. “Seeing colleagues emerge and get bigger has been amazing. I love that there are more parties that are specifically serving our people. They’re creating spaces where we can be celebrated in all of our beauty and diversity.”
Rare photos of New York’s iconic club kids // We were able to set an example for the everyday kid who was coming from the outer boroughs, and maybe it would give them permission to be a little more liberated within their own lives and within their own context. This was very valuable.
The real tragedy when they closed all of the mega clubs in New York was that a number of creative people lost job opportunities. That’s why New York really suffered culturally when the nightclub industry was targeted and wiped out because all of a sudden people couldn’t pay their rent or sustain their art practices. That was a really sad moment for New York culturally.
Saatchi exhibits and BBC Four docs: why is 2019 so nostalgic for 80s rave? // These events were communal and often lawless. They were not happening with anyone’s permission but instead were reactions to the prevailing currents of their time. Deller’s film analyses rave’s role in the traumatised aftermath of the miners’ strike. Rave, he proposed, was “a death ritual marking the transition of Britain from an industrial to a service economy”.
More to the floor: the decade the dancefloor was decolonised // Perhaps partly helped by the global panopticon of the internet, DJs and producers combine everything from the weighty syncopations of footwork to the sparse, percussive rolls of gqom and euphoria of hard trance, until the key compounds are almost unrecognisable – and then add their own distinctive local flavour. The result is a simultaneously global and local sound, and cross-continental collaborations are making it even more cosmopolitan.
First Floor #13 – Where Have All the Anthems Gone? // More and more, what matters is contextualizing an artist within a larger socioeconomic and sociopolitical backdrop. Writers and editors obviously still consider the music, but they’re now also thinking about stuff like identity, representation, privilege and structural discrimination, and while that rubs some people the wrong way—particularly the “it should just be about the music” crowd—I don’t see it as a problem.
Leave Your Body at the Door: How ketamine became the drug of choice for our dissociated moment. // In the 1980s and ’90s, the growth of rave culture brought it onto New York dance floors and it became a staple of the club kid scene, prompting the first wave of ketamine trend pieces. “Whether it’s a gay all-nighter, or at a hard techno rave patronized by young, white out-of-towners, the picture is invariably the same. Come 3 a.m., the dance floor is littered with those wasted on ketamine,” Muzik Magazine wrote in that same 1998 article.
But in 2019, once-fringe elements of rave culture have bled into the mainstream. EDM is elevator music, banker bros and leather-daddies share bumps at Bushwick warehouse events, Silicon Valley has invaded Burning Man, and the wellness world has turned the drugs of the ’60s counterculture into productivity boosters for start-ups. As rave culture has rebranded, ketamine has pivoted with it. Today’s K users are bringing the drug beyond the dance floor: to chilled-out bar nights and tech-world salons, New-Age wellness retreats and quiet nights at home.
The crackdown also comes amid an outbreak of vape-related lung disease that's killed dozens of people nationwide, including at least two New York City residents. Researchers with the Center for Disease Control have linked the sickness to vitamin E acetate, which is commonly used in black market THC vaping products.
11-6 // parka presents Trust Exercise: Courage @ Market Hotel // The theme of the night is Courage as a reminder of the courage it takes to trust and be vulnerable. We forget that not everyone celebrates the holidays the same way and many have had to sacrifice a lot to move away from home.
10-4 // Blazej Malinowski [Live] + Mary Yuzovskaya @ Public Records // Polish-born DJ Blazej Malinowski brings his knack for deep + atmospheric techno to the Sound Room for a live performance. Having released records on Semantica, TGP, SIlent Season + many more, expect a tripped out, mesmerizing set with Monday Off founder, Unter regular, and vinyl-only DJ Mary Yuzovskaya kicking things off and closing the room.
10-4 // Working Women and Martyn @ Nowadays // Nowadays resident DJs Nina, Nicely and Voices, aka Working Women, are teaming up with 3024 boss (and Ostgut Ton, Brainfeeder, Ninja Tune, Hyperdub, Warp and Aus Music alum) Martyn.
10-5 // NEW YORK TRAX x VOITAX @ BASEMENT // In partnership with the forward-thinking, Berlin-based, record label Voitax, New York Trax brings 4 massive live acts for its Basement debut. Makaton LIVE, Swarm Intelligence LIVE, Brenecki LIVE, Deflector LIVE, Cressida, Paàl
10-4 // XXxBORED LORD x NYCxXx @ Mood Ring // ୧༼ಠ益ಠ༽୨ bored lord, pauli cakes, phoneg1rl, nk badtz maru ୧༼ಠ益ಠ༽୨
10-5 // Perel, L&L&L + Lost Soul Enterprises with L. Sangre, R Gamble @ Good Room // Perel will be joined by L&L&L Record Club. Lost Soul Enterprises takes over the Bad Room with party residents L.Sangre and R Gamble. LSE is a party and label focused on mutant sounds past and present: wave, electro, body music, and all things in between.
10-5 // Shelter 002: Timmy Regisford, Francis Harris + Special Guests @ Public Records // Crossing generations of fans in New York, Timmy Regisford joins Public Records music director and partner Francis Harris for a monthly affair in the Sound Room with one question in mind: How deep is your love for House?
10-7 // Dee Diggs, Posi-Track and DJ Bone @ Nowadays // For this soiree, HalfMoonBK's Dee Diggs is teaming up with Fermented Frequency's Posi-Track and the inimitable DJ Bone. Good luck leaving before daybreak.
3-9 // The Carry Nation All Day @ Nowadays // Nita Aviance and Will Automagic have been working together as the Carry Nation for the better part of a decade. During that time, they've lit up clubs, lofts and warehouses the world over and released music on Nervous, Classic Music Company and W&O Street Tracks.