Smoky warehouses and deep grooves, Chris Malinchak and Gorgon City get RINSED in Brooklyn
Long before dance music exploded into the public eye, before festivals spanned two weekends and Soundcloud and Twitter defined our listening habits, electronic music was enjoyed in empty warehouses and dimly lit basements. A true underground movement, one that embodied both the seedy underbelly of urban culture and an unwavering dedication to music discovery, dance music was enjoyed without the glitz and glamour that has become synonymous with EDM today. Despite the socialites of New York City’s recent adoption of dance music into upscale clubs throughout Manhattan, there still exists a vibrant and healthy underground scene –one that is tucked far away from sparkling champagne bottles and beautiful hostesses, housed instead in illegal warehouses in nearby Brooklyn. Last Friday, this is where Gorgon City would make their New York City debut and Chris Malinchak would spin his sensually-sweet disco in a dingy, smoke-filled room.
The invitation was simple and straightforward, “Do not share this location with anyone” – the location being an unassuming warehouse on an all but abandoned street in Brooklyn. Upon entering we were greeted by a makeshift coat check and a row of Port-A-Johns that would serve as the venue’s bathrooms for the evening – not the sort of amenities most dance music fans would normally find themselves accustomed to.
A web of plastic ribbon – their idea of “decorative ambiance” – hung haphazardly in the stairwell as as we headed up a flight of concrete stairs to the warehouse’s second floor. We were greeted by a friendly, soft-spoken girl in her mid twenties who asked us for our names. There was no irritable bouncer, no unnecessary pat downs, no extravagant admission – just a nod, a stamp and a smile.
The bar – if you can call it that – was nothing more than a fold out table, some plastic dixie cups, and a row of coolers. The walls were lined with plastic and disco balls hung at random heights from the ceiling, swaying on their lopsided axises, tied up with string and fishing line.
It would seem like an odd choice for Gorgon City to make their New York City debut, and an even stranger location for the man responsible for the disco gem “So Good To Me” to deliver his hits, but as the night progressed any of our initial doubts were quickly proven wrong. With the extravagance of Manhattan’s bustling nightlife stripped away, all that existed was the music and a sold out crowd of dance music faithfuls.
The floor groaned and creaked beneath the shifting of the crowd’s weight as Gorgon City performed, tucked away deep in the far corner of the building. Foamo and RackNRuin’s collaboration first made their presence known with the release of “Real,” a track whose infinitely deep sub-bass and sultry vocal line ensnared the crowd and served to define the vibe of the evening. Only RackNRuin was DJing that night, but he represented the duo’s solo efforts, the new EP, and a variety of deep and dark sounds – creating the perfect juxtaposition to Chris Malinchak’s crispy disco house that would soon follow.
When Chris Malinchak took the decks the condensation from the heat of the room had already begun collecting on the plastic covered walls. Plastic cups and cigarette butts decorated the floor – the unmistakable crunch of sneakers on cheap plastic resonating upward as the crowd danced to a collection of Malinchak originals. The significant change in the night’s soundtrack transformed the energy in the room and Malinchak‘s breakthrough “So Good To Me,” incited a powerful sing-a-long while originals such as “These Dreams” and “Leaving Tomorrow” created an inescapable groove. For the next 3 hours, as light bounced off the disco balls through an ever-growing cloud of smoke, Chris would lay down a sex-fueled set of gripping disco, dub and deep house.
For any fans becoming a bit beleaguered by the over-the-top nightlife experience, New York City’s underground parties continue to provide an authentic and musically-oriented experience – one worth experiencing by any dance music fans, both old and new.