True Bromance: Brodinski and Gesaffelstein at Webster Hall
While many of Manhattan’s clubgoers were spending their Memorial Day Weekends on one of the tri-state areas overcrowded beaches, a small contingent of nightlife addicts ascended the main staircase at Webster Hall into the open space and vaulted ceilings that define its Grand Ballroom. A smaller crowd than usual for a Friday at Webster, the subdued vibes were a welcome change that allowed for comfortable dancing and an up-close-and-personal view of the night’s main attraction — Brodinski and Gesaffelstein accompanied by Bromance’s leading lady Louisahhh!!!
While Brodinski and Gesaffelstein are not a duo in the traditional sense, the pair are nearly inseparable — appearing together at every opportunity. Initially emerging out off the Ed Banger dominated French scene of the early 2000s, Brodinski was able to escape the scene’s downturn by promoting his own noire style of French techno. Gesaffelstein experienced a similar rise to relevancy. Fostered by Brodinski’s Bromance label he birthed the eternally captivating “Control Movement,” a strange and atmospheric techno masterpiece that challenged the status quo of the genre’s minimalistic roots. Together the two would eventually meet Louisahhh!!!, an LA-based singer, producer, and fellow DJ who shared a similar taste for the darker side of dance. She would later add her sultry vocals to Brodinski’s “Let the Beat Control Your Body” off Bromance #1 and establish herself as the label’s only female presence. Together the three have developed a distinct sense of style that is unparalleled elsewhere in dance music. It is honest, raw, and artistically focused – exuding an undefinable aura of effortless cool, one that is reminiscent of the French scene’s initial upsurge.
Webster Hall is not a place for pleasantries and the artists that grace its stages stray far from the pop notions of swankier Manhattan clubs. Bromance’s dark and gritty techno felt right at home in the venue’s well-worn main room, its faded paint and trampled dance floor providing the perfect backdrop for what would be a strange and sonically satisfying trip through techno, trap, hip hop, and deep house. DJs in their purest form, Brodinski and Gesaffelstein spent much of their night back-to-back behind the decks, chain-smoking cigarettes and grinning wildly as they played not for the crowd, but for each other. With every subsequent introduction of a new track – one would seek out the other for approval; a glance and subtle head nod signifying a job well done. For the next 3 hours, the two would curate a party – not a preconceived show – showcasing a wide variety of sounds and styles that challenged the crowded but comfortable dance floor. Like a group of friends wielding their own personal playlists, the duo swapped tracks in a flawless fashion, vibing off of one another – a distinct sense of friendly one-up-manship present with every pass of the decks. Brodinski’s chop and screwed hip hop reworks were met with Gesaffelstein’s nearly endless barrage of gritty techno; a juxtaposition that would feature not only the duo’s original works but cuts from Clouds, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliot, Myd and more — leaving everyone in attendance eager for Bromance’s inevitable return.
Photo Credit: Nitzan Bradin | In The Booth Photography