Lee Burridge, Eats Everything, and Maya Jane Coles host dreamy Verboten New Year's Eve
With only a handful of sparse yellow lights that pierced above the crowd to the back wall, the dark club buzzed with drunken fun. As attendees wandered through the crowd to the tune of the booming beats, others swayed (with occasional hollers) between sips of vodka Red Bulls and Heineken tall boys. Some in the front tried to catch Maya Jane Coles’ attention, but to no avail as she continued to spin away.
With a massive snow storm on its way to New York, Verboten did not exactly hold its New Years Eve party in a convenient location. With its high ceilings that reached high above the makeshift club, The 1896, a two room warehouse situated deep into Williamsburg, normally houses movie and fashion shoots during the day. Tonight, hundreds of young professional party goers filed in frigid temperatures to attend this New Years Eve extravaganza.
This was my first New Year’s Eve experience away from the cookie-cutter big room house scene where the clicks of high heels and bottles cover every square inch of elite clubs. Instead, individuals here floated between the rooms in a dynamic environment, one where people freely met, meandered, and enjoyed themselves. A New Year’s party that was not excruciatingly slammed with dangerously inebriated people – no way!
Instead, the crowd was here to see the DJs. And boy, did they deliver.
Maya Jane Coles
The “underground’s” previous best kept secret, Maya Jane Coles, has been an elusive artist whom I had never seen, but only heard about. Her album impressed me, but like all true DJ’s, the live set is crucial to our opinions of them as artists.
Her b2b set with Alex Arnout soon came to a close as they played through the prerequisite New Year’s countdown and drop. Half expecting her to sprinkle her original songs throughout the set, I was pleasantly surprised when she took a different direction. Opting for an even more minimal and dark sound, Coles’ music assumed a devilish persona, with thumping kick drums and minimal snare and claps.
Tracks like SLAM’s ‘3.8’ gave way to Miguel Bastido and Salero’s ‘Row of Claps’ as Maya intricately wove the delicate music together. With the multi-color CDJ’s lights glowing into her blood red reflective hair, her tough concentration showcased a delicious mean streak despite her small stature.
Eats Everything is the antithesis to Ms. Coles. His jolly partying is infectious – the crowd feed off his fist pumps and slurp up his maniacal energy. With his English bros, err, lads, egging him on behind him, the scene around the DJ tables resembled more of a teenage frat party around a flip cup table.
But of course, we were there for the music, and Daniel Pearce’s music was a truly eclectic rush of adrenaline. He threw in more minimalist tracks at moments (his edit of Justin Martin and ARDALAN’s “Wheel Gunner”) before slapping on basslines (Jay Lumen’s “Nobody”) so infectiously fat that your body felt an uncontrollable bounce trapped within your step. People were bobbing their heads while attempting poorly to talk. Very poorly.
The favorite parts of Eats Everything’s sets are his total investment in molding the crowd’s emotions. A staple in his sets now, Catz Eats Dogz’s “Evil Tram” is a pure mish mash of a lovely sampled female vocal over hi-hats, a funky bassline, and random sound effects. Pearce refuses to let the samples easily resolve, stretching the vocal build to an uncomfortably teasing duration. Before you know it, the vocals curtly lead into an explosive drop combining the percussion, bass, and more.
And alas, we arrive at Lee. He spins his trademark “All Day I Dream” shows all the time, but this was the first show of his I had been to. One of the friendliest guys ever, he warns me, “This won’t be like those shows. This is about to get much more dark.”
Though he wove songs of reverie into his set (Luca Bacchetti’s remix of ‘Lonely Star in Open Skies’), he strayed more into sinister territory. Wearing a sleeveless vest and skinny jeans, Lee loves to slither his arms in the air when he spins – his fingers carving through the night during builds as if they were searching for the drop.
If you have ever heard ‘Come Save Me’ (the Pachanga Boys’ Jagwar Pawar edit), Lee Burridge’s live rendition gives you chills. As the arpeggiated synths (with his snaking limbs) climb to find the right octave for the drop for minutes, Verboten’s shadows amplify the eeriness of Burridge’s shadows.
I left shortly after he let Ten Walls’ popular ‘Gotham’ (how fitting!) ride into the night. By then, the sun was rising over Brooklyn’s box warehouses, bringing 2014 into view.
With rumors of a new development coming early in the new year for Verboten, I suggest you hop over the East River to see what the hubbub is all about before the secret is out.