Each year around winter time, there is this sort of buzz in the air. Yes, yes, I know about the holidays and college vacation time with families and all that other stuff going on. However, for New Yorkers and New Englanders alike, this buzz rings especially loud and true immediately following Christmas up until New Years Eve; and even louder if you are an electronic music fan, due to the late-night NYC after-parties and wild shenanigans.
Similar to Phish’s MSG NYE, SCI’s Hulaween, or Tribe at the Tabernacle, the Disco Biscuits have found their home at the Best Buy Theater, formerly Nokia. But that doesn’t mean the always promising late-nights have a place to call their own. This year, Mr. Bugsly teamed with BBKings in Times Square, an easy decision of venue proximity and the glitz & glamour of throwing a show in the heart of NYC. On the contrary, I think it’s safe to say that they won’t be throwing them at BB’s again next year. But for now, lets focus on the good times that did ensue, because, all in all, I think they were very successful back-to-back nights.
December 26, 2011: Night 1: Abakus, Mord Fustang, The Manhattan Project
For Night 2 with Tipper & OL, Scroll Further Down
The Manhattan Project started the night off and played for those who were there right at midnight. Being that this was an after party, a band that kept the mood light but moving, followed by a pair of DJ’s, was the perfect order of events. It was important to sustain the energy while realizing the grueling task of keeping the crowd energized ’til 5AM.
Mord Fustang followed, jumping up and down stage right with a haircut that matched the likes of Skrillex. His music wasn’t much to consider writing about. Unfortunately for him, he got sick and they had to cut his set 25 minutes early. It was this high-energy electro-house that didn’t fare well on the BB King’s soundsystem – normally reserved for full bands & flawless, clean guitar.
Things were not running at a smooth and high-octane performance rate, due to a venue that did not seem interested in running a show of that nature. For instance, the timing of the sets and transitions didn’t seem to flow and you could tell the crowd at times was feeling antsy. The line outside the door that accumulated the 2nd night, was enough to have people writing off coming to that venue again. I know it’s Manhattan but the over-priced drinks were a deterrent as well. Overall, I don’t think it was an appropriate fit for this type of show and this type of crowd.
Abakus took stage left and had some technical difficulties through the first third or so of the set. At one point, the beat repeat was on, but the break wasn’t happening, like a record skipping. He had to call on the sound guy to jump on stage and help get the tech situated. Once that was settled, it seemed to be a pivotal moment in the set, because things seemed to click from then on out. The house mix sounded much more clear and full, actually thumping without any mudd or fuzz. Also, the beats switched up from more of a breaks style, to high energy house tracks that leaned heavier on the bass. The intergalactic flavor we all have grown to love from Abakus seemed to creep in more towards the end, but definitely not in full force, if you recall The Big Up 2011 set.
Russell Davies is no amateur when it comes to throwing a dance party, so either way, his track transitions were care-free and suave enough to keep the crowd’s fancy footwork effortless. In the latter third of the set, I caught a couple tracks off of the Beyond the Fields EP, including my favorite, “Diametric” [see video above]. Many in the crowd also noted the considerable amount of Cinnamon Chasers (Davies’ Side Project) tracks he played. The night came to a close with the bar turning on it’s lights and the bouncer pulling the plug on the tunes, but the fancy feets, still raging the dancefloor hard, yearned for more.
Alas we realized, it was that time, as the clock was inching closer towards 5:30AM.
A brief but deserved rest, and then it was time for Round 2…
December 27, 2011: Night 2: Orchard Lounge, Ian Stewart, Tipper, Alpha Data
Excerpt from the Dyaphonoyze Rage Rant Vault
…Walking passed the doors, my ears exposed to the systems best efforts, I immediately had to shake the memories of my last Tipper experience. A few months earlier, this one mid-tempo’d madman had me washed in the heavy sound waves of a 65,000 watt system in the adequately homie-stocked ATL. Although BB King’s stock house system had nothing on BassCrafts monstrosity of an arsenal, I was committed to finding the sweetest spot in the club, which was obviously where I found the rest of the LIS crew and fellow head-users.
It amazes me every time I witness Tipper’s craft, how this man exhibits absolutely no human characteristics as he lays it down. With hardly a glance to the crowd, he meticulously switches between his Ableton controller and turntable for periodic scratch sessions, expertly maneuvering between the multi-hot channelled DJ mixer and specialized battle mixer. It is always a pleasure for a person like myself, an amateur electronic music producer, to watch these tactics in the flesh.
This guy’s a musical genius, and if any of you head-users have the chance to catch the surround sound specialized Tipper Sound Experience, I encourage with great vigor for you to make all necessary movements to make that happen for yourself. (4D sound, make sure you get a good spot in the middle.)
At this show, a few things, like the sub cabinets moving less air than my backside after a night of cheap beer and burritos or the ever-present stock green squiggles for visual stimuli, reminded me that there could have been a higher level of production. A simple shout out to an aspiring visual artist would have solved the green squiggle issues pro bono. And when bringing an act with such prestige as Tipper, you’d think it would require renting the most bad ass sound system in town. But alas, we made the best of it as we always do, and after all, it is a late-night after party.
By the time Orchard Lounge took the decks, I was feeling nice off the mixtures, and although disco-house is one of my least enthused genres, I was able to groove the late night away with long Lost in Sound friends and extended family. Eventually, we found ourselves in a VIP booth reserved for recreational drug users, drinking half beers left by Zannee’d out bisco spunions, bumpin yatch, and smoking joints tough. As the Vinyl-controlled trio shifted away from the bell bottom’d corn swagger and towards more generic house, I was motivated to do a little booth dancing. OL kept it moving for sure and certainly did themselves justice after the last time I saw them exhibit a disastrous BIG UP Festival late-night session, rife with silence for minutes on end. (Technical difficulties out the ass.)
With a little extra special sauce mixed into the night’s vibe, we raged heavily (for some of us, 2 nights in a row), until the place was forcibly cleared just after 5AM. We can always look forward to Biscuits mania invading New York City, and the frenzy of fans that follow suit traveling far and wide. It wouldn’t be an entire run without the after parties, and this is what we do best.
Big shout to the bouncer who returned our J at the end of the night, and big fuck you to the other bouncer who took it in the first place and tried to sell it back. Big shout to “Jetman,” the jiviest turkey in the club, and I swear man… I’m not a cop. Big shout to VJ green squiggle, who expresses the classic example of “if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it.” Shout to Ian Stewart who stood in between acts to lay some jazz-fueled bass riddims down. Love ‘n light to all of the performers and production assistant’s on this 2 night run. Needless to say, this is one Ranch would be proud of… This shit’s for him. Big Shout to Mr. Bugsly and the LiS crew who, no matter how green the squiggles, never fail to provide a fun-filled evening.