I didn’t have to wait in the line that snaked around the corner with gals in the shortest of shorts and the tightest of tights for Futuropolis; but I would have. I missed the openers because I was busy changing my dress four times, trying to find something that would go with my bubble sneakers, because there was no way in hell I was going to wear heels to a show this nasty. A gal has got to be able to stand on her own two feet these days… this is the future, after all.
1015 Folsom has four performance spaces. Normally only one or two of them are utilized, but for New Year’s Eve, all four had been booked up for the mob outside, which trickled and then eventually streamed full force into the venue.
The low ceiling, warm bright lighting and dance platforms made the front entrance room an obvious home base for many. Alia welcomed the scores of feather-eyelashed ladies and chain-laden fellas ready to get hyphy. The dress code: burner zzzexy glam + funky crunky hood.
A lounge area to the left of the stage was decked out with couches, pillows, fuzzy blankets, and mats which became an easy place to station and look out for friends.
The main room had an elevated stage, which distanced the performers from the audience. The lighting was low and cool. For some sets this atmosphere was preferable, but for others the distance and therefore disconnection from the dance floor greatly affected the energy on stage. It took extra work for some of the entertainers to connect.
I arrived just in time to see The Polish Ambassador doing whatever it took to get the main room warmed up. Reppin’ Oakland like a boss, with his formerly frigid fingers and toes tapping. Loyal fans congregated in the front, and those unfamiliar were educated by the seven foot tall speakers booming from the back. Rockin’ a bright, color-blocked 80’s ski jacket and big old-lady sunglasses, The Polish Ambassador was bobbing with the heady, ready swarm. Cocktails were purchased en masse, and I heard Space Leaf Dub booming through with a Collie Buddz sample drifting through the atmosphere like wafting smoke.
Everyone was checking out the scene, moving around and looking for friends. With drinks in hand, newcomers and the faithful early birds received a flashback treat with an epic remix of Warren G & Nate Dogg‘s “Regulate,” which switched minds straight into freak mode.
A quick wander back to the front room confirmed that Andreilien was gettin’ it stinky and shady for a hot minute with some zip zap funk. Reggae jams popped up through the slinking grooves, and the front room was tropical.
Star Slinger owes The Polish Ambassador five bucks for warming up the crowd back in the main room. After some hit-or-miss tracks, Star Slinger was in the groove dropping his new release “Ladies in the Back.” Most ladies made their way to the front at this point, only a few dressed in all black.
Midnight came too fast. From the ceiling, down hurdled hundreds of white balloons, confetti, kisses and champagne, and libido were all sloshing around with the big countdown. Despite the midnight mixer’s big name, this was one performance in which the elevated stage worked against the DJ. It did not matter that much though, the main room was packed and the energy was ramping up. We had only just begun.
Meanwhile, El PapaChango in the front room had magnetic pull. After I wandered through a myriad of bass and beats, upstairs and around to the main room’s mezzanine, and a quick peek downstairs at the VIP zone, El PapaChango’s groove drew me back through the thick of the crowd and straight to the front of his set. This local gem pumped some smooth swag with the perfect hint of tribal spice that hypnotized every girl’s hip swang. Hands steady on the womp, Diego Novo flawlessly mixed in beautiful latin vocals which lifted the soul with a playful and inviting vibe, just when you thought you couldn’t drop it any lower. [AC]
Not everybody knows how to dance to what came next. Acid crunk trap is astringent. But LowRIDERz guest performer Lady Auberon from Beats Antique showed us how. The bass came in low and lilting. Staccato snare and TRILL TRILL TRILL gave us accent beats, but you’ve got to drop the bleep bloop robot moves and just ride the snake. Wearing a tiger-striped belly dancing fit, the gypsy goddess provided Warrior and snapped hips. An-ten-nae bounced around with his controller, and Laura Low stoked the crowd and maintained the heat. The main stage had finally come into its own with this trio of trappists.
Danny Corn did a good job of representing Portland with his smooth, bassy, yet sharp set. Sinjin Hawke was more Euro than I’d expected: a baby boy! Gold chain swinging, he pulled in house beats, which although not my personal cup of tea, seemed to fulfill the needs of many guests.
DJ Jocelyn of Club Exotica pulled me back to the front room. Booty trap was the name of the game, and this female DJ definitely plays for the ladies. Despite having a light shining directly into her eyes for a good 10-15 minutes into her set, Jocelyn made sure everyone was having a good time. The tall boys rallied to get the light redirected, and then she really got into it.
Next up was my knight in grimy armor. R/D is a romantic. He can read a crowd, which was pure sexy during the drop of his take on Ellie Goulding‘s “High For This.” At that point everyone was in the mood to slow it down. R/D carefully crafted a bass burdened blanket fort and made sure we all felt comfortable in our own skins. The DJ tables had some twigs and plants for decor stuck on the side of them. It was time those were removed, for safety. I took the initiative, because they could have poked an eye out: mine. Swinging my hair around, stomping the concrete, shimmying shoulders and generally behaving like a straight up groupie in the front row, this set was my favorite. R/D cleaned up Feed Me’s “One Click Headshot” and slammed more bass in our faces. Banana dub cream pies everywhere.
Dubstep has developed a bad reputation, thanks to all of the crap that sounds like chainsaws and dentist drills. R/D has a way with the genre which keeps dubstep in the realm of elegance. There are enough breaks in his compositions with complete stops, as well as lighter zippy passages that you can breathe to. Oh but it’s dirty. It’s not the stuff that is regurgitated on the airwaves in various pop tracks you can tune into on the transistor. It’s natural, as though the man’s heart is pumping motor oil through his veins. He’s breathing diesel fumes, and it’s getting soot all over your face. But don’t worry, he’ll clean it off for you later with a hot towel. He warmed up something awful for the special guest: Ooah of Glitch Mob/PANTyRAiD. The transition was seamless. The two blonde bass brothers were synced up like Gemini vinyl.
From start to finish, Ooah’s set was ridiculous. Most of the beats fell into the bouncy-funky-crunk category which is a niche market. Everyone in the room was sweaty already, but Ooah got the kids drenched. By the time he was done, there were puddles on the floor, not just from people spilling drinks. People were getting down wherever, including on platforms and tables. He whipped out some new tracks like “Peligrosa,” but the improv was untouchable. He combined funky, grimy hip-hop tracks with bass that made teeth shake. [JB]
Tattooed fingers swiping at buttons and knobs, classy as ever in a skinny black tie and white collared shirt where old school style meets new school flavor, Ooah was innovative and in mint condition despite having rolled around the globe with Boreta and ediT. Humble and generous, our not-so-secret-anymore guest invited us in for dessert. The room was packed, and the people were eating the beats up like s’mores. Burnt marshmallows and gooey chocolate were all over faces and hands. Flailing limbs, writhing midsections, oh, and ASS. Let’s not forget about the BOOTY. As far as the eye could see, the rumps were shaking like polaroid pictures.
The lounge area in the front room had evolved from a tame chillout spot to a full-on cuddle gallery for the club erotica sensual play experts, inviting fresh flesh to join in closer for R-rated fun. Upstairs and downstairs had room for folks who needed a little more space to move. The top floor had some tangy trap. The basement was loose, a VIP section with grapes and diner-style booths which accommodated some classy conversationalists. Although by morning there were some pooped out ragers asleep there in cozy cocoons.
Random Rab‘s performance was a breath of fresh air. After everyone had danced themselves into a naughty trance, a sweaty dirty mess, Random Rab filled the room with watery melodies, a river of beats, and washed us clean. His use of traditional instruments to pepper soothing loops and a calm, devoted vocal style was cherished. A ritualistic flower arrangement of white lilies, roses, and tall eucalyptus branches were arranged by Anthony Ward, who assigned each carefully and devotedly to its proper place in the composition.
The audience was entranced by the sacramental tribute to music, beauty and life. It was not a sleepy set, despite the calming aura of Mr. Rab and his attending floral shaman Mr. Ward. There was enough of a beat and enough bass pulsating through those seven foot tall speakers to keep everyone moving. The moves we started to see were far more fluid and intentional compared to the dance style that the main room had exhibited up until then. By the end of his set, you either found a second wind or you had lost your first. The crowd thinned out slightly which only made more room for more extravagant dance styles. Choreographers were visibly grateful for the extra space.
Wolfbitch and Company pumped the energy up with trap, trill glitch, and even more trap. I missed Holy Other completely, too much booty shakin’ bass in the front room to get away from. Shit was still real and raw. At 6 am the bar re-opened, and we had an EmCee with a team throwing flow through the amp without hesitation.
I had no idea who those wordsmiths were, but they were smashing (somebody please tell me who was on the mic!). I highly doubt at this point that I can rely on the lineup that was emailed to me last minute. Some cats who had clearly come up from SoCal were gettin down with the freaky Frisco ladies, and the live vocals were welcomed and embraced by the early morning booze cruisers. Mimosas. Bloody Marys. Everything was hazy from here on out, so I have little accuracy in recollection from that point on.
Most civilized folk would have called it a night a long before this point. Under normal circumstances things would have cooled off by the time the sun had crept up on us.
But in the future, there are still three more hours left to party with THESE DIRTY FREAKY FUTURE PEOPLE. And so party on we did. At 8 am, I barreled out of the doors with bleary eyes, the sun so bright and the street so quiet.
We may not have flying cars yet, but we do have bass music that will float you right into the sunrise. Happy New Year, party people.