The Shakedown: Residents

The Shakedown is a monthly event held by Worship Recordings, a label dedicated to that beautiful deep house, techno, etc. It’s an event held at The Barbary that takes up both floors. It’s very special.

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As much of a gothic as I am these days, techno and all of its relatives was my first love. While some may say the goth scene is dying, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Philly techno and house events. The thing of it is, The Shakedown, and lots of other events like Rizumu, Left Rite events, etc. are more than just a fun club thing. These crews bring the element of dedicated techno heads, who know the music and the history of this kind of music. This also resonates with the type of crowd that comes in. I admittedly was a bit nervous going to The Barbary because their have been times where the crowd that comes in has ranged from gross to scary. The Shakedown attendees were respectful of each other and came to just dance.

Willyum started the night off with deep house. It felt like a nice nod to the Deep House night that used to be held at The Barbary and I feel so old because I don’t even remember the name of that event. Next up was Rob Paine. It was really a pleasure getting to meet him and chat with him for a moment. His set was refreshing, and it was nearly impossible NOT to dance. I didn’t catch too much of Chris B’s set, but the portion I heard was dope. I had never heard of Big Jawn before this night but wow his set was extremely proper. He is definitely one of my favorite resident Shakedown DJ’s now.

As our world seemingly becomes more harrowing each day, it is extremely important that we have safe spaces of music, entertainment, and love. Places where anyone can come in dance. I don’t believe it’s ever the location that makes the difference of whether a place is safe, but the type of vibe that party crews create. The Shakedown has the right vibe.

Next Up: Drums Like Machine Guns / Security / Plastic Ivy + DJ Speaking Parts

 

Spellbound with Kontravoid

This months Spellbound was very special for me. Last August was the first time I ever attended, and it was the first time I met my fiancee. Super cute, I know. Every Spellbound is spectacular, but this one had some extra cool stuff. Ayy.

 

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Spellbound with Kontravoid

Kontravoid hails from Toronto, Canada and brings a fresh sound to harder electronic synth music. I was happy to see the crowd size for this one. Everyone was moving to the music. The energy he brought to the stage was a cool sight to see. DJ Strykk9 expressed how therapeutic it was to dance to his set. I agree wholeheartedly.

It was all resident DJ’s this time. Strykk9, Shari Vari, and Nightwitch were great as always. I was especially into Strykk9’s set this time. He played some non EBM surprises. Those choices really sat well within his mix. I will definitely say the Strykk9 has opened me up to a lot more industrial and EBM that I was unaware of.

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Metal Reign was vending and the products were beautiful. I was a little cash poor on Saturday, but I definitely plan on making some purchases from the etsy shop. The necklaces were out of control.

Spellbound is quickly closing in on it’s three year anniversary. I am looking forward to seeing the growth of this party.

Up Next: The Shakedown: Residents

Infrared

Infrared is a monthly party held by nightlife collective Left Rite. The crew consists of some real talented people. They remain heavy hitters in the scene, while maintaining a DIY and all inclusive

 

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This particular event is held at the Irish Pol around 2nd and Market. I was a little hesitant about this location, as it’s in Old City as it can be a bro-y area at times. As soon as I stepped into the event upstairs and any feelings of anxiousness dissipated. The Left Rite crew keeps a safe and positive vibe with their parties.

July is a tough month for a lot of events, what with vacations, 4th of July, and festivals. Left Rite had actually just come back from PEX Fest, so the night was for their resident DJ’s. Though the typical itinerary for Infrared has always been guest DJ’s and resident DJ’s, it was nice to experience the eclectic music the Left Rite DJ’s have to offer.

In typical me fashion, I showed up way early to the party and it was not in full swing (Life Hack though, show up to the party early so you can check out all the parties that night . Phil Yeah set the mood with some really chill sounds that provided excellent atmosphere. Next up was ILY. ILY is an extremely talented DJ in the scene. He is incredibly skilled and always plays the right stuff to get the crowd moving, without relying on any cliches. BeeTee Beats never fails to pull out something unexpected and unique with his mixes, and it always works and sounds dope.

Left Rite has invested a lot of time and money into their HOLY DAMN amazing sound system. I was floored when I saw their rig and glad got to sonically experience it.

For the queer and trans community, Left Rite parties absolutely pass the test for a safe, fun, and all inclusive spot. They throw a number of events around the city, like Friday Night Jawn at Kung Fu Necktie. I am excited to see this crew develop in the Philly party circuit.

Next Up: High-Functioning Flesh/ IXVLF / Speaking Parts + DJ Shari Vari

A Black Celebration

So I finally made it to A Black Celebration, and boy, have I mean missing out! It’s an event usually held upstairs at Kung Fu Necktie, though a few times it has been held at The Fire. As far as goth events go, it has the most casual vibe that I have seen. It’s more like having a dance party at your bff’s house, complete with all the best post punk and new wave mix tapes.

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A Black Celebration

I got in around 11, and it was pretty packed, but not enough to be suffocating. The crowd was really enthusiastic and already the dance floor was moving. I have the upmost respect for DJ Baby Berlin. This is her event she started, and what was crazy awesome is that she had gotten off a plane from Costa Rica (her pictures of the vacation are amazing), and still hosted the event last night.  That type of dedication is one of the things that is keeping the scene going. DJ Jem did an amazing job keeping the positivity up and getting people moving.

The music was not typical for any goth night. Oftentimes, the same few post punk and new wave hits can be heard at any event, but the music mix was incredibly eclectic. It is not often that you will hear Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Specimen played at the club. The crowd was focused on just having a good time, and it felt very inclusive towards all types of people. This is another event where there was a nice mix of baby bats and elder goths.

One thing I have forgotten to mention about events held upstairs at KFN. You are allowed to smoke up there, so if that isn’t your thing it is something to consider. Typically though, it does not get very smokey. Most people opt to go outside. A Black Celebration is definitely a heavy hitter among the goth event calendar. It’s a perfect mix of a casual hangs and jaunty music and dancing.

Next Up: Infrared

 

Extra Dark

Philly is blessed with a diverse group of talented DJ’s and producers, and Extra Dark has a knack for showcasing diverse, underground talent that this city offers. It’s no wonder though, since the event is run by powerhouse trio Dentana, Stateschoolgirl and Lojit, along with varying guest DJ’s and musicians, help concoct a heavy hitting techno potion.

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Extra Dark

The guests for this edition of Extra Dark were Philly favorite, Diamond Girl, and TIM. Diamond Girl started it off way right with her set. It was chill and served as a good premonition for the night.

I never heard of Tim before this event, and I was  blown away by the deep, deep techno he played. It was incredible to see the dance floor move without any inhibitions. The entire vibe of the night was freeing.  A cool party bonus was the free tarot readings by my friend Justin. My card reading was incredibly on point.

It was pretty crowded for a Wednesday night, but this event usually has a good turnout. Dentana is an active producer and marketer for her events. She keeps in spirit of collaboration, which is something that I think can make an events more successful. While some crews do bring in guest DJ’s, Den keeps the genres of guests really eclectic. Just for example, she had me play at an Extra Dark and my music is very different than any sort of techno (shameless self promotion, check me out at Gravers Lane ).

Both Dentana and Stateschoolgirl are forward thinking, kind hearted, and easy to talk to people. Part of my meter of judgement when looking for queer and trans friendly parties is if the crew who runs it are, above all else, genuinely proactive about creating a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. Extra Dark is a stellar example of this.

Next Up: Unknown Pleasures