Checked out the monthly R351370R (Resistor, for those who don’t read numbers) party at the Reverb Saturday, which brought back many memories of rave days gone by. There aren’t many rave-type parties going on these days, but the psy-trance scene maintains its little underground presence nevertheless.
Psy-trance traces its roots to the hippy community in Goa, where elements of rave, industrial and psychedelic music got combined into a hard, throbbing, twisted beat. These parties are known particularly for the overuse of black lights and fluorescent paint, as well as for lots of hand drummers and partiers spinning glowing things around.
The contrast between hard, scary sounds and light, trippy textures defines psy-trance, so it’s less cheesy than mainstream trance but without any of the restraint of techno.
The club wasn’t really packed, but there were enough people to make it feel like a party. Most of the dancing was in the main room, while upstairs (Holy Joe’s) had been set aside for drumming circles. Downstairs, in the back of the Kathedral, a small room with a strobe was dedicated to ultra-hard trance, some of it verging on hardcore, but it remained fairly empty and functioned more as a chill-out room despite the pounding, distorted beats.
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re still feeling nostalgic for the good old days of rave, this event is keeping the torch burning without the sketchiness that cursed the later days of the hardcore scene.
Friday nights at IV Lounge, veteran DJ Curtis Smith runs a mellow night called Brotherly Love, focusing on his trademark deep, jazzy and soulful sounds. It’s a pretty mellow, sit-down kind of night – a good place to chill out and warm up before you go out to the clubs.
It’ll get busier when the weather warms up enough for the patio to open, but this is very much a lounge, not a club. No cover and cheap drinks make it an affordable night out, good for a date or relaxing with friends. The music and mixing are quite good. Smith could be playing bigger parties but doesn’t seem too interested in actively pursuing those gigs.
The bouncer outside the Comfort Zone convinced me to check out its Thursday night last week, a late-night funky house party in the notorious basement. The Zone doesn’t bother to promote much in the traditional ways (every once in a while you find a flyer), but for the most part its reputation is enough to get the late-night crowd out whenever there’s a DJ event.
The Sunday-morning-to-night party is well known, but the Comfort Zone is also open late most weeks from Thursday to Sunday. Definitely not for everyone: those used to deep house parties at Roxy Blu would most likely be horrified at the dirty vibe the Comfort Zone evokes. Still, where else can you party till 6 am on a Thursday night?