You know the electro revival is officially over when one of the biggest names in the rejuvenated genre turns up at his gig and plays nothing but acid house.
That’s what Ed DMX of DMX Krew did at the Tribeca Grand on Sunday night. But as he started piling up the ACEEED, the dancefloor started piling up with punters who were ‘aving it, including Elliot Taub (a/k/a DJ Ulysses), Satamile, and Melissa of W.I.T.
Sitting in the corner was Flyer‘s Daniel Shumate, who I had to scold for the previous night’s faux pas. Mr. Shumate blabbered to the techno-geek grapevine that Detroit techno DJ Derrick May was spinning at the Foundation Crew‘s party at Groovejet. Of course, a Derrick May sighting is almost as rare as spotting Salman Rushdie back when the Ayatollah wanted his head. The rumor was believable only because promoter/DJ Kimyon has ties to Detroit. But I’m beginning to believe that Derrick, like Santa Claus, is not real. He wasn’t there, alas.
What’s in a name? Club Shelter‘s Kevin Hedge is a marketing genius. In just a few months, Hedge and the Shelter crew—responsible for the long-running weekly house parties of the same name at Vinyl—have managed to turn the old Club Speeed into a hip nightspot. Overhauling the club’s image by changing its name and adding a massive sound system, Hedge nabbed accolades from yours truly, New York magazine (voting it “Best New Club”), The New York Times (calling it a “secret utopia”), and the cover of Time Out.
But there are still New Yorkers who think Club Speeed still exists, and that Club Shelter is just a weekly party. Try this Spooky Twilight Zone Trick: Ring 719-9867 and you’ll be greeted with “Club Speeed.” Ring 719-4479 and get a different salutation (“Hello, Club Shelter”).
Employees are confused, too. Speeed receptionist Maria Gonzales told me that Speeed is the name of the club. “Shelter is just the party on Saturday night,” she said. “And Subliminal Sessions is the Thursday night party.”
Co-owner Ricky Mercado says he refers to the space as Shelter, not Speeed, even though all the legal paperwork is still under the Club Speeed name. He hopes for a total changeover to Shelter by the end of the year. (Seven more months!)
“I decided to rid myself of the Speeed name and stigma,” says Mercado. But apparently not the money that old Speeed guests bring in.
This would explain the crowds that are still turning up for hip-hop. “I still have Speeed parties here on Friday and Sunday,” said Mercado. Hedge and Shelter publicist Maggie Stein explained that the hip-hop nights were just a holdover from the Speeed days. “We are not doing this to clear up Speeed’s image,” says Hedge. “This is a complete takeover.”
Somebody might want to tell Subliminal Sessions honcho Erick Morillo about these alternate club universes, ’cause he’s probably perplexed as to where he’s playing at.
Shelter/Speeed is not the only club having an identity crisis. The renovated bank located at the corner of Essex and Houston streets has gone from a goth haven in the late ’80s as the Bank to Chaos during the late ’90s, when thick-chested men with copious amounts of hair gel, accompanied by girls in strappy black dresses, lined up along the velvet ropes.
A few months ago, it seemed clubbers with more refined musical tastes would finally get a shot at enjoying the spacious, but musically irrelevant, nightspot under its “new” identity, the Mint, with Breakbeat Science and Foundation launching weeklies. Both parties turned out to be no-gos.
Owner Tony Theodore told me back then that the bubbly and the beautiful weren’t spending money on magnums of Moët like they did pre-9-11, and that he wanted to focus on music first.
It looks like the bubble has already popped. “We had difficulty marketing it as the Mint,” says Theodore. The space has relaunched itself again as Chaos, though the club is still going to focus on music, with GBH and Tom Mello bringing Doc Martin and Paul Van Dyk to play. Let’s just hope the beefy guys and their silicone girlfriends don’t mistake Chaos for Speeed or Shelter for the Mint. Says Theodore, “The old Shelter will always be Area to me.”