Last night’s Chromeo release party was a real family affair. The Montreal pop-funk duo celebrated the release of their third album, Business Casual, at the Lower East Side’s hidden Chloe 81 (which is still not the new Beatrice Inn); the door was guest-list-only, and a snarky, suited bouncer stood alongside Cornerstone Promotion’s much more laid-back list guy, both gentlemen coolly monitoring the scene and smoking cigarettes. Inside was the only kind of VIP situation we can get behind.
Down a set of grimy stairs and behind double doors, the lounge was filled to the brim. Candlelight flickered over a crowd of DJs, industry types, and packed booths playing host to gaggles of girls. Fool’s Gold’s Sammy Bananas and super-babe DJ Lindsey manned the turntables, unfortunately tucked in a corner next to the kitchen that sent out hors d’oeuvres. Two bartenders — both dressed as some sort of mod sexy librarian — served up free Bushmills whiskey, each drink handed to you with a custom Business Casual paper napkin, complete with sketches of the group’s P-Thugg and Dave 1. Dave 1 himself towered above the crowd, shaking hands and making jokes with seemingly everyone who passed him by.
A cocktail waitress carrying a tray of mini water bottles passed by as we were accosted by our first tipsy patron of the evening. “New York is such a golf-clap city,” he sighed while adjusting his button-down cardigan. He mumbled some apology about how he’s always the only one having fun, and we politely excused ourselves. As always, people-watching is most of the fun at these things — especially when such a mix of suits, artists, and fans are thrown together in one tiny, tiny basement. We spotted the gorgeous Kid Sister chatting with A-Trak, Dante Ross and Neal Santos having a drink, and Armand Van Helden looking almost exactly like he must have 20 years ago — the hipster version of a hi-top fade and all. The recently tweaked Ninjasonik (Death Set drummer Japhet has replaced long-time DJ Teenwolf) sat in a corner by P-Thugg, who, as always, took a low-key role in it all. “I heard that Felix da Housecat is here too,” notes the group’s publicist, Dana Meyerson. We spotted Dave 1 and headed over for a congratulatory handshake — he kissed me on the cheek and joked about a photo op: “Want one of me and A-Trak? What about Dante Ross? He’s the man! Really, I’m just happy to see everyone come out for this!” Grinning all the while, of course. Chromeo, we really do love you.