Friday, September 24
Somewhere deep in the heart of Chinatown’s sleaziest quarter lies 88 Palace, an insignificant-looking mini-mall that, let’s be honest, most of us would never think to set foot in under normal circumstances. Friday night, however, was anything but normal, with Glasgow-based electronic-music label LuckyMe taking over the second floor of the dim sum restaurant, filling the place with music geeks, nightlife aficionados, aspiring DJs, and scene kids embarking on yet another sleepless night.
After wandering haphazardly under the Brooklyn Bridge for a bit, we knew we’d made it when there appeared in the distance a throng of in-the-know children of the night snuffing out their cigarettes and filing past security, through the large glass doors, up the escalator, and onto the carpeted dancefloor. There was something particularly electrifying about attending an event of this nature in such an unusual space: a unique moment in time that only existed after 11 p.m., when Chinatown residents crept back to their homes and elated outsiders just crept closer to the DJ booth.
Among LuckyMe’s stellar roster tonight, Mike Slott’s meandering rhythmic mixture was a standout, interspersing melodic and serene interludes during his set of forward-reaching bass music, heavily influenced by U.K. funky garage and house. Canadian DJ/producer Lunice shone as well: His first proclamation upon stepping behind the turntables was simply “My name is Lunice–I love music and I love to dance. That’s all you need to know.” His music certainly spoke for itself, an outstanding set of glitchy, bass-driven electronica imbued with hip-hop, broken beats, and shades of dubstep. His constant enthusiasm and gusto powered the energy level on the dance floor absolutely through the roof, with not a still body or frown in sight.
Usually at dance-music showcases the most well-known artists are given the peak hours of 1 to 3 a.m, but tonight this coveted time slot was occupied by lesser-known names, giving them a full dance floor, and exposing those filling up that dance floor to stuff they otherwise might’ve missed. Eclair Fifi’s set spanning the milder end of bass music; Jacques Greene provided a refreshing change of pace, integrating more funky house and techno. Elsewhere, Brooklyn’s own Cubic Zirconia gave an incredible performance, incorporating a keyboard, drums, turntables, and live vocals via lead singer Tiombe Lockheart, who absolutely rocked the crowd with her commanding presence and raw, edgy talent. As 4 a.m. drew nigh, we were left feeling inspired, curious, and hungry for more, vowing to keep a closer eye on the label as we made our way back down the escalator and back to reality.