NYC party goer Jacquie Real was hardcore enough to attend all three events and give us a full report of everything that went down during #nycdnbmarchmadness.
Take me to places where writhing bodies fill dance floors, where people exist solely for the beat of the drum and bass pumping out of speakers. Where it’s dark and dirty – and best of all, where no one cares about anything except when the next beat will drop. Can I get a rewind, because that happened all last month – it was called #NYCDNBMARCHMADNESS.
Three parties, with insane lineups, all cultivating their own appeal based solely on the anticipation of dancing until your jelly legs can dance no more. The trifecta. For the people lucky enough to attend all three events, I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I’m saying right now. Both clubs Slake and Paper Box were packed to the brim, full of people ready to escape all their worries, all their cares, and dance like (pardon the cliché) but like no one was watching. Which is the beauty of all drum and bass parties everywhere – the freedom to do exactly as you want, when you want.
Hospitality was the first party in the March Madness lineup. It was one of those nights where good energy lit up the whole spot. Cameron Kush, Dali and Nicky Twist started the night off – By 11pm the dance floor had enough heads that you had to be inventive to get a space to move your feet. Metrik came next, and by then you had to be downright creative in the ways of space. I’m also convinced that playing “I got what you need” is Metrik’s own private joke on the crowd, because he always seems to have exactly that. He was the perfect person to start off the headliners because if there was one person not moving, that immediately changed – and then Reso came on, releasing just as much energy into the crowd as Metrik did, you could see people just lose their shit the minute he started playing. Nu:Tone came next and it was perfect, all three DJ’s complemented each other’s styles completely. On the whole, the entire party left you with that feeling of euphoria you only experience every so often, on nights where dawn is coming, your smile is permanent, and you’re high on music, friends and living.
The second party in the D&B trifecta was World of Drum and Bass, held at the Paper Box, brought to you by Grade A & BP². The build-up for this party was insane, it was for good reason too – the lineup being what it was, and there was no proper D&B head that was going to miss this. I had been hearing about this party for months, so by the time it came around I was more than ready to lose every ounce of energy I had on a dance floor. Generations of D&B heads graced the Paper Box, all with the same intention – to dance till our feet felt like they would fall off. And dance we did, Nicky Twist and Bobby Skills from BP² started off the party, followed by Droosie (Grade A). Next up were Formation Records Tribesteppaz, Rockman and then DJ SS. The crowd had come with the intention to dance, and by 11PM, the whole dance floor was filled with people – which is no easy feat. By 12, a lot of my drinks had wound up on the floor due to flying elbows, but well worth it. The party was straight up in full swing by that point, sweaty and full of people grabbing their hats as they kicked their feet and twirled around (shout out to spinny guy). I’ve seen DJ SS many times and he never disappoints, when he gets going he can make anyone move. Drumsound and Bassline Smith followed, and the crowd ate it up. If you see the video from that night the crowd pretty much lost it at that point. Hard and fast and sweaty and gritty and everyone’s feet were moving in ways that my non junglist friends describe as tribal. The club opened up the second room because there was so much dancing they needed more space. Next up were the Prototypes who have that vibe that will make you stop mid sentence because the bass is calling you. Crissy Criss was next, another favorite of mine and another DJ I’ve seen a bunch but who I’m always happy to see each and every time. He always delivers that hard heavy dance floor sound, the kind that goes right into your bones and loosens your limbs until you make your own space, even if there is none. As a whole, Grade A and BP² brought us a night that could be considered nothing but epic. The vibe was strong with this one, the crowd was hyped from beginning to end, every DJ and every MC brought their strongest game and the sound at Paper Box made sure everyone was up to their eardrums in pure, full throttle drum and bass.
Let us now move on to RAM Records the final night of the #NYCDNBMARCHMADNESS: Delta Heavy, Loadstar, Optical & MC Sharpness. The vibe was intense – it was a good energy, people had come ready, after all, this was the last party of the month to get their fill of some of the biggest acts in drum and bass. Alex English, Dali and Cameron Kush set the crowd up early; it was completely packed by 11:30. Optical came next with lots of bass and heavy breaks. He killed it with the crowd – If you looked at the dance floor from the second floor, all you saw was this heaving mass of people below having it!. Loadstar was up next, making the whole crowd bounce about a foot in the air dropping anthem after anthem. Delta Heavy was then up, bringing a whole new level of energy to an already amped party. All three headliners had the dance floor packed beyond recognition… but then the 3 the hard way tag team set happened. Which I’m pretty certain, made everyone’s night, and left everyone feeling like they’d just won some sort of drum and bass lottery. Just watching how many heads were packed onto the floor was a sight to behold. The air was steamy, everyone lit up in Technicolor for bits and pieces – that much energy packed into Slake, with the sound system being what it is, it was massive.
If you were in NYC and missed any of these parties, I really am sad for you, but now you know never to do it again. Never underestimate the NYC drum and bass powers that be.
Also, as a side note: I feel like I should just go on board as saying that I support crowd surfing wildlife at every party. Food for thought promoters, food for thought.
photographer credit: Siouxside