2023: shows of the year

Maybe, say it softly, just a normal year for going out: some winners, some “meh”. Still a lot of people wanting to go hard after the pandemic … but that feels like a more normal new normal, as it were:

Anz @ Nowadays

Anz! Anz was immense; she played countless huge drops (see Minor Science – Workahol, in tracks of the year), but also a fast techno remix of James Blake’s “CYMK” which had people rushing the stage and screaming. She casually dropped the original of Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On”, played a 160 bpm quasi-hardcode uplifting piano track straight into booty house, etc etc. The pluralism we need, says I.

Wata Igarashi x DJ Nobu, Good Room

Vrooooom, woooooosh, zzzzzaaaananaananaag! Techno, techno, techno! Xyyyyooooow, fphoooooooroormmm, zap! Techno! (But for serious: two great DJs at the height of their powers, having a great time, playing some really warped records to a we-are-here-for it crowd).

DJ Marfox, Nídia, DJ Firmeza @ Elsewhere

Príncipe came through the small room at Elsewhere, which is of course the best room. My notes for this show include “an unshazamable track with a man’s voice SCREAMING?!?”, which describes the level of heat pretty well.

Laurel Halo @ Smart Bar

Finally, I went to Chicago, and finally, I went to Smartbar. It’s a lovely place, spacious in the right ways and in the right places. Halo played a style I feel like I have seen from a few DJs this year, of rotating through a set of genres: two electro, two house, two techno, repeat – with a very high banger quotient.

Very very Honorable Mentions out to:

  • Justin Carter @ Mr. Sunday; a borderline mystical experience due to the heat and the Detroit techno.
  • Conducta @ Nowadays Nonstop; which was I think the most packed room I have seen at 0815, and one of the more packed rooms at Nowadays ever.
  • Theo Parrish @ Nowadays; a very serious repository of wacko records – including two 10+minute jazz-techno-claps-on-the-1 records that I am still thinking about.
  • Love Injection 8 Year @ Public Records; a delight with the best sound system in New York.