I was pleasantly amused when I entered Slake for New York's own LOUISAHHH!!!. It had been a while since my last visit, and it slipped my mind that the entrance was a labyrinth of dimly lit hallways. A thumping untz-untz-untz emitted from a mysterious corner. After experimenting with several closed doors, a hooded girl came up from behind me and opened the unmarked door at the very end. Strobe lights immediately flooded my view, and I knew that after that darkness-filled journey, I was in for a strange night. Fitting for LOUISAHHH!!!'s brand of techno!
I couldn't stop moving after being in the Red Room just a mere ten minutes. The dark and twisted tech-house bangers of opener Gosteffects more than satisfied the growing crowd. Not yet familiar? Imagine your favorite comic book villain, complete with side-swept bangs, is sweet-talking you and you have Gosteffects. Most of his set took inspiration from a genre his "FVCKOPHPH" EP covered (minimal drum loops with distorted synths, blended into a sensual amalgamation) and the whole hour had Slake poppin' off for LOUISAHHH!!!.
About halfway through Gosteffects's set, the music had my mind blasting positively in all different directions – through the roof and right back down through the crystal chandeliers – and I was unexpectedly invited to join a group of people at a table. Now, let me tell you one thing about Slake: their seats are comfortable. And after a set like Gosteffect's, I needed to recoup a little before LOUISAHHH!!! came on. (So thanks, Levi. You are awesome.)
Photos (including top): Nathan Valentine (BlueRaven Images)
A familiar beat THUDDED its way in. Cheers filled the room as LOUISAHHH!!! took the booth, her shoulders swaying, her knees bouncing. She'd mouth the words if there were any. Because this city is her beloved hometown, a posse trickled on stage to give her hugs, which she gave with grace and smiles. Her set explored everything from her "Translations" EP to her new track with Maelstrom, "Friction" (from their new EP with the same title). There was even something for the trap-heads as she slowed the tempo waaay down.
After murdering the speakers with her gothic-tinged techno, LOUISAHHH!!! played a remix of Yelawolf and Lil' John's "Hard White (Up in The Club)," and that really set the dance floor off. Hands were thrown up and sweat dripped off the ceiling, there were spit showers from shouted lyrics, and I'm quite certain that was the point when I lost my voice. No matter, though. "It's only friction, baby," am I right?
Here's one reason why audiences, new and old, love to see this Bromance artist: she has a no-frills approach to keeping the party going. I've seen LOUISAHHH!!! perform twice; not once did she pick up a mic to MC. Every now and then she'll look you in the eyes and smirk at you, but for the most part she's focused on her craft. Literally. At one point, two go-go dancers dropped by from the Performance Room and gave the crowd an unexpected sideshow, using the DJ booth as leverage. Definitely not her style... I thought. After half-a-minute, she asked security to escort both of them off. Badass, I must say.
Check out the "Friction" EP (out now on Bromance Records) below. I've also included her mix from Boiler Room Paris, a favorite.
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