Ah, Matthew Matthew Matthew. An artist quite DEAR to my heart (get it? Jeez I'm hilarious) - June 27 celebrated another episode of his SUBVERSIONS series, which has been ongoing for the past few years. I am a huge Matthew Dear fan but have never had the chance to attend one of his Subversions parties - which are designed and curated by the techno superstar. The events boast some of the most forward thinking artists and visually stimulating characters, fashioned to create a memorably unique sensory experience. So did Dear deliver?
Rolling in with a 10 person crew had already started the night on a high note. As we entered Verboten our jaws dropped at the impressive Subversions decor, which was complete with coral branching from floor to ceiling and breathtaking imagery scattered across the walls. Lit by the emphatic beats and surrounding vibrations, the art installations pulsated synchronously with the crowd. Physical pieces by MuffinHead NYC, who tours with Dear, came in the form of "dot poppies of the third dimension" and their whimsically spiraling leader.
Mathew's set started with an enticing warm up, and quickly built into a fell fledged menagerie of dark, deep rooted rhythms. Tracks like Will & Inks's First Wilson and Daphni's edit of Modular Pursuits by No Boundaries had us feeling like we were in a psychedelic, underwater wonderland. The eclectic producer continued to bring us through a roller coaster of provocation as he conducted his way through a two and a half hour set.
The milestone of the night came when two patrons decided to stretch a belt across the dance floor, throwing the crowd into a full on limbo competition. From Dear's point of view, it may have looked like a random break in the hoard of dancers; but from front row and center it was an electric burst of energy and fun. Fellow Verboteners cheering each other on as we rolled and stretched our way under the taut leather limbo stick. What may have been a spur of the moment stunt turned into a 20 minute back-bending fiasco. Check out the crowd-raising moment in this poor quality image I took on my iPhone below.
Our group of friends decided to leave the venue by the hour of 4:30am, careful to make sure we didn't miss a moment of Matthew's performance. The night was whimsically exhilarating, the bright uplifting art installations creating sharp contrast to the devilish beats put down by Dear. Somehow though, when you took a step back, the production was perfectly cohesive. If you are ever given the chance, I suggest you sprint to the next Subversions Party.
Can't get enough of Matthew Dear? Catch him at Verboten's StageONE Detroit Love show on September 19 , where e he'll be performing as his alter-ego AUDION on the Brooklyn Waterfront with the legendary Carl Craig.
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