March 20, 2015 -

Sydney Jow

Last weekend marked the one year anniversary of Verboten's legendary venue. The company opened their doors in March of 2014 in hopes of creating a mecca for the imaginative, the preposterous, the unbelievable, and the extraordinary. So were they successful? Let's just say, if there's one place you should spend dancing the night's Verboten.

The nightclub celebrated the inaugural event with a three night celebration dubbed Verboten 001, boasting a line up of some of dance music's biggest names. Friday night, which was perhaps the biggest of the honorary affairs, brought the divine talents of  Carl Craig and Luciano, supported by Keith Kemp and Chuck Flask.

So when you blend together the commemoration of one of New York's most revered venues, with techno god Carl Craig's profound Detroit Love movement, what do you get?

One hell of  crazy night.

We walked through Verboten's heavy metal doors as the clock struck midnight; Chuck Flask and Keith Kemp were actively mixing for the moderately filled Control Room. Although at this moment, the club was relatively low key - it was a guarantee that within an hour the venue would be packed to full capacity. Even so, the two opening DJs were not holding anything back; their sound was deep, loud and arousing.

By 1:30 AM, the crowd had become a wild school of fish. Moving in unison to the oscillating beats vibrating through Verboten's walls. Seemingly without warning, Carl Craig appeared in front of the decks to a smiling, ravenous crowd. With no need for a warm up, Craig hit the mixers at full force the second he began his set. Starting off with tracks like Green Velvet's Millie Vanillie and Ardalan's Wake Upthe crowd's heads were spinning before they could make it to the front row. About 45 minutes into his performance, Carl decided to stop for a moment of veneration. Whether it was dedicated to Verboten, himself (rightfully so), or was just a tactic to hype up the audience - it was definitely one of the stand out points of the night. As darkness veiled over the entire venue, an eerie sense of mystery swept in. Bellowing from the club's state of the art speakers, came Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zaratustra (which you may know as the theme song from A Space Odyssey). Small flickering lights of red, followed by never ending spirals and bursts illuminating past our eyes and through the walls, it seemed like we were spinning into the solar system. Craig raises his head to us as though the messiah, and brings down the house with Bart Skils' Shadowprint (Check out the mind bending moment below).

Following this monster spectacle was a heavy 2 hours of all kinds of music. What could be most notable about Craig was his master and unpredictable ability to mix the modern and the extreme underground, with tracks that were older than most of the crowd (namely Telex's Moscow Disco). Songs like Harvey McKay's Never Grow Old and Loco & Jam's Omaplata had us feeling like we in the depths of Berlin over Brooklyn, NY.

At 3:30, the night was still young as Luciano took the stage. The smiling bearded Switzerland native raised his hands, a wide eyed crowd joining along as For by  Nils Frahm (The Luciano edit, of course) echoed into the room. If there's one thing Luciano knows, it's that a little melody can go a long way. Tapping into elements of house, disco, and of course techno, the producer had our hips shaking and heads bobbing for hours upon hours. As the morning approached, I found myself being constantly drawn back to the stage every time I considered leaving.

Come 7:00am, the crowd begins to dissipate and I finally decide to head home. Ears ringing, legs numbs, and the sun shining (a little too bright for the moment) -- a massive smile stretches across the faces of everyone as we look back at the club in the distance. An epic, intense, and dream-like night to say the least. With huge things planned for the future, there is no doubt in my mind Verboten will continue to thrill, inspire, and party hard. What a great first year, with many more to come.

Check out event photos here.

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