- For seven years Droid Behavior has set the standard for underground techno in Los Angeles. The crew's signature party, Interface, always drenches the body in beats and slaps the mind around well into the morning hours, and the seven year anniversary party was set to be no exception. Physical preparations for the venue had been underway for days, and the event planning and design for much longer than that. No matter what, this was going to be a #29 to remember.
Arriving around midnight to the downtown location for Interface 29, the outside smoking area was already teeming with partiers out for a bit of fresh air and a lungful of smoke. Bickle had opened the main room with a taster of deep minimal techno, and the venue was crackling with excitement early on, the night air popping with the happy energy of the crowd. Pushing through a hundred smokers to get inside, the main dance floor was throbbing with people and booming with the thick beats of Acid Circus, AKA brothers Vidal and Vangelis Vargas, half of Droid Behavior and label Droid Recordings. Their jacking new-style techno and minimal sound was accomplished with half hardware and half digital equipment using a 909 machine drum, Ableton and Traktor, once again proving that the DJs who are the most versatile also often sound the best. The dance floor was enamored of the beats and mesmerized by the full stage portal projection visuals from CPU.
The dance floor in the side room was bubbling as well to the weirder and more random beats flowing from the fingers of Deru, one of LA's most original producers in the realm of the hip-hop/IDM mutants that proliferate in the city. John von had opened the night with jazzy ambient beats, followed by eezir with grimy fingers on the electro tip. Over the second stage area was a giant, seven-fingered techno arm whose pale digits, one for each year of Interface, bounced around over the DJs heads, persuading them to play….play….play. By 1 AM the head bobbers and pop & lockers were in full effect on the dance floor, and edIT of the Glitch Mob was setting up his gear.
Unfortunately, right around that time a most unwelcome guest showed up at the front door: the LAFD. Seeing the red disco lights on top of the chunky red fire truck, the party was doomed and soon The Man dispersed hundreds of ready-to-ravers out onto the streets of LA.
"Where are you going now?" became the question of the hour as phone numbers of new friends were exchanged. Some chilled on the side of the road in lawn chairs next to an RV with a disco ball drinking vodka and chain smoking, then bounced around downtown LA to various venues to try out random shows with beats that didn't quite do it. Everyone was waiting for the magic text to indicate where the Droid party had been moved.
The night was edging towards morning and finally the second installment of Droid Interface 29 was found buried deep in the underground and still packed with partiers; even at the late hour over 400 dancers and techno freaks were alive and thriving. The sound was excellent, reverberating through the building and making the soft sofa seats in the back into full-body massaging chairs. Chris Liebing delivered a set of pounding techno with an edge as hard as the concrete dance floor, laced with acid and as fresh as the impending day. At this point the crowd was ravenous to sate its techno addiction, and for over three hours Liebing made good on his legendary status with unrelenting beats.
Kid 606 was on next and mixed a crunk concoction of electronic music, throwing in some fat dubstep in with faster breakcore and electro beats. After his set he handed out a few CDs to admirers close at hand, and then the Timefog DJs, James Patrick and M. Gervais added to the funky ethos with a morning-perfect set of deep minimal techno, practically pounding the sun up into the sky.
Despite the venue snafu, the night was a win. The LA crowds are forgiving; sometimes you fight the law and the law wins...for a few hours. Then we all meet back up and dance our faces off until the bright SoCal sun is far above our faceless heads.
Photo credit: Dean Paul + Dan Arnold