- Coming off of a performance beset with sound problems and, according to some, ruined by the intense reverb of the underground stage at Detroit's Movement Festival, Cio D'Or graced New York with an opening set in advance of NYC native Traversable Wormhole's recent headlining gig at the National Underground. The venue, situated in New York's less-glitz-more-grunge part of the Lower East Side, is a performance space that is truly summed up in its name both for its physical location and for the artists it proffers. The thump of the sound system's low end could be felt outside of the club and, as party goers stamped out their cigarettes on the sidewalk of East Houston Street and moved down the stairs, the techno tunes of Oktave resident Jeff Derringer swallowed up any lingering chatter as attendees acclimated themselves between the lively city they came from to the clandestine techno world below.
The darkness of the space stole all sense of sight, allowing one's auditory consciousness to go into overload, intensifying the already potent mixing being offered by Derringer who warmed up the collective movement of National Underground's physically heated crowd for the venerable guests. Bodies were packed tight into every corner of the club to a degree of discomfort. No seating, and a near complete lack of dance room meant that moving from one place to another on the dance floor involved being painfully jabbed or salaciously groped. (Mostly the latter as the music being pumped through the system extended a sexy throbbing pulse.) It was the kind of sonic atmosphere that begged for either hands-in-the-air and enthusiastic whooping, or hands-around-waist simultaneous sway.
Photo credit: Adrian Kinloch
Cio D'Or has been known to prefer opening as opposed to headlining, and, as she stood behind the decks in full command of her track choices, her comfort in that role was obvious. The crowd pressed against the booth hanging on her every selection while she laced together a set that built upon itself, extending along a conceptual backbone, which was rhythmic, minimal and trance-inducing.
Traversable Wormhole took D'Or's built up pulsation and brought it to the brink of explosion. Breaking out of the trance, we were met with a live performance that combined industrial force and Aphex Twin-esque techno beauty. Both DJs, with their varying styles kept the crowd amped and captivated until the wee hours of the morning. Emerging from the dark hole of the club at 6 AM to birds chirping and sunlight beginning to spill over the East Village was like a refreshing cleanse to a night of deep, dark techno.