Last Friday, three of Coldharbour Recording’s finest made their mark on Slake, Esscala’s new nightclub of choice which is as raw and underground as they come in NYC. Grube & Hovsepian along with KhoMha are some of the hottest young talent in trance and progressive; and they would be representing the Markus Schulz run label on this cold Manhattan night.
Shaking off some freezing rain, I walked through the security check and wandered around this unique venue, dark and hidden. Two bars, two levels, and 2 elevated open dance cages later, I saw the stage where opener Rory James was bringing some serious dark beats to about thirty early arrivers. The stage, which isn’t so accommodating to anybody other than the DJs, was slightly elevated off the main floor and gave the crowd a great sense of intimacy for what turned out to be a great blend of progressive house, darker trance, and a sprinkle of uplifting beats.
Around 11:30 two of this country’s rising producer/DJ’s Grube & Hovsepian took to the stage dressed in all black and opened with “Turn It” from Fedde Le Grand, Deniz Koyu, and Johan Wedel. The duo and their nonstop movement got a steadily growing crowd amped up with a mix of underground non-commercial sounds, which fit this no frills venue like a glove. Here are some of the highlights of Grube & Hovsepian’s mix:
Power Drive- Pryda
Take It Low- Snorkle (Hector Sawiak mix)
Trickster- Grube & Hovsepian (Gui Barone mix)
Kemi- Marcus Schossow & Sebjack
Jinxed- Ticon (Christian Smith mix)
Human- Markus Binapfi feat Brighi (David Tort mix)
Hidden Place- Moonbeam
Downpipe- Mark Knight & D.Ramirez V Underworld (Armin Van Buuren mix)
I Need Your Love- Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding (Elevation V Grube & Hovsepian mix)
Memory Lane- Grube & Hovsepian (Elevation mix)
By the time KhoMha came on stage at 1:30am, Slake was jam packed. Partiers were fighting to get into the open cages attached to the wall fifteen feet above the main floor and I had moved to the balcony area to get a “birds eye” view of it all. With an entourage that flooded the stage, the twenty-three year old mega talent from Columbia opened his set with a Chemical Brothers classic, “Hey Boy Hey Girl”. The speakers could barely hold the bass that KhoMha released as he followed up with the Ferry Corsten bomb “Black Light”. I pride myself on a great tracklist for the readers but I was too into KhoMha’s mix to keep pressing Shazam. In true entertainer fashion, Coldharbour’s top talent moved seamlessly to the beats, dancing and pumping away with the fans. Some other tracks played that brought pure heat to this dark frigid NYC night included “Bullet” (KhoMha remix), “I Need You Now” (Eight-Seven mix), and the new Arty produced bomb, “Flashback.”
My Track of the Night was a great original mash up of the first electronic song that sunk the hooks into me as a trance junkie, and a creation from the very talented Jochen Miller. Faithless’ timeless classic “Insomnia” collided with Jochen Miller’s “Brace Yourself” to get the crowd moving after the packed house together as one, belted out, “I CANT GET NO SLEEP!” Two- thumbs up to KhoMha for that great moment.
As always Esscala Entertainment proved that no matter where the venue is, as long as the talent is there, the people will come. Slake is far from pretty, far from warm and cozy, but last Friday housed some of the world’s best trance and progressive talent. The crowd braved the cold weather and was rewarded with enthusiastic headliners that lived up to expectations of being on a powerful label such as Coldharbour Recordings.
Anthony Bellino for EDMNYC