party reviews : wmc 2001 : wmc 2002


Plexi's Last Dance :: Filter 14

Filter 14 probably closing

Such heartbreaking hear that beloved Filter 14 will be
closing on July 20th. So this Friday was the last dance for Plexi - the
last Plexi party ever at Filter 14! After 3 years & 3 months of Plexi
parties, it's a bitter pill to swallow. The loss of something more than
a club, but a home for music heads and clubbers in the post-Twilo era.
More so than Centro-Fly, more so than Arc - Filter 14 is
the club closing that affects my clubbing sensibilities the most.
Filter 14 was a haven of quality music with a no-frills atmosphere of
drunkenness and camaraderie.

The many nights of Plexi. A group of us started with an idea, inspired
by our nights at Twilo and wanting to create that same energy
and music elsewhere. We landed at ReBar on Eight Avenue for a
couple months and after they closed for renovations we found Filter 14.
It was a dark, bare-boned space but we saw lots of potential. From a
promoter's perspective, there really is no place like it. We had a
great sound system, an honest owner & great staff that were actually
fun to work with, and an anything goes ethos as long as we were still
having fun. I've seen boobs & more, I've seen licking, I've seen things
I can't even speak of in the downstairs bathroom. I've had many
"meetings" with fellow cohorts in "my office" downstairs and I've
shared many a dance with you on the dance-floor occasionally stealing a
peak up at my favorite lighting guy.

One of my most poignant memories is Trendroid's debut party
which was scheduled for 9-13-2001 but of course we couldn't go on
because of what had just transpired two days before. Drs. Matt & Pankaj
were actually working at St Vincent's then and the overall trauma made
it impossible on so many levels. After much debate we went on with it
two weeks later and it was a special night for friends to come together
and grieve, mourn, listen to music and most of all just to be together.
Uniquely for a dance club, Filter was that kind of place. On another
memorable night in March 2004 [Although not a Plexi party], days after
the war in Iraq broke out, Kats Imai played the original version
of John Lennon, "Imagine" and it captivate the entire
club in show-stopping fashion; people from outside pured into the main
room to stop, listen and reflect. It was a magical moment where
anything seemed possible. People are still talking about that night.

We've also tasted at Filter 14 with treats from piñatas and birthday
cakes, and lots of champagne. Even crudités and peanuts when the mood
would strike. I've celebrated my 27th, 28th and 29th birthday there.
Now, I'm a little distraught about where to host the big 3-0?!?

Plexi parties with Tribe Trix on visuals, Kageki on
lights, Jordanna & Sandra at the door, Hattie the manager,
Jason & Alison on bar duties, Tommy the owner presiding
over it all and a rotating cast of DJs that were the very best of New
York City. That's what Plexi was about, its mission was to showcase the
abundance of NYC-based DJs and talent. We tried to follow the maxim, if
you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. After all, Filter 14 is
quintessential New York.

Thanks to Matt Licata (112 Crew) & Gaby Dershin
(Astro&Glyde) for making this last Plexi night special. Matt owns that
room, more so than any of his 112 cohorts. His big sound in the small
room is all encompassing and does the sound system justice. We'll miss
him, as much as he'll miss playing that room. And although Gaby may not
have played at Filter 14 quite as often, the sentiment was overflowing
with a remix / sampling of Madonna [from Like a Prayer]
"feels like home..."

That's what Filter 14 feels like home...

posted on 12:20 PM


Stereo, Montreal

There was once a venue that embodied clubbing at its best: the sound, the DJ and the vibe that all came together at the right time. For a while it was Twilo that set the bar but since then nothing has quite lived up to that. Until now. Actually I've been hearing about the club Stereo in Montreal for months and months - 5 years in the making with stellar DJs David Morales, Roger Sanchez, Hector Romero, Sander Kleinenberg, Danny Tenaglia - all seemed to have amazing nights there and the legend grew with each enthused recount of Stereo nights from clubbers and DJs alike.

The sound, the amazing sound. It is quite possibly the world's #1 rated analog sound system. To give you the full picture, the original system in Stereo was designed by Angel Moraes and the current analog system in Stereo which replaced the original sound system  in Stereo, has been upgraded, redesigned & re engineered by Shorty of SBS - systemsbyshorty and David Morales. For those who may recall Shorty worked on the sound at Twilo as well. It's the all encompassing sound with bass that breathes heavy on your chest. We did a couple breathing exercises and found it quite difficult to respirate without opening our mouths to relieve the pressure. The top end of the sound is crystal clear. New York based Shorty was actually on hand in Montreal to tweak the system a few days earlier. A welcome touch since so many venues go through the trouble of installing a designer system, only to let it go over the course of time without the proper maintenance and care.

The DJ, the amazing DJ. Hector Romero rules the roost at Stereo. We walked into the club together, only to see Hector greeted by staff and clubbers alike. That nice, warm feeling where everybody knows the DJ and is looking forward to the night. It was like Hector walking into Filter 14 x 100 - bigger and friendlier. At the end of the night while Hector was packing up, one girl came up to the booth to gush about the wonderful night, how she and her friends have never danced so long and whenever she looked up she saw Hector having as good as time as they were. I'm sure that’s' what every DJ lives for.

The vibe, the amazing vibe. It's rare you find a really diverse crowd nowadays on the dancefloor that is solely focused on the music and dancing. In New York, the sub-scenes have gotten so splintered that you have mini-scenes for house heads, hipsters, celebs, ravers, the shirtless boys, students, B&T, trainspotters, etc. In Montreal, it was one egalitarian dancefloor without the DJ worship. Instead it was a symbiosis of music, DJ and dancing that come together in celebration.

As Julian from hotspot eatery and lounge Cafeteria (3581 St Laurent Blvd) told me, people from Montreal don't really consider themselves Canadian they are have their own unique identity that's quasi-European. This adds a beautiful foreign aspect to a visit here, but without the French snootiness. Most similar to New Yorkers who really don't identify with the rest of Americana but are part of a global culture with a unique identity. Although we seem to be a bit marred by being harried & jaded.

Most Stereo regulars refer to the Stereo dancefloor as their living room and even for us first-timers we experienced that same feeling with a roomful of like-minded clubbers. An amazing experience not soon forgotten but taken away as an inspiration to what it's all about.

Piknic Electronik

This weekly summer Sunday event held in the Parc Jean-Drapeu on an island right in Montreal brings the best elements of summer and electronic music together. To define it in NYC terms imagine P.S. 1 in Central Park. Summer in Montreal is a most beautiful thing, more precious for the natives after the long winter months. Underneath a colossal metal sculpture with blue astro-turf pads laid out for dancing. The party is inhabited by dancers young & old with families with toddlers in tow, clubbers, students and everybody else. It was a beautiful thing with music my boyfriend referred to as new-wave tinged house - the current buzz phrase being microhouse.

Take a trip - Montreal is worth it. Only an hour plane ride or a 6 hour car ride.

posted on 9:23 PM

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