party reviews : wmc 2001 : wmc 2002


The return to West 27th Street.

For the first time since Spirit opened I actually found myself under the disco-ball dancing! Danny Tenaglia has long been one of my favorite DJs and since Arc closed last April, I've felt deprived of a full flight DT night. Since 6 Hubert closed, DT has played 4x at Roxy, 1x at IKON and 1x at Cielo. I witnessed 2x at Roxy, which left me a little wanting and the Cielo gig, which was amazing for its intimacy, and while both had their merits, this time was the first chance to dance to DT with serious abandon.

I arrived at Spirit near 7 in the morning - which is late even for clubbing standards - after an overly-indulgent disco nap and an unexpectedly long stop around the corner at Crobar. I headed into Crobar at 4am with the plan of popping in for a bit of Deep Dish and moving on - (mostly observing, an unfortunate music industry malady) - but the energy of the place and crazy hullabaloo kept us riveted, eager to see what would happen next. Three hours, several cocktails and countless cozy conversations later, I managed to pull away... all without stepping onto the dancefloor once! But that was ok, because I was saving it for DT, and a few minutes before seven I departed for the Main Event. On a side note, there's something great about being mere blocks from two venues, especially in the middle of an arctic NYC winter night with frigid winds whipping in off the Hudson.

A good number of unfavorable reviews about Spirit have been spoken & printed since its opening last December. The criticism - hitting on a seeming failure to captivate the hearts & souls of NYC nightlife with its promise of spiritual renewal or even attract a steady crowd - has brought on bad publicity in the press and the vehement message board wrath of former Twilo devotees and casual clubbers alike. In spite of this adversity, just wait one New York minute; pretty soon everyone might be singing a new tune...

A change is underfoot at SPIRIT including a new sound system and promotion teams. The club on West 27th has been revamped with the world's second Integral Sound system (the debut system going into Sven Vath’s highly-touted Cocoon club in Germany). Integral is the new sound company formed by Mike Bindra and Steve Dash, the same partnership behind Arc's renowned system. As many will remember Steve Dash is the mastermind engineer behind the famous Phazon sound systems at Twilo & (original) Sound Factory and Mike was the manager at Twilo during its golden years. Considering the history of the space and their partnership, you can imagine how much care must have gone into the new system from these two. Go check it our for yourselves and then feel free to complain on whatever message board strikes your fancy (*ahem* is a good choice for the jaded, high connoisseurs of dance music seem :P).

Back under the disco-ball the Integral sounded amazing, even through my -25 dB custom ear plugs. I found my sweet spot on the dancefloor with the low, mids & highs in full effect - although I'll venture to guess the entire dancefloor a la Twilo is one big sweet spot - but as we all know Danny was the star of the night. His track selection able to transverse mood and genre flawlessly, ranging from the house-y diva vocals to conga drums and deep bass-lines w/ dark textures, all interspersed with his unmistakable MCing. This night in mid January Danny even mimicked a New Year's countdown which may have seemed cheesy to some, but to me, it felt like our own private NYE celebration. Happy New Year!

This time of year is usually reserved for Danny's anniversary party and last year's 5 year party at ARC was a splendid occasion. I'm just glad I had somewhere to celebrate this year even if nobody else was in the same mind frame. So for me, it was New Year's Eve and a DT anniversary party all rolled into one.

I'm sure Danny will be back at Spirit (I hope so!), but until then, Danny has announced his birthday celebration at Crobar, March 12th. Get ready to BE YOURSELF!!!

See you on the dancefloor!

posted on 5:09 PM

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