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Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday Night: Isolée Rocks an Underground Warehouse Party Until Dawn

Posted By on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Rajko Müller (Isolée) in S.F. Friday night
  • Rajko Müller (Isolée) in S.F. Friday night

December 10, 2010

@ [Location undisclosed]

Better than: Anything that lots of people know about.

One of the major organizers of the popular minimal techno/house scene parties in San Francisco, celebrated the five year anniversary of Isolée's first underground show in the states five years ago by hosting a similar party Friday night -- headlined of course by Isolée. In a small abandoned warehouse in an undisclosed location, German producer Rajko Müller premiered tracks from his upcoming fourth album, Well Spent Youth.

Isolée's new material: subtle, dark, urban, minimal, not nearly as distinguished in the world of house as sophomore breakthrough We Are Monster, but reliable nonetheless.

Dance marathon: Minimal house is the after-hours electronica style of choice. One constant tempo for nine hours means that if you get too tired, which is an inevitability if you got to the show on time or spent all night partying before this show, then you can just lay down and pretty easily be hypnotized to sleep. Couches were conveniently placed in the corners of the room for the less intoxicated to pass out on, or for the most intoxicated. But this wasn't the sort of audience likely to experience blackouts or medical emergencies; the mean age of the crowd hovered around early 30s, and most of the people who made it to the show were seasoned German house fans who could hold their liquor as well as they could hold themselves on the dance floor.

Diversity: There was also an enormously diverse presence at the warehouse. People from Mexico, Iran, France, Germany, and beyond all gathered to bob their heads and sexily strut in unison.

The house dance: Awesome.

Intimacy: A stageless warehouse in the middle of nowhere. The turnout was less than 150 people and the directions and location weren't announced until a couple of hours before the show. The DJs all took their place in the center of the floor, and people simply gathered around them. It's as if the artist is just another participant in the party with these setups.

Private vs. public: I've been going to a lot of these sorts of private, underground parties lately -- the sort of parties that have really specific directions, such as, "turn right at the chestnut tree, go .08 miles, reset your odometer, make a left" -- and the people there clam up when you mention that you're working for a newspaper. There's a violent reaction against anything that would bring more people to these events. It's completely accepted by those in the private party circuit that anything that gets caught up by the mainstream turns to crap. The natural impulse is to call them snobby, but then you can look at parties like Pop and Lovefest, which have died out because of the grimy, messy crowds and unfavorable coverage in the press. So can anyone really blame organizers for wanting a limited audience? The vibes at these private parties continue to be conflict-free and immensely friendly in ways that almost no commercial parties can achieve.

It just would've been nice if: They served breakfast at the bar when the sun rose. They did have orange juice.

Flexibility: The bartender at the "bar," which was basically was a set-up table in the corner of the room, didn't hesitate to give out discounted or free drinks for
those who just didn't have enough money to keep moving into the morning. Another benefit of these smaller events -- flexibility.

Pink balloons: The nitrous mafia, a supposedly dangerous group of Whippit dealers, made an appearance behind the warehouse: burly men all sitting on couches, laughing nonstop like jackals and passing out the pink balloons from their giant tank of laughing gas known affectionately by many as "hippie crack." Contrary to their
notorious reputation, however, their demeanor was mostly playful, passing back music trivia and giggling over everything. One attendee even described them as "a couple of pleasant chaps."

Overheard in the crowd:
Person A: "Um I don't think you should do that"
Person B: "I can HANDLE my glass!"


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Aron Fischer


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