Transmission – a Dark Danse Party 

The Barbary is a club that has been standing the test of time so far in the Philly club circuit. Us nightlife people are painfully aware of the influx and outflux of available spaces for parties. Like Kung Fu Necktie, the two-party a night business model works well when it comes to bringing in a crowd.

The staff at The Barbary are some of the nicest and socially aware people. They manage an interesting monthly itinerary of functions and the sound system is well built. Overall the  space is what I consider to be safe and inclusionary.

These wonderful elements aside, I just can’t seem to get into Transmission.

Transmission – a Dark Danse Party

Long gone is the heyday of goth events in the city. Unfortunately, I was too young to experience the lore of a party happening almost every night of the week. Economic and environmental times have changed, and I wonder if a goth party a night would even be sustainable in Philly these days.

This isn’t to say there is a dry spell. We have Spellbound (back from hiatus in August), Uknown Pleasures, A Black Celebration, and a ton of quality shows happening at Lacquer. Transmission is easily one of the most frequently attended. It’s also an important event in the scene. The crowd tends to be a mixed bag of familiar eyelined faces and goth tourists. Sure, creeps definitely can rear their ugly heads here, but the staff at The Barbary have a no-nonsense policy for that behavior. Recently a friend told me of getting someone kicked out for saying transphobic things about someone who works there. I’ve never felt unsafe at a party here.

Transmission is also a great party to bring your non-counterculture friends and expose them to music they may not have been aware of before. However, this is where I hit a wall with how much fun I have. While I’ve never had a bad time, It seems lately that every time I come the exact same songs are played by the same handful of artists. It makes sense to play classics of course, and New Orders Blue Monday will never get old for me. However, there are a lot of classic and danceable tracks that aren’t featured, let alone contemporary goth. A few years this wasn’t the case at Transmission. You could hear songs by TRST being played or lesser known songs from The Cure. The DJ’s are very talented in technique as well, so I’m unsure why the variety of tracks has waned.

The quality of music is my first in personal preferences for what I look for at an event and I haven’t been impressed lately here. However, Transmission is never gonna be a bad choice for a fun outing and is a safe choice if you’re not sure what else is going on that night.

Next Up: June Itinerary

 

The Shakedown: Residents

The Shakedown is a monthly event held by Worship Recordings, a label dedicated to that beautiful deep house, techno, etc. It’s an event held at The Barbary that takes up both floors. It’s very special.

19894846_1472432879479671_4628062568631883631_nThe Shakedown: Residents

As much of a gothic as I am these days, techno and all of its relatives was my first love. While some may say the goth scene is dying, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Philly techno and house events. The thing of it is, The Shakedown, and lots of other events like Rizumu, Left Rite events, etc. are more than just a fun club thing. These crews bring the element of dedicated techno heads, who know the music and the history of this kind of music. This also resonates with the type of crowd that comes in. I admittedly was a bit nervous going to The Barbary because there have been times where the crowd that comes in has ranged from gross to scary. The Shakedown attendees were respectful of each other and came to just dance.

Willyum started the night off with deep house. It felt like a nice nod to the Deep House night that used to be held at The Barbary and I feel so old because I don’t even remember the name of that event. Next up was Rob Paine. It was really a pleasure getting to meet him and chat with him for a moment. His set was refreshing, and it was nearly impossible NOT to dance. I didn’t catch too much of Chris B’s set, but the portion I heard was dope. I had never heard of Big Jawn before this night but wow his set was extremely proper. He is definitely one of my favorite resident Shakedown DJ’s now.

As our world seemingly becomes more harrowing each day, it is extremely important that we have safe spaces for music, entertainment, and love. Places where anyone can come to dance. I don’t believe it’s ever the location that makes the difference of whether a place is safe, but the type of vibe that party crews create. The Shakedown has the right vibe.

Next Up: Rizumu Presents Voiski