In the throngs of Chibeca on 59 Canal street a lengthy and worn New York staircase leads into a condensed sort of sports bar. The crowd was mellow and down to earth dressed in casual ware, nothing too formal, aside from the ponytail 80’s group, nothing too wild, just enjoying another night of good dance music in the city.
The DJs leading up to the main attraction, Wolfram, were good to okay. Sebastian Kid started the night off with some mellow tunes trying to find his style in an overwhelming sea of the latest wave of dance music. The next, Sieto, incorporated some classic rock with his electronic. The last, was, well soothing to say the least.
Wolfram on the other hand, who looks like he just came out of a relaxing stay in the caves of the Appalachian Hills is wandering the room, feeling out the atmosphere, and talking to party goers. His head, full of thick curls bounces through the crowd and matches a scruffy beard and gentle look on his face that lets you know he wants to talk, but right now he’s focused, he’s ready to show what he’s got, and his 70s butterfly sweater supports the cause.
Finally, 1am rolls around. The sideways pigtails and the acid wash jean jacket group is going strong. There is a line nearing the end of the block, and if you leave, there’s room for only one more. So, the night’s picking up speed despite the, let’s say, intimate setting that allowed for some wiggle movement; it’s time for Wolfram. He sets up.
On one side there’s a quarter-sized keyboard, on the other is a handheld voice synthesizer. Playfully electronic gremlins of his voice pour out the speakers to introduce his set. The mix erupts into stylized thuds mixed with low retro european vocals inspired by his hometown of Vienna, Austria.
The voices take you to a sexual setting with your closest european friends if you were going to dance parties with them in the more mellow side of the 80s. His beats have a twist of high energy star gazer encapsulated in European club-fog.
For ten minutes, he was god and we were his twisted boozed up spirit babies prepped to really start moving. Then the music died. It was cut short like a runner with broken legs in the first meter of a race. Surprise and disappointment flushed Wolfram as the crew scrambled to see what the matter was. Unplugged? Amp? Power?
Meanwhile, red and blue lights flashed outside and soon staff were screaming at death for patrons to leave. Licensing? Probably overcapacity. Maybe it was a noise violation. Nonetheless, the law was outside taking notes and ruining the music.
One thing was decided for sure though: the fun is dead in Manhattan. If there’s a party, bring your inside voice and forget the green, because the city underground is for early sleepers. The funk is in Brooklyn lofts and its dingy warehouses, but for god’s sake don’t say it too loud or we will all have to seek refuge in Queens.
With that, Wolfram brought a great pre-party and the actual set would have set the roof on fire, if the area “man” wasn’t so uptight. Then again, the fact that his beats let lose the badged hounds has to say something about the proportions of his spins.
He is in town for the next two days though. Check out his album and keep your ears to his airwaves.
I was happier because I knew I was happy
a snapshot of big hits and high tides, mostly high tides.
There is just a lot to love
the sound seemed to erupt from every side of the room
still on top
“danceable music for the end of days”
contracts its world in Nashisms
let’s take what we are offered
It’s the music, stupid