BASEMENT: Wata Igarashi / Alejandro Franco / Antenes
STUDIO: The Carry Nation / Dee Diggs / Kilopatrah Jones
Japan’s Wata Igarashi has become an unmissable name in techno. He’s developed a completely personal sound that is as hypnotic as it is spine-tingling. On tracks like “Night,” he set an enviably high standard for linear, looping techno that blooms into something awe inspiring. His deceptively simple productions are as elegant as they are visceral, often tempering their astonishing power with an understated grandeur that one could unapologetically call spiritual. Mexico’s Alejandro Franco works in a similar field, exploring the outer reaches of techno. His sets drift through cold, commanding expanses, evoking cosmic wonder and, at times, horror. The renaissance man is also the publisher of WARP magazine and the organizer behind Catharsis, a multisensory festival dedicated to enveloping, high definition electronic sounds. NY’s Antenes has devoted her career to a shadowy minimalism informed by the Detroit-Berlin axis. Her synth-heavy work mixes a cerebral precision with a force-of-nature heaviness.
NY’s long-running gay party The Carry Nation is one of the city’s best nights, period, and much of the credit goes to its residents: Together, DJs Nita and Will Automagic have built up a rapport that borders on telepathic. Explosive tribal house bombs, soaring diva vocals, rolling techno scorchers and thick, sassy basslines weave together in an unstoppable, classic groove. Their laid back confidence and years of experience show in their indelibly timeless sets, which would certainly find favor in the house music’s heydays while retaining a modern edge. Dee Diggs is a perfect fit. The BK-based artist is a self-described “lifelong student of the tenets of House Music,” though that may be a little too humble. Diggs is undoubtedly one of NY’s standout new DJs in any genre, bringing a full throttle nastiness and euphoric sensuality to the front of the mix. Kilopatrah Jones balances this out with a more retro flavor. Mixes for Honcho and Coloring Lessons are laced with vinyl crackle, perfect, classic swinging rhythms and splashes of disco.