Frankie Bones, Adam X, Heather Heart
Rounding off Crack’s time in New York City, Red Bull Music Academy’s darker side continued to flourish at an extremely special event channelling the earliest period of New York’s rave culture.
Throughout RBMA’s New York Festival, the consistency in bringing innovation to each individual venue used had been stunning. And in putting on an event that’s roots are so inherently associated with early nineties warehouse parties and everything that entails, tonight’s venue was never going to disappoint. The Brooklyn warehouse where tonight’s re-imagining of the original Storm Rave is taking place is perfect; long, bricky and wonderfully apt for a massive rave.
Over the course of the festival it’s hard to pick another event that’s roots are richer, as well as being deeply engrained in British musical history. Tonight’s Storm Rave is an inert celebration of the birth of rave culture in New York and its founding fathers.
The story goes that one DJ Frankie Bones (real name Frank Mitchell) was booked to play an event in the UK called Energy in 1989. Due to the nature of the event, cultivating the free-party/acid house/rave explosion in the UK at the time, Bones ended up playing in front of 25,000 people. Feeling somewhat inspired, Frankie brought the sounds and rave philosophy he’d encountered and set about promoting and pushing his own Storm Rave parties in Brooklyn. Bones also opened his first record store called Groove and a scene was born within the confines of his neighbourhood. Other cohorts got involved, such as Bones’ brother Adam X and local DJ Heather Heart. Within a couple of parties the likes of Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath and Doc Martin had made various debuts at The Storm Rave. At this point, Bones is credited for bringing hardcore and techno culture to the US.
Tonight’s event is a celebration of everything that made the Storm Rave so unifying and revolutionary for those who attended during its heyday. The production in the venue is unparalleled yet again with punishing sound and suitably full on lighting to match the intensity of the music. It’s heavy stuff, as techno, hardcore even hardstyle make an appearance as the music moves into the more extreme and dislocating areas of dance music. It’s also surprisingly contemporary and far from being an early nineties throwback event, the whole party feels like a wonderful celebration of a cultural movement without being a pastiche of it (bar a bit of day-glo).
This was the most warehouse of warehouse parties, the whole shell of the structure shaking upon arrival. In a victorious fashion, Bones held up a flyer of the original Storm Rave at the end of his closing set. It felt fitting; tonight was a glorious ode to the party’s enduring relevance. It might not be 1992, but the legacy of this style of partying will always have an impact.