I am in New York’s Chinatown, in a hell I like to visit when the morning brings nothing but a headache and  my aching body wants to escape in dance. On these days, I feel like being seared with a bass to recreate the night that could have been but almost never is, and see the constituents of the Kollektiv Degenerativ which I find at this nowhere basement. (It was an opium den a 150 years ago and is one now. The entrance is through a utility door of an extremely unattractive grocery).

Today was a good day to ask Juliene, the Korean-French expat owner* to put on Damian Lazarus’s record Smoke The Monster Out. Frankly, every day is good to do that, but today just happened to be the day that I did. Also today, Juliene** didn’t wear his fireman/nurse/cop shit that freaks me out. Some tracks on this album did do that, so keen they are on “womanning” the balance between slow/sexy and faux penetration with a baton.

Now I go down three flights of stairs into a space that was used as human storage and an asterisk den. In the 60′s, the MTA found it while making an expansion to the electrical system, hence we now have a cable snaked dance space off to the side, it sounds like “Diamond In The Dark”***.

“Memory Box” was getting smiles of recognition as it describes the modus operandi of the early afternoon crowd, they too, for “creative” reasons, have “no room in their memory box for your name”.

We looped the intro track “Smoke The Monster Out” for fifteen minutes, so well did it fit the mood of the space, complimenting the dark veneer of the Brazilian teek cabinets that hold the accessories of our pleasures. You can hear the shelves chirp, clanging against the wrought iron frame with an assured regularity. My only wish is for an extended mix to be included in the record.

“Moment” reminded me that up there above the numbing rumble of the subway is a sunny day for those who choose to see it that way. However the songs lyrics imply to me that a life within is more rewarding then a suspicious presentation outside. The dark synths and awl sharp beats that spring to action serve as a reminder, umm, as a double negative/forget, that I don’t want to leave.

There are a few changing screens for those taking indulging in a costume break from their day, and it’s only natural that this record is open all the time, but lets in specific characters at certain tracks. I’ll outline a few of those below.

“Smoke The Monster Out”: the kollektiv degenerativ, this would be spelled with capitals except for the aversion to capital letters mentioned below****. This song is the nail, the theme that ought to be repeated throughout

“Moment”: the wide-eyed beauty on break*****

“Memory Box”: Art Directors, Sound Engineers, the small intestines as Mikaeli calls them, emphasizing his dislike of capital letters

“King Of Fools: Those who come just to dance, they don’t have any “problems”, or so they adamantly claim

“Come and Play”: Nadina, and any of the doms she brings who work the night shift, it’s a bit of camp

“Diamond In The Dark”: A dance space, see above or below with an *

“Neverending”:  The small groups who swim to pry, fondle and caress each other after smoking. They stick to the wide areas of pillows and carpets at the back around one of the structural columns. Intimacy is asymptote of the undiscovered, approaching the known.

“Lullabies”: This one is reserved for a special person, their wide set piercing blue eyes or an incredible mane of Egyptian hair, this is a person with whom one would spend hours in Diamond In The Dark.

“Spinnin’”: Of course the DJs mostly come after their night, and after hour night sets are over, they are sour.

“After Rave Delight”:  Not a person, but the every person who walks up, three flights of monk fish juice stained stairs to the pungency of the everyday odors, dreams pushed aside once again, stored on a latch marked with red velvet to be picked up again like the worst habit that they are.

* the venue is a co-op with the goal to upset the ratio of do-gooder co-op bullshit that overtook our city.
** Juliene comes from a diplomatic background and he is very fond of the jokes on any system specific rules.
*** Newly christened dance space that was carved out for us by the public metro system. They had hastily made retreat after finding our no name, but I’ve heard from a friend who is in the concrete business the reason was that the consultants on the project spoke no English and their Russian accents are to blame for the failure of the East Broadway substation expansion.
**** Mikaeli is/was an art dealer who had made some good Warhol bets. His campaign is “down with punctuation and up with ation”, ation is what relationships are between people.
***** She would be, for me, often found in Lullabies. Also more likely than not to be involved in Neverending. (Cross Town Rebels)–Tim Nestor