If you grew up around electronic music and haven’t heard of the legendary NASA raves, you obviously haven’t grown up the right way. Backtrack twenty years in the early ’90s, where acid house, hardcore and piano rave were unstoppable forces on the dancefloor. The raw energy, purity and chemical-induced calamity surrounded the golden era of electronic music with a sense of intensive crowd energy and a desire to party until the sun went up (which is how it always should be).
Fast-forward twenty years and things have changed; the last time you probably heard anything resembling “rave” was probably the latter part of the ’90s with The Prodigy’s rise to prominence. As a person who desperately longs for the days of parachute pants, crappy plaid and lucid piano vibes, I wondered if I would ever see the day where NASA would return and provide a lineup of my dreams like this one. Well, my wish came true with the 20 Years of NASA event at Music Hall of Willliamsburg, where DJ Scotto once again took the reigns and provided one of the most vivid and voracious events ever produced at the venue’s history. Check out some more words, photos and videos (including a documentary), after the jump.
What was immediately noticeable was the age-group mix; yes there were some NASA regulars there from twenty years back, and being a ripe raver in your twenties was welcomed with open arms. After all, the regulars were in a welcome warm vibe of nostalgia, reliving their glory days courtesy of Scotto himself, Soul Slinger and NYC party stalwart Alex English. Yet, the lineup was the story of the night, with purveyors of immediate rave impact on the bill and going strong all night; acts like N-Joi, 808 State, Altern8 and NYC legend Joey Beltram lit up the room with their particular sonic pastiche, re-introducing their status as kings of the rave after a near two-decade floating pattern. Playing their own classics, as well as timeless tracks from Acen, Moby, DHS, and so on and so forth. To put it bluntly, Scotto made this writer a believer that the old days were back in Brooklyn, for at least one more day. The time machine was good for a few hours and the peak time was during Beltram’s blazing set. The Queens-born producer pounded through current and classic techno cuts, while sprinkling bits of his former glory in between. Yes, Energy Flash was played, but it was more a feeling than a flash. If you want to capture more of the feeling left by NASA’s epic reunion event, check out a huge chunk of the event via Scotto’s Soundcloud (down below) as well as “the aftermovie” depicting just how amazing it truly was. Long live real rave music.
Photos courtesy of Adamthelizard