Jess Blumensheid
Writer | Editor | Nomad


Drop the Lime's Williamsburg

Portrait by Devon Knight. 

For Jetsetter's New York City Hood by Hood iPad guide, I sat down with Luca Venezia, aka DJ Drop the Lime and Trouble & Bass co-founder, to chat about his perfect day in Williamsburg. Here are trimmings from that same interview in which Luca remarks on the rave revival happening in Brooklyn's hippest 'hood. 

How would you say Williamsburg's nightlife changed since you first moved there?
It has experienced many waves. When I first moved to the neighborhood, the peak was when I was DJing for Trouble & Bass parties at the former Studio B. About five years in, either the cops shut down the illegal clubs or the dance spots just died. Now a lot new spots are opening up, which is super exciting. The next wave is definitely deep house and techno. Electronic music quickly became over-saturated with dubstep, and I think everyone is ready to move beyond its hard and aggressive aesthetic. I think people want to go back to something a little bit more sexy. I'm noticing a lot of the kids in Williamsburg that entered into electronic music during that harder wave want something deeper. 

Which electronic genres are on the rise in Brooklyn?
It depends on where you're targeting it or what kind of parties, for example. What I've always loved about in New York is crowds tend to be very diehard to their promoters, their crews. A crowd that would go to a Verboten party wouldn't necessarily go to a party where there was trap music or dustep. You always have to be conscious of the crowd. I love mixing it up with Trouble & Bass techno artists with Verboten's bass artists. That duality always attracts one of the most diverse crowds.

Attending NYC raves was the transcendence from you hardcore/punk background to electronic music. Are raves as relevant now as when you first experienced them? 
Lately, yes. Williamsburg is experiencing a resurgence of proper warehouse raves. In 2002, rave culture died down in New York. But it's coming back along with the rise in popularity of electronic music and nightlife separate from bottle-service clubs.

How does Berlin's nightlife and rave culture compare to Williamsburg's?
Unfortunately, I don't think Williamsburg could ever match the spontaneity of a warehouse rave in Berlin. 

Why not? 
Legal reasons. The cops would shut it down, if you have a proper sound system that's loud enough to attract thousands of kids. Berliners can party a lot longer than us. For them, it's common to stay out at an after-hours party until 10 or 11 a.m. A lot of clubs in Brooklyn — Williamsburg, especially — try to emulate that vibe. In a way, we do a better job at taking the feel of a Berlin rave and putting it into a club environment. A good example of this is Output, a no-cameras, all-music club that recently opened across the street from the Wythe.

Are secret elements like undisclosed locations still relevant in rave culture? 
Definitely. Another reason why I love living in Williamsburg is because it's full of password-protected, speakeasy-style drinking spots and undisclosed after-hours parties that require you to follow a certain person on Twitter to find the location. That spontaneity is sexy, and it keeps me excited about the music. 

It sounds like the Internet is making it easier to find these places — doesn't that defeat the purpose? 
The Internet makes everything accessible. Those at the forefront of the rave revival are having to get creative with event promotion – if you announce parties using slightly different means, it makes that discovery process all the more exciting. One of my favorite techniques is the old-school approach of setting up a temporary contact number (now via a Google phone) that people must call in order to access an address mere hours before the doors open.