Reviewed: Lamache & Poten at GLOOM, Denver, CO.
Though the concept clearly revolves around music, the entire GLOOM vision is more grandiose than just auditory bliss. Through careful attention to sound bites, subliminal messaging, and the occasional ‘glyphs,’ a vivid picture of a dystopian world unfolds. Faced with a corrupt government fueled by a black-ops program codenamed Operation: GLOOM, it’s their job to lead the resistance and defeat the powers-that-be. At least, that’s what the GLOOM team will tell you.
Helmed by Black/Tuesday, GLOOM is a new Denver-based production crew, party series, and vinyl label that’s pushing the boundaries of the underground sound through their multimedia concept. The Black/Tuesday duo is making a name for themselves in their own right, with releases on Tzinah, Melotherapy, and Ewax already lined up for 2019. Together with Denver staples Diego Santana and Poten, and LA-based Jay Berd (owner of Lemak Records), the GLOOM squad seeks to take their patrons outside of their typical party experience.
“We wanted to start a party series that would build a sense of trust in the community,” Black/Tuesday’s Joe Burchard says. “That trust allows us to book artists who may not be well known in Denver, but that we really love.” He smiles, “You may not know who the headliner is when you get there, but you’ll be giving them a huge, sweaty hug goodbye when you’re leaving the next day.”
GLOOM was birthed from a gut feeling that, though Denver’s scene is as healthy as ever, there was also something sorely missing. After traveling the globe and going to some of the most renowned parties worldwide, there remained a burning question that the team kept asking themselves – why can’t there be parties like that in the United States? With a focus on breaks, minimal, electro, house, and everything in-between, they have been ushering in a fresh sound and style to Denver’s booming nightlife.
Hosted at a secret location just outside of downtown, their most recent party was one of the most unique experiences I’ve had throughout my eight years in Denver. I entered a NY-style loft through a back alleyway between a couple of dumpsters. Walking through the side door, I felt as though I stepped into another realm. Fit with a raised congregation area in the back packed with couches and pillows, and a dimly-lit dance floor powered by finely-tuned Funktion 1’s, this party had all of the ingredients for an underground masterpiece. Equipped with multiple skylights and a stairway to nothing, the 200-capacity space was the perfect quirky location to carry a party well into the next day.
Derek Poten started off on the decks with true veteran style. Recently signing his first record to London-based EYA Records, Poten already has several releases lined up for this year. Weaving through countless genres, Poten flawlessly played vinyl for his entire 4-hour journey of a set. A self-described vinyl junkie, hardware hoarder, and sonic explorer, Poten has the vinyl collection and studio that reflects his nearly 15-year career.
The international talent of the night, Lamache, hopped on the decks at around 2 AM to a frenzied crowd. Lamache started dipping his toes in music when he was 16, throwing house parties and mixing records in his free time. After studying economics and then sound engineering, Lamache first joined party purveyors Toi Toi Musik before recently settling on French powerhouse, Yoyaku. Hearing Lamache play, it was easy to understand why he is considered one of the top selectors in the underground. With an infectious stage presence and an endless supply of jaw-dropping tracks, the Frenchman tore up the party through the morning.
The smiles, hugs, cheers, and whistles throughout the morning showed me time and time again that Denver has really hit its stride. Lamache himself perhaps said it best, “I forgot I was in the US for most of the party!”
If you’d like to get a taste for yourself and ‘join the resistance,’ GLOOM’s next party will be on April 26th at an undisclosed Denver location. Tickets and information can be found here