Time was, a New York City nightclub not in Manhattan was unheard of. Times have changed and Brooklynites and those from beyond have embraced the borough's various temples of beats, including Williamsburg's underground mecca, Verboten. Since the beginning, through an array of love-soaked gatherings, and even at six in the damn morning, the club has cemented its reputation as a vital part of the neighborhood's musical fabric and the city's techno scene. Verboten's first anniversary celebrations are in full swing this week and a handful of the club's loyal residents and family from around town and around the world have offered a few kind words as a toast. Happy birthday, Verbotes!
Matt Tolfrey: People sometimes forget that getting on a plane to leave your own house—and in my case, pregnant wife—isn't easy. I'm not going to moan about it at all, but what makes it easy for me, is the relationship I have with people like Verboten. It's a home away from home. If I have a few spare days in NYC, I have a desk space in their office, and even the sound and visuals are tweaked specifically for when I play there. It really makes me feel like I am part of something.
The first time
I might be wrong here, but i think the first time I played for Jen [Schiffer] and John [Perez, club co-owners] was at a hotel, in a small room in the back, where Matt Dear and myself played b2b. One of the highlights of the night was Danny Tenaglia showing up to ask me if i could introduce him to Matt… surreal.
What is it you enjoy most about playing the club?
Being able to walk in there with full confidence and excitement that I am going to be able to perform to the best of my ability without anything getting in my way.
City of Liberty
Every time I play Liberty City, "If You Really Love Someone," it makes me really feel like I am in New York.
Gui Boratto: First of all, the crew makes me feel very comfortable in all ways. From a specific tech need to something special, like a chocolate bar.
The first time I've played a Verboten party was a few years ago when they were doing their night at Love Club, and it was amazing. It was a crowded house with good energy and I did a 4.5 hour live set. I played pretty much everything released and non-released that I produced at that time. Then, they decided to build their own place in Brooklyn. My first time there was surreal. I remember being blown away by the sound system. I guess as part of the family, I could be more impartial—but it's still my fave club in NY for sure.
The most important thing is the vibe of the people there. I feel like I can play whatever I want, as much as I want, and how I want it. It's pure pleasure.
I can't describe the feeling of the crowd when I started my remix of Massive Attack's "Paradise Circus". People were screaming! It was amazing and unforgettable.
jozif: Being a Verboten resident allows me to be resident at the best club in New York (in my opinion) but it also allows me to be myself, in and out of the DJ booth. It's important because being surrounded by those people that I love & respect, whilst at the same time feeling the same right back, is unique to being part of the family. [I have the] freedom to be jozif no matter what time of day it is or what environment we are in. Sunday Brunch is always a hoot too!
There are very few places that you feel comfortable enough to just be you and Verboten affords me that luxury. Right from when you walk in the door to the bar staff, to the sound all the way to the management, there is nothing you ever have to worry about. Coupled with the fact that the crowds have always been patient and receptive… there's not much more you could ask for as an artist.
A Hawaiian connection
It's going to sound a bit self promoting but when I played my "Waikiki" record there for the first time it felt amazing and has felt so every time since because I wrote it whilst on tour in the States and Verboten was the first place I played it after coming back from Honolulu.
Mike Prieto for VerbotenNewYork.com Bedouin: Being a Verboten resident is like holding the keys to the castle. It's nice having a loving family and home to meet up at, throw epic parties in, and occasionally use the shower.
Hands in the air
Our first time at Verboten was with Lee Burridge when the club had first opened. We knew immediately that Verboten had built a room that would quickly become the center for dance music in New York. It was one of those hands in the air nights that felt like the crowd had been starved for decades.
That sound system tho…
The Martin Audio System is refreshing to say the least. The sound at Verboten has a more warm and defined yet powerful feel which we like very much.
It seems like every track we play at Verboten goes off But if we have to pick one we'd go with one of our new tracks coming soon on All Day I Dream called "Flight of Birds."
Verboten's 001 celebrations are in full swing with a VerbotenLIVE party tonight featuring Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons [live], Pillowtalk [live] and Bedouin. Friday will bring in the Detroit Love party featuring Carl Craig, Chuck Flask, Keith Kemp, and special guest—Luciano. Saturday features MJC & Friends, with Maya Jane Coles, Lauren Flax and Wild Dark. The weekend will conclude with their Sunday Brunch party featuring Radio Slave, Stadenco, Niki McNally and many more.
Head to VerbotenNewYork.com for more details and tickets.
David would like to formally thank Verboten for one of the loudest years of his entire life. @DLGarber