For the past few years, producers Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White have been producing some of the most progressive, underground house music as Art Department, a collaboration that has seen the duo achieve instant success through a slew of awesome tracks and collaborations with such artists as Seth Troxler and Soul Clap. Verboten, doing what they do best, brought the duo to Highline Ballroom, along with Israeli producer Guy Gerber, for an all night rager full of ass shaking, dirty house beats. The guys at Verboten have a knack for booking the right artists and bringing in the right crowd, creating a harmonious setting that is not often found at modern dance music events. Everyone is there for the music, and the music is fucking awesome. There is no other distractions – just dance.
From the moment they hit the booth, Art Department’s smooth, thumping sounds filled up Highline Ballroom, which seemed to be at capacity with a line out the door even at the early hours of the morning. You may want to call the duo’s sound pure house music, but there is really so much more to it. It’s extremely deep in every sense of the word, and seems almost minimalist at first, until you realize the complexity of the arrangements and influences. Percussion that almost seems rooted in disco, funky bass lines, brief synth hooks, and Kenny Glasgow’s almost haunting voice combine to make dance floor ready ass shakers. This is the kind of music you feel throughout your entire body. It makes you want to dance.
Highline Ballroom has been recently renovated, becoming a little more EDM friendly, and Verboten doctored the place perfectly with awesome projection screens that really turn the concert venue into a makeshift rave. With the lights down, and Art Department providing the soundtrack, it almost felt as if you were transported into a warehouse after entering the venue. It provided a perfect experience to match the music. And that’s probably why people were still heading over to the venue at 4 in the morning, willing to wait on line to catch the end of Guy Gerber’s set. In a city full of bottle service and mega clubs, Verboten provides an experience that somehow feels both intimate and big at the same time, with some of the best pure dance music brought into New York.