Pacha: A Whirlwind, Sexy Opening

Sexy…that’s the word I’m going to use to describe the new Pacha in New York. No…strike that. Super Sexy is more like it.


Now I know what New York has been lacking for the last few years, the hedonistic sensibility that is essential to club culture. Where Crobar is stadium-esqe in its design and atmosphere. Airy, with high ceilings throughout. Pacha is the complete opposite. Narrow stairwells and the almost perfect square of a room keeps people moving around, so as not to get too comfortable in one place since there is high traffic thru the common areas. This “get to know you” layout spread amongst four floors elicits feelings of the explorer in you.

What’s up here? What’s over there? How do I get this way? Why can’t I go that way? It’s all up to you to figure it out, while rubbing up against each other…looking into each others eyes, which you wouldn’t normally do because you’re never really all that close to someone in other clubs in the city than you are here. It gives it a kind of “in your loft space” feeling…well…it’s not as much of a loft as it is a factory space, but the feeling of intimacy is every present throughout.

pachaOf course, listening to the latin-tinged house flavors of Little Louie Vega in a dark room with glowing, fiery orange and soft warm blue lights sweeping across the heads of punters in the club, some grooving and grinding while others take in the view of the club’s dancers, half-naked on the center podium, most likely contributed to the highly charged and steamy, sensual atmosphere (who am I kidding, of course it contributed!).

The house music community and dance music industry as a whole was out in full-force last night to celebrate the launch of a nightspot that New York has sorely needed for some time. Ever since the days of Sound Factory Bar, no club has been able to replicate the sexual energy and celebration of house music that Pacha now represents.

Like every opening night before it, things weren’t perfect at the door, and of course the freezing temperatures didn’t help. The cue system was a bit confusing. They’d set up a Pacha tent outside, to the left of the main door, which would lead one to assume that’s the cue for V.I.P.’s. In fact, the cue was to the right of the door and away from the tent. What the hell the tent was for, I couldn’t tell you?

After locating my Netmix hip-hop radio host, who (like the CEO he is, god bless him) didn’t have his V.I.P. pass to the club, we proceeded to be led around to the V.I.P. cue by one of the door staff. Thank goodness I saw a friend, Amanda Pearl, the club’s events and bookings director, who allowed us to bypass the line, right onto the red carpet and straight into the club.

It was a little crazy, but I kinda liked that…because isn’t it how a club opening should be? Freakin crazy on opening night! Everyone running around! People shouting for this person to get them in…others being let in immediately, some completely and utterly ignored while hot chicks and glam gay boys are pushed too the head of the line. What a scene!

“This guys my friend”…”that girl’s on the list”…”don’t let him in” and “let that guy with the blue striped jacket, the girl with the fur and the kid with the hoodie in!” I love all that drama. It wouldn’t be the hottest spot in New York if you didn’t have any of that. Thank the lord of clubland I write this blog and host the radio shows on Netmix, or I’d still be freezing my genitals off in the cue!

I didn’t get the chance to go up to the third floor hip hop room, which I’m now told is called “Pachita.” According to my friend Leila, who is my hip hop, party-girl, eye on the street–it’s pretty hot. When not working at her chic-chic gigs around the city and hanging out on her off nights at hot party spots like Marquis (which I think she said she’s ovah already!), she’s giving me the 411 on the bling bling soirees, which I’m not as privvy too. As my life is that of a house head, I don’t get that Nicole Richie-shit anyway.

I was able to catch a few seconds of video of two of the clubs extremely hot and sensual dancers. I loved the reddish orange lighting…it was perfect. Check it out below:

Once in the club, we caught the tail end of Louie Vega’s sexy, latin soul inspired set. The track you’re hearing in the video is something he dropped. No idea what it was, but it’s got a bit of tribal tech sound to it. And, you gotta love legends like Vega who bring the old with the new. Later on, he dropped a remix of LNR’s “Work It To the Bone,” which kicked the dancefloor into high gear and prepared the crowd for the tough, rugged beats of Todd Terry, who’s first couple of records delivered a harder, funkier and pounding underground beat. Todd’s first few tracks layed in nicely, then he killed the crowd with a record that had two or three long breakdowns, giving people a chance to breathe a little, then pulling them back in with long drum-rolls and jolting everyong back to life with a strong four on the floor chugging beat.

todd terryA few weeks ago, I mentioned Armand Van Helden spinning all CD. Again, Vega and Todd Terry…all CD! Where have I been? The Pioneer CDJ-1000’s are in every club nowadays, and DJs a definitely preferring CD over vinyl, especially some of the top guys. I guess the with the flight rules now, it just doesn’t make sense to bring it on vinyl anymore. CD; much easier to travel with. I’m just wondering how many clubs today are set up with the best CD decks, or are DJs bringing their own? Something to ponder and I’m sure a question for the upcoming Winter Music Conference. My 1200’s sit here…I’m wondering if I’m doing myself a disservice by not investing in the Pioneer’s? Something to think about. I’d like to wait until the conference to find out.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best pics or movie. I’m still trying to figure out how to use my Konica Minolta Dimage A200 in club environments. Nightclub photography is hard. I’m still a novice and don’t consider myself even on the intermediate level yet. Sure, I’ve taken some great photos, which you can see in my blog photo gallery, but some of them have been pure luck. I’m trying to get good enough to know how fast to set my shutter speed, open or close my aperature and set the film speed while using a flash in nightclubs. I have a couple of books, but nothing on nightclub photography. I’ve been trying to use slow-sync so I can use the flash AND get the club lighting at the same time, but it didn’t really work for me on this night. If anyone has any pointers, I’d sure appreciate it! Thanks.

Oh…so, at the end of the day, this club is HOT! I didn’t stay for Erick Morillo or Pete Tong, but I know I didn’t have to. Being there for just an hour showed me all I needed to know about this new spot. It’s a shrine to house music already and you’d be kicking yourself if you don’t get down there over the next few weeks to experience the early days of the venue. I’m sure some real hard partying is going to be taking place, because the environment lends itself to an intimate, intense, sensual Ibizian atmosphere! See you there soon!

Tony Z.

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