A Review of Yello Door

Manhattan, May 18 '96

by Steve Hoey, Chief Safety Inspector

Yello Door -- a benefit for Art in General in NYC -- was a great party. Of course, since I was part of the group putting out the visuals, I'm biased 8-) but everyone seemed to be having a good time.

The space was a 75 foot long garage, 25 feet wide...the DJ table was along the right hand side of the room, about halfway back. The last 20 or so feet of the room had no roof, but a tarp in case of rain (which luckily stayed away Saturday night!). A bar at the front-right of the room, an entrance table, and two porta-johns all the way back formed the permiter. Also, just past the DJ booth was the Noise Laboratories setup -- VCRs, monitors, video mixers, cameras, and a bunch of freaks in lab coats making 8 hours of live, tripped-out visuals. We projected the visuals onto one side wall (next to the DJ on the other side from where our setup was), and also had 5 monitors at different levels around the space...so it was pretty immersive.

The music ranged from good to outstanding. Rene, Kef, and DJ Jerome all spun great sets...Jerome's was especially up and hot and sexy, and really got people moving.

Rene started out for the first hour, and ramped things up nicely. Starting with ocean waves was a sweet touch, especially because we in Noise Labs chose to start slow, with just one camera shooting black and white video feedback patterns. As his set built, we started mixing in a second camera's feedback... then, when the music really started grooving, we began dropping in color.

The transition from Rene to Jerome set the room on fire. It was like, Rene put the kindling down, and built the pyre, and then Jerome struck the match. It was at that point that we started pumping full force, with two layers of full color video feedback, and two layers of video playback, with the sound-wave layered on top from an oscilloscope display. Fast cuts, lots of playback, and incredibly intricate feedback (which was being created live in the room) melded with the music...it was as if it we -- the DJ, the Noise Labs crew, the dancers -- were all simply resonating to the vibe, making it stronger with each feedback loop.

DJ Kef came in strong right after Jerome, but was interrupted by Onionz's arrival in the house. Onionz dropped a few great tunes, and he also played some pretty, I don't know, boring tunes and some overly-long samples... He did the big-name DJ thing, dropped in just before his set, spun, and dropped out pretty soon after coming off the decks.

Fortunately, it wasn't long before Kef recaptured the tables and spun like mad. The place lit up again. Then it was another shot for Jerome, and then Kef returned to spin deep, deep into the night and all the way until dawn. By the end of the night, about 20 people were left, still moving, still grooving.

I'd say the peak crowd was about 250-350 people, and that was when Jerome was really kickin it up. Overall maybe 500 people went through the space. Water, beer, and wine were all for sale (pretty reasonably, too, especially for New York!)...and the cover was only $10. I'd say Art in General made out pretty well, considering they got lots of donations in kind. And the party goers made out pretty well too.

Props to the whole Art in General crew of volunteers who organized the event and put the people and the space together. Mad props to the DJs (and especially to Rene for the face massages!).

The only downer to the whole event was...three and a half hours of breaking down our equipment in a dusty garage. Even the four and a half hour drive home wasn't so bad...since all of us saw nothing but feedback - in the road and in the sky - all the way to Boston.

Chief Safety Inspector out.

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Updated 22 October 1996
Steve Hoey, Chief Safety Inspector