Recent RA podcaster and mix album poll winner Marcel Dettmann will be coming to New York later this week to DJ at Public Assembly's Friday night techno shindig, The Bunker.
The night, which has been a weekly staple of New York nightlife for five years, will be transitioning to monthly starting with the event—which also boasts Dial Records deep houser John Roberts in a supporting slot, performing a live set. As always, Bryan Kasenic and Derek Plaslaiko will play the role of residents and Eric Cloutier is also scheduled for a front-room slot for the party which promises to go until 6 AM—a full two hours longer than normal.
We caught up with one-half of the Bunker crew, Bryan Kasenic, in advance of the night to have him further explain why the night was slowing down to a monthly and to find out what's next.
How long have you been involved with The Bunker?
I got started with The Bunker in January, 2003. Mike Wolf and Timeblind threw a party for three years called Polar Bear Club on Friday nights at subTonic. When Mike decided to leave the party, Timeblind asked me to come on board, and we renamed the party The Bunker. I had always loved the subTonic space, frequently attending Polar Bear Club, Radical Anxiety Termination (later called Phonomena) and the Broklyn Beats Barreled nights.
Why did you get started with it in the first place?
I was doing a radio show on WNYU at the time, and throwing a weekly experimental ambient/downtempo party called Undercity at the original Halcyon space in Carroll Gardens. I was really frustrated with the radio format, as I was completely obsessed with the more interesting techno and house music coming out at the time (Perlon, Playhouse, etc), and desperately wanted to be playing at a regular DJ gig with a dance floor, not sitting alone in a radio station studio.
In the early years of The Bunker, it was not strictly a dance party, as we regularly brought in ambient, downtempo, IDM and different eclectic DJs and musicians, but I still had many opportunities to play dance music later in the night, and I was in heaven. So basically I started The Bunker because the opportunity to throw a weekly party on Friday nights at my favorite venue in the city kind of fell into my lap.
Why are you deciding to make the party a monthly?
There are many reasons for this. For one, I need to save more time and energy for other creative projects that should be seeing the light of day soon. Throwing a weekly party takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, and after six years, the weekly effort is really wearing me down.
Another reason is that the electronic dance music scene in NYC is a completely different, much more competitive beast in 2009 than it was when we started the party as a weekly in 2003. At that time, there were only a few parties, and everyone seemed to go to all of them. The Robots guys had started their weekly, Kevin McHugh occasionally threw a Micro Mini party, and of course, Tronic Treatment on Monday nights was a real staple and had been for years (massive respect to all three of these crews, by the way).
It really felt like NYC truly needed a weekly techno party, a place for the community to come together and celebrate the music we were all so excited about. Currently, there are so many promoters pushing this music in NYC, all fighting for the same very limited number of fans. I feel like right now the best thing I can do to contribute right now is to pool all of my resources and throw one incredible Bunker party a month.
So mainly, I feel that putting a lot more time, energy and promotion into one party each month will ensure that every Bunker is a can't miss experience that won't be taken for granted. Every lineup will be amazing, I'm bringing in a new sound system that will have to be heard to be believed, and we will be going to 6 AM instead of 4 AM. I want to make the party a lot better, and it's just too much to tackle on a weekly basis at this point.
Looking back, what was your favorite Bunker night of the past year?
In May of this year, Daniel Bell was working on getting together his live set of classic DBX material for a world tour, and needed a place to do a practice run in front of a crowd. He asked if he could do it at The Bunker, and of course I was honored. The set was mindblowing, and I think we were the only intimate venue on the planet that hosted it.