You can't escape history. Even as DC-10 banners all around the famed White Isle institution proclaimed that it was a "new era" in a twisted, circus font, you also had people walking around in t-shirts celebrating the 20th anniversary of the venue. Most dance music fans have only known it for the past decade or so. For good reason: It only started to host the sort of DJ sets that made it a beloved Monday afterparty hangout right before the new millennium. Previous to that, DC-10 was what it still appears to be from the small two-lane road leading to it: A minor building you could be forgiven for passing by without a second thought.
The dust clouds and men in black t-shirts waving us in, however, were only the first indication that something big was happening. Once we curled around the back, the size of the complex became clear. Tiny compared to its competition on Ibiza, but bigger than many of the favorite clubs in the hometowns of the largely Spanish and Italian crowd that gathered inside. The two room club has grown enormously over the past few years, even if you might not be able to tell from the street.
This year's addition, Andrew Grant pointed out, was a lovely wooden archway with an enormous DC-10 logo at its apex. Get there during the daylight hours, and you can see its function: When you walk into the main room, you're plunged immediately into darkness. The archway gives you at least a moment to get acclimated before you step into a funhouse where Guido Schneider and Mr C played minimal house classics that had enough melody to make you silly for using the "m" word in the first place. As much as this is a "new era" for the club with Luciano and Loco Dice no longer ruling the DJ booth, the music that I heard throughout rarely sounded like the future.
Jamie Jones, who was most definitely not naked on top of the decks, played tougher than I might've expected considering the output of his Hot Natured imprint. A friend told me that he'd heard at least a few tracks over the summer from Danny Tenaglia's tribal heyday find their way into his sets. You couldn't blame him or Cassy for going for the jugular, though. Despite their best efforts, the soundsystem on this day was terrible on the Terrace. You could see soundproofing panels hanging down from the ceiling, but almost all you could hear in the enclosed metal and steel structure was the rumble of the bass. When it disappeared, the anticipation grew. When it came back, the crowd that packed the pink walled-room couldn't get enough. It says something about the other qualities of the party—vibe, etc.—that hardly anyone seemed to care.