Offline, however, Rail Up isn't as elusive as its digital non-presence suggests. From down the street, the party's resonant bass could be heard well before the venue popped into view, its door wide open and welcoming. Inside, the space looked more like a large living room than a small warehouse, with a large potted plant and sparse, red lighting revealing a set of couches in the back. The intimate confines offered an experience cozier than your average night out, though it also at times made the sound almost overwhelming, even when wearing earplugs. (That said, Cooper previously mentioned that their soundsystem is intentionally "overkill" so that people can feel the music.)
Shortly after I arrived, Muñeka delivered an hour of heavy baile funk followed by Duran, whose combination of reggaeton and dancehall upped the energy and the numbers on the dance floor. His set hit a high early on with fiery edits of Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" and Cardi B's "Lit Thot" and "Bodak Yellow," the last of which had the dance floor heaving. He then played late Tejano music icon Selena's "Amor Prohibido," inspiring a crowd singalong that felt heartwarmingly unexpected.
After Duran's set, Foreigner darkened the mood with more dancehall, kuduro and Afro-house, though the night's most menacing sounds came from headliner DJ Lag. The gqom pioneer's scorching, broken house beats took the party to a new level of intensity; at one point, when he unleashed one regrettably unidentifiable cut, the collective reaction was to start jumping up and down, as if commanded by an unseen force.
Watching the crowd dance to diasporic sounds in that tiny South LA warehouse, I was reminded of just how much the underground scene in one of the US's most diverse cities has to offer. Sometimes you have to stray from the usual path to find it—or, maybe, if you're in the right place at the right time, it'll find you.