Psytrance fans had their come to Jesus moment on Saturday when Hamburg-based DJ and producer Neelix made his New York debut at the intimate Santos Party House venue. This rare live set was a treat for longtime fans of the artist who put on a standout show over the weekend, which was presented by Esscala Entertainment.
It was around 1 AM when Henrik Twardzik took the stage. Despite the obscurity of the Psytrance genre (I’m honestly scratching my head trying to think of other well-known artists who even attempt to fuck with that), I felt that Neelix made his music accessible by connecting with his audience, creating vast soundscapes that were highly danceable and by incorporating well known samples ranging from Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know to Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, to numerous other snippets that had been so distorted it was hard to tell from what songs they had originally come. His set was pretty much seamless considering he was tasked with live mixing for nearly two hours – an impressive feat for anyone, and especially noteworthy considering the intricate nature of Pystrance music.
With almost 20 year of experience under his belt, Twardzik curates an entire evening. It’s more than just music (although that part is f*cking awesome). It’s the robotic voice that leads the listener between tracks, it’s the intense connection the fans experience when listening to his sounds and it’s the sheer joy he exhibits while performing. Without saying a word, he said all he needed to say.
The only thing better than the music was the crowd, who skewed older and seemed to be able to handle their shit, a rare find in a city full of all ages venues. Having just returned from my first voyage on Holy Ship, an electronic rave cruise that travels from Miami to the Bahamas twice annually, I was welcomed by many familiar faces who came to Santos for the good vibes and to see an artist who they’ve been dying to see play New York for years.
You can listen to Neelix’s Human People (Mix) Below:
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