'Rinsed' Showers Us With The Best In Underground Dance Music

The story of how two DJs started their own party to get away from the mainstream nightlife scene and become NYC's leading DIY dance event
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Harrison Williams
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The story of how two DJs started their own party to get away from the mainstream nightlife scene and become NYC's leading DIY dance event
Rinsed 6

(photo by by Mike Coulton)

With the multitude of DIY events popping up in New York City, one has managed to stay ahead of the game with their ethos of maintaining a fresh and forward thinking atmosphere. Rinsed, run by Dan Wender and Blacky II, has been a dynamic dance party in NYC for the past 5 years. What started as a unique community for those in search of something different other than the normal club scene, has grown to become a premiere underground haven by staying true to their distinct vision.

We had a chance to chat with the founding members of Rinsed to discuss what provoked their original idea, how they manage to maintain their uncommon motif and what those who attend their parties can look forward to. With their Halloween event coming up on Saturday, October 31st boasting a secret lineup, mindful party people will be in attendance no matter what, because they know Rinsed is the place to be, every time.  

Purchase tickets to Rinsed: Don't Sleep

What made you want to start throwing parties in NYC? 

"The first Rinsed parties were thrown because, at the time, there was nowhere that was both inexpensive and had good music. We really just wanted a cool place for us and our friends to hang out and dance. We were unknown DJs back then. It was a way to play the kind of party we always wanted to be booked on, we had to build it ourselves. This was late 2010, so we're coming up on our 5 year anniversary."

What is your vision for the Rinsed series? What do you want people to take away from your events?

"The goal is always to transport and transcend. We want our events to leave people feeling like they just encountered something unusual and unique to the normal club experience. Our goal is to make people forget where they are, what they were doing before they got there and what they'll be doing after they leave. Finally, we want people to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Everything we do is done to encourage people to realize there's no need to be inhibited."

Rinsed 4

(photo by by Ross Figlerski)

There are a lot of parties in the NYC area each week, what makes Rinsed stand out?

"We definitely have a certain aesthetic niche in the party community. We're insanely stubborn when we want things to look and feel a certain way and we'll go to great lengths to achieve our demented visions, but we also try to avoid pigeon-holing ourselves. We try not to shy away from things outside of our comfort zone. Where a lot of parties consistently play a single type of music, or have a single sort of brand image, we welcome variety. We like to shake things up. Sometimes we'll have an all techno line-up, and other times it will be all disco, or R&B and hip-hop influenced stuff. We love lots of different kinds of music and we aren't going to discount that because it's not currently trending or something.

"We also have a penchant for choreographing special moments throughout the course of the night. We're constantly creating original music and editing our favorite music and sounds that wouldn't normally make it's way into the club for theatric moments with performance artists, like James Marsh, to interrupt the expected course of events."

Rinsed 2

(photo by by Mike Coulton)

What is your life like outside of Rinsed?

"We're pretty much always either working on Rinsed, or our own music, or looking for inspiration, going to shows, concerts, art galleries, film screenings, lectures, nature walks at the shit factory (yes, you can find inspiration even at the shit factory). We listen to a ton of music, and just as much talk radio too (sort of as a musical palate cleanser).

"We're very lucky to have a group of like-minded friends who inspire us with their own crazy ideas and visions. We spend a lot of time exploring abstract ideas. We also really enjoy eating good food, maybe a little too much."

In the past, what have been some of your most memorable events?

"Let's see... Inner City's first live show in over a decade was a major milestone for us. It felt like a movie bringing such legends out of retirement for something like that.

"Recently, our party with K Starke at Good Room was also incredible. It felt so good to give props to a mostly unsung hero and champion of record store and house music culture. Not to mention he and Eli Escobar straight tore the place up. 

"Lastly, taking chances on unknown acts is always fun and exciting. We had Gorgon City in a janky old store room of a plastic bag factory for their first ever American performance in April 2013, now they're pulling us to open for their sold out shows at Terminal 5. It's all pretty surreal."

Rinsed 3

(photo by by Ross Figlerski)

What does the future hold? What are you looking forward to? 

Less events on a larger scale, we basically need more time now in between events to create something that lives up to our ever expanding imaginations. We've built up the concept of Rinsed so much in our heads, that it's become harder to live up to the expectations we've created. From now on we only plan on doing events when we can really go all out and create something that's more than a cool party, something that people who normally wouldn't even go to a party can attend and have a good time, and leave thinking "what else have we been missing out on?"

We want Rinsed to be a launchpad for all kinds of Artists to help bring their ideas to life.

With the Rinsed series, Dan Wender and Blacky II have established themselves as true tastemakers in the NYC dance community. When stepping into their distinctly original events, patrons sense a feeling of togetherness that is lacking from much of the other collectives currently in the scene. The history speaks for itself. Don't miss their upcoming Halloween event that is sure to have some spooky surprises along with that dependable Rinsed atmosphere they've become known for.

Purchase tickets to Rinsed: Don't Sleep

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