Being tapped into Brooklyn’s techno underground means being in attendance to some of the grittiest raves on the east coast. Brooklyn techno collective ALKHEMY's party The Black Hole by far holds that title, plummeting into its 3rd year with a new compilation Protectors of the Galaxy VA, encapsulating the party's unforgiving industrial mayhem.
ALKHEMY, the Latinx collective responsible for The Black Hole, places the preservation of the rave on the highest pedestal—booming yet crisp sound quality, light installations that are almost as mental as the music, and fog that swallows you up until you can't see two feet in front of you. Welcome, you have just entered The Black Hole. For the rave’s anniversary, ALKHEMY has released the VA on its imprint Whirlwind Trax to highlight some of the rave’s beloved artists and offer up some dancefloor-ready bangers.
The music of The Black Hole is reflective of the particular tastes of its founders, Felton Cortijo (Xiorro) and Christina Hernandez (Adrestia), who also rip behind the decks with member and producer, Jose Buzzi (Buzzi) who mastered 80% of the compilation. The sounds are fast and brutal with distorting experimentation that doesn’t keep you from wanting to move, and when I say move, I mean thrash. The name of the party fits, as most ravers completely lose themselves in the music. I know I do every time.
The VA record, a hefty catalog of performers from the U.S., Europe, and South America, is a display of ALKHEMY’s diversity-driven ethos. The collective’s mission has always been to highlight marginalized talent, including themselves and Xiorro and Buzzi add their signature styles to this record. The cover art, by Detroit’s Alan Oldham aka DJ T-1000, carries on that mission and the tradition of The Black Hole’s flyers, comic book visions of powerful people of color and women.
The 27-artist compilation is like taking a walk down memory lane, with a third of the album being past headliners from the party, some of whom made their U.S. or New York debut at The Black Hole. Dubbed by ALKHEMY as Protectors of the Galaxy, artists such as WarinD, Scan 7, Plural, Liquid Asset, Keepsakes, D. Carbone, and 138 bring forth their productions inspired by the party’s heavy, yet “ravey” sound—a blurred line between industrial devastation and acid bounce—representing a unified galactic stronghold of techno.
Plow through the insanity here and experience it in person on Saturday for the next Black Hole.