Last Thursday night, I had my first real music-writing gig. I was very late. Headed to dinner at LAVO with an Australian House DJ, his publicist and three other freelancers and somehow I was the one that was late. Call it the Great NYC Taxi Drought of 2014. The cab I finally caught was in no hurry, having clearly just come off his shift with Miss Daisy. I wasn't going to make it to E 58th by 11 PM. So I marked the minutes against flashes of green street sign in hopes of finding some comfort: 11:04 -- 23rd St. 11:08 -- 34th St. 11:11 -- Xanax. At 11:14 I hopped out of the cab and sprinted the last two blocks to the club. I finally got to the table, having lost track of time.
I arrived in a wintery huff with an arsenal of sorries. But if the group was perturbed by my tardiness, I never would have known. Particularly from Anthony Maniscalco, better known as rising House DJ Hook N Sling. As (I assumed) any writer would, I had prepared discussion questions about music and the like to launch at my first subject. Not the move. Rather, Anthony's bearded smile steered the conversation toward far more light-hearted topics -- "I love broccoli," he noted at one point whilst skewering the buttery veggie, "my mum would be so proud." Pure, unadulterated charm. Naturally, a model and a dancer had flanked Maniscalco by the time the meal wound down (note to self: Advertised Show Time=DJ Dinner Reservation) and we headed through to the club.
Australian powerhouse Hook N Sling has been making waves in EDM and House Music for a little while now. Perhaps best known for his collab with Goodwill on 2011 Aussie sensation "Take You Higher," the DJ has continued to pump out his own original mixes, as well as working with big names like NERVO and Chris Willis. His newest single, Momentum, comes as an insistent Electro House response to Big Room Sound, a genre quickly becoming the trope of EDM. The track doesn't mess around. With a dash of Trap in its bass-line, it belches out drops from deep in its underbelly. In an EDM age of sultry vocals and monotonous progression, "Momentum" is a welcome addition to the canon.
I looked out over the crowd from the DJ booth. They lolled beneath the fumes for the first hour of the show. Over dinner, Hook N Sling recalled his previous performance at LAVO, where only the second half yielded the now infamous debauchery surrounding live EDM. He expressed a tinge of worry at not going on until 1 AM on a Thursday night. Yet here, with "Momentum" in his back pocket, he was untouchable. As the liquor flowed and the night wore on, those who had soldiered through to 2 AM were, for lack of a better acronym, DTF. More eyes closed than open, more arms up than elbows out. The crowd was ripe. Hook N Sling let the track loose to wild success. Whether it was the drops or the drugs, we'll never know. But if you find yourself fading at the club tonight, know that "Momentum" is certainly worth the wait.