Rafe Gomez won't settle for "you had to be there."
Driven by a fascination of the iconic New York City nightclub Danceteria, Gomez, an esteemed DJ and dance music producer, decided to launch a radio show to pay tribute. Beloved for its iconoclastic influence, marathon DJ sets and bold musical choices, the club initially opened as an illicit, unlicensed venue in 1979.
"There was fantastic cross-pollination of music styles and genres at Danceteria," says Gomez, who broadcasts his "Danceteria REWIND" show on Twitch. "Clubgoers enjoyed a boundary-free experience that combined rap, reggae, electro, new wave, hip hop, rock, old school funk, salsa, boogaloo, ska, and pretty much anything else that was cool and rhythmic. The DJs spun whatever got the floor moving, and there was no other spot in the world that was so unpredictable and exciting with their soundtracks."
After it was closed by the city's police and fire departments in 1980, Danceteria reopened in short order and quickly became one of the most prolific purveyors of new wave music in Manhattan.
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Rafe Gomez, the show's creator and host, remains enamored by Danceteria's iconoclastic influence and bold musical choices.
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"When we're in the studio, we're just a couple of goofballs that love nerding out on beats and wordplay."
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Danceteria's legendary first location ultimately shuttered in 1986, but not before inspiring some of the most influential musicians of all-time. The Beastie Boys cut their teeth as custodians; Sade was a bartender; Madonna worked the club's elevator and LL Cool J was a doorman.
Gomez says the mixing approach he takes with "Danceteria REWIND" is to replicate the timeless methods pioneered by the marquee downtown DJs of the early 80s, like Mark Kamins, Larry Levan and Francois K. While he sometimes chops their music up, his priority is to keep the original structures intact as an ode to their art.
However, Gomez's ultimate goal with the show is to transport his listeners to the long-lost, intimate club floor of Danceteria.
"My goal with ‘Danceteria REWIND’ is to revisit the club’s distinctive sonic vibe," he explained. "This includes tracks by global artists who contributed to the development of EDM like Kraftwerk, DAF, Yello, Section 25, Telex, Soft Cell, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Yazoo, and Liaisons Dangereuses. I also feature jams that influenced electroclash, skweee, break beat, and Detroit techno by such pioneering New York producers as Man Parrish, Hashim, Jiggs Chase, Arthur Baker, and John Robie."
"Danceteria REWIND" streams Thursday nights on Twitch from 8-10PM ET (5-7PM PT). You can tune in via Twitch.