I witnessed and was pivotal in one of Sound Factory NYC’s rises and falls of the early 2000’s.
It was during my junior prom after party in 1999 that I
attended experienced my first nightclub. A mega-club the size of a small city during its prime… Club Exit.
Overwhelmed, ultra-stimulated and rolling face, I thought this whole “clubbing shit” was the pinnacle of human entertainment and pleasure.
I exited the club with the sun just rising, barely 18 years of age and I had found my calling. To be a creature of the night. A party animal. To live the nightlife.
It was now “carpe noctem”, not diem.
With the internet still developing and Google still in its infancy, finding events and venues was done the old fashioned way; actual word of mouth, printed flyers and night crawling. With my obsession for clubbing well underway, I had met a veteran NYC nightlife insider, party promoter and director, Mr. Luis Kain.
He showed me the ropes. Literally and figuratively.
It was Luis Kain that opened my eyes to the real, more authentic and raw nightclubs in New York. Parties and events that made Club Exit look like a Wallmart with music and dim lights.
Twilo, Sound Factory, Vinyl, Limelight, Centro-Fly…
It wasn’t long until I started working with Luis Kain, Sammy “Yellow Eyez” K, Trilage, Tweety and others promoting and coordinating parties at two fallen legend nightclubs; Limelight and Tunnel.
Just a few months after discovering New York City’s nightlife, I considered myself a veteran and a party pro. That is until I went to my first Sound Factory Saturday event with one of the city’s most respected DJs…
We arrived at Sound Factory somewhere around 4 in the morning with the line outside that stretched across the entire street and bent half way down the avenue. We skipped the line, naturally. The music was, for a lack of a better word, MOVING. The people were moving in flawless beat resonance. The layout, lighting, speakers and most importantly, the VIBE – was. the. shit.
The Sound Factory became my second home.
More than that, it was like a house with good friends and family that eventually also became a workplace. Our crew got primary positioning for the Friday parties at Sound Factory which was the most fun I ever had in a job, even more so than my current profession vagabonding around the world.
The Friday and Saturday events were incomparable to each other, they were just, well, different – both was house and trance music but completely different animals. I loved both but Fridays was ours.
This of course meant that we would hit up both nights back to back every weekend. Fridays being a more chilled event whereas Saturdays was the very definition of “hardcore partying”.
No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep.
I have partied all over the world…
In the past 14 years, I’ve been to night clubs in Prague, Seoul, Bangkok, Berlin, Cancun, Taipei, Miami, Amsterdam, Vang Vieng and many other cities but Sound Factory NYC will always will be my favorite.
At the height of Sound Factory during this time period, we reigned and owned the night.
It was one of the greatest times of my life.
Beautiful people, beautifuler friends and the beautifulest music. Sound Factory was more like a giant house party where everyone knew each other and strangers were welcomed with open arms. But like all blossoming beauty, it was fleeting and nature took its course. Such is the case with all great nightclubs.
After a few glorious months of legendary clubbing at Sound Factory, the empire started to crumble. Inner turmoil at the club, Mayor Giuliani’s agenda, competition from other clubs and the factor of time.
The lines shorter, second rate DJ’s and the mandatory metal detectors with drug sniffing dogs behind the ropes (an extreme rarity in New York at the time).
The beginning of the end.
Eventually the frequent police raids and the influx of narcs at Sound Factory killed the profitability and partyability. It was over.
The building where Sound Factory lived is now home to Club Pacha. This prime warehouse located on 46th and 11th in Hell’s Kitchen is in the perfect location to hold such loud and crazy events that used to go on from night to well into the mornings. I can’t attest to the current parties run by Pacha, but I can’t imagine it being anything like my time at the “Factory”.
It surprises me how much I remember an era of my life from 14 years ago, perhaps it’s because of the profound effect The Sound Factory had on me as a young man.
Rest in peace, Sound Factory NYC.