Written by Ondine Charlesworth
Starting out as an underground party, GHE20G0TH1K has defined itself as a subculture that brings together elements of music, fashion, and art under one collective movement. The event draws an eclectic crowd of club kids, cyber heads, and twerking-bounce junkies, sporting LED lights, gas masks, and silver-pleated turtlenecks. Fronted by Venus X in 2009, the movement has been supported by Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air since its DIY beginnings, with artists such as M.I.A and A$AP Rocky frequently attending. The party aimed to bring together peripheral individuals of the social scene, disputing the realities of religion, ethnicity, politics and identity; it quickly became a place where those who were otherwise disenfranchised would be welcomed and embraced into the GHE20G0TH1K community.
After taking a brief hiatus since October of last year, GHE20G0TH1K returned on Saturday, May 2, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival. Taking place at the Brooklyn Bazaar, the show was headlined by Sissy Nobby, Total Freedom, Ma Nguzu and Mike Q. The highly-anticipated event did not disappoint, the venue adorned with old fashioned arcade games through a strobed curtain of hazy smoke. The room's vibrant personality reflected its inhabitants, drawing a diverse crowd of over 2000 people (including A-Trak, Chloe-Grace Moretz, Le1f and Mela Murder) and subverting the typical boundaries and inaccessible dynamic between DJ and crowd. The roles were fluently reversed, performers taking to the floor whilst spectators watched from the stage.
Sissy Nobby played his first time live in New York, spinning New Orleans bounce amidst ongoing projections of cage dancers. Venus X and Ma Nguzu played their set together, debuting new tracks such as Golden Girl whilst Brazilian performers danced on a small platform. Venus X’s trademark sedated vocals and shattered samples filled the room, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Total Freedom dropped heavy bass music and one guy got freaky against an arcade game. The music continued with Mike Q's ballroom-house sound inducing vogueing Qweens, his signature “ha” loop flowing through the speakers. Venus X has stated time and time again the purpose of the movement coincides with unrestricted expression, a place where people can be comfortable to be as they are, that doesn’t care about veering away from what’s trendy or current. Saturday’s show helped to maintain this disposition, accommodating a colorful and motley crowd in an innovative crusade against the appropriation of the weird and peculiar.
Listen to more GHE20GOTH1K on their Soundcloud