ALKHEMY & The Black Hole

Brooklyn, NY

Felton Cortijo (Xiorro) & Christina Hernandez (Adrestia) (Co-founders), Jose Buzzi (resident DJ)
How has ALKHEMY & The Black Hole played a role in your local community and music scene?

When we entered the Brooklyn scene in 2016 with our collective, ALKHEMY, and our rave, The Black Hole, we immediately saw that there was a need for more Black and Latinx representation, both at the artistry and promoter level. Given that we had dug into the roots and history of techno in America, which led us to discover some of the most iconic staples like The Bellville Three and Underground Resistance, we were actually quite surprised that New York, one of the most diverse cities in the world, was lacking in racial diversity within the techno community. As we journeyed through the obstacle course of the underground DIY scene as new promoters and artists, we also came to realize that the harder and faster sound we were gravitating towards was not the status quo style of the scene. Our Co-Founder, Felton Cortijo (Xiorro) had even been told several times that he "played too hard" and that style would ultimately turn people off. In spite of the naysayers, The Black Hole continued to grow a core following, attracting some of the most diverse and passionate ravers we've ever met. Our collective also grew stronger, as each of us developed our own unique styles as artists, while still complimenting each other. Over the last three years we've also seen the harder and faster side of techno gain international popularity, making The Black Hole more relevant to our time than ever. We can't take full credit for the movement in Brooklyn to become more aware of racial representation within hard techno, but we do believe we played a major role in carving out that niche space for others to feel welcome in. As we look at what's happening now in the U.S. and around the world, we see organizations within the music industry scrambling to make statements and prove their commitment to combating systemic racism. While this shift in focus is fantastic, it is also highlighting those who have fallen short and have overlooked racial diversity for some time. We are proud to have been a collective who has been at the forefront of these conversations for years and we look forward to seeing more join us in solidarity.

What can we see, hear and experience at your parties?

The Black Hole is 100% DIY. Not everyone understands what that means from a promoter standpoint, but what it really means is it's a ton of work 🙂 Everything starts from the raw space we choose as the venue. From there, we build everything from the ground up. We bring in sound and lighting, so we can transform the space into something that feels like The Black Hole. It's an immersive experience that carries an energy that's hard to explain. We like to think of that energy as our special sauce. Any promoter can imitate your party by bringing in the same DJs, sound system or similar lighting design, but no promoter can ever replicate the energy you bring. Since our lineups consist of artists playing hard and fast techno, our parties are known for being intense and hot. If you can make it to the end, you're guaranteed to have had a solid workout.

Tell us some DJs / artists you’re digging at the moment?

There's a lot of crossover in the artists and labels each of us follow, but we're constantly digging for new discoveries. At the moment, we're really into supporting all of the artists we've worked with. We recommend taking a look at the artists from our previous lineups, our VA compilation and our mix series.

What do you think will become of the music industry & the underground music scene post-pandemic?

We are staying hopeful and positive that the scene will be nimble and adapt to our new normal in whatever way still allows us to enjoy music together. It may never be exactly the same as it was, but we do know that this experience has made us so much more appreciative of the power of music. It finds a way to connect us, even when we can't be together physically.

ALKHEMY & The Black Hole
June 2020
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