HOTFLASH at Paradox

Photo by Philip Laubner

It’s Saturday night in south Baltimore and, while the masses are converging on Power Plant Live, Federal Hill, or any other bar district in Baltimore, there is an energy pulsating from beneath the 295 overpass. It’s loud, crowded, dark and industrial. It’s HOTFLASH at The Paradox.

No one was surprised to learn that Soul Mob Productions was responsible for yet another gathering of music, art, and community. This time it was old-meets-new as Baltimore DJ culture pioneers such as Nigel Richards, Uncle Jesse, and Neil Kurland (just to name a few) performed to a crowd that, for the most part, looked too young to have been involved in the Baltimore rave scene that took place years ago.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

Photo by Philip Laubner

 
Uncle Jesse fueled the fire in the club room where people rotated between overheating on the dance floor and passing out from exhaustion in the leather chairs and couches that lined the back walls.

Every attendee old enough to remember “back in the day” recalled the era of “Fever,” a biweekly rave at the paradox that in 2001 was ultimately shut down when police started cracking down on raves in Baltimore. It was nostalgia comparable to your parents telling you about Woodstock or the cultural revolution on Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, but don’t get me wrong; Soul Mob is not carrying a torch that has been passed onto them. What’s happening now is a new animal, with the same swagger of the good old days and a fresh perspective on where the movement can and should go.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

 

Photo by Philip Laubner

“The parties here were great…countless DJ’s, countless fun, but this is Soul Mob’s party tonight”- Casey Jackson of Divine Gypsy Designs.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

 

Photo by Philip Laubner

“DJ and rave culture was underground in the 90′s, became mainstream in the 2,000′s, and now, although the scene is above ground, the music is going back to its underground roots.” – Neil Kurland, co-owner, Soul Mob Productions.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Nigel Richards … Uhm can you say ‘fervor?’ ‘Cause he can’t. He is way too zoned in to care about things like words describing how intense he looks.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Philip Doccolo, doing what he does best. Yes, that’s right. One of this man’s greatest strengths is dancing with his shirt off.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

Photo by Philip Laubner

The Rave culture that started in Baltimore never died but there was a brief period when its fate seemed uncertain. Now it’s been repackaged by its founders, and presented to a new tribe of glow-stick-waving, sweat-drenched, dance-until-you-pass-out-or-the-music-stops-and-you-collapse-on-the-floor party goers from all walks of life. If I were a bettin,’ man (which I am), I’d put my money down on HOTFLASH being just a taste of what’s to come in this here town.

Photo by Philip Laubner. Caption by Matt Kelley.

About The Author

Originally from Boston, and then New Orleans, I moved to Baltimore in 2007, I love it here!!! In addition to being the full-time Photo Editor for a relief agency, I'm also a freelance photographer, writer and event producer.

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  • http://www.soulmobproductions.com Neil Kurland

    Thank you What Weekly! Thank you Matt Kelley for your kind words. Thanks to Philip for your always amazing work. Big thanks to Divine Gypsy Designs for the amazing body work. Massive to all the DJs who rocked the place!! And a special thanks to our partner Chip Watkins a.k.a. DJ Who!!

    ONE LOVE!!

    SOUL MOB PRODUCTIONS

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