Serbian techno connection: from Belgrade to New York

Belgrade’s PART collective brings fresh air to the NYC club scene. And they got Matthew Dear to play their New Year’s Eve party

“It’s been done before”, say used-to-be-clubbers and aging hipsters who spent the 90’s in techno and house parties all over New York. And it’s true. The concept of the PART parties is not very new: three friends who love fresh techno come together to throw parties in one-off venues all around the city. In post-Giuliani New York, many agree that PART (PART art/PART party) is the first place which makes you feel at home since the demise of Tronic Treatment.

Tronic Treatment was run by a DJ and producer Christian Smith and Viktor Mizo (currently a Director at the Agency for Investing in Macedonia). It lived in Baktun, Filter 14, Sullivan Room and dozens of spaces with no name, where on Monday nights, Sven Vath and Richie Hawtin among many others, would play back2back for $5. Treatment parties stopped existing almost a decade ago, soon after the Rave Act. New York party life had many trials and errors, but certainly lost its family vibe. PART are here to bring it back.

Nash, Zzoran and Gilles Wasserman have stumbled upon each other in New York, but in fact come from Belgrade, Serbia. They started playing together three years ago, entertaining closest friends at afterhours and rooftop afternoons, but the circle quickly grew to the point where they couldn’t really host everyone without borrowing or renting lofts.

Fast forward to today and PART has evolved into an art collective, which includes a photographer (Viktor Sekularac) and videographer (Uros Otasevic) from Belgrade, a small team of graphic designers (Alex Postelnicu, Sumu and Filip Radonjic) and a ballerina (Kianni del Valle), which all participate in PART events by exhibiting their art and documenting the vibe. Everyone works as volunteers, but you hear no complaints.

PART’s last gathering happened at the Schoolhouse, on a somewhat shady block of Bushwick. The opening hours included a gourmet community dinner for the first 30 guests and a three-member band formed a few days earlier during a metro ride. At the peak of the party, the multimedia show of the Brandt Brauer Frick trio kicked in, for whom this was the end of their official US tour.

PART photo booth @ Schoolhouse w/ Brandt Brauer Frick 11.6.2011

Alex and Sumu were VJ-ing, Viktor had an impromptu photobooth and Kianni was dancing on the balcony. Uros was discreetly filming around and l’enfant terrible of the art scene, M.C., whose Guggenheim retrospective had just opened, was happily anonymous.

There was such a strong sense of connection in the air, that you could hear first-timers getting envious. Two photographers from Miami who came for a visit decided they are moving to Brooklyn; an eccentric couple from London thought the party was just “inconceivably fun” and a young girl said to her art-hipster neighbor: “I mean, you know, I wish I was from Belgrade.” It may not have been the first time something of that sort happened, but it sure was magical.

For New Year’s eve, PART is hosting DJs Matthew Dear (Ghostly International) and Daniel Brandt (Brandt Brauer Frick) in a Union Square loft in Manhattan. Nash says they saw Matthew on a street in Williamsburg a week ago and as he is one of their favs, couldn’t help but ask him to play their party. As easy as that sounds, he said yes. 

*DEC 31: PART NYE @ 833 Broadway w/ Matthew Dear & Daniel Brandt [limited pre-sale tickets] order here