Features Interviews

New Monthly Night ‘Vault’ Brings Berlin Underground to Boston



August 4th, 2015

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vault boston
On a typical Tuesday night in Boston, the last thing you’d expect is a packed club dancing to underground, innovative sounds. Yet, that’s exactly what happened in July at the opening of Vault Boston, a new monthly event that brings “dark, yet playful” sounds to the forefront of Boston’s nightlife scene at Cambridge’s Middlesex Lounge.
As an homage to Berlin’s top underground club Tresor (which is German for ‘vault’), Vault has everything any electronic fan could ask for: a dark, intimate space, easy access, and incredible underground acts. Vault itself boasts “The Sound of Berlin” through its interactive visuals and deep, dark music not bound by any genre. The idea, formed by Boston’s Byoosik, was formed after a trip to Berlin after her first gig at Middlesex Lounge.

“I experienced minimal, dark, industrial techno for the first time in Berghain,” she says. “I remember the lineup: Abstract Division, Pfirter, Lucy, Jerome Sydenham, and Len Faki (followed up by Marcel Dettmann, Robert Hood, Ben Klock, Boris and DVS1 a day later). It was perhaps the finest introduction to techno you could get, and I had no idea who these people were at the time. I just remember becoming completely absorbed by the music, and when I left I wanted to know more—how it was made, who these people were, what they did behind the decks, and why I had taken me so long to find this. I was a band geek and fan of 60s psych rock (Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane), Radiohead, and early U2 growing up. Electronic music was just never on my radar, but this experience changed everything.”

While Boston may have its occasional underground booking, one is hard-pressed to find a local night dedicated to the scene, and that’s what Vault is about. Curated by Byoosik and local act Shuave, the night showcased special guest Omdose, stunning visuals, and — most importantly — serious music. Byoosik credits local party-planners for the birth of Vault, though:

“I listened to advice from the veterans and took things step by step as I went along. I threw every skill I had at creating the promotional materials and assembling the lights and visuals you saw on July 7th. I was also very, very lucky to have a lot of support from my friends in the Boston scene, including Bob Diesel and my Mmmmaven and Make It New family.”

For those unfamiliar with Cambridge nightlife, Middlesex Lounge is one of the Boston area’s finest venues. The club tucks itself away in a far corner of Central Square, with one small sign to note its presence, leaving it a location for those in-the-know to enjoy and adventurous types to discover. The one-room bar is intimate, but boasts a powerful sound system and an always-friendly crowd vibe that makes any attendee feel at home. That made Middlesex the perfect spot for Vault’s opening, allowing plenty to join but still giving the night an exclusive feel as a “small-room” event. With blacked-out windows and something to see everywhere you turn, Vault was an exciting venture into the crazy world of the underground that both newcomers and seasoned clubgoers could enjoy.
The intimate nature of the space didn’t prevent Vault from going all-out, though. Byoosik herself built an Aural Spectrometer, a large electronic tower that emitted flashing lights throughout the night to complement the deep beats and nearby visuals. On the wall nearby, a screen showcased a loop of 3D projections (3D glasses were handed out) to add a psychedelic feel to the space, keeping the night lively in the midst of its dark and gritty vibes.
I had a chance to sit down with Byoosik and get the 411 on Vault and its future in Boston; listen to a sample of August 11th’s vibe below.

 

 

What elements of Tresor and Berlin nightlife are being presented in Vault?

Sound-reactive lighting is a huge part of clubs like Berghain, Watergate, and Tresor. If you are new to techno, the lights help seduce you in to an otherwise pretty foreign sound. Salon Zur Wilden Renate and Ritter Butzke had some crazy, almost psychedelic-dreamland-house-like vibes to them, so I may be drawing some inspiration from that too, at least in future nights. Using video visuals was actually inspired by my time in Frankfurt at Robert Johnson.

As for sound, the sets in Berlin are very eclectic and designed to make you dance, not do the two step shuffle. The DJs there never stay on the same chapter and will explore all sorts of sounds, genres, emotions – they tell a whole story, as it should be, not just a passage. 
 

“The vibe is focused on losing yourself in the music, acceptance for being who you are, and creating a community that supports all that.”

 

What can we expect in future nights?

I’d like to bring in more artists with live sets, especially local and regional acts. It was incredible to host Omdose’s first public performance – he really delivered and kept the crowd moving late into the night. I’m so proud of what he’s done, and have been a huge fan and supporter of his work (under other monikers) for a while. I also want to feature international artists that maybe aren’t as well known as the bigger names in techno, especially from smaller labels in Berlin.
As far as visuals and lighting – well I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around. A personal interest of mine is developing a more interactive club experience for the dancers and incorporating technology in unexpected ways (I mean, we are down the street from MIT, my alma mater, so let’s innovate). I’m an electronics, acoustics, optics, and computer science geek – I’ll leave it at that.

 

Tell us about Vault’s visual elements on opening night.

I constructed a sound-reactive light pillar out of some piece of lab equipment I found on reuse at MIT, RGB led strips, and an Arduino micro controller. I had built something slightly less complex for a smaller, private house party a while back: a color organ that integrated with max/msp and Ableton. This project, however, used analog filters rather than digital post-processing because I wanted a more immediate response to the sound.
 
The visuals were chosen to compliment the more minimal and geometrical visual aesthetic I’ve been going for with the night. I chose to incorporate the 3D visuals based on a suggestion from Omdose, who I’ve been working with closely on his visual presentation as a graphic designer and photographer. I did take some footage of my own, which I’d like to incorporate on future nights—I just didn’t have enough time to finish all of my ideas for the first night.

 

What does your dream booking for an upcoming Vault look like?

Now that things are moving forward, I’m in the process of compiling a list and making contacts. Thinking locally and regionally, I’d love to host live performances from Umfang at Discwoman (from Brooklyn) and w00dy (from Boston). Internationally: Psyk, Klartraum, Bas Mooy, Ray Kajioka, Kuba Sojka, Jonas Kopp, Adam Bayer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Paula Temple, and Lewis Fautzi are at the top. I’m still figuring out logistics, as a lot of artists I’d like to bring might not necessarily come to the States, so now begins the process of emails and phone calls. I’m getting a lot of advice and support from people who really know what’s up (at Mmmmaven and elsewhere), so expect good things from this night.

 

Is there anything else we should know about Vault?

We’re having our next show on Tuesday, August 11th at Middlesex. Bob Diesel, one of the legends in the Boston scene, will be blending old with the new and bringing out some really dark vibes that people may not necessarily expect from him. It will be a night full of surprises, so I’m really looking forward to it.

 

 

Experience Vault’s underground vibes at the beginning of each month – August’s event features Bob Diesel on August 11th. Middlesex Lounge is located at 315 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA. If you can’t attend, you can listen to the soundtrack via Vault’s Soundcloud page.

 



With a love of dance music stemming from countless years of dance lessons and bass-thumping car rides with her music-obsessed father, Sarah Ribeiro is a Hartford-raised music addict who moved to Boston in the pursuit of a supportive and open nightlife scene. A passion for learning and a willingness to grow has pulled her out of her trancehead sphere and exposed her to a crazy variety of music and introduced her to some of the most amazing people (and events) Boston has to offer. A writer and social mediac, her main interests are music, literature, technology, art, and her first love: the city of Boston.