Sound system pioneer Alex Rosner, lighting guru Ariel Figueroa, and queen party promoter Lady Fag discuss NYC’s thriving club culture.
On today’s show, Vivian speaks with a variety of guests involved in the nightclubs of New York City - past and present - to explore the vibrant and thriving culture that exists after dark in the city that never sleeps. In the first hour of the show, she welcomes an absolute legend, the man responsible for introducing stereophonic high fidelity techniques into sound reproduction for club environments, forever changing the way club-goers felt the music, Alex Rosner. Getting his start in the early 60s, Rosner designed and built the world’s first cueing-capable mixer - named Rosie - and has masterminded the sound in countless iconic clubs including David Mancuso’s The Loft. Still operating his Rosner Custom Sounds Inc. (which he founded in 1967), he has designed and built more than 400 club sound systems, written numerous papers on the subject and has remained one of the most important minds working in sound today. In the second half of the show, another NYC legend joins us, one of the best light men in the underground, Ariel Figueroa. The New York native and avid music fan found his way to the clubs in the early ’70s, and quickly became enthralled by the theatrics of lighting. Following a chance meeting with DJ David Depino and Larry Levan at Club Tracks and an opportunity to do lights for Levan, Figueroa rapidly became the go-to guy for the city’s DJ royalty and their palaces. In his career, he has held stints at Sound Factory and Sound Factory Bar in the 90s working with the likes of Junior Vasquez, Louie Vega, and Frankie Knuckles, Vinyl with Danny Tenaglia, Shelter and Body & Soul. He is undeniably New York’s most storied lighting engineers. Wrapping up the show is the queen of the late night NYC underground and nightlife fixture, Ladyfag. Moving to the city in the early aughts, Lady got her start go-go dancing and going to as many parties as she could afford. Not long after she began collaborating with DJ friends, fellow promoters, and fashion designers to throw some of the wildest parties New York has seen, such as 11:11, the sacred Battle Hymn, notorious Holy Mountain and, more recently, Mouth Your Body.