August 20, 2016 –
Before I called a taxi on a rainy Saturday night to a stranger’s home, I was uneasy about the decision. Now the yellow cab slogged through a floodplain that was once a west-side neighborhood, and as the red numbers of my fare mounted in the dark, so did those doubts. I didn’t know where I was going, and I was paying way too much to get there. I told the driver to stop when we reached the block of the address, paid him, and stepped into the downpour.
With the no idea which house was I was headed to, much less what what to expect at a livestream party, I ran to the closest doorstep hoping to find, if not numbers matching the address, at least a bit of shelter. The first door offered neither, but my ears caught the reassuring sounds of distant bass. The soft beat led me two houses away to an unassuming white door, upon which I knocked. As I waited for an answer, I wondered how I was going to introduce myself to what was most likely would be a group of complete strangers.
When no one came to the door, I let myself in. What happened next only happens in San Antonio.
The familiar faces are everywhere, and the unfamiliar ones don’t stay that way for long. They’re taking turns between mixing beats and feeling them. They’re smoking on the patio, discussing relationship woes alongside the cross-pollination of gospel and blues. They’re coming in every few minutes, some with beer, others with food. They’re arguing over what to call a dish that by all appearances must be spaghetti casserole. No where else can you reliably happen upon a room full of friends when the situation dictates you have every reasonable expectation not to.
Aaron was a magnanimous host, going out of his way to make me feel instantly welcome from the moment I stepped through the door. Between sets of music, I asked him what the story was behind the Sub.Culture ideology. He said they wanted to create an electronic music collective of artists of all kinds of cultural backgrounds and musical tastes, all with bass-centric beats. “A culture of rhythm moving through space, a collective manifesting thought to bass – that is part of our poetic motto.”
The music makers you hear in the recorded stream from that night were Sub.Culture mainliners Ernest Gonzales and TEFNYK. Other core members include Adrian Rivera, Four Hands, Aaron Pena, and X!, among others. The group organizes regular events to unite fans and artists of the genre and make their compilation albums to the publicly available. In addition, they party hard.
The good created that night wasn’t just music, but a microcosm of community, and both continued well into the early hours of the morning. It was the kind of party that embodies the soul of our sprawling city’s small-town vibe, reminiscent of the starlit soirees at Café Revolución. And whether electronic music is your preference or no, that’s just the vibe that Sub.Culture’s members create with their medium: community.
To listen to the stream, click on the widget below.