Last Saturday, October 21, the Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO) held a spooky Halloween-themed techno event at Club Above from 10 p.m. to around 2 a.m. This was my second MEMCO event of the semester at Club Above, and it has to be one of my favorite clubs on campus. If you are like me, being in cramped, tight spaces with loud music and bright lights can be extremely overwhelming. Luckily, Club Above has a huge dance floor with enough room in the back for seating, a pool table, and bar. When you walk in, a wide variety of people come together to dance and listen to music. Compared to other club cultures on campus, MEMCO events are a safe space for people of all identities and orientations, the neurodivergent community, and people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Needless to say, when me and my friends go out, we go to MEMCO events.
On the dance floor, I was surrounded by people dancing either in their own worlds or creating one with their friends. I came as the second DJ, BUBU, played their set, highlighting fracturing sounds and haunting melodies. The crowd was bouncing, grooving, and shaking their bodies with the fast-paced rhythm of the speakers. My favorite way to enjoy the music is to close my eyes and see how my body inherently responds to the music. Sometimes, I like to sway my hips and throw my arms in the air; other times, I find myself jumping on my heels with a smile because of my intense euphoria. A disclaimer: I am a dancer and study dance at the University. I firmly believe in implementing dance into more public spaces with a safe and judgment-free culture, and MEMCO’s events perfectly fulfill this. Dance should be celebrated by everyone, and Techno spaces like MEMCO’s really highlight the beauty of community building through dance.
The third DJ, ZAGG, was my favorite. You could feel and hear his improvisational experimentation with the music in the best way possible. He created music that I reacted to by dancing, and in response, he would alter the sound just slightly, then drastically–it was highly unpredictable. Which I believe made it all the more fun. The songs were not recognizable until DJs switched, which offered a beautiful precedent for creating, receiving, and celebrating raw and spontaneous music. The music left me and the audience constantly wanting more. Mainly because the rhythm of Techno music is usually quick; it makes the body react by moving at that same speed. The fast-moving environment is compelling because of the combined energy that lifts you up and out of the dance floor and into a realm of solely music and movement.
Although the event wasn’t entirely scary, which is honestly for the best, the unsettling Halloween Techno music was a perfect way to get into the spooky holiday season. If you can attend a MEMCO event, I highly suggest going with an open heart and mind. Also, be prepared to dance until you are exhausted, which may sound daunting but can be the most liberating feeling. For me, all of my stress and anxiety from my personal life disappeared, and all I could focus on was the music and dancing!