Industrial Activity

"Love 'n' Hades" resurrects the bacchanalian wonder of the urban warehouse party

"It's as if they were just called upon," says the percussionist/DJ, who brought Duque aboard to transform his annual Duality party into tonight's fete, "Love 'n' Hades."

Stepping across a winding blue tributary meant to represent the River Styx(one of Duque's more subtle details), I descend into the "Underworld," lower levels of the building transformed into caves bathed in ruddy light. Here, men and women in latex and fiendish attire smoke cigarettes and guzzle liquor while the members of Turn Me On Dead Mantune their guitars; lovers make out in cages, and lost souls writhe in agony while chained to the walls. Two demons sip martinis under the flicker of faux torches and gleam of homemade stalactites. Hell's chill-out room is splattered with blood and limbs; the words "I will always love you" trail across the wall, but the subterranean revelers don't mind the blood or the heat.

"Let the gods enjoy the climate," sneers a harlot in an impossible gown. "The real action is always in hell."

Late into the night, I am still discovering more environments -- the "Dragon House" where a variety of teas is served with live dub on Persian carpets, the feasting room where spring rolls and hummus and fresh fruit juices and thick bread can be had along with handmade devil horns -- and more wonderful music: Siamese, Diamond Galaxy, Aphrodesia, and Playground. There are ritual dance performances and tantric priestesses and orgies of fruit and sweets, and in the seclusion of the warehouse, it extends well past dawn. And I am glad, very glad, such things still exist.

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