Crvnes, a Free-for-All DJ Palace, Rises at the Old Meridian
Along a dimly lit street, inside of a dark and aging building, at the top of a haunted stairway, sits a shadowy and cavernous room. With a simple donation bar at one end, and a hard-hitting combination of CD-Js and speakers at the other, this is no velvet-rope club or posh cocktail lounge. There's no dress code, no cover charge, no valet. All that's left is the thumping, driving, and heart-pounding sound of drums and bass.
photos by Marco Torres When Hyro (L) and Ape Drums (R) team up to play a set, they transform into Blackout.
The newly opened Crvnes Warehouse, whose name is a stylized rendition of the word "Cranes," hosted the first of what it hopes are many more artistic ventures inside the space once known as The Meridian. The history of this place includes some of the loudest shows in Houston's history, a tradition that continues through the work of Crvnes mastermind David Rodriguez.
"We are making an attempt to create a new era in Houston's music scene," he said Saturday. "What the public needs now is a mix of different flavors, a scene not tied to a particular genre or clique." Rodriguez speaks from experience of being co-owner of the downtown lifestyle storefront The Tipping Point, and has in recent years sponsored a mix of club nights, artists and brands who reflect their progressive attitudes of fashion, music, and art.
It took Rodriguez and his crew more than three months to clean out their warehouse. Repairs included fixing leaks in the roof, updating the electrical infrastructure, and extensive plumbing work. Completion of the renovations is still months away, but once finished, Rodriguez hopes to utilize the warehouse as a one-stop creative workplace, be it for fashion, photography or music studios, and a series of showrooms for pop-up shops.
We also spoke to Crvnes' new musical director DJ Panchitron, aka Briones. According to him, these Power-Up Sessions are poised to become an experiment of genres and formats where each artist is provided a platform to showcase his or her versatility. The DJs are motivated by the freedom of a venue with little boundaries, where set times are fluid and the music continues far beyond the usual 2 a.m. last call.
Briones (R) and Ynfynyt Scroll
Its versatile philosophy was evident as each DJ spent time behind the booth. Alec Varnell, a young man hailing from Missouri City, is H-Town all the way, and spun a mix of grime, juke, future bass, trap, and slow-and-low hip-hop as DJ Kruxx. Sporting a Houston Rockets cap, he maneuvered a strong set of tracks without regard for existing convictions or expectations.
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