I Went to a Steampunk Rave in Bushwick and Learned to Accept Gentrific

Seva Granik

Photos courtesy of NLS

“OMG,” I thought, as banner ads for a steampunk rave called Machina² began to creep up on the Resident Advisor website more than a month and a half ago. “This is going to be some next-level shit.” Next Level Shit (or NLS, in short) was incidentally the name of the promoter behind this confluence of heretofore seemingly disparate ideas—steampunks and Brooklyn techno raves.

On said ads, pocket-watch gears—the dead-giveaway trope of the steampunk aesthetic—were masterfully arranged to form a cat's visage replete with a stove-top hat. International techno DJs like Germany's Marc Romboy, Amsterdam-via-Bogota's Lake Avalon, and Tel-Aviv-based Ran Salman were listed against a smoky backdrop of more gears. A conspicuous “BUSHWICK WAREHOUSE” postscript sat at the bottom of the ad.

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