Naming a night after a Slovenian sociologist, philosopher and social critic, who has the beard to match, married an Argentine and found himself splashed across the pages of ‘Caras’ is perhaps suitable for a party like Žižek. Like Slavoj Žižek, the night that takes place every Thursday at Niceto Club, Palermo, confounds its public by refusing to stick to one fluid ideology.
Wading through the hordes of surprisingly stationary electronica fans at Niceto to get to ‘Lado B’ (which must mean ‘backroom’ in Spanish because the place is tiny), you may be greeted with the now familiar rhythms of reggaeton and cumbia. But hold the phone, continue a little further and it sounds like someone dropping English-speaking rhymes in a decidedly urban manner.
The ‘mash-up’ is the stand out extract of the Žižek creed; utilising the music of one genre with the vocals of another. The environment certainly puts out some positive vibes and makes a refreshing change from your average night in Buenos Aires. It’s a beautiful thing to get in, go to the bar for a drink, then dance to some cumbia beats with hip-hop vocals, or a reggaeton track with bashment toasting laid over the top.
The crowd’s made up of hip young types who enjoy their cumbia, but perhaps aren’t up for a late night jaunt to Once. Rubbing shoulders are b-boys dressed head-to-toe in New Era and Nike, nice girls who may scowl at you for daring to walk anywhere near them, gringos out on the lash in Palermo, and average folks who are just having a chilled night out. The night features resident DJs Villa Diamante, Nim and G-Love, and VJ Lucas DM alongside a wide variety of specially invited guests every week (the internationally renowned Diplo, whose production styles helped launch MIA onto the map, DJed Žižek’s 1st anniversary bash last year).
However, in many ways it is the tools with which Žižek operates that sets its limits. Lado B of Niceto is a small place and the overwhelming popularity of the night makes it difficult to dance, let alone move around. It is bizarre considering the electronica night taking place in the main room is less popular and features about as much dancing as ten year olds at a school disco. Then again, one Saturday a month they do remedy this by having Super Žižek perform a takeover on Lado A.
The difficult juggling of various genres leads to some haphazard mixing at times (and woe betide you if you show up to DJ with a laptop) but overall the range of selectas is good. As much as I’ve tried to enjoy reggaeton and cumbia, it’s difficult to stay awake to the exact same riddim for hours on end. ‘Mashing it up’ provides a cute distraction, but eventually there comes a time to send this one-trick pony to the knacker’s yard. However the sheer variety in DJs, and the organisers’ competence in attracting them, means you might have a bad experience one week and a blast the next.
Check the potential DJs beforehand, go on the right night and it could be excellent. Get there early and not only will you get in for cheaper, but you’ll be able to enjoy yourself a bit without being pressed against a wall.
Žižek takes place every Thursday at Niceto Club, Niceto Vega, Palermo, starting at 11pm. It’s $10 for chicas and $15 for chicos until 1am, after which it’s $30 for all. There’s a 2×1 guestlist until 1am, check www.whatsupbuenosaires.com/zizek