Selective. Gabriel Silverbull Mayorga. Selections from a New York icon
If you’ve found yourself immersed in a great party in New York over the past century or so, chances are you’ve seen him or shared the dance floor with Gabriel ‘Silverbull’ Mayorga. We sat down with Silverbull and got the story behind the legend and he gets Selective with some of his personal favorite artists, parties and memories of nights in our city.
How did you get your introduction to the culture of house music?
Early to mid 90’s… thanks to my brother Mario and my cousin Oscar, they were the DJs in my family. My brother playing music as a teenager annoying my mother and neighbors. Yeah sometimes I couldnt sleep either lol. I would go to record stores with them sometimes, Vinyl Mania, Discorama, Eightball, Decadance, Dance Tracks, and some others on weekends. I would see them picking out mostly Strictly Rhythm, Tribal America names like Louie Vega, Erick Morillo, DJ Pierre, Danny Tenaglia, Armand Van Helden, Roger Sanchez, Dj Duke, Pal Joey, etc. At the time I didnt pay to much attention, only later would i realize damn those are all legends lol. At that point in time i was into hip hop, spanish, pop (believe it or not lol) Hi Nrg eurodance music at this time and would use a five finger discount for certain Cds, sorry 🙂
But I would have to say it was falling in love with what Danny Tenaglia was doing at Be Yourself that made me seek out the history of this culture. I couldnt stop searching for books, articles, documentaries about the Djs/producers/legends that help shape this culture. I strongly suggest if you’re a fan of this culture to do your research.
What was your first *real nightclub experience that changed your life and made this something that is such a big part of who you are?
I cant recall the exact date but i know it was November 2001 that changed my life musically. When I walked into this amazing club called Vinyl at 6 Hubert St for Danny Tenaglia’s Be Yourself Friday night parties. Prior to that i was going out everywhere from small bars/lounges/clubs mostly to meet women, dance, get laid and have fun regardless of music. The latin clubs and hearing Rick Corbo at Websterhall for a few yrs were a big part of my life during the late 90’s early 2000’s. I would go from hearing Rick at 4am to hearing Danny T till 1pm or later sometimes lol. Along the way i abandoned any from of commercial space that didnt play the house music i liked/wanted to hear and had no interest in latin clubs again. I replaced those parties with Filter 14, Le Souk, Apt, Shelter (39st) and of course VINYL. Danny Tenaglia taught me about music, from Disco to Tribal, to tech house and everything in between.
How did you get your start promoting?
I was always inviting friends to parties I was either going too or thought they would like and I knew what was going on every night of the week back then. I believe in mid to late 2002 I discovered re:fuge at Le Souk Wednesday nights with Dj’s Sean Cormac, John Cacciatore, Frank Rempe. This party was put together by Luigi Bueti, Megan Wolfe and from the minute I walked into this party I was hooked from the music, the vibe, the crowd and Jimmy Lopez playing live percussion. I forget exactly what happened or when but suddenly I was asked to join/help with the promotions of the new Weds night party with only Sean Cormac and John Cacciatore. We had some great local talent for guests slots and two particular Dj’s stood out the most to my ears during this time Keith Blackstone & Lola Rephan (aka Dakini9). Thanksgiving Eve 2005 Sean, John, Keith and Lola with Jimmy Lopez on Drums played an amazing party (I wish that night would have been recorded) so good that we all decided to form Stimulus Response right after that which began a new chapter in our lives for a good 5yrs at venues all over the city. Writing this really took me back to that night and made me very nostalgic.
What do you think of the current state of music and nightclubs in our city?
So many venues, parties to go to, different scenes for different people. If you like diversity of music within this culture you cant get bored. If you like only a certain sound/like 1 or 2 djs only then you’re screwed lol. Clubs like Cielo, Output, Space, Pacha, Santos Party House, Good Room, Mach 8 are fun spaces depending on the night of the week. Im very partial to Cielo though, that place is home, after Vinyl/Arc closed I never thought I would love a space and djs (Tedd Patterson, Willie Graff, Nicolas Matar, Louie Vega, Francois K) so much again.
A few things I dont like though are all these To Be Announced Parties either in terms of venue/space/Dj Line ups, etc. I know its the “cool” thing to do, create buzz but I personally find it annoying. Im not a fan of warehouses either, I hate cement floors, porta potties, no air conditioning lol. What annoys me the most about these “secret” type of parties are half of the crowd doesnt even care about the music/dj, they are only going cause its a warehouse in Brooklyn and thats considered “cool” automatically somehow. Recently a warehouse party by a very respected group to hear an awesome producer “Rej” by Ame comes on and three knuckles heads are chatting away and I’m losing it on the floor (I’m known for my dancing lol) and I finally take a break and those same people tell me “you dont hear music like that in manhattan”, wtf I asked what song it is for shits and giggles they said never heard it before but can shazam it. I said dont worry about it. End of rant.
It’s your last day on earth and you have to choose between going to the ballet or going to Wrestlemania…. what’s your choice?
Ideally since Wrestlemania is always on a Sunday evening and lets say it was taking place in NY/NJ area… I would go see ABT at The Metropolitan Opera House Saturday night from 8pm-10:30pm. Then, I would go hear Tedd Patterson at Cielo for his Vibal party. Followed by some sleep and it’s on the way to Wrestlemania. What an amazing, final 29hrs 🙂
Tell us about the top 5 parties that you’ve ever attended…
1. Danny Tenaglia at Vinyl/Arc 29hr Closing party- Sunday April 25, 2004
For a generation this space/party was home, the amazing staff of the party and venue, the crowd was like family, some relationships were made if only for a few yrs some for a lifetime. Musically it had everything that makes me a fan of this culture, from disco to house, to tribal, to tech house. It was truly amazing, tears on the dancefloor as some of us said goodbye. Two nights before was the last Be Yourself party and while that was something special too, this last party was the one. Danny showing pieces of vinyl when certain songs were being played, talking on the mic behind some history of the songs. Near the end Danny T said “Now you know Paradise, years ago I was you on King St dancing to Larry Levan” this was my Paradise Garage and he is my Larry Levan.
2. Larry Levan’s 50th B’day party at Spirit David Depino, Joey Llanos, Danny Krivit, Ruben Toro- Sunday August 17, 2004
House Musics roots were in disco, “danceable r&b” (to quote Mel Cheren) I firmly believe if you love something you want to learn everything about it. I studied up on books, magazines and experienced the music with Danny Tenaglia, Timmy Regisford, Danny Krivit exposing me to these sounds along with the modern music at their parties. The legend of Larry Levan is no mystery, at this party I shared the dancefloor with not just some of the older people from 718 Sessions but people who only went out for Larry Levan/Garage parties. To feel their energy to hear the music and be a part of this night was incredible, it was like a culmination of all the knowledge I was soaking up over the yrs. The icing on the caked was how the first 50-100 people got a cd of Larry at SF and a dvd of the closing night. It would take a few yrs before that dvd was put up on youtube lol.
3. Danny Tenaglia at Stereo (Montreal) Thursday June 22, 2006
For years I heard of the reputation of this clubs soundsystem and of DT’s legendary marathon sets. A lot of us Be Yourself famiglia made the trip out there and it was like being at Vinyl all over again. The feeling of “IT” in that space, the sound and our Maestro taking us there. Sharing it with people who flew, drove to Montreal for this party that use to do the same at Hubert St. At the end of the night hearing Touch- “Without You” was fitting.
4. Cielo Winter Music Conference Raleigh Hotel with Charles Webster, Blaze, Tedd Patterson, Behrouz, Jojo Flores, Kiko Navarro, Hardsoul, Willie Graff, Pippi, Nicolas Matar Thursday March 22, 2007
After Vinyl closed, Cielo became my home so of course I was going to their WMC party, what I didnt expect was how the music, dancing on the sand, water in the background, sun blazing and then setting were going to be amazing. Every DJ played songs at that point in time i never heard before and some couldnt ID for years lols.
5. The first 3 Kings Of House (David Morales, Louie Vega, Tony Humphries) 90’s House Classics at The Marlin Room in Websterhall, Sunday Feb 2009
I think it was 1200 or 1400 people who were there that can attest to the reason why this party was legendary. Holy crap early to mid 90’s house music is some of the best ever made, timeless classics. To have a whole night dedicated to them played by 3 legends to the right crowd soaking it up.
You’re a treasure trove of music… share your top 5 sets that can be found online…
These sets are the ones i have played on over kill lol,
1. Angel Moraes Back To My Roots 2005 3hrs 54mins. The original link back then had it in one file. All i can find is in 3 parts
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
5.2 Osunlade- Deep Soul Jan 2013
5.3 Danny Tenaglia- Mix This Pussy
I know this is a tough question but, who are your top 5 djs?…
1. Tedd Patterson
2. Danny Tenaglia
3. Body & Soul (Danny Krivit, Francois K, Joe Claussell)
4. Charles Webster
5. Def Mix (David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Hector Romero, Satoshi Tomiie, Quentin Harris)
House music, wrestling and opera….all a day in the life of Silverbull.