TLDR: Love for the music creates a special atmosphere at Vancouver’s after-hours club Gorg-O-Mish.
Running an after-hours club takes extra dedication and commitment to your purpose, a trust that your passion and energy will transmit to a community of like-minded people night after night. Vancouver’s Gorg-O-Mish, together with You Plus One, have proven that this type of dedication can be a success when you put your heart into it. Their unique venue and tight knit community truly showcases what makes underground electronic music special, a family formed through a love of the music. I caught up with Starla Jackson of You Plus One to go behind the scenes of Gorg-O-Mish.
What inspired the creation of Gorg-O-Mish, and what was the beginning like?
It opened at a time when underground dance music was emerging here in our city. More and more people were starting to hear about this exciting new culture that was taking over the music scene and they wanted a place that would satisfy their desire to hear that music all night long. As a result, Gorg-O-Mish was born. The build was inspired by its owner, Padra Farhangi, who also happens to be a talented Architect. His keen eye for design and sharp ear for sound eventually created what we now know as Gorg-O-Mish.
What makes Gorg-O-Mish special?
There is something about the atmosphere and vibe in Gorg that makes it extra special. It doesn’t feel like a regular dance club it’s more like throwing a raging house party at your parents house with all your friends. We teamed up with our family at You Plus One to have them bring their passion for underground House and Techno music over to Gorg and something special happened. We began to see the beginning of a real community. People involved loved the music as much as we did and the result was this beautiful alliance of all things house + techno. We have regulars who come through every weekend repping our t shirts proudly and dance until the early morning. It’s pretty incredible to see people have such love and passion for a dance club. And an added bonus to the entire experience is its unmatched world class sound system!
Do you find there are challenges or advantages to being an alcohol-free afterhours club vs. “regular” club?
Yes of course. Challenges being well, there is no alcohol. It’s definitely not somewhere you can grab a round of Jagger bombs but at the same time it allows for a much more open and fun loving crowd who come through every weekend to dance with us until the early morning. Plus people are able to stick around for much longer for the purity of the music instead of tapping out after an hour because they’re wasted.
How do you think Vancouver is uniquely suited for an underground electronic music afterhours club?
Well actually, the scene here is pretty tough and at one point virtually extinct. In the last three years the club has completely changed due to the creative vision of long time resident DJ and newly appointed General Manager Siavash Asharafinia. Him and his team at You Plus One had the extremely large task of creating a home for the abandoned scene. Hard work and passion for the arts proved to be the answer for the struggling club which now performs at record breaking numbers. People are now much more open to the idea of an all night dance party with a group of like minded people who love our music and who return every weekend to dance with us.
Are there any current trends in the music or audiences that you think will continue to grow?
Seems like, in the past year especially, underground music is becoming more and more popular. Our DJ’s used to look out onto a dance floor full of confused faces but now our patrons are starting to recognize the tunes. This music dominates the European music scene so its only a matter of time the same thing will happen here.
What has been one of your favorite memories of a night/morning at Gorg-O-Mish?
Tough question. The nights/mornings become a bit of a blur at one point but if we had to choose just one suppose it would be DJ Siavash’s 10 hour anniversary set. To mark his 10 year residency with Gorg-O-Mish, he played the longest nonstop performance in recent Vancouver club history. To say it was an incredible night would be an understatement. It was rammed with people dancing on tables, chairs, each other, screaming and yelling like it was the last day of their lives. We opened the club at 2am and kept it open until 12pm! To see more support for our Vancouver based artist than any major headliner we have brought through our doors really said a great deal about our beautiful community.
Do you have any events coming up that you are particularly excited about?
Ah, always! We have our sister company You Plus One bringing the huge talent that is Fur Coat on the 23rd. For the first time ever we will be opening the doors at 9pm with a full bar to accommodate the club crowd. Every month You Plus One book massive international talent to come through our house and it is never a disappointment. Regardless of what night you decide to come, it is our lawful duty to ensure the best music and vibe combination on the West Coast!
Get a taste of Gorg-O-Mish, check out Siavash’s set on FRISKY Loves Canada!: