At the risk of committing sacrilege, I dare say Mister Saturday Night has lost a bit of its flair. In the wake of indie dance music’s rise to hipster prominence, Mister Saturday Night has become something of a flagship party for the scene, attracting both those who come to dance and those who come to be seen dancing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an ace party, but it feels like one that’s been infiltrated by a gaggle of vapid, meat-packing district types. I find the situation somewhat vexing, because although MSN’s raison d’etre is unimpeachable, which includes Harkin and Carter’s music policy, venue selection, and overall mission statement, its mystique has been spoiled by misguided press coverage and a disinterested crowd.
The MSN record label, however, is an entirely different story. While the party has made itself vulnerable to criticism, the label – though only celebrating its third release – has become a sanctuary for a specific brand of New York dance music, a brand that is a source of renewed pride for the city’s injured house scene since the close of superclubs like Limelight, Twilo, and Tunnel. The newest release on the label finds newcomer Anthony Naples keeping things exceptionally interesting with his natural talent for sound design. You can tell this kid has an ear for early 90s NJ house fare, but recreates it with a carefully dusted-over vintage dance aesthetic. It’s a far cry from Bicep’s saccharine, take on the works of Romanthony, Victor Simonelli and the like, which is a patent compliment. Naples opts for a distinctly rust belt, “this disc is definitely 20 yrs old aesthetic. Each side, both named “Moscato”, possesses this kind of vintage charm. In consideration of the quality of this particular 12”, along with that of the two earlier releases on MSN Records (the first of which also being a Naples production), Harkin and Carter prove that their taste is as keen as ever.