Remember Jackanory? The programme where celebrities sat down with a children’s book, and proceeded to read aloud for a TV audience? We’re not sure whether Oliver Chesler, aka The Horrorist, was ever a fan, but with One Night in New York City, first released in 1996, he took storytelling to dark, macabre levels.
Having been just remastered and re-released on Chesler’s own Things to Come Records, One Night… tells the story of a New Jersey-based teen escaping to the big city for a night out in New York’s notorious Limelight.
As for what happens next… well, that would be telling.
As well as having a reputation as one of the Big Apple’s most hedonistic nightspots, the Limelight came to international attention when club kid and party promoter Michael Alig was arrested for the killing and dismemberment of Angel Melendez, a story made famous by the movie Party Monster.
That occurred in 1996, the same year in which One Night, the second release on Things to Come, came out.
As for Chesler’s inspiration? In a 2012 interview with the Red Bull Music Academy, he recalled early 90s parties in New York alongside buddy John Selway, which, coupled with his love of new wave and industrial, led to the creation of The Horrorist moniker.
“Somewhere around ’96, I started to really get an itch to return to new wave and industrial,” he said. “There are really good techno producers with a lot of skill. The only way for me to stand out was to use my own voice and tell my own story. I did my first drugs around that time, so I [wrote] stories about drugs.”
It’s not Jackanory, but some 22 years after its first release, One Night in New York City makes for a sobering bedtime story. As one user of Discogs put it, “Like Soft Cell on brown acid…”
[Kudos to Babylon303 for the YouTube upload]