Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kristina Khanenko DJs at a Subcentral event May 22 in Central Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Subcentral didn’t get permission to keep its music going until 5 a.m. on the weekends – but the school for DJs, producers and electronic music artists will be able to keep its member events open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturdays in Central Square, the license commissioners said last week.

“I’m still a little wary as to the concept, and I am definitely not supporting a 5 a.m. closing hour on any night,” chair Nicole Murati Ferrer said.

The literally underground school at 645 Massachusetts Ave. went before the License Commission on Thursday to explain that to really hone students’ skills behind the mixing board, there’s no replacement for doing it in an actual club space.

“For students to hone their DJ skills in a live environment – as an aspiring DJ myself, I must reiterate that this is absolutely essential for one to become a skilled DJ,” said Diego Torres, a press liaison for Subcentral.

The late hours were requested because many in the Subcentral community have service industry jobs in restaurants and nightclubs and would only be able to participate after leaving work at 2 a.m., said Jose Zamora, a co-founder of Subcentral who performs as Xoce. The hours would also provide content for Subcentral’s Internet radio station, which has listeners around the world for its stream of experimental or underground dance music, house and techno.

The music and dance nights would serve no food or drink and let in only members of the school’s extended community – students and people who regularly attend events put on by Subcentral, Zamora told commissioners. The collective has been holding events since 2015.

Murati Ferrer’s wariness included questions about keeping out passersby who hear the music: “We talked about members only, [but] there’s no information as to exactly how this membership would be acquired. Who can come in? Can you just buy your membership on that day?” Not every question was answered in full. Zamora said Subcentral would have security at the door to control access.

Though the idea of the club hours was approved unanimously by the three-member commission, Murati Ferrer remained cautious and said actual licensing would be granted only after officials saw a floor plan for the nights. Class events would be allowed to begin at 2 p.m. daily, as Subcentral attorney Jim Rafferty said there could be cause for occasional events outside the key late nights of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The commission capped hours at 1 a.m. on Sundays through Wednesdays.

There’s no target date for events to begin beyond “as soon as possible,” Torres said Monday.