I had an interesting experience DJing in Portland, OR last night. It was similar to something I once witnessed at a gig in Ghent, Belgium. The more wild, crazy, hard & heavy I was willing to go with the music, the more the crowd responded and danced.
The opposite is generally the norm in Chicago, Boston, and really most places I’ve played. The more familiar the crowd is with the music, the more they dance. If I go a bit too left-field the dance-floor clears in a hurry. When that’s the case I find myself dropping a track like “Waterfalls” by TLC to get the crowd back on the floor. Last night, after I’d play some classic dancehall or an Eric B & Rakim track, I’d begin to lose ’em and had to play super-esoteric dubstep or breakcore to fill the dance again.
Today I had brunch with my friend Paul AKA Strategy who runs the Community Library record label, and he observed that Portland seems to have a crew of working-class party kids who who are gravitating toward extreme music. The breakcore/dubstep events like the one I played at last night are drawing upwards of 700 enthusiastic, sonic-freaks. This crew is unlike the folks Paul referred to as “hipsters” who represented a gentrification of underground culture and who, at this point, gravitate toward more mainstream sounds.
I’ve witnessed what Paul’s taking about in Chicago too. The hipster club-nights tend to specialize in forms of music that have bubbled to the top; weather it’s electro-house, ’90s revivalist stuff, or ironic mashups. DJs at those nights might be able to drop in a dubstep track for underground cred, but if they were to play more than a couple they’d be in danger of losing the crowd.
Obviously there’s a time and place for mainstream dance-party action, but I wonder why there’s not more place for underground experimentation. I don’t mean nights of specific music like “Stictly acid-crunk all the time!” In my view that’s were genres steer off the cliff. When drum & bass, dubstep, etc solidified into something definable their specialty club-nights became a bore.
09:00-10:00 Deelo G
10:00-11:00 Fukumup/GnarGnarkillkill tag set
02:45-03:30 the Great Mundane
I’m playing at Smartbar here in Chicago tomorrow. It’s gotta be just about the best sound-system in the city to hear massive dubstep bass on, so you just might need to swing by and shake a leg if you’re anywhere in the greater Mid-West area.
Thursday 14 January 2010
Abstract Science and Dubfix present
I’m headed to a New Years Eve party in Brooklyn tonight and was asked if I had a danceable version of “Auld Lang Syne” to drop at midnigt. I didn’t. Instead I made this medly of some memorable pop hits from the last decade, kicked off by a classic, Glen Miller version of “Auld.” Enjoy, and happy new year!
Hilarious! This had the whole room laughing, which made it difficult for panelist Ben Sheffner (Special Counsel at John McCain 2008) to defend his side of the argument (this is not fair use of music). Actually, Sheffner even seemed to agree that the music in this video is protected as parody under fair use because it made everyone laugh.
This got everyone talking about issues around getting artists some of the revenue that’s being generated by ads and ISPs. How ’bout some cash for Ely Kim, the artist behind this video, in addition to Blondie, MIA and the other artists involved. Food for thought as I sit here listening to Wired editor Chris Anderson (The Long Tail) speak about why free ($0.00) is the future of business.
But I really just wanted to share that video with you ’cause it’s so awesome!
The Frikstailers are a Cordoba Argentina based electronic music duo. 1/2 of the team, DJ Rafa Caivan, came through Chicago last year with the Zizek Records tour and I had the pleasure of spending a day showing him ’round the Chi.
They’ve got a new record out which features Mashit’s own MC Zulu on a couple of tracks, including a remix of “Ransom the Senator.” Here’s a teaser for ya:
And here’s what the label has to say:
Revolt Into Style is a new UK based label with an international outlook. Our aim is to release quality music
across genre and style, releasing work by the freshest producers and bands from Argentina’s electronica scene and new talent from Europe. Our working relationship with Latin American label Pino Rec is the foundation on which the business is built. We plan initially to focus attention on the talented producers and artists on the Pino Rec roster, and ultimately to nurture creative collaborations between European and Latin American artists.
On our debut release, the ‘Baile Frik EP’ the Frikstailers come very correct with the title track, a breakbeat baile funk bomb, before remixing Chicago’s MC Zulu to stunning effect; Truthfully is a reggaeton-cumbia-hip hop hybrid, while Ransom The Senator is a glitchy dancehall banger. Also present is an electro booty remix from Peter Digital Orchestra (who releases twisted bleeding-edge hip hop under his Fulgeance moniker.)