Thursday, April 01, 2004

sydeburnz

Interview by Brent Crampton ~ Photos by todd ~ Sydeburnz has been a mainstay in the Kansas/Missouri scene for the past couple of years. Having made a rapid rise to regional fame, Sydeburnz has been turning heads with his signature style of “Bangin’ NRG” hard house along with his recent indulgence in the occasional deep tech house set. Sydeburnz is an eccentric man of ambitious character with a down-to-earth personality. His stage presence commands the attention of the dance floor while his crafty mixing techniques leave trainspotters entertained. I took some time out to chat online with Sydeburnz and here is what he had to say .

How did you get into DJing?

Well, kind of hard to really pinpoint the exact time. But I remember going out to the teen clubs as a spectator at first. I used to hang out at “The Swing,” some dive hole in the wall club on 72nd and Blondo (Omaha, Nebraska). They played mostly early hip hop and alternative dance anything from Guy to Sinead O'Connor.

So did you grow up playing any instruments?

(Laughs) I used to fake playing drums. Well, me and three of my friends went as “KISS” every Halloween and I was Peter Criss. This was back when I was in like 4th grade. And after school, we put on a fake concert in our apartment complex.

So you used to go to teen clubs, what inspired you to play music yourself?

Well, I have always been into music and the club I used to frequent was cool. But the dj always played bad music, but always got the gigs because he was a pretty boy.at the time it wasn’t so much about the mixing, but about the tracks that everyone wanted to hear and he wasn't playing them. His dad owned the club and all the girls wanted him, so he was the one to be in the spotlight. I was always bringing in my records for him to play and finally got sick of helping him get better. So I started playing a lot of house parties for friends.

It seems like you have some sort of spark that pushes you ahead of the pack - where did you get that from?

One specific example I can remember. . . I spent a few months in San Diego and saw a video by MC Hammer on their public access channel for his song 'Pump It Up' and bought the 12" single out there. Nobody in Omaha had heard of him yet and I was the first person to play him there. The dj from that club conned me out of my copy for $20, but I just called the store I bought it from and got another copy for $6. I came out ahead and still got the props for playing him first. That don’t mean nothing nowadays though - Hammer is done. I won’t deny I like to be the center of attention and I've never been able to really play a true instrument. But Iv’e always had a good ear I’ve been able to tell when someone was on the verge of making it in the music business.

So tell me about how you got into managing a band?

Well, with my then new job working with a used cd store, I met a lot of local bands and they always complained that there was nowhere to play in Topeka. I thought that the kids needed something to keep them connected with the music so I put together a concert in the parking lot of our store. The band, Effigy, had such energy about them. They really got me hooked. I ended up selling my dj rig to put out their second album. As soon as the album came out, their drummer quit and moved to Denver so the band kind went on a long break after that. We had an east coast tour lined up for the cd release but had to cancel all the dates to find a new drummer. Then when we broke our new drummer in, the bass player quit. I wasn't having very good luck.

So that all fell apart and you moved on?

About the same time I was also scratching for a hardcore band in Topeka called “The Trip Hop Children.” That is really the band I took from zero to sixty. They had five songs when I started jamming with them. Within six months I had driven them to one of the top acts in Topeka. We had over 20 tracks and were in the studio in that short of a time frame. I had also organized shows in the area that helped us raise almost all the cash needed for our studio time. We even brought “Noizewave” to Topeka to play at one of those shows. Right when the cd was being pressed the band decided they didn’t want to be on the label because it seemed i was controlling the band. So I quit.

Where did you go from there?

Back to the rave scene. I was sick of bands and one of my buddies told me about a rave in Omaha called “Alpha” (by Delicious Productions). Some kids dropped some flyers off in my store and he talked me into going.

Did it change your life?

It opened my eyes to how much more creativity I had when I was truly DJing. It was not just an event, but a lifestyle. So I started helping out with some events in the Kansas area just to meet more people like me. Soon I met DMX and Kid Icarus at the Zen Temple Tour and those guys were commanding such a response from the crowd that I was in awe. The music sounded different from what everyone else was playing so naturally, I was was somewhat drawn to it. Well, I was still without my dj rig from selling it to put out “ Effigy” CD, so I started downloading tracks that were on those guys' cd. I had a cd rig that I spun on at that time. After awhile, I found I really enjoyed the bouncy stuff, but the dark stuff was more inspirational. I was into Seb Fontaine a lot, but it was hard to mix the two and since there were other dj's playing progressive in the area, I wanted to stand out and play something different.

So when did you start playing out?

The first party I played out was “Ravioshack” on March 10th, 2001.

What was the best party you have played?

I would have to say it's a toss up between Chaos Theory in Kansas City and Elevation 3 in Ames Iowa. Chaos Theory was fun because it was a mega-event. My set that night was voted the best local performance of 2003 in KC. Elevation was fun because I hardly knew anyone up there, so it was a true test of my abilities and not because they knew me.

Who do you see climbing the charts from the midwest?

That’s a hard question. I know a lot of dj's that are very talented, but have no desire to promote themselves. It’s hard to climb if you don’t want to climb. A few KC dj's that I think are really promoting themselves are C-Vaughn, Atom Bryce, Xan Lucero, and Frooky.

Where is the KC scene right now? Up? Down? In between?

I would say KC is on its way up again. This is the third upswing in our scene I have witnessed in the last 3 years. I think it's mostly due to new promoters doing events. Everyone has different tastes and different styles of promoting events and putting together lineups that people really want to see.

Moving on, do weeklies help or desensitize the scene?

Too much of a good thing can be bad.

What gives you motivation to keep djing?

The energy of the crowd. When I get behind the decks and they take me to a level higher than I can hope for, it really makes me want to keep going.

What's sparked your recent interest in deep tech?

Well, I bought final scratch about a year and a half ago. Since I can download something and play it right away, it has allowed me to be a bit creative. I heard “Swayzak's” Fabric 11 cd and was really turned on by some of the stuff he put on that mix.

Oh, so it has nothing to do with you getting older and you may
want something a bit more chill?

Not really. I have a lot of people requesting that I play that stuff out, but I still want to bang it as hard as i can

As a dj, what's your next step?

Well, since I have a family, I just want to play out as much as I can without depriving myself of watching my baby girl grow up. My preference is to keep it as a release from life. More as a hobby and not so much as a business. If I happen to make it big, I wouldn’t object. But it’s not a priority for me.

For more information, visit SydeBurnz's web site.

nimbus

Interview by Brent Crampton ~ Photographs by Pete, Remi Abayomi ~ Nimbus is home to Oli Beale, Pete Bannister and Jon Shanks- three ambitious producers/djs who have a taste for all things deep, dark and techy. From the hypnotizing bassline of “Entron” or the headturning synths of “Purple Dawn,” this trio is producing quality deep tech house that is getting noticed. With their masterpiece “Vector,” recently signed to the Swiss label BitBoutique, the Nimbus crew is making a name for themselves. When the crew isn’t traveling around, they reside in Brighton, England. Read on to see what the crew thinks about life, love and everything inbetween the beat.

How long have you been doing your thing and how did you get into it? And what's your affiliation to house music?

Pete: I've been producing for almost 7 years now, but its only in the last few years things started to all fall into place. I started out learning to play keyboards when I was about 11, but wasn't particularly into buying music at the time - all there seems to be when you're that age is 'pop'. I didn't like it anyway, but then one day discovered the delights of House music. The first stuff I heard was a Renaissance CD, and was then hooked. Quite a bit more proggy than what I'm into at the moment.

I got some (very shady) decks when I was about 15 and started to learn to mix. Started getting into production at about 17, with a really dodgy Wavetable sound card, an MC303 and cakewalk. I went through a Drum and Bass stage for a few years, but I'm firmly back to House at the moment.

Oli: I started out as a junglist for a few years and was slowly seduced by house music about four years ago now. I have to admit my affiliation towards house
music is fading and I'm not really feeling the whole US 'Boompty sound' (or whatever its known as) at the moment. I'm far more interested in the Techy side of things. There's so much good stuff coming out of Germany that gets widely overlooked.

Jon: I first started listening to electronic music when my brothers were first getting it, a good few years ago. I then discovered drum and bass, specially the more mellow sounds from LTJ Bukem and Blame and finally started listening to techno and tech house when I started going out clubbing. I was lucky enough to land a job at our local record shop, The Vinyl Frontier and worked there for a year and half. This really helped to broaden my musical tastes and of course trebled my collection. I’ve always been interested in the production of music and started playing around on software programs like Acid and Fruityloops about 3 years ago.

Who and what influences your music, where does your inspiration come from?

Pete: I think I'm still influenced quite a bit by drum and bass, and try to bring a little bit of it into my house production. Some of the artists who's work I'm into include: Hipp-E, Halo, Fred Everything, although I've been listening to a few Maetrik bits too. They all influence me to a degree, but I try to come up with new ways to make unusual noises.

Oli: Labels like Treibstoff, Pokerflat, 20-20 Vision and Ironbox Music influence my music. My inspiration comes more from complex pieces of electronic music that keep you listening at home rather than short-life dance floor fillers that go in and out the box in a couple of weeks.

If someone was to hear you at an event, what could they expect?

Oli: They could expect to leave naked and to be a slightly better person than when they entered.

Jon: Hopefully something they hadn’t heard before – not your average ‘house’ or ‘tech house’ selection. I’ve always been into the deeper more thoughtful sounds and like to play out stuff that people might not be familiar with. Seeing a good reaction to something you are totally digging yourself is priceless.

Are there any notable parties that you have performed at or any popular djs that you have played along side? Do you have any residencies?

Oli: The best gig for me was playing sunrise on the Paradise Sound system at the Full Moon Party on Thailand, although the Black Moon party was pretty amazing too, especially when a fleet of battleships cruised into the bay I was playing at. I've never played to crowds that massive before or since. We used to put on nights at Space in Leeds where I played with DJs like Layo and Steve Lawler and I also ran Polination at The Cross in London. My favorite nights to play in London are the infamous Shuffle parties. Wicked crowd, mental atmosphere.

What gives you motivation to keep doing what you do?

Pete: I just love it. Its a really good feeling to finish a track, and then kick back and listen to it. Add to that finding out what other people think about it. It's really an experience to watch people really going for it to stuff you've written.

Who are your favorite producers?

Oli: Maetrik, John Tejada, Asad Rizvi, Swag, Hippe & Halo, Fred Everything

Jon: Maetrik, John Tejada, 2 $ Egg, Mark & Matt Thibideau (Repair), Gabriel Ananda, Oliver Hacke, Luciano, Decomposed Subsonic, Brian Aneurysm, Swag, Swayzak, Autechre to name just a few.

What are your plans for the future?

Pete: I'll definitely keep the production going - it would be nice to make a bit of cash. We've already got a bit from the Bar Grooves compilation, and have got a few possible deals in the pipeline. I'd love to invent a completely new style of music that really caught on!

As a producer, how do you feel about the concept of the unlicensed mix cd that djs so often put out? Do you feel cheated by the wide spread use of unlicensed mixes by djs, or do you see that as a basic component that producers must accept?

Pete: I think that it is a good from the point of view of promotion. The difficulty is that CD's are very easily copied - there is a big possibility that it will be impossible to make any money in the dance music industry in the future. I'd obviously like to make money out of my tracks, but I also want them to get heard & enjoyed. Getting your stuff played out will spread your sound, so that when people actually do go and buy some records they will click with your style of music more quickly. A lot of label A&R people also DJ, so will test CD's in clubs before signing tracks.

What equipment do you use for production and djing?

Pete: I'm using a reasonably fast PC running FL Studio with a number of third party plug-ins. I think my favorite sounding VSTi is Atmosphere, although the user interface is a bit poorly designed. I've got a Fatar SL880 master keyboard and a UC-16 controller. I don't really use any hardware apart from the controllers, although I would love to get a few vintage synths at some point. I have got an MC303 and a GEM piano module that are just gathering dust - it is much easier for me to do everything using the computer.

Jon: Before I started producing with Oli and Pete, I was making my first tracks in early versions of Fruityloops and Acid, using Fruity to start patterns and then rendering them out to Acid. These days we use FL Studio and a large number of VST plugins, the main one being Atmosphere. When djing, just 2 decks and usually a Pioneer DJM-500. I’m definitely interested in the idea of playing out with Traktor though.

Oli: I've been traveling for the last year so I sold everything and moved over to a laptop with an Edirol UA-20 and an Oxygen 8 controller. I use too much software to list but I run it all through Fruity Loops.

Why did you choose that particular production equipment, over something else?

Pete: I've found FL Studio the best sequencer for dance music - I think Cubase and Logic have a far too convoluted workflow for this type of music - it takes something like 20 mouse clicks to lay in a kick drum using Cubase, as opposed to about 4 in FL. Logic and Cubase are very good applications and a lot of people swear by them - especially for more instrumental pieces and setups that use a lot of MIDI. Life's just too short to be using them for sampling and VSTi's though!

The other big reason I like FL is that the offline rendering quality of FL sounds much better than a mix down in Cubase or Logic because of the windowed synch sampler interpolation. It takes a long time to process, but it is worth it. FL also over-samples automatically if you raise the sample rate, so you can render offline an ultra high quality for subsequent mastering. Synths, filters & eq sound much better at a high sample rate (if they've been designed properly).

Jon: We all love Fruityloops basically because of the fact that ideas can start to flow so quickly when using it. We can get any effects/sounds we want within a matter of seconds as opposed to if we were working in Cubase or Logic. We’ve all used it for years and are so used to how it works.

Have you ever made a track, and felt completely okay with it to the point where you felt no need to go back and change anything?

Jon: Yep! Entron. We will all agree on the fact that nothing else needs to be done to it. My favorite track so far.

When making a track, what's the process that you take? And how do you decide what direction you are going with your music?

Pete: We try to do it slightly differently every time - you get different results depending upon the order you do things in. We'll often start with a few loops to get warmed up though. More recently I've been trying to get the main 'hook'/'lead' for tracks down as early on in the process as possible. It's more difficult to come up with a hook after having done everything else, than to write it first and get everything to fit with it. We've written tracks in both ways and were are usually more successful if we get the main sounds done first. Entron is a good example - the entire track started off as the two main chords played with the strings - everything stemmed from their mood and developed surprisingly easily the bass and percussion only really all came together about 2/3rd's of the way through writing it.

There seems to be a major trend in the electronic industry of the dj-producer combo. Why do you think that is and what brought the industry to that pattern?

Pete: The main reason is because the DJ's who produce get more publicity, so more people go to their sets. It is becoming more fashionable to produce too now - just like DJing did around five years ago.

What's the most common mistake when producing house music?

Oli: You can sometimes get too caught up in detail when you are writing a tune. You have to sit back and listen to it with an open mind and think; "Do I actually like this tune?" If the answer is no, scrap it and move onto something new.

Which producers would you like to work with?

Oli: Asad Rizvi, I love his production style. Bass heavy and gritty. Of course I
wouldn't mind getting in the studio with The Neptunes and seeing exactly how the magic is worked.

Jon: I’d love to spend an afternoon in the studio with Maetrik or John Tejada to see how they work and how their ideas come together. Also, 2$ egg from Germany, those guys constantly amaze me with every new release.

For more information, visit Wobble.it, IronBox Music, or Bit Boutique

tortured soul

interview & photos by todd ~ Recently on a Sunday night, I was invited down to the Grand Emporium to check out an act that he was really excited about called Tortured Soul. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY this trio of musicians played an evening of excellent House music to a tight little crowd.

What makes these guys so different. They don't use vinyl, CDs, MP3s or even Final Scratch. It's all live instrumentation. Christian on Percussion, Jason on Bass and Ethan playing a vintage set of keyboards that add an interesting flavor to their sound, their sound is so good, even my good friend Harvey couldn't be kept away from this show. (Click here to hear his comment).

After their set, I had the opportunity to sit and chat with them for a minute. Here's what they had to say.

When did you guys get together?

We met about 3 1/2 years ago and we were playing in a bigger six piece band and the three of us enjoyed playing more as a trio than the bigger band and I (Christian) started a project where actually the first song was a little more production oriented and I brought it to these guys after I did that song and they started joining in and writing with me and helped turn what was originally sort of a production concept into a more full-blown project where we kind of took what we were doing as a rhythm section for a bigger band and applied it to a new concept which was more focusing on doing band stuff.

Were you doing anything similar before this project?

We've been mostly dance oriented bands before this, but we've been doing this live for about a year now, though we started this project a couple of years ago.

Why did you decide to play House?

We've all been interested in playing dance music and I think that it's sort of like playing House music, even though it's not typically something that's done live, it's kind of sort of like a natural thing for us because we also want to be playing music that's current, you know, it's like we spent a lot of time playing in Dance Music, but Dance Music that was sort of like Retro and That's fun, but it's not really what I think we want to be doing. We want to be doing something that's a little more evolved, you know contemporary.

Do you have any CD / vinyl releases?

We have four singles. Well, we have three really. The second single that came out had Tortured Soul involved, but it was really in collaboration with another artist. As this band, there's three singles that are out on Central Park Recordings.

Do you have anything in the works?

We do have a full length album that's being produced in the states in early April. We just signed with Purpose Records. We will also have a new mix that will be released this summer. It's actually a new mix of "Fall in Love", which was released about a year ago. The original version was released about a year ago.

What's the name of this new full length album you have coming out?

We are not really for certain yet, but the name of the album will probably be called, "Introducing Tortured Soul" and will be released in CD format and in a full length vinyl album.

I'll be on the lookout for it. You can count on it. By the way, in your set this evening, I noticed you wanted to go a little deeper a couple of times, but it seemed that the dance floor kind of faded a little when you did. I noticed that you responded to that fairly quickly and soon had everyone back out on the dance floor.

We respond heavily to the audience. So, if the audience is getting in to it, we let them kind of drive it a little. Tonight, because of that, we changed the set a little bit toward the end. We were going to go into something a little bit weirder, but decided that everyone probably wanted to hear maybe another tune or two that was a little more upbeat. A good percentage of what we do is based on Crowd Response. I mean, we obviously have a lot of songs that we want to play, but we'll go in to different directions spontaneously. When the audience isn't dancing, or we can't get them engaged, we adjust and see what the crowd wants. We want the crowd to dance because it motivates us more.

I'm sort of like that with my photography. I really prefer to be shooting a crowd that's dancing, than one that is just standing and listening.

Exactly. Like tonight, we saw all these chairs and tables setup and though, ewww... We don't like chairs and tables. We want people to dance to our music, not just watch.

So, where else have you played recently?

We just played at Tantra and the Shelbourne Hotel during the WMC. The Shelbourne Hotel party was with Ming & FS and Monk and a few others. We actually were the first band to play and we had a nice close little crowd that were there just to see us.

I was at that party, though not until late! I'm sorry I missed your set. Any other places recently.

Actually, yea.. several times in New Orleans for Jazz Fest and we just played an event that was going on during Mardi Gras.

Another one I seemed to have missed. I was there for Mardi Gras and Zoolu 10.

That's the event we played at.

You know, I think I may have some photos of you! I was there doing a story and remember a band upstairs that really had the room moving during the first night. I wanted to stop and talk with them, but didn't get the opportunity.

That was us! There was no other band.

So, I have heard you before! In fact, I think I've got some photos of you playing on my site already.

That was great party. The turnout was a little smaller than they had expected, but it was still quite a good crowd. We flew in and played and got back on the plane and flew back. I think we left about 5 pm and flew back out at 730 the next morning. We didn't even stay in the hotel or anything. It was pretty crazy. I left one of my favorite shirts and a couple of cords there.

So you are touring around right now. What's the next leg in your journey?

We are going to Colorado for about a week. We've got about 5 shows, then off to Chicago and Cleveland, then probably back to the studio.

Hear what you missed! Click here for a small sound bite from that night.




You can view more of the photos from their performance the evening of the interview by visiting the Gallery, under Events / Kansas City / Tortured Soul.

Or you can view the photos from their performance at Zoolu 10 by visiting the Gallery, under Events / Zoolu 10.

For more information about this unique band, samples of their music and recent news, be sure to check out their web site www.TorturedSoulMusic.com.

the bench staying fresh

by J. PhoenixThe Synthesis article is still in the works; it's such a big subject that we're breaking it up into four parts, and The Bench will see each of them released one at a time. It will cover the basics of synthesis, which is much more complicated than the term implies.

This month we'll take a short break and discuss staying fresh. These are my top ten ways to stay fresh and renew inspiration with whatever activity, art form, etc. you are pursuing:

10. Read a Biography Before You Start a New Project
Bonus points if you pick a biography on someone whose work is totally unrelated to your work, but still inspires you. The idea behind this is that if you look at the trials, tribulations, and successes of another who inspires you, what happened in their life may prepare you for something in your own, or may give you a new insight on what you are about to do. And even if it doesn't, at least you'll have learned a bit more about the art you enjoy.

9. Find Another Art form to Work On
Learn how to play guitar, paint watercolors, or swim. Learn how to dance, learn how to rock-climb, learn how to cook a certain complicated dish. The more artistic endeavors you attempt, no matter the results, you will find appreciating the process of the other art form that apply to what is already your forte. It also gives you something to do in the downtimes of inspiration in your other art form, or vice versa. Having two or more art forms allows you to switch back and forth and keep inspiration running more consistently.

8. Take a Day (or Week) Off to Reorganize Your Space
Set aside a day or a week to clean up and clean out your studio. Put those canvases in order, get all those CD's back in their cases, tie up those cables, sort out those papers. Unless you are one of the rare people who actually work better and more efficiently in total chaos, I recommend taking a break when you're in between projects or have some sort of downtime and re-organize your habitat. Some of us actually reconfigure their studio in relation to the project they're working on. One way or another getting everything in order is one of those steps which will make it easier to create quality from the lowest levels up.

7. Start With the Smallest Things
As above so below, from largest to smallest. Remember that if you do the small things very well, it means that the larger things will go the same way, because they've been set up to. Most people get so focused on the bigger elements, their goals or dreams, the larger picture that they forget to put in the detail work to get them there in the first place. Start by doing one small thing perfectly, and then move onto the next. That is how quality is created.

6. Use the Right Tools for the Job
One of the problems that can easily get you into a rut is not having the right tools for the right job, or that the tools you are using are not calibrated properly or they are simply inferior. While it is a poor craftsman that blames his tools, from time to time things break down, get adapted, or weren't being used for the right purpose in the first place. Do not try and paint tiny detail work with a paint brush you use to paint the side of your house. It takes the knowledge and research to know what the right tool actually is sometimes, so look into it.

5. (Keeping No. 6 in Mind) Use What You've Got
A lot of us get easily bogged down in the cycle of "if I only had [insert equipment here] I'd be able to do what I want to". Inevitably, you will end up putting off what you need to while imagining what you could do with something you don't yet have. By sticking to the idea of using whatever you've got, you'll find yourself stretching the boundaries of what your equipment can do. You may learn something about your gear you, and possibly nobody else knew before. Don't get trapped in the pretty catalogs with the new gear every month and ignore what you've already got!

4. Give up and Take A Break
Just stop it! Quit trying for a second. Get out of your chair, away from your headphones, turn off the mixer and the tables or computer and do something else. Clear your mind of whatever's blocking you by completely ignoring the problem and its solution altogether. Don't try to figure it out while you're doing whatever else to get your mind off of it, and don't use your break time to rehash everything you're doing right or wrong. Just stop it. Take a break.

3. The Total Opposite of 4-Stick to It!
Don't give into that temptation to quit and turn on the TV / X-box / VCR / DVD / Internet! Stay focused on the task at hand. Finish what you started, otherwise you're not likely going to finish anything! Throw yourself into it, get your hands dirty, and get it over with. Now! Stop reading this article and get to work!

2. Don't Be Afraid to Start Completely Over
Change is devastating. It means having to learn things over, rebuilding what was destroyed, creating new connections, and generally backtrack until you find yourself where you were before or even farther behind or ahead. But, if it weren't for such experiences, then you'd keep doing the same thing over and over and while you may get better at it, you won't learn as much as if you have to start from scratch. So when your records get sent one way to Taiwan on the trip back home, the sub woofer's magnetics destroyed your hard drive with your samples during the gig, or that freak electrical storm destroys your synth patches, just remember: as you're rebuilding, you're learning better ways to get your results.

1. Do What Makes You Happy
Do it because it makes you happy. There is nothing that says your art has to please anyone, and frequently we allow others' opinions to keep us from doing something new, or outrageous, edgy, or dangerous. The risks that we take are sometimes what ends up making or breaking us. Many times an artist has chosen to boldly go ahead with their ludicrous idea or another and as a result got that record deal, caught a publisher's eye or gotten their script sold.

Take Care, Be Safe, and See You in Front of the Speakers!

a little stimulus

Preview by Brent Crampton ~ photo courtesy of AM Only ~ It may take a British man to do it, but Adrian Basford is determined to bring back the old-school party vibe to Omaha. ADB, “Absolutely Defining Best Entertainment” is backed by the infamous MC ADB, otherwise known as Adrian. On Friday, May 7th, ADB presents “Stimulus.” Bringing in a taste of Buzz, Scott Henry along with the highly praised DnB dj - Stakka will be headlining the event. Regional talent includes the innovator of Technomaha himself, Dr. Mindbender operating on the crowd with his signature rolling-base style of Goa trance, Omaha’s hardcore guru - Durian and transplanted breaks courtesy of Troy180 from Des Moines.

For those of you who are not familiar with Scott Henry, he has traveled the world playing the best clubs with his deep, dark and tribal style of house and techno. His weekly club night in Washington, D.C. - Buzz, has been voted as America’s #1 weekly event in URB magazine for the past 6 years! Stakka is by no means a sub headliner, hailing from New York, he has been on the cutting edge of production with his label, Cargo Industries. Stakka is sure to please even the most adamant drum and bass aficionado.

The last event ADB threw brought attendance into the 500 range, and Adrian expects no less for this venture. And with a venue that goes until 4 a.m., drinking until 2, ages 18+, free giveaways by Esdjco and $15 at the door - his goal is well within sight.

Click the flyer below to go to the Calendar for more information, or visit SonicFury.net.

wrecklessly addicted

Review by Brent Crampton ~ Nasty . . . Scary . . . Wet-my-bed kind of Scary. The first release for Wreckless recordings is all of that and more. Wreckless is based out of Omaha, Nebraska and is the brain child of Lunatik, aka Aaron Godbout and will focus on hard-hitting tracks with a dark appeal. Making its debut at the WMC, this record company is bound to put Omaha on the map for dance music!

The first release, “Addicted” has the original by Trinity Sound System a “Lunatik Rework”. Trinity Sound System is producer James Passolt and vocalist Chad Carper. The track is a 4-to-the-floor stomper with a heavy and chunky high end and one hell of a nasty bass line. Throughout the track is the sampled line, “I don’t care - I am addicted” and Passolt puts a nice touch on it when he begins to chop up the vocal and tease the dance floor with it. The track is pretty original considering it uses a four-to-the-floor method with a DnB bass line. Overall, it is very dark and sure to appeal to the underground masses.

Lunatik’s remix sounds as if someone stepped inside the Twilight Zone with its eery piano. Shortly into the song, there’s a break down that cleverly transforms and brings anticipation to the crowd. Not to down play the original mix, the remix uses another hard and gritty baseline with a DnB rhythm. The growling bass line and reverbed vocal are the prominent features of the track.

If the first release is any indication of what’s to come from this label - you better buy some new panties because these tracks will make you wet your bed! They are definitely not for the faint-hearted and truly meant for the dark underground demographic. Nasty bass lines and hard dance music now has a new home in Omaha. I look forward to seeing where this label will go.

For more information, visit 519am.com

water 4 sale

story & photos by todd ~ Is it really fair to charge people for one of the Basic Essentials of Life? Would you charge people to breathe the Air in your house?

While at the Ultra Music Festival, a came across the typical outrage. The Price of Water. As the photograph shows to the right, the price that was being charged for a 24-ounce bottle of Coca Cola's Dasani Bottled Water was $5.

You know, a lot of people try to downplay this issue. I am sure that everyone has heard the arguement come up at one time or another. Many will say that it is irrelevant, but it really is becoming a growing concern at festivals such as this. Add to that, various unfounded accusations by the Department of Justice that Rave promoters are intentionally marking the price of water up to unreasonable amounts and you have to eventually ask, "OK. We've identified this problem, but when is there going to be some sort of action to prevent it from continuing?"

This particular event was at Bayfront Park in Miami, FL. Upon entering the front gate, you were not allowed to bring in any refreshment of your own, even if it was in a sealed, plastic bottle. After a little bit of inquiring and observation, I did note that this park does have the facilities to provide free drinking water for everyone, but the few water fountains that I could access were turned off or outside the availability of the general audience. Adding to this insult, factor in that event organizers go to great lengths to provide numerous perks (including free water) for individuals assisting in organizing the event, as well as the musicians and the production crews. Yet they always seem to forget the people that they rely on the most to make their event happen.

I spoke with one of the vendors briefly about the prices that were being charged and was told that the price had been fixed by the festival organizers as a "fair and reasonable amount". He went on to say that he agreed with that because they "weren't making any money on it."

What a stupid and reckless statement to make. At a nearby convenience store the price for a bottle of water was $0.99. I can go to QuickTrip here in Kansas City and buy a bottle of water for $0.79 and the tap water that runs from my home costs me roughly $.00279 per gallon.

In more realistic terms, I recenlty bought a case of bottled water to share with some people that were helping me setup an art show. That case of 24-12 ounce bottles cost me $3.79 at a local wholesale club. That works out to roughly $0.16 per bottle. How is it that Somebody is not making a rather extreme amount of money back on this water?

I don't mind paying $1 or even $2 for a bottle of water when there is definitely nothing else available to me, like tap water from a fountain, but I get really annoyed when I KNOW that somebody, somewhere, is making 500% profit off of me. Some will say that it's because they need to make up what they aren't making at the door. Maybe they should consider a different line of work then? Some will say that if they give it away nobody will drink anything else. Not true. I usually drink lots of water while drinking other things. It keeps me from getting a hang over. And then you will have those that will try to tell you that the tap water isn't safe any more.

The photo just above was taken at The Granada during an event that I attended last year. It was filled with Tap Water and Ice and was Free to everyone. To my knowledge nobody died or was poisoned from drinking it and the promoters didn't lose money by providing it. Those that were there and drank from it were very appreciative. I know that I did.

Any Event organizer that charges an excessive price for water, or allows vendors to do the same should be ashamed of themselves. There really should be some sort of action that can be taken against them. At most of these events, people get over-heated and dehydrated and to either deny, or put such a premium price on one of the Basic Essentials of Life is nothing short of Greed at the Expense Health and Welfare. What's next? A surcharge on your ticket to be able to breathe the Air?

wmc 2004

too much of a good thing ~ story & photos by todd ~ Hopping a plane in the late morning hours of Thursday, March 4, Tim (DJ Solaris) and I started our little adventure to Miami, South Beach and the Winter Music Conference. Neither of us had actually gotten the "pass" in to the conference. Tim said you really didn't need it and everyone else I talked to essentially said the same, so I didn't bother with it either.

We arrived rather late in Miami due to a small issue with weather in Dallas that delayed us an hour and went out for a walk around 11 pm and just kind of soaked up the balmy evening. It was 70° and absolutely perfect for a stroll down Collins Ave to get a feel for the layout of the streets and whatnot. We ran into a couple of girls from Holland desperately seeking a certain party and decided to just walk them up to where they wanted to be. We thought about going in, but decided to conserve some energy for the upcoming events and just headed back up the beach to the Hotel.

Friday, we made a trip down to GrooveMan Records so Tim could get some new records for his gig that evening at The Womb radio station.

This was no small gig for DJ Solaris. The Womb is the only broadcaster in the world providing 24/7 multimedia broadcasts of live music performances and mixes. The Womb broadcasts to a monthly audience of over 1.5 million. In 2001 the Company’s live broadcasts were chosen and syndicated by Terra Lycos networks as their global Terra DJ for use by their 90 million customers on all their web sites and portals around the world. Their distribution channels and networks include almost 1000 other Internet sites that directly link to The Womb and around 120 college radio stations in North America that carry The Womb’s broadcast. To all those people that evening, came sound of Hard Techno pounding across the digital airwaves, with live video broadcast from the booth and a 3D Virtual Club from their site.

We made a stop after that at Nikki's Beach, a very cool little club down at the very southern end of South Beach. What a great layout! Teepees for private conversations and futons laid out everywhere for lounging around on the sand.

Somewhere along the way, the Matrix Girl called and told us to head up to Lounge 16, so we headed up to Lounge 16 to meet up with some friends and hear some Drum N Bass. It was the first time since Merly B came to Kansas City that I really got to feel Florida Drum N Bass up close and personal and it only left me wanting more after three hours on the small but lively dance floor.

Saturday found us preparing to enter Ultra 2004. The Music Festival of The Conference. 14 hours of non-stop music on 12 stages with over 200 artists and producers. We got there sometime in the afternoon. After passing through three separate checkpoints at the gate with my camera and camera bag, explaining to each person why I was using the camera, we were finally in.

Our first stop was the Drum N Bass stage where Baron was just finishing up and DJ Rap was just coming on. She played the usual rockin set, much to the pleasure of the couple of hundred or so gathered around to see her, but with the need to see more I departed to other arenas.

Traveling around Bayfront Park, I took in the likes of Tracy Young, Oscar G, Chris Fortier, Perry Ferrell, Way OUt West. Slowly but surely making my way towards the Amphitheater, I was fortunate enough to arrive in time to catch the end of Junkie XL and with the help of some St Louis ravers (thanks guyz!), made my way to within 20 feet of the stage for the beginning of Tiesto's set. The crowd was already pumped and was chanting his name over and over.

After getting some shots there, from the ground and from Tim's shoulders, it was time to head off for other scenes like Photek, The Collective (Sasha, John Digweed, James Zabiela & Infusion), Erick Morillo, Josh Wink, Dave Ralph, Simply Jeff, Steve Lawler, K-Swing, Rabbit in the Moon. You get the idea. It was almost too much. Though it was definitely a bargain to be able to see all the headliners you could possibly want to see in one day for $60, there were too many options.

I stopped by the Freedom Arena a couple times that day. If I were to pick a stage where the most people were dancing, I would have to say that was it. It was while we were stopping by there on our way out around Midnight that I encountered the "Bitch with the Badge" who got so bent out of shape about me not having my Press Credentials that she rudely escorted me out. I hadn't caused her or anyone else any trouble and I was friendly and cooperative with her when she started her query about my camera.

Barely giving me any time to explain, I told her that I had passed through three checkpoints when I came in and each of them had told me that it was ok to bring the camera in. She said, "I don't give a shit", grabbed my arm and put her hand in my back and started pushing me through the crowd towards the back gate. I just went along. Hell, we were just about to leave anyway. It probably wouldn't have been so bad except that as she was pushing me along through the crowd it was almost as if she was deliberately trying to ram me in to people. After a minute or so of that, I decided it was time to say something and told her that I didn't mind leaving, or her restraining me as we left, but it really was unnecessary for her to intentionally push me in to other people. They didn't do anything. Why should they suffer this abuse? I think she got the hint and backed down a little. Some people really need to lighten up just a little.

It was a good event, but if I return to Miami for the WMC in the future, I seriously doubt that I will waste my time with Ultra. There was too much going on all at the same time that I wanted to see and nearly every act that played there that day was playing at some point that week somewhere else in Miami, a lot of times... For No Cover!

Sunday was definitely a day of rest. I got up late and kind of lounged around and went out to eat or something. Finally, later in the evening, we hooked up with Steve Thorell at GroovePad 2004, a poolside party being held at The Creek Hotel. There were several other people there from Kansas City and we all just kind of chilled out and had entirely too many cocktails.

We all left from there, jumped in a cab to head back to Steve's hotel for a minute. We really gave the cabby a ride. The DJ in the front seat immediately took command of the car's stereo, found some good house and proceeded to use the limited controls he had to bounce the car a little, mixing and fading and just playing around. It was a good thing the cabby had a sense of humor.

After a cocktail at the bar, we started to head for the CroBar when we discovered that we were running a little low on cash and every ATM was as well. Fanning out looking for one, we all ended up losing each other. Tim and I met back at the hotel and ran into PhukBed and some kids from Atlanta, GA and chilled in the room for a bit, sipping Chartreuse. That was all that it took for me. I was done for the night and passed out right there on the bed, though it was probably for the best because the next day was going to be another long one.

Monday started off with Breakbeat Science, poolside at the Ritz. I met most of their krewe and hung about for some really cool beats. I left a little early though because I needed to get myself together for a special VIP party that we had been invited to at Pearl @ Nikki's Beach. That was to be a nice smooth starter party for the evening with Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick. The After Party (at the same place) was just as good. It kicked off with ?uestLove DJing some tunes for us.

And... on my way out, I discovered that there was another party going on downstairs that John Graham was playing and Rap was to be up next, I think, but it was time to go. It was time for the Tronic Treatment.

Words can't describe the pulse that pounded within the walls of The Privelege Club as headliners Marco Bailey and Cristian Varela gave everyone there the "Treatment" they came for. We (of course) stumbled into vjOnes there soaking up the Techno on the balcony just as Adam Jay was coming on up there. I could not be kept from the pulse downstairs however and headed back down to do a little pounding on the floor and kept it up most of the time there. It was good. It was better than good. Heading out to the street at 5 am was disappointing at best. I and everyone else wanted more. It was ok though. There was more to be had the next night.

Tuesday, my last full day and night there, was spent at the DJ Series: Wet Edition party down at the Shelbourne Hotel, a party that Aphrodisiac was involved with featuring Ming & FS, Perry Ferrell and best of all Monk. I hung around poolside and chatted with Ming & FS for a minute after their set and talked with several other. I also had the opportunity to meet DJ Symmetry who's CD I have become quite addicted to. It is definitely a fierce set of DnB that I just can't seem to get dislodged from my car's CD player.

From there, Tim and I were determined to really kick it for the evening. Retiring the camera to the hotel room safe, we were head back to the Privilege Club for another fine evening of Techno featuring Marco Carolo, Chris Liebing, Gateano Parisio and Danilo Vigorito. Each of them banged it out for those of us on the dance floor who had come for just that.

Then there were those who were just in the way. Word to the wise, if you're at a party and you're not there to dance, Get Off The Dance Floor. You Are In The Way! Several times there were a few guys that were standing in the middle of the floor watching the DJ. After a very determined crowding effort by myself and others who were similarly annoyed by these unmoved people, they got the message and faded off of the floor and we finally were rid of them. It is amazing how convincing several different sets of elbows can be. Finally we were all at peace to dance the last 4 hours of the evening. 6 hours of dancing. What a way to end the week. Making it even better, the last hour Marco, Chris & Gaetano tagged back and forth further whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

Pushed out the door at 5 am, I and everyone else were drenched in sweat from dancing so long and so hard. Nothing could equal that experience. The room had been alive, even more so than the previous night. I definitely didn't want it to end.

Sadly though, it was over. Not just the night, but the whole week. It had flashed by faster than any of us had expected. It was a good journey and like everyone told me, you really don't need a WMC pass to have a good time. There's enough going on to completely wear you. If you can't find something to get into, you are either staying in your hotel entirely too much or you are walking around blindfolded.

april 2004 editor note

As I sit here writing this, listening to Andrew Boie's "Dead by Dawn", I have had a lot of time to reflect back on the last couple of months and some of the places I've been, such as Miami.

I had only been here a week after Mardi Gras when I was suddenly wisked off to a world where DnB and Techno seemed to be in control. That was actually ok though. I can get plenty of house in Kansas City.

Most of the photographs taken this month were in Miami. This one, of me and my favorite SuperModel Shandi was taken at the Syde-Sho Anniversary Party in Mid March by Kourtney Anderson. This was just the beginning of a series of parties that took place this month that seemed to swell with every event, up to and including Awakening, just last weekend. It's really good to see the masses growing. The energy seems to be rising again. This coming summer could prove to be quite an interesting time.

Until Next Time!

~phocas~

april 2004 issue