Saturday, January 01, 2005

d3f1l3 on decks

intro by brent crampton ~ This month, phocas brings you an exclusive mix from Iowa DJ, D3F1L3. Instead of just listing the favorite songs being played out at the moment, we got D3F1L3 to record a mix for us that will only be available on phocas.net. So now you can listen to a mix while you check out D3F1L3's charts.

Finding inspiration to DJ from notorious Iowa resident, Reaktor, D3F1L3 views the DJ as a performer. "Anyone can just beat match and fade between tracks, there should be more of a performance element than that," D3F1L3 said. Spinning mainly breakcore and jungle, he uses scratching and beat juggling to set himself apart from the mix-to-mix DJs.

"My style isn't really meant for club dancing, most of my mixes are supposed to make you think and visualize," D3F1L3 said about his track selection.

D3F1L3 has DJed at Together, Blueshift and various Mons Musik events. However, most of his playing time comes at house parties. "I like house parties more because of the feeling of freedom that seems to permeate them," said D3F1L3. The Subconscious Collective crew, which D3F1L3 spins for, has thrown many infamous house parties in Iowa.


(Sample1) Nightmare :: Tales of the Frightened Vol 2 :: Mercury (perf by Boris Karloff)
Well the whole mix was kind of dream flavored right from the beginning with the Boris Karloff sample leading it off. Who could resist using a voice like Karloff's to start a mix?
Time Locked :: Hecate :: Zhark Intl
I felt like starting off with something dark and gritty and you can't do better than Hecate in that area. The violent feel to this track kind of gives a hint at the sound of later tracks.

Return :: Gridlock :: Hyman
After hitting hard I decided to soften up a bit so as not to scare anyone off early ;)

Pervs :: Nymphomatriarch :: Hyman
This is such a fun track to double I couldn't help myself. The high speed and complex beats of this track were just calling to me.
The Frigid Sigh Got Me High :: Eight Frozen Models:: Zod
Moving from the hard base lines and rapid snares to this, more techy sounding, track seemed a good way to change the sound without changing the feel or the tempo.

( Sample2) Through the Looking Glass :: Lewis Carol :: Caedmon (perf by Joan Greenwood and Stanley Holloway)
Continuing with the dream theme, Alice Through the Looking Glass has always been one of my favorite stories so I decided to use Alice's transition from the real world to the dream world to bridge these two tracks together.

Pendulum :: Solenoid :: Zod
Back into the dreamy sensations we go while stepping up the complexity a bit. Makes it a little harder to beat juggle, but really ends up having a nice sound to it.
That's Not It At All :: Curtis Chip :: Zod
Then it was time to raise the spirits of this mix a bit and this track does exactly that. Curtis Chip = " the man"

Nomad :: Bill Youngman :: Mental.ind.records
This track has the cleaner sound to it that is nice to move to after the synth heavy "That's Not It At All" All I can really say is that the use of silence in this track speaks volumes.
Damper :: Bill Youngman :: Mental.ind.records
This track is a grade noisier than the last track with out being a hard transition. It is the next track on the same record as the last one and I like the way they go together so I used cuts and scratching from the track after this one to transition between them.

Scared of an Imaginary Iceland :: Ontayso :: On
This one has, at the same time, a very zen feel and a tribal rhythm. Good for moving from the quiet track before this one to the noisier track following.
How to Steal and Store an Ice Sculpted Bear :: Venetian Snares & Cex :: Klang Krieg Prod
This one is just plain fun to mess around with. Not the easiest to beat match so messing with a sample blends well and adds some imagery.

Happy Mechanical Unit :: Zrak Zapytania :: Low Res
Thought it was winding down? Time to hit it hard again! This track rattles my fillings!
Get With This :: Brodie Guy :: Zod
Continuation of the hard and loud. This time with more distortion!

Electric Deaf :: Ata Ebtekar :: Warp Records Ltd
Now is where the mix starts to get a little more abstract. This track has some killer flow to it's progression.
Couchburn 2 :: Fanny :: Zod
Fanny shows excellent use of sampling and tension building ambiance to create this track.

Slosophy :: ADC & Somatic Responces :: Praxis
Flowing from the tension built in the last track and with the sinister sounds in this one it seemed an easy choice to continue the dream/nightmare theme.
Nerve Picking :: yogo.onomotobok :: Zod
And has a nice hard cut to this very noisy, but intense track.

Negative Force :: Resurrector :: No Room For Tallent
I wanted the last track to relay slowly waking from a disturbed slumber to a familiar but darkened room.

(Sample3) Nightmare :: Tales of the Frightened Vol 2 :: Mercury (perf by Boris Karloff)
And it only seemed appropriate to end with a different part of the same sample I started with.

phantom 45 full circle

premier artist group ~ That's right, you heard it here first - the Chi-town legend, Phantom 45 (Suburban Bass, Strictly Hype, Surge Recordings) is coming "Full Circle" .... to tour the U.S. with a crate full of anthems (pulled from the years 1992 to 2000) to be churned together to create a night that only this Super Sharp Shooter can bring.

Phantom 45 has long been a staple in the American drum-n-bass scene. In it from day one, he has been stockpiling mega anthems that can not be contained any more -- tunes like Valley of the Shadows, labels like SUBURBAN BASS, MOVING SHADOW, GANJA, RAM,V .. all the tunes that have been denied for way to long.

Tired of hearing the same old drum&bass? Remember a time when it was fresh, rollin, soulful and banging? Remember Renagade Snares by OMNI TRIO? DJ SS-- Rollers Convention-- ? M-BEAT -- Incredible --? Or a track called FIRE?? a song that made you put your lighters in the air!! Well gear up for a mega-rewind ... On the music is the man - PHANTOM 45 on his "Full Circle" Tour dropping tunes with more dust on them than your high school year book. He's digging elbow deep into the crates and panning old school gold. This tour is not to be missed!!!

dj t-rock tour

premier artists group ~ Whether on stage or in the studio, DJ T-Rock emphatically grabs hold of the 1200’s and demands the spotlight. Voted “Best Goddamn DJ of 2003” by San Francisco’s legendary independent label Hip Hop Slam, T-Rock has kept his fans happy with two solo albums, numerous mix CD’s, and various appearances on albums and compilations. Bomb Hip Hop, the label responsible for introducing many of today’s most popular scratch musicians to the mainstream, labeled T-Rock, “The Best DJ You’ve Never Heard.” That is no longer the case.

In 2003 & 2004, T-Rock has created a worldwide buzz with extensive touring and the release of his mix CD and feature-length DVD "Sikinthehed". T-Rock is fresh off an 8 country European tour where he took crowds by storm with an eclectic blend of music and turntable trickery. He is enjoying constant rotation on the London based Turntable Radio show, as well as a many college radio programs across the United States.

Throughout the last decade, T-Rock has performed with many well-known artists such as Qbert, Afrika Bambaataa, X-Ecutioners, MixMaster Mike (Beastie Boys), Z-Trip (Linkin Park), DJ Swamp (Beck), and Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5). It is evident that T-Rock is here to stay, ready to perform, and on his way to becoming a household name in the world of music.

Feb. 25 - Canterbury University - Christchurch, NZ
Feb. 26 - Otago University - Dunedin, NZ
Feb. 28 - Massey University - Wellington, NZ
March 1 - Auckland Tech - Auckland, NZ
March 4 - Auckland University - Auckland, NZ

solaris january 2005 techno

intro & photo by todd ~  Local KC Techno DJ, Solaris is back once again with his picks for some of the hardest and rawest Techno beats for the new year. Always looking for ways to push the limit of your Techno experience, check out these tracks and, courtesy of DJ Solaris.

RAW - GUY MCAFFER - RAWR001
Leave it to guy to get everything worked into techno. From P Funk in one record to this banger with house remixes. Who knows what he will throw in next.

CLUSTER - ANT & NICK GRATER : CLUSTER69
Ant does it again. What can I say about these two? Take a balloon ride then go get chromed. The B side has a wicked breaks breakdown. Cluster will always remain one of my favorites. They are always out to impress.

SHORT CIRC - ALEX CALVER - SC015
Some great acid here. Who needs those little pieces of paper or jells when you have vinyl like this? Next time I feel like goin to never never land, I’ll just get me a box of alex’s wax. If you need me to I’ll say it again keep your eye out on this guy. He is what every bad boy wants to be when he grows up.

PROX PRO - FRANKIE BONES - PROXPRO7
Even Frankie knows where to go when you want it nasty. Rowland The Bastard comes through with it in spades. Come one come all cause there is no wank girl around. Just some nice nails to shove through your temple.

PLANET RHYTHM - GLENN WILSON VS THE ANXIOUS - PRRUK047
Now for the good stuff! Glen never disappoints! Nice minimal drum tracks. The kind of stuff that leaves a line at the decks asking where you got it. Well if you do you will be able to leave the others in the dust. Grind baby grind.

ZYNC – PREACH - ZYNC30
I never thought I would hear a early morning techno track… then again it had to be done sometime. This is definitely one of those late night stompers. Let it all out and let em wind down with this. Its just the prefect bit of morphine for you after the beating.

DJAX UP BEATS - SANDY WAREZ - DJAXUP371
Who needs aspirin? You will after the beatin’ you’ll get from this one. A bit of everything hard here. Even a nice B side that reminds me of UR. Don’t know? Well take a minute and then come to your senses and realize that you haven’t lived yet.

HIGHLAND BEATS LTD - THIRD NATION - HBLTD005
There are great reasons to get into shape but I am not sure this is one of them. When you can come chill and hear this groove who needs to go all out the whole night. This one is great for those times where the cogs in your brain grinded to a hault and you need a wrench to sort it all out.

SUBMISSION - GLENN WILSON, D RODELL, EHALIN - SUBMISS8
One great thing about this label is that they never let up. Why? Well that wouldn’t be techno. And these bangers are just that, straight forward and bangin. Don’t let your mom catch you with these, she may just think you were up to no good.

GLITCH - ALEX CALVER - GLITCH006
Not on my last item for any reason other than finding stuff this good takes time and work. I live off of B Sides and I might have to reconsider that after listening to these tracks. From crazed to straight and hard we have it all here. Don’t mess around just put this on your list for Santa, if not you will regret it.

maze charts

intro by brent crampton ~ photo by steveo ~ Florida-flavored DJ Danny Maze transplanted himself recently to Omaha, Nebraska to spread the sounds of hard house with a dash of Florida breakbeats.

Having DJed for 14 years, Danny Maze cites DJ Monk from Rabbit In The Moon as having taught him the ways of house and breaks in Florida. It wasn't until the mid-90's, while in San Diego, that Maris Moon exposed him to hard house. Maze has been hooked eversince. "I couldn't get enough of the hard bass and non-stop high energy," Maze said. Having DJed on the both the east and west coast, Danny Maze plans to make his presence known in the Midwest. Be on the look out for this high energy act and make sure to check out DJDannyMaze.com for mixsets.
Klubbslang - Klubbheads - DNA Recordings
This track definitely gives you the feeling of the energy and the hard beats coming from the Netherlands.

Put The Needle To The Record - D.S.A - Saviour
Back again in hard house format. Very bouncy with the fun high breaks seems to get everyone moving on the dance floor.

Say Yeah - Dave Austin - Dinky
From the classic "rock the funky beats," Dave Austin adds a punch to this one giving it the high energy lift that gets the crowd yelling.

Annihilating Rhythm - Ultra-sonic - Dinky
Pure massive hard house track that sets itself in its own world. With a deep hard bass and the bouncy energy, this track is definitely a favorite of the night.

Music South East Players - Tripoli - Trax
Another hard house classic with a down tempo feeling. Always a good line to set the night in to place

This Is Acid - Voodoo & Serano - Netrecord
I guess this hard house track is like the "Charge!" song at a sports game.

Hands Up - Aura - Pig Pin
Another fun, bouncy, hands-in-the-air track.

Something Like This - TNT - Action Records
As the title says, the track packs a punch with a banging hard house beat.

Massive Power - Steve Thomas - Tripola Trax
If I'm looking for a hard house beat with a deep and hard bass line to test out the venue's sound system, then I push it with this one.

OD404 - 9 Bar - Tidy White
Josh Wink started the game of tweaking the highs in the classic track, Highs State, and OD404 has finished the job with a twist giving it a heart-pounding hard house beat.

drc mixes it up

an interview by michael bradshaw ~ photos courtesy of undefined musik & Blue Moon Productions ~ DRC's influence is widespread throughout the United States in which ever form you happen to catch her. Whether she's playing Trance, Jungle or Electro House, DRC's name has been permanently affixed to quality raving since the early nineties. Her latest record, " Seeker" is quickly gaining her recognition not only as a superstar DJ, but a producer as well.

Seeker is a two track beater with dual personalities. Although the pitch speed of both tracks is geared toward Trance, slow it down to 130bpm and you've got yourself a fine Electro House groove for all the kids sporting Converse. Engineered with DRC's longtime production partner, DJ Demetras Seeker works both as filler and floor rush. Demetras' side works more on subtlety and floor manipulation (which is the hallmark of any great filler track) where as DRC's original mix winds up the floor with a dank, electro bass line that releases at the break down like depth charge.

It's obvious DRC has taken a lot of stock from her recent stay in New York. Her latest mix CD is a fascinating recombination of Trance, Electro and No Wave. Each time you think you've got DRC pegged, she flips the script. DRC talked to Phocas.net about this phenomenon.

What's going on with you these days? I hear you're in NYC now? What made you decide to move?

Well, I actually just moved back to San Francisco a few weeks ago after two amazing years in NYC. I moved there at a time of major transition for me personally and in the music industry. It was time to get out of my comfort zone in SF where I lived for 13 years and seek out some new stimulation, a new challenge. What better place to go for that than NYC. I do love and miss NYC, but I know I will be back to play. In my time away though, I realized what I have right here at home in the Bay Area; lots of friends, family, my studio partner (Chris Demetras) and a huge amount of support from the music industry. San Francisco is home. :)

How has Seeker been received? What made you want to cut a record in the first place?

SEEKER was actually released the same month I was moving to NYC two years ago. It did pretty good considering the lack of attention I was able to give it in the middle of my huge move cross country. My new booking agent and I are planning for a re-release of SEEKER in 2005. It is timeless music and needs to be heard. This by no means was the first release I've done myself. I enjoy the challenge of doing my own releases. Now however, I'd rather spend time on making new music and letting someone else release it. This economy is no fun to work with, being a little Indie label.

Where have you been playing lately? Have things changed for you since your record came out?

I played at the big San Francisco Castro Street Halloween party. It was the most fun I've had playing in a while. What a great way to be welcomed back to this beautiful city by the bay. On the news later that night they said there was 300,000. People there throughout the night. It was quite the party with out a doubt. Other than that I'm playing at Medusa in Seattle and at REVERB (formerly Frequency -8) here in SF. Coming up the next few months though I am playing at Sound Bar in Chicago and various other locations coast to coast that I won't list until they are completely confirmed. Yes allot has changed since the release of SEEKER as well as my two years in NYC. The whole industry has changed. Record stores, labels and distributors have closed down due to the bad economy and mass MP3 downloader's. I have changed too, but for the better, I'm much more assertive now and ready to ROCK more than ever before. I'm also back in the studio making new music with Chris Demetras and that feels great!

You're known best for playing Trance but your latest live CD in NYC is pretty housey... You're always switching things up. What's up with that?

I'm not sure what's up with it. It is a phenomenon that I haven't quite figured out myself. You could ask various people and they'd each say I'm known for something else wither it be hard trance, techno, breaks & even drum-n-bass for a good six years in there. WHY? Well, I guess maybe I get board and my ear changes as I change and grow in my life. Way back in the beginning of my djing I played house. Mostly tribal house. So... maybe I'm really just going back to my dance music roots.

What's up with your record label, Undefined Musik? How did it get started and what kind of projects are you guys pushing?

Undefined Musik evolved out of a need to break away from labels and stereotypes musically. I play many styles of dance music & have produced a wide genre' of styles as well. I had only one release with Undefined Musik and that was "SEEKER" featuring a Demetras remix. My new Agent & manager are planning the Re-Release of SEEKER. It is timeless music and deserves a proper release. So sometime in 2005 be on the look out for it. After that, I'm ready to let other labels take my stuff and release it. As of right now, my long time studio partner Chris Demetras and I are back in the studio working on some new projects under the name Arse Nova (New Art). You can expect a whole new sound with a lot more of my vocals. We recently did a cover of METRO by Berlin. It was such a fun project. Also, a new original favorite in the works is "Petite Cheval". It is more like a dance ballad with lots of emotion. I sing in French on that one. You can expect many new releases from Arse Nova in 2005... but on other labels. Not necessarily Undefined Musik. I need to focus more on making the music than spending time releasing it myself and all that that involves.

What's the sound coming out of NYC right now? What other artists/movements should Phocas.net readers look out for?

IN NYC the sound is real tek house, hard house and tribal house. However, you can find a scene for just about any genre' of music there. An up and coming dj friend of mine out there is DJ FAME. He represents Top Dj Gear out there. He actually just played here in SF last week. It was great to see him... a piece of the big apple. :) Above all.... it doesn't matter what you play it is how you play it.

Most phocas.net readers are also from the Midwest. Is the Midwest relevant to people on the coasts in terms of underground dance music?

Absolutely! A lot of good music comes from all over the Midwest. You've got Chicago & Detroit in the upper Midwest. We all know allot of music comes out of those places. Not to forget Wisconsin and Minnesota etc... Lots of great music comes out of the mid west PERIOD.

Earlier I asked why you decided to move from SF to NYC. What are some of the big differences in nightlife culture between the coasts? Which do you prefer? I didn't go out much when I lived in SF the last five or so years. When I was in town I was exhausted from traveling so much and/ or in the studio producing. So, going out I didn't do to much of. I'm sort of a recluse anyway. I like being at home. I prefer to have friends over to my place and cook them a nice gourmet meal with some red wine and good conversation. In NYC though, I went out a lot more. It was newer to me and a lot of clubs were starting to re-open that I wanted to check out. The old Lime Light is now " AVALON" then a year or so after that SPIRIT (formerly Twilo ) and the bran new CRO BAR... which is really beautiful & great sound, m-m- and Ceilo, one of my favorites. A cozy yet super hip medium sized club that was only a few blocks from my apartment in the West Village. Mostly though, NYC seems to be full of lounges rather than big clubs. San Francisco has more medium sized clubs over all. But, I'm ready to re experience SF. Lots has changed since I've been gone.

You've played a lot of international gigs. Where's your favorite place to play out of the states? How have you been received over-seas?

My favorite place over seas....m-m-m, I think I'd have to say Slovenjia or Hungary...maybe Poland. The people over there are so unbelievably kind. They are also super receptive and way more into dance music than America. The dance music culture over seas (Europe) is just way bigger and more main stream than here. I have great responses traveling in America too though, for I've had people name their [children] after me (yes, little Darcey Davis..now 6 years old, whom is very close in my life & lives here in the bay area). People have also named there dogs after me and have sent me the photo's, and have tattooed my logo or name on there bodies. So I cannot say I don't have a solid fan base here in America. I'm grateful to say the least. :)

What's next for DRC?

What's next for me is to get the re-release of SEEKER out then the full length mixed album with all original music "UNDEFINED" . While all that is happening Chris and I (Arse Nova) are already working on several new tracks with a new more solid and groovier sound and more of my vocals. So you can expect many releases for 2005.

For more about DRC check her out at undefined musik and Blue Moon Productions!

crampton style

an interview with Brent Crampton by phelyne ~ photos by amy hunsberger, shaun & todd ~ I decided to interview a regional icon who is always dilligently taking his craft to the next level. If you thought you had heard a lot about this man, you will surely hear much much more in the coming years. He is on a steady track of successful musical ventures and has no plans to let up. For those of you have not heard of Brent Crampton yet, sit back and be as impressed as I am at this cat's passion, dedication, and motivation. He will surely inspire you in this in depth interview to follow your heart. Getting things started, here is what Brent confided in me for this interview...

Please tell us about how music entered your life and why it has had such in impact on you.

I have been djing for over 4 years. My first experience with music heard from sources other than the radio came when I started skateboarding, back when I was 12. I was real big into buying skate videos at the time. Since most of the videos were filmed on the west coast, I was being exposed to much music that I would otherwise not have came across. I was listening to groups like The Roots, Fountains of Wayne, Pete Rock, and Gang Star. Lots of underground hip hop and alternative that people weren't hearing on the radio here. This helped me to develop an appreciation for music that wasn't being fed to me by commercialism. And in return, it ended my interest in music on the radio and MTV, lol. In highschool I was always very passionate about music. I had this ritual where I would listen to a song at the beginning of the day over and over as to get it in my head, and then play the song mentally to myself the rest of the day. This would shape how I percieved things, and how I related to others throughout the day. I also remember going through some very emotionally rough times when I was an adolescent, and to cope with it, I turned to music. I would express my rage with music from Rage Against Machine, my melancholy with Smashing Pumpkins and very emotionally diving feelings with Sarah McLachlan.

So, would you say that music became a form of self expression for you?

I have always used music as a way to express myself. This is perhaps why friends and girls from relationships have always told me I have issues with communicating verbally. I directly attribute that to the music, since I use this as my media of expression. I guess I forgot how to use words in the process, lol.

So you are a Deep House dj. Would you tell us why you decided to dj that particular genre?

Throughout my career as a Deep House DJ, other people in the music industry have expressed to me an intense perplexity as to why I play deep house. Mainly because the culture is not here, and it's such a finely tuned genre that doesn't attract many followers unless they have directly came across the music in it's proper cultural setting. I mean, techno, dnb, proggressive DJs in the Midwest can all attribute their influence to the rave scene. But deep and soulful house was never really picked up by the rave era. Deep house is something that I almost stumbled upon by accident, but my soul had been preparing me for the music all the while. To further explain that, I have noticed that throughout my life, I have been attracted to music with emotion, sensitivity and an instrinic beauty to it. Having no real music influence from my family setting growing up, I have figured out that my father was one of my main influences in attracting me to deep house. He did this indirectly really. My father was never the type of person to sit on the couch, drink a beer and watch football. Rather he was out in the garden, admiring natures beauty, or heading to the kitchen to lay down a great meal. So the whole bull-headed testerone aspect in my life was overlooked. I think this cultivated an interest in me for things that are beautiful in life. And deep house fits that category to a tee.

So, how were you introduced to Deep House?

Well, in highschool, the height of the rave culture hit, and most of my friends started going to these underground parties. I joined them back in 2000 and was instantly appealed. The music, atmosphere, people and drugs were so mysterious to me. And I've always been attracted to things that are mysterious. So I became hooked. I decided that I wanted to start DJing when I was at a party in KC called "Where the Wild Things Are." I was up in the VIP area where the True House Coalition was playing. I remember the crowd being hooked and reactant to every little EQ tweak. I suppose it was that Western influence in me that was attracted to DJing because of the power that a DJ held. Fortunately it has become something much more important now.

Once you decided to take the step to learn to become a dj, what do you remember about that time?

When I first started buying records in Omaha, there wasn't much of a electronic music section in any store with vinyl. At one in particular, the Anitquarium, I asked for techno music, and instead they gave me deep house on the OM record label. At first I wasn't digging it too much. Along the way I ran into a used CD, San Francisco Sessions by Mark Farina on OM. I bought that, was weirded out at first because it was sort of this downtempo kind of banging electronic music I was used to hearing at raves. But it grew on me.

So, you started to learn that the rave culture had several different types of music that drew fans. How did you decide what you wanted to start off spinning?

When I first began DJing, I wanted to play all types of electronic music. And for awhile, I did. But I realized each genre is so wide and exspansive that I was just watering down the music by not focusing on a particular type. So I knew I had to choose an avenue to go down to simplify and actualize things. Since all the DJs in Omaha were a direct result of the rave era, they all played harder styles of music. Naturally I felt that if I wanted to play out with them, I needed to do the same. So instead of being a trendsetter, I was going to follow.

There was a period in my DJing that I was trying to decipher what my sound was. I had a very hard time deciding what I wanted to go with. But what decided it for me was that whenever I was in my room mixing records, I always pulled out the deep house. Once I realized this, I knew it was the avenue of music I was supposed to pursue. Once I decided that, I felt a big burden lifted off my shoulders and a wave of creativity followed.

After you started to build your record collection, practice to perfect your skillz as a dj, and network, how did you finally break into the scene?

I made my debut into public performance when I started DJing at coffee houses. I was the first DJ to take deep house to coffee shops all over Omaha with the "Deep Coffee House Tour" that I organized. I gained attention from some important promoters in town from that effort, and was asked to join the roster of Ultramusique.com. At this point I was on the same roster as notable local names like Myth, Superstar Dj Lee and Wizzo. I was automatically in the bar and club scene when this happened. And things have really taken off since then. Now I have reached a point that I can say my move to stand out amongst the rest with deep house has really payed off. I am currently the busiest DJ, as far as electronic music, in the Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska scenes right now. I have a weekly residency at the best club (Bricktop) in Nebraska, called Rhythm, with fellow resident, Dr. Zhivago. I have a Thursday night residency at the Velvet Lounge, I play once a month at bar 415. I DJ at the best contemporary art gallery in Omaha for their receptions, Fluxion Art Gallery. I also organize an art and music fusion event called Colorsound. Because I DJ deep house, and dabble in broken beat and downtempo, I am able to play in a variety of settings from bars, clubs, art galleries, coffee shops and various other events.

Overall, what do you think stands out the most about your passion for music?

My philosophy on music is different than most. I was adopted as a child and I know nothing about my real parents. So it's kind of an oddity that I got into music as deep as I am into it since my adopted family did not provide much influence in that area. Another oddity is my intense desire for spirituality which my parents did not influence either. I have always sought out a spiritual path or insight, and this past season in my life, I have been focusing on applying that to music. Keeping in mind that I communicate through music as a form of expression, I also express myself to a higher power through music. In fact sometimes I have a hard time with verbal prayers, but music has been able to take me to a level that words often fail for me when praying or praising God.

Well, I must say Brent, you truely are a unique person and DJ, who deserves all success you have earned and have yet to earn. Keep up the hard work, and you will stay on the chosen path. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. I have one more for you. Where can the readers learn even more about you, as well as hear some of your Deep House mixing skillz?

I am sponsored by: Syde-Sho.com, OmahaNightLife, TechnOmaha & Ultra Musique.

annalyze interview

by senseone ~ I've always been a fan of breakbeat, and even more, one of turntablism. The DJ's that combine these two talents, and do it well, are few and far between. Combining DMC battle tactics with the freshest in new-school breaks is Rochester, NY's, Annalyze. Having been in the trenches for close to five years now, and putting Rochester solidly on the electronic music map, her hard work has also earned her a sponsorship from Stanton, and brought her coast to coast in her travels, playing alongside greats such as Q-Bert, Craze, Shortee&Faust, and Z-Trip, just to name a few.

What are your affiliations?

Fused artist management / Stanton magnetics/ Breakline

What is it about breaks, as opposed to other genres, that drew you to it?

Hmm they have just always been around. My cousin form Miami got me into the scene & just watching the way breaks make people just get funky. House music will be on & people step to the beat, but when breaks are on people get loose.

Was Rochester a big breaks town before you got into things out there?

Not really, there were only 2 or 3 kids that played breaks but when those kids played everyone came out. Now everyone plays breaks.

Do you have pretty deep roots in hip-hop as well?? (Your intros mad nice)

I LOVE hip hop. If you don't listen to hip hop I prolly wont like you..............Nah, I'm just playin', but hip hop is awesome & I didn't listen to it as much as I should have when I was growing up

What would you say was hip hops greatest era?

Early 80's cause I love the breakbeats, but I love the early 90s. 93 was a sick year for hip hop as well like Dre & Snoop & all that gangsta stuff.

Did you spin Hip-Hop before you spun breaks?

Hmmm I actually played house but I had a ton of hip hop records, kinda inherited someone's old collection, but I thought hip hop was hard to spin so I never tried, until 2000.

How does it feel to step up there on the same stage as legends such as Q-Bert?

No words can really explain that. It's crazy, when you look up to someone for years & study there every move & then before you know it you're friends with them & you call them on the phone...not with Qbert but with dj's like Shortee. I was just star struck when I met her & now she is my partner.

Yeah, you guys have a documentary coming out, right?

Well we were featured in 2 different ones, Vinyl is a Girls Best Friend & Girl, but I have no idea the status on either.

No word on a release date?

Nope, but we filmed them back in 2003. I'm kind of embarrassed to see myself 2 years ago.

So what are your plans for the next few months? Touring, producing?

Well I'm touring with Shortee right now. We go by twice as nice, it a tour that will be going on forever. Basically doing spot dates in between our other gigs. Shortee & I actually are putting together a mix cod that should be out in 2 weeks, then in early Feb. I'm going on tour with Breakbeat Science's Reid Speed. We have some good sponsors & good backing. We also are going to be making a mix cd for the tour that is nameless still. I'm definitely working on my own production & working on some tracks with EWUN. He's a dope drum & bass producer. Also I have been collaborating with a few break beat dj's & sampling my cuts. I just did some cuts for DJ Fixx, the track is called "Bring Em Back" & its on Bottum End records. Should be out in December I also just did some cuts for J break as well & the track is called Amp, but not sure when that is coming out, and I'm teaching scratch lessons at the west coast dj academy.

Be sure visit her at DJAnnalyze.net

d-fuse kabal

story & photos by todd (as originally published with xpander.nl) ~ D:Fuse recently landed in Kansas City, MO for a night of movin' the masses at Kabal Restaurant & Nightclub. I was very much looking forward to this opportunity to experience his performance. The last time he was here, I was in New Orleans or something like that and I only caught a bit of his set in Miami earlier this year at WMC. I didn't hear much there either. It's so huge, it's hard to focus on any one particular artist for too long.

Needless to say, I was really anxious to finally be able to see and hear this DJ, up close and personal, as I had heard that he was one of the rare few that could really work a crowd, more times than not, whipping them in to a dancing frenzy. I had a feeling that this night was going to be no exception.

For those that haven't been to Kabal Restaurant & Nightclub, it is not just your regular nightclub. With the help of local production groups, such as DeepFix Records and U:Move, it is slowly becoming a Kansas City Electronic Music Landmark, hosting some of the finest DJs from around the country most Friday and Saturday nights, as well as some of the best local talent starting the night off. Couple that with a fine menu and and classy, but unpretentious atmosphere and you have a really great place to party.

This particular evening, due to holiday madness, I was running a little late and didn't arrive until around 11 pm. I was not completely surprised to find that it was already nearing a full house. Passing through the upstairs, local DJ Ataxxic was already warming up the late dinner crowd, and downstairs local resident Paul DeMatteo had the dance floor moving.

Thankfully, I hadn't missed anything, so I went to the bar to get a cocktail and found myself being introduced to D:Fuse, who was hanging out with some local friends and fans. We talked briefly and he really was a down-to-earth kind of guy, that seemed to carry his own personal energy with him. Of course, this only attracted more people to him, so I pardoned myself and left him to go snap a few photos of the party that was already well underway.

I wasn't really sure what time he was to start, but knew it would be soon, so I mingled amongst the crowd, talking to everyone here and there. There was anticipation in the air and all were really anxious for D:Fuse to start. The level of expectation this particular evening was just as high as the night that Derrick Carter had played at Kabal earlier this year.

Sitting and chatting with some friends just around the corner from the DJ booth, it was not long before I suddenly became aware of someone playing congas along with the track that was playing. I thought to myself that whoever was playing certainly was not just fooling around. They knew what they were doing and each beat demanded everyone's attention. I heard someone yell, "He's on!" and with that a wave of people, myself included pushed out on to the dance floor to see what was going on.

Rounding the corner, I spotted him in the corner of the DJ booth, hammering on some sort of drum pad with his bare hands, adding a completely new and fabulous feel to the track that was already playing. As the breakdown started, he smoothly and seamlessly turned from the drum pad and slipped the next track in on the dancers without missing a beat or drawing their attention away from the reason they had come.

Track after track, D:Fuse orchestrated his set around the crowd, somehow sensing what they wanted next. Each track that came on raised the intensity inside the room a notch higher. At times, he himself became absorbed in it all and could be seen with his fists in the air bouncing behind the decks, as if on a trampoline. Without a doubt, I knew why he had risen to the level that he had in the dance music industry. He was not just another DJ. He was not just another producer. He was a performer that felt the tracks that he played echoing in his own pulse.

Through his hands, the stylus and out through the Avalon sound system, the crowd felt this pulse demanding that they move their bodies and they could not help but do anything else. In a trance-like state, the dance floor stayed glued to their space on the floor and were not about to leave. I don't think that some of them could have, even if they had wanted to.

I had completely lost track of the time when I noticed Siamack, one of the owner's of Kabal, go up to the DJ booth to speak with D:Fuse. I knew why he was there and this crowd was not going to be happy. Sadly, this night was about to be over. D:Fuse would not be deterred though and turning to Siamack, with his best "pretty please" look, he held up one finger as if to say, "One more track... please."

How could Siamack refuse a request such as that, with an entire dance floor groovin' and time still left on the clock? He couldn't and we were delivered from the lights for another 15 minutes. The energy never dropped off for a moment the entire time of his set. When that final track ended and the lights came up, cheers and whistles of unanimous approval of a night well done drowned everything else out.

The next opportunity I have to see D:Fuse, I won't have my notepad. I won't have my camera. I will only have my favorite dance shoes.

starving artists no more

by Brent Crampton ~ photos courtesy of OffsetMusic.com, Trevor Lamont.com & Kent Frost ~ While the old saying of "starving artist" certainly holds its truth, these days, artists are finding a way to keep food on their plates. It's called a job. And more times than not, these jobs are full time careers that take away from the focus on their art.

When you're a DJ and producer, your craft often comes at the sacrifice of many other things. Considering the economy of underground music, there's only a handful of people the music industry can support in a full time position. People like Johnny Fiasco, Darude, Derrick Carter and Qbert all live off of the industry. These people, and any one else who has "made it," most times have to assign themselves many different faces in the industry such as promoter, record label owner, producer as well as DJing. All this is a handful and a full time job in it self. As John Aquaviva said in the documentary "Rise," DJs age in dog years where one year in the life of a DJ turns out to be more like seven years.

But what about the thousands of other DJs in the world just as passionate about music?

Well, those people are usually left to face the reality of balancing a full time job unrelated to music and leaving their art to the side.

One such person is Matt Craske. Craske currently resides in San Francisco and co-owns the Offset record label along with George Andrews. Offset records is known for fusing UK and US house elements together with artists on their label such as Deep House Souldiers, Numatik Soul and Jake Childs. With Craske's full time career in Construction Management, the main love in his life takes on a side note. "House is just a hobby and I think it always will be" Craske said.

When he initially started the label, he was living in London and was studying to get his Bachelor in Science. At the time he was only a student which allowed him the opportunity to put some effort in starting a label. "The fact I had free time was one of the reasons we decided to give it a go" Craske said. But as it came closer for his dissertation to be completed, his grades were declining and he had to take a three-month break from music.

Fortunately now Craske works a job in San Francisco where he can work on Offset amongst the duties of everyday work. Since the work for Offset he does at his job is under the table, Craske says his employers "are getting a bit pissed off" with his lack of focus.

While he always manages to get the essential work done of running a label, he feels that he's often missing out on all the networking that takes place over message boards, emails and instant messaging. "As everyone knows it is not what you know . . . it is who you know" Craske said.

And apparently he knows quite a bit of talent since the label has signed too many tracks at once and has now accumulated a size able back catalogue of unreleased material. "Due to both George and I having jobs, we struggle to get a release out every 3 months where other (labels) can do one a month" Craske said.

In his attempt to simplify things, his actual DJing has taken the back burner while he tries to toggle everything else on his plate. "I love DJing, but I hate all the bollocks that goes with it," Craske said. He's recently moved to San Francisco from Seattle, and in the 10 weeks he's been at his new home, San Fran has seen him grace the decks only four times. Because there's a whole lot of networking, socializing and staying in contact with people in order to get booked for an event, Craske just doesn't have the time for it.

Considering all that, Craske also speaks of the frustration that comes with moving from city to city because of job obligations. Having lived in Leeds, London, Seattle and San Francisco, moving around can hold a person back from making progress. When he was in Seattle, "the local gigs where really starting to come, but then I moved so now I am on the bottom of the local ladder again" Craske said.

Even when a person stays local, as in the case of Ben Armstrong, "what makes it crazy is that between now and the end of March, I'm playing all over the damn country," Armstrong said.

Armstrong, who's a resident of Fayetteville, Arkansas has a wife and works up to 60 hours a week as the vehicle facilities coordinator for transit and parking at the University of Arkansas. When the weekend hits, he can be found traveling to LA, Miami, Austin and DC for DJ gigs. Back at home in his free time, he's steadily developing his skills as a producer, booking and promoting shows while being the A&R agent for the newly formed Blue Iguana Music record label.

With releases in the works with artists such as Halo, Demarkus Lewis and remixes by Jay-J, Armstrong's job is to stay in the loop with big name producers as well as seek out new talent to sign to the label.

In the process of the time consuming networking, "I'm lucky, I have a job where I'm the boss so I can talk on the phone and get on the computer and not worry too much about how long it takes," Armstrong said. But that just means he has to work twice as fast to get his work done.

Others, such as veteran Trevor Lamont, find their chores to never cease no matter how fast they work. Instead of being bogged down by the stress, Lamont, who's the label manager for Blue Iguana Music, has learned to cope with the constant stress and find enjoyment in it. Lamont, while being a Project Manager and Business Analyst at Lexmark International, full time job would be an understatement for what he does. "Even when I'm not at work, I can essentially still be working through phone calls and logging onto the network remotely," Lamont said.

And as far as his musical ambitions go, Lamont is the manager for the Blue Iguana Music record label, travels nearly every weekend to perform, produces and has been DJing for 18 years!

"Sometimes I get tired, but not 'burnt out' per se because I love what I do," Lamont said. Lamont never goes anywhere without his laptop so that he can stay on top of his work. In the process, Lamont has given up his free time, "I rarely sit and do nothing."

With no plans to settle down soon, he says he'll always be "striving for more - that's just the way I am."

And that's just what it takes to pursue your dreams. There's one thing all these people posses, and that is ambition. Ambition is the thing that keeps them from getting the proper eight hours of sleep at night. Ambition is why they are clueless when people start talking about the latest TV reality show. And ambition is what will keep driving them to keep with their dreams. Corporate job by day, night life entrepreneur by dusk. It's the name of the game.

For more information on Matt Craske, check out OffsetMusic.com and be sure to check out his latest mix "Shades". To check out what Ben Armstrong and Trevor Lamont are up to with their new record label, check out BlueIguanaMusic.com or check out Trevor Lamont at the Kansas City party, "When Worlds Collide" on January 22nd at the Uptown Theater.

kansas city dance best of 2004

by todd ~ If you want a club night or a party that is top notch and not just another DJ-N-A-Box playing the latest tracks that pollute the airwaves day after day (and sometimes hour after hour), you don't have to look to hard to find what you need in Kansas City. You do have to dig a little sometimes, but mostly you just have to be willing to pull away from the norm a little bit.

Seriously, this past year, Kansas City has played host to some of the finest mixers and producers in the industry, both nationally and internationally. Not only that, some of the local DJ talent in Kansas City is as good (and sometimes better) than the talent that they open up for.

With so many things to take in to consideration, I decided to just keep it simple and do Best Party and Best Nights out in KC... so without further adieu, I give you my picks for the Best of Kansas City Dance 2004

Best KC Party: Chaos Theory

The party of the year in Kansas City has to have been Chaos Theory v2.0: The Anomaly on June 12, 2004 at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO. I believe this party was probably the most memorable event of the year, with over 20 DJs on 3 stages. Everyone turned out for this event. Though Richard Humpty Vission was a bit of a flop, Nigel Richards most certainly made up for it. I wonder if we'll see a return to chaos this summer?

Best Sunday Night: Beach Club Sundays

Sunday night, you could just wind down, stay home and recover, that is... unless it's summer time, then you really should beat a path to the Westport Beach Club. This weekly that was hosted by local DJs, Steve Thorell & billpile, provided some of the best beatz absolutely Free. An while you were there sippin' on your cocktail, if you were feeling particular frisky, you could always go stumble around in the sand and play little volleyball!

Best Monday Night: BLO - Because Monday's Don't Have to Suck

After a crappy Monday, the best place to go let loose a little has to have been The Empire Room's "BLO: Because Monday's Don't Have to Suck" with DJ 2Heavy. There always an interesting mix of House, HipHop, Trance & Techno and with $1 drinks, this place can get pretty wild sometimes.

Best Tuesday Night: Ritmo

Tuesdays have always been a strange day, but earlier this year, Ritmo Tuesday, a weekly DnB and Jungle night at Kabal was the place to be. I haven't found a single thing to top the dedication that these guys put in to making the weekly possible.

Best Wednesday Night: Wednesday Perk

Undeniably the best place (maybe the only place) in the River Market to get a great cup of Mocha with a splash of Frangelico to go with your beatz, is The Cup & Saucer. Every Wednesday they play host to some of the best local and regional DJ talent at the Wednesday Perk!

Best Thursday Night: Jonathan Ramsey @ Harling's Upstairs.

You don't want to completely drown yourself in electronica do you? Right... so, in looking for some bordering on the unusual, the best thing that I have found to do on a Thursday this year, is to go down to Harling's Upstairs in Westport and bang on the table to various renditions of Irish folks tunes, as well as some recognizable classics, all at the hand of Jonathan Ramsey! And yes... people do sometimes dance there, so it does qualify.

Best Friday Night: TIE
Fridays are Back & Frisky

I just couldn't make up my mind on this one, so I split it out. For the best in local KC House, it's "Fridays are Back" with DJs Steve Thorell & billpile at The Point. These guys take the basement of this little venue (a lot like Gramma's basement) and turn it inside out every week. You might even say it's a House party every Friday night. On the other hand, if you are looking for big names, Frisky at Kabal is definitely the place to be on Friday night. Nearly every week is a showcase of regional and national talent.

Best Saturday Night: Kabal

Kabal shines through again the next day as well. Every Saturday, Kabal with the help of U:Move, plays host to some of the best recognizable national and international talent that you won't find anywhere else.

Best Photograph: To Be Determined...

If you weren't aware, we have been running a bit of a photo contest. The deadline for submission is January 5, 2005. Only one photo per person per event will be accepted. The photo must have been taken at an event in 2004. Check the photo contest gallery for more information and to see the current contestants. The winner of the photo contest will be announced in the next issue of phocas. Be sure to drop in on the photo contest gallery and cast your vote now!

january 2005 editor note

Welcome to 2005. Looks just like 2004, eh?

There's changes afoot this month and you'll notice a few small things here and there. Like the cover page this month. I thought it might be a good idea to downsize it a little and add some links. If you have an opinion on this, please... let me know. I'm going to be making some other changes of the same sort and I would really appreciate an opinion or three. Does it help the load time, or hinder it more? Personally, I just got tired of waiting on all those little blocks to load.

We're trying something new too. The "on decks" column now has a mix available for download that you can only get on this site. The idea is to feature one artist every month that wants to do a a mix exclusively for phocas.net and give us a breakdown of his tracks. What do you think? This month's is kind of strange. Bits and pieces of it are pretty good, but other parts... eh... well... everyone has their own tastes. Have a listen and a read and see what you think!

So, the photo I used for this month's cover was actually taken at a dance recital that I attended earlier this year at The Dance Hall inside of Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO. I thought it appropriate to use since the lead article this month was Best of KC 2004. That building is definitely one of the best of KC, architecturally. But yea... it's not a huge Best Of list, but more of a drive-by of where the best places were to hear some of the best DJs this past year.

The photo above was taken by Mason at our recent 3rd Anniversary party, "phocas cubed", at Kabal Restaurant & Nightclub. I think everyone that came had a really fantastic time, from dinner and drinks to more drinks and dancing. I can't express my gratitude enough to everyone that helped make this event possible, as well as everyone that has supported phocas.net for the last 3 years.

I would really like some feedback on one of the articles this month. Seriously, is it too cheesy or does it really give you a good feel for things if you had never been to Kabal? I initially wrote it for Xpander, another online Zine. It was just sent to them last week, so I don't know if it's been published or not yet, but check 'em out some time. They've got some good info.

This month was a bit crazy though, what with "phocas cubed" and Christmas and then New Year's. Yes, the photos will be up soon from all of those festivities, as well as some other fun stuff that will be added to the "A Look Back" gallery. Things just got a little delayed and I just ran out of time, heh... but we've got some new people coming on to help out... so... things are looking up!

And jeez... are you about ready for When Worlds Collide or what? There hasn't been anything goin on in that realm for a month or more it seems...

see you at the uptown?
~phocas~

january 2005 issue