Friday, April 01, 2005

on decks with dj aldrin

forward by DJ Girl ~ photos by S Smith & J Casper ~ This months slammin’ new selection comes from DJ Aldrin. This is a gentleman who has so many talents it’s really hard to keep up with all of them. He has a natural ear for music of any kind. You give him a musical instrument and he will play it. When he writes music, plays music, talks about music it just flows right through him. He is blessed with a talent that is going to take him many places. He has so much ambition, endurance, integrity and strives to make all of his dreams come true no matter how big they are because there is no dream too big for this guy.

Tracklisting, In Phocas - Vol 1 - April 2005:

The Possession - Aldrin (Intro) (Aldrin/Dieselboy/Clint Mansell/Kronos Quartet)
I used the Theme from Requiem of a Dream here with some slices of an Intro from Dieselboys Album DJ Mag available for download only on Dieselboy’s web site. I think it nicely sets the tone for a serious collision of Drum and Bass with vocals and melody you are about to experience while eerily raising the hair off the back of your neck! Suddenly the first track starts and you can’t keep the chills off your back as you leave your chair and fly out of this dimension and into another world.

Trust Me VIP - Roni Size
As things get slowly going A Happy Track that seems to get the party going no matter where or when you play it begins. I like the way the song progresses and changes it worked really well to flow into the next track with. It’s quite basic but needs nothing more. You have to trust the DJ to lead you safely through the next hour as Aldrin safely will do for you.

Smash Somethin - DEIBC (Featuring REDMAN)
I’ve always like the original version of this song from Redman as well as the operatic symphony song on this track too. I first heard it on the Romeo and Juliet movie done with Leonardo D’Caprio but I don’t know what the exact name of this Operatic tune is. Still a very rough track here makes its Way through your speakers and leaves nothing much remaining. As it softly blends into the next track you can feel that something is different now and you must find out what it is.

Ringside - Silent Witness (D.Braine) DSC14 Records 2004
The Roughness continues as the hardcore vibe brings you into a phase known as Silent Witness. You are ringside now at the greatest show on earth now there is nothing you can do but blackout.

Blackout - Hybrid (Kirsty Hawkshaw/Mike Truman/Chris Healings) Y4K Sampler Part 2 Strings Performed by the Hermitage orchestra St. Petersburg &vocals By Kirsty Hawkshaw
Wow what can be said about this beautiful track except that it’s not originally a Drum and Bass tune. I felt that this song when sped up to D&B Speed Fit perfectly into the spot between your ringside seat and your launch through this next dimension. Close your eyes and envision a Beautiful Animated body guiding you out of your blackout and across the horizon.

MoonRaker - Kaoss/Karl K./Jae Kennedy Human Imprint Recordings
Finally you have a sense of where we are going as you fly out of the lush environment of Hybrid and back into the war zone beneath the clouds. Look out for the bass blasts flying ever so close to your ears but it’s going to be OK there’s a clearing up ahead.

No More - Roni Size (Featuring Beverly Knight and Dynamite MC)
A beautiful voice breaks through the madness and brings forth a message to ponder. It’s time to look back on all we’ve been through and finally drop the game. No More put it put it put it down. Now it’s time to party.

Studio 54 - Kaoss/Karl K./Jae Kennedy Human Imprint Recordings
The Party gets going inside Studio 54. This nicely arranged track takes us through the door and into the party then into the room upstairs with the Japanese ladies and then back downstairs for the party again. There is nothing more to do than leave the party to find another one.

Opticon - Dieselboy and Technical Itch (M.Caro/D.Higgins)
On your journey to the next party you come across the Opticon. What the Opticon can do is cause you to stop completely and forget what it is you were doing in the first place. The jungle grows around you and fills your ears with tribal rhythm but alas you remember your on a journey to where it’s party time and Aldrin is gonna give you what you want.

Bump and Grind – Roni Size (Featuring SweetPea)
As this track blends in it opens the door to the next party. The speed and bass come back with a vengeance and bring you out of the muck and across the bridge into the place we have been going all along.

Invid – Dieselboy (Twisted Anger Remix)
This Song Contains the Deepest bass line I’ve ever heard on a D&B Track But the drum track can get a little annoying so I spiced up this tune with an overlay of my favorite 80’s single from Pat Benetar. So we learn on our journey that we take time out of the party to pursue love but it makes us out of breath.
Love is A Battlefield – Pat Benetar
We are young, heartache to heartache we stand No promises, no demands Love is a battlefield We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong Searchin' our hearts for so long, both of us knowing Love is a battlefield.

Out Of Breath – Roni Size (Featuring Rahzel)
After the joy of love and being left out of breath you can feel like there is no energy to go on in you but once again the heart pounding rhythm comes back and you feel something giving you the power to move IT IS THE BEAT. It is the Music in YOU

TRACK 13 – Music In Me – DJ Rap (Featuring Harland / Danny C. Remix)
Wrapping the ride into a ball of energy we come to the place where the bass is in your face but using the mace will make you see a trace around the only race. So you’ve forgot your case it’s sitting in your space as you start again the chase, lets get back to the pace.

Pursuit – Silent Witness (D.Braine) DSC14 Records 2004
The pursuit continues all the way down the roads of your inner thought with this pulse throbbing invasion of Chaos It’s time to finally say goodbye as we feel the fog lifting and see the remaining fields of destruction. The part in which we have now been playing is a direct result of the choices we have made before hence so alas with the right ones the demon can finally leave the mind to its former glory and restore the joy that has been hidden for so long.

The Exorcism – Aldrin (Outro) (Aldrin/ Clint Mansell/Kronos Quartet)
The dramatic conclusion of this apocalyptic clash of titans comes only after the dread has disappeared. You hear the echo of the drums leaving the dream world and the Symphony plays on finally you are back in your chair where you were only seconds ago but something is different. An Hour has passed to your perception of only minutes. Where have you really been?................ 2 B Continued in Volume 2

On the Decks is a column that gives the DJs themselves an opportunity to explain the feelings and progression behind the mix. If you are interested in being featured on the next On Decks, just eMail Todd or Brent and we'll add you to the lineup!

solaris april 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.

HEROES - GLENN WILSON - HEROES06
Glen pulled it out again! A nice track indeed. A bit on the down tempo side, but when you bang it all day you always need a track that lets them pesky lungs breath.

ABSTRACT - SVEN WITTEKIND, KAOZ, SEEMA - ABSTRACT001
Hard as nails. Someone give me a hammer to them out of my head. This wax reminds me of the time I gave my little brother a nail gun to play cowboys with. Don’t worry the doc said it would only hurt a little.

HOLZPLATTEN - MARCUS STORK & ERIC PRYDZ - HOLZPLATTEN078
A real nice chill record here. I love a good piece of techno that makes you want to sit back and enjoy the scenery. Even if you are doing it from that padded room on a thorazine drip.

SHAKE RECORDS - PACO OSUNA & DANILO VIGORITO - SHAKEREC05
Every once in a while you listen to a record then while thinking of putting it back you flip it to the b side for the hell of it….well I am sure I am glad I did here! This is a rare gem indeed. Keep them ears tuned, all of those kids will like you much better after you drop this.

JERICHO – HERTZ - JEL032
A great opener to any situation. This thing can pull anyones head into a martini shaker. It even has the skills to open you up to go any direction you like… just don’t bob your head to much we wouldn’t want you being shaken and not stirred.

TONEMAN - ALEX BAU - TMANLP24
Wonderful down tempo double pack here. Has some nice clubby tracks in it also. Even the down tempo people can be pleased as long as they don’t fall further down the rabbit hole. Just remember only the cattapillar can use the hooka.

BRACHIAL - GAROS, MULTIKRACH - BRACHIAL2004-08
Every once in a while I get that acid techno twitch. This is the answer for all my ills. This wax has all the USDA essential vitamins and minerals to make the floor go into a tailspin. Just don’t lend it to those pesky floor shiners…

AUDIO ASSAULT - GUNJACK VS JERONE LIEBREGTS - AAR011
Keep that helicopter in its place, you wont need it to take off any longer. This ornithrompter can lift even the most retched of us into a sweaty dancing frenzy. Remember to keep bandaids on site incase those blades cut someone.

HEADLINE - OLIVER KLITZING - HEAD040
It is always good to pick things up after a long week without the necessities. Tell them you found a treasure map and all they have to do is decode it. Well hell with that keep the treasure for yourself and let the floor scream in revelry.

ARMS - LARS KLEIN, DE WIT, MOOY - ARMS05
Keep your ears attuned to the wants and needs of society. Let them flail their arms in excitement as you throw this down. I don’t think I had this much fun since tiger brought home all those crack heads to throw darts at.

crampton april 2005 house

by Brent Crampton ~ Whether it be funky and deep, bompty and quirky, or just click-click beepy – this is your monthly house music source for what’s hot and churning on the dance floors at the moment. And with the Winter Music Conference just behind us, so many great choons are now on the market.

Matthew Bandy - Man of Soul EP - Blue Iguana
Starting off Blue Iguana’s first release (scheduled to come out within a month), things are on the right tack – nice and deep. With future releases and remixes by Jay-J, Halo and Demarkus Lewis, Blue Iguana is promising label for the deeper side of house.

On this release, Matthew Bandy from Limestone Recordings is really coming out swinging with these great tracks. The main cut, “Man of Soul,” is a breezy track with a funk-fueled base line. The top feature in the song is the trumpet timing throughout the track. With light keys and a subtle flute in the background, this 10 minute groove gives you plenty of time to layer up your mixing or just sit back and let the smooth rhythm lay out.

Jay-J breaks out his classic formula for remixing “Man of Soul.” With crisp, clear drums, funky guitar riff and symphonic melodies, Jay-J takes this track to a whole new level. Concluding with a dub version which I have yet to hear, this release is an instrumental number that is lacing a sealed deal for a solid house record.

Stacy Kidd - The Remixes EP - Muzique Boutique
As the title suggests, Kidd is bringing back and re-doing past house tracks. Scheduled to come out in late April, this three-tracker won’t disappoint Kidd fans. “In My Arms” takes on Kidd’s signature heavy chunk-o-funk rhythm with a fun and sped-up vocal. With complementing guitar riff and keys snaps, this tracky and filtered number is all over that Chicago house head scene.

Swinging a remix of “Let Love Enter” (the original version made it to Derrick Carter’s “Live at OM” mix and thus became an instant classic). The only noticeable change was switching the background horn to a filtered guitar synth. But towards the end of the track, Stacy Kidd lays out a trumpet explosion for a few bars.

The “I Wanted You” remix is a jacked-up jazz jammer with a swinging base line and vocal that rides on the melody. With a tip of soul, Stacy Kidd brings it like only he can.

Various - Night Train EP - Peaches International Records
Justin Long is undoubtedly an ambitious and aspiring Chicago talent. Having made a name for himself through his countless gigs in Chicago and jackin’ tracks, Long finally took the step and started his own record label. And this first release is all about acid! All artists on the release were selected by Long so you know what that means – dance floor madness.

“Acid Dolphins (Re-Edit)” by Wooly brings an anti-climatic acid groove. Caressing the dance floor with a hypnotic base line, this track has all the quirky blips and bleeps we have come to expect from Long’s taste in music.

Mike Dixon sends his blessings in “Beatz to Chicago” with a bouncy acid line with a hummering base. Bringing the beat from Chicago, Dixon splurges us with a mind-twisting “I bring the beat from Chicago” accapella on the flip side.

The peak track on the release is DJ Total M’s “Blow Da Box” which sets out to do exactly what it says in the title. Drums rolls and panning acid goodness, I swear this track has some sort of subliminal message beckoning jackers from their seats.

The highlight and most-played track for me on the release is “Warm and Wet” by the No Assembly Firm (Long and Dan X) and Wooly. Having a stomping drum rhythm and a ass-smacking clap – this track’s got groove!

Jake Childs - Life Of A Hustler - Drop
Boy, I remember the days when Jake Childs would get on www.undergroundhouse.net to get feedback on his tracks. Back then he was a no-name producer who to my surprise made impressive funky tracks. Now with his own label, Uniform, and a number of releases under his belt – it’s now no surprise he’s getting signed. Bringing versatility and repeated quality, Childs is an up and coming producer to keep your eye on.

“Goin’ Down” on the A-side is a dirty hip-house cut. The prime track on the release comes on the B-side with “What Can I Do.” Bringing the chunk and funk, what can I do from wanting to play this track out every set? Watching the dance floor work it out, I’m not sure if it’s the bouncing base line, catchy vocal or quirky and stripped down piano samples, but people respond to this track.

Reel People - Can’t Stop feat. Angela Johnson - Papa
We’ve all heard the track, “Can’t stop, the way I feel – every time I look into your eyes.” Kenny Dope brings in the remixes of the classic with his garage style synths and piano and overlaps it with a dirty base line. This four-tracker includes a full vocal, a stripped down beat version and instrumental. Let’s not forget the dub cut which has an original sound with climatic features that’s perfect for keeping the crowd guessing.

Lawnchair Generals - You Got To - Aroma
Need I say more than Lawnchair Generals? Well I shouldn’t have to, but this track is so good I will. “You Got To” has that building LCG feel with their classic smooth drums and base line. A sexy female voice proclaims, “You got to get up and get looser.”

“Stop Frontin’” brings a disco and funk feel. When you got that dead-beat crowd that just needs a mass-appealing fun and funky jam – reach for this!

Mr. V - Jus Dance - Vega Records
Talk about deep! Stripped down with a meringue dub feel – a spoken word by Mr. V carries you on a musical proclamation to “Jus dance baby.” I must add as a disclaimer, this track is for the true deep house heads. “This is the way we are, we feel our music . . . “ as Mr. V says in the track. The flip-side has a spacey and dubbed out number titled “Cosmic Ritual Dub.”

Special Forces - Family Business Remixes - Blockhead
What good would a house review be without a Joey Young record? Special Forces is a production duo with participants Youngman and Mike Frugaletti. This release is a peak time dropper with busy stabs, heavy percussion and as we have come to expect from Youngman, thick base lines. Remixes are provided by Natural Rhythm and Jason Hodges. That means this record is hot, hot, hot!

interview with eclypz

interview & photos by todd ~ I'm not going to spend a lot of time with a lengthy, profound intro with this DJ. I'm just gonna let him speak for himself below. But I will say, that John Stone, aka DJ Eclypz has been there from the beginning and has stuck to his Breakbeat Gunz like none other in Kansas City. If it's a broken beat your looking for, this man has the records from then and now to stir you up and make you do a headspin or three. So, without further adieu..

Why don't you tell us a little about yourself? (where you're from, what you play, how long you've been playin ... and that sort of thing... if you weren't born & raised here... give us a little background.

I was born and raised in the Lenexa/Overland Park/Olathe area, and have lived in the KC area all my life. Nothing really exceptional about location, basically your average suburbanite who hated catholic elementary school and loved public high school. I went on to study graphic design, but all the while thought to myself that I'd rather be making and mixing music. The folks had a lot of influence on that and I'm glad I developed an alternative skill set, but recently I've realized I'd like to get back to what I promised myself I would focus on after that avenue had been explored.

I remember having a passion for music even at my youngest age. My mother played classical guitar and I remember the music striking a chord with me, and I can't believe I just walked into that one. My first song ever purchased was Chariots of Fire's theme song. I loved that song so much, and when most kids were listening to their Disney storybooks on record I was running in circles in my room listening to that track. I then moved onto Michael Jackson, and was a major fan. The kids in the neighborhood and I had our own fan club. Back then everything was on tape. I destroyed that tape by the time I was done with it. Next came my preteen skating years, really getting into rap, early early rap, RunDMC, mc Ran, Public Enemy, BDP/KRS one, anything I could get my hands on. Then I slowly moved onto Punk Rock. I was more so straight-edge but they didn't have a word for it back then. I loved everything from the Subhumans, Circle Jerks, Agent Orange, Fugazi, I could go on forever. Then came industrial music, the transitional music to what I love now. Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb, Early NIN. And then I was old enough to hit up this under 21 joint in the 'burbs called Pogo's. I still remember, the night was called "Club Pirahna". The dj's name was Pablo(Who incidentally worked at the "Edge" in KC before it closed down, and actually works for Roland Music last time I heard).

Initially most of the music I heard was cheesy stuff. 2 Unlimited, The Shamen. I really thought the whole thing was annoying.

And then it happened. Pablo dropped an Underground Resistance track. The thickest electro-techno track I have ever heard in my life. Completely instrumental, acidy and grungy. I ran up immediately and had to find out what that was. From that day forward I became a techno-junkie. I began discovering, through the help of 7th heaven records, all the shit I had been missing for quite some time. I still was baffled though why anyone would waste their money on records.

Until I went to Germany. In 94 I graduated High School and went on a trip to germany with my german class. Two weeks into the trip, after being totally blown away by all the music, all the posters, all the flyers for parties, " Raves", I finally went into the fifth or sixth store and asked one of the clerks, in the best german I could muster up, "Why the turntables? Why all these records and not cds?" She laughed. And then in her best attempt at english told me, "You mix the music together, match the beats". It hit me. It finally made sense. My trip in Germany ended early. I knew from that moment on I wanted to use every last bit of cash I had on getting everything I needed to do it, to become a DJ. It was like I finally found my niche, my voice.

The rest is history. I had the privilege of watching the very first raves pop up in KC and St Louis. I hung out with Ray Velasquez on one end and Sunny D on the other, two opposing forces if you will; Ray being more of a purveyor of great music who happened to blend the tracks together, and Sunny D, the most funkdafied mofo who could cut back and forth and mix two tracks together till they ran out.

And now here I am. I would say breaks is my mainstay, always has been, but a close second would definitely be trance and then drumNbass.

With all of the sub-sub-sub-genres these days, I feel a little inclined to ask if there is any specific type of Breaks that you spin? Or just breaks in general?

Great Question! I have always appreciated the breakdown of the different genres of electronic music, to a point. For instance if I say house music, that can expand to so many different directions that the interpretation is too broad. After all even some of the quickest mentioning of different styles can yield some interesting results, like disco house versus hard house versus deep house.

Breaks is no different although the variations have more to do with different sounds from other genres coming into the breaks arena more so than the breaks sound bringing out it's entirely different sound. Part of that nature lies in the fact that really the only thing that makes breaks what it is; is the break beat itself, the funky beat, rather than the straight "on-beat" sound that comes out of house. Beyond that beat though the canvas is empty, awaiting another style to splash across it. Now in this definition I am making a distinction between drum and bass, hip hop and breaks. So even breaks itself is a sub sub genre. And with that I will just stop there...

The bottom line is, I like to play mid-tempo (115-140 beats per minute) breaks. The different nuances/sub genres only serve to keep my set from getting stale. I will play anything from cheesy energetic tracks to deep and dark trancey tracks to robotic electro tracks, so on. I will play anything so long as it is good. When I say good, I mean to say I prefer a couple of different things out of a track I will play out. One- it has to be intricate in it's pattern development. By that I mean it has to have an element of well constructed thought put behind when and how it builds and breaks down to the different levels of the track. Two- it has to be rich, the sounds and beats should be clear and rich, even if the sound they are going for is grungy. In short it needs to be mastered well. There seem to be a lot of artists these days who have the second part figured out really well, very polished sound. Unfortunately their cookie cutter approach to the actual development of the track can be disheartening. The bottom line is a simple song begins to lose my attention. If I lose my attention the crowd loses their attention.

That is more true than you may realize. More and more DJs are being accused of "playing to the crowd" and I find myself wondering, "Isn't that what they are supposed to do?" Do you have any thoughts on that?

Ultimately in terms of whether or not I think the dj is playing to the crowd or if the crowd is dancing to the dj, I would have to say it's a matter of both. A high-end dj like Derrick Carter for instance, is going to have a lot of people guessing at times because you never know what he's going to pull out. At the same time what has made him famous is his ability to read the crowd and know what they want to hear, and deliver. As an artist I have to demand of myself and of djs I have respect for, an innate desire to push the envelope of what they are doing on stage. With that comes more of a 'crowd dancing to what the dj delivers' sort of vibe. I won't completely ignore a crowd that is not feeling what I am doing, but at the same time I hope the crowd that showed up to see me play came to see someone taking things to another level instead of just being a human jukebox.

I think I would have to agree with that. Let's get back to you though. I know that you play the Cup & Saucer every so often on Wednesdays, but what else have you been up to recently?

Most of my time and energy has been devoted to working on my scratching and turntablist skills. I'd really like to eventually be juggling two break beat tracks, creating a fusion between the club dj and the turntablist. The road is bumpy though and with the clean smooth mixes within most club environments I have hesitated to experiment too much outside of my studio. Along with that I'm also working on some production stuff. I have quite a few odds and ends tracks that I still have to complete, thoughts in progress if you will. But I'm on the verge of finishing what basically amounts to a thirty minute track that incorporates an artificially created thunderstorm with an ambient soundscape built to ride out the whole time. I'm finally getting some momentum with it and can't wait to get a few last touches on it and master it. It will definitely be something unique.

I am definitely looking forward to it.

transplant part 1

Matthew Bandy ~ by Brent Crampton ~ From acres of farmland to miles of skyscrapers - the majority of our readers lay somewhere in between. And with magazines such as XLR8R and URB talking about all the rage in London, Chicago, Miami or Germany – it makes a DJ wonder, “What if I moved to these places?” And what would happen if you moved? Would you make a name for yourself or would you just become another DJ standing in line, waiting for the next crap gig?

The Transplant mini-series will explore those concerns by asking the people who have already done it. From rural areas to citified hysteria – this interview may answer your questions.

This month we have Denver transplant, Matthew Bandy. Bandy formerly lived in Lexington, Kentucky but made the move in December of 2003. In the early 90’s, Bandy was introduced to house music through the Midwest rave scene. By the time the late 90’s came about, Bandy was throwing his own events under the production guise of AlienSquad. Having brought DJs such as Halo, Kevin Yost, Johnny Fiasco and Charles Feelgood, Bandy simultaneously hosted Kentucky’s only electronic music radio show – “Through The Vibe.”

Having toured almost every major city in America, Bandy went onto create the production duo, Deep House Souldiers with partner Joel Jackson. Their first release came in 2003 on San Francisco label, Lo Rise Recordings. In that same year, Bandy moved to Denver to take his newly formed record label, Limestone Recordings, to the next step. And the next step occurred when the label’s first release was licensed to Ben Watt’s mix CD titled “Buzzin’ Fly Volume One: Replenishing Music For The Modern Soul.”

Bandy is an accomplished musician and DJ who has taken big steps in the music industry while simultaneously taking a big leap geographically. Here is his story . . .

Where did you live when you first started DJing? What drove you to take DJing and producing to the next step (as opposed to just a hobby)?

I first started DJing and getting involved with the dance music scene while living in Lexington, Kentucky. Music has always affected me deeply, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. So it was a natural for me to share my feelings and ideas through music and push that to the next level.

At one point you lived in a smaller metropolitan area with an electronic music scene. What motivated you to move to where you are now and was it for other reasons than making a name for yourself in music?

I would say that was part of it (establishing a name in the music industry). I also wanted to share what I was doing with a bigger audience and scene, as well as being involved with something bigger that was going on. I hate to think this way, but there was only so far I could push my music in a smaller scene. I definitely outgrew Kentucky and wanted to take what I was doing to a larger level.

Why did you choose Denver as opposed to some other city with a thriving music scene?

I thought of moving to a city that was bigger and had a bigger scene than Denver, but when I visited Denver I really experienced a community here. People were actually excited when I was moving here and welcomed me straight into the scene. I also see a lot of potential in Denver. The city is growing. There is an awesome new art museum being built, we have a huge performing arts complex that was recently completed and they are still building huge buildings. There is a great feeling within all the scenes here. Everyone I meet, whether it be indie rock, art, or the dance scene - everyone has a very positive outlook on the future of the city and what they are doing with it here.

I’ve personally never experienced so many people that have no urge to move anywhere and love what is going on while excited about the future. I was also doing projects with Jon Nedza (a.k.a. Community Recordings) so it was really cool knowing and working with someone already to where I was moving. I kind of look at it like Denver has a lot of potential to do something really good, whether that happens or not isn’t so much the point. Personally I would rather be a part of something that is being created and growing than just moving somewhere to “make it.”

When you moved, what was it like? How did you manage to get gigs and did people in the music industry take you seriously since you were from a smaller scene?

You know, it was a lot easier than I had expected, but I’m not saying it wasn’t hard! Like the other cities I visited, I thought the scene would be cold to me, but it wasn’t like that at all. I was able to find gigs easily and the people here really helped me get them. It was hard leaving the ones you love behind but its also exciting to grow and move on to what the future holds. In all honesty the hardest thing for me to over come were my own personal fears. Having to give up everything you created and built without any security that the move is going to work out. But that is life. When you let go of what your holding on to, your able to learn so much more and life tends to always guide you in the right direction if you’re listening.

From a job standpoint - was it hard finding a place to work that would sustain the higher cost of living?

Things were tuff at first but you adjust. I mean, there are over a half of million people that live in the Denver metro area that are doing it - why cant I? I think you have to think like that. I mean look at the population of NYC. Everyone is making it somehow, why cant you?

How is your music career now? Are things the way you envisioned them to be before you moved to Denver?

I would say things are great right now. I am a lot further than where I was in such a short time. I thought it would have taken longer. All I do is music now, and that’s something I didn’t even do in Kentucky. I work at an amazing record store, produce and DJ. I’m also open to so much more culture, art and people than when living in Kentucky. It’s helped me to put those experiences and learning’s into my art and I have become stronger because of it. I am at a point now where I am making better music, working with quality labels and performing around the country more. I even made it overseas recently.

Do I think that Denver has helped that? Yeah I do, but putting yourself in a position to grow and learn has helped me - it wasn’t Denver. Living in a small city is very comfortable - it’s easy. When you’re forced to walk or be walked over, you do one or the other. I couldn’t have experienced that living in an area where I wasn’t challenged. I couldn’t accomplish anything more. I guess what I am trying to say is - as much as moving to a bigger city helped the experience of that, the move has helped me more.

What advice would you give to people who are considering moving to pursue music more fully?

Do it, the future is what we make of it . . .

human after all

Daft Punk Tells Us Again, How It's Gonna Be ~ by Michael Bradshaw ~ image courtesy of daftpunk.com  ~  Every few years, we in the electronic dance community receive a message upon high. This message, generated in the form of ticks, squeals and thumps, is handed down from the Parisian super-duo Daft Punk. Comprised of two individuals who according to their public persona, are, in fact, more machine than man; Daft Punk has been the torch-barer for dance floor junkies for more than a decade. One can track the audible ebbing from each of their albums through commercial and underground movements ad nauseam. Their latest release, Human After All, is the latest communiqué from these heavenly bodies.

So prepare ye producers: the new way has arrived.

Human After All, with all its ingenuity and ambition, is a pretty typical release for Daft Punk. These legendary producers make tracks for the dance floor, not the radio. Although they’ve experienced some commercial success with hits like, “Around the World” and “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” most outsiders will complain that Daft Punk’s tracks are repetitive. But then again, it seems these songs are meant to be mixed by a DJ rather than be sandwiched between Gwen Stephani and the Yin Yang Twins.

That is not to say the album is unlistenable by other means, however. Daft Punk’s albums make great theme music. Whether you’re jamming in the car to monster tracks like, “Robot Rock” (a track which we in the Midwest would call, shit-kickin’) or chilling in a cafe with “Television Rules the Nation,” at its core, Human After All is a futuristic dichotomy of bangin’-to-ambient space beats.

Tracks like, “The Prime Time of Your Life,” “Emotion,” and “Make Love” are great examples of Daft Punk’s dynamic yet simplistic electronic arrangement. These songs won’t tear any buildings down, but they will move you to deeper understanding of music and what it is capable of. “The Brainwasher” may not be the best after hours track, but it certainly will tear the floor to shreds during prime time.

However, the most striking thing about Human After All is its audio landscape. Daft Punk’s greatest musical attribute is their ability to render sonic environments in new and interesting dimensions. Daft Punk bends sounds in ways the lord never intended. Upon listening to “Robot Rock,” one may very well wonder; on what planet do guitars sound like this? “Steam Machine” may convince you to take acid and drive through an automatic car wash. The title track may just cause you internally combust.

Another thing that is new on Human After All is its stark representation of funk. Daft Punk has always been funky, but on cuts like, “Technologic,” shit just gets nutty. Human After All definitely pushes the boundaries of groove-oriented samples. “Robot Rock,” very well may contain one of the funkiest hooks ever recorded.

Above all, Human is a worthy buy. You can count on a plethora of remixes and mash-ups to surface in a matter of weeks. You most certainly will hear the after effects of this album for generations. However, if you’re looking for another squeaky-clean, radio-friendly, electro album, Human After All won’t satisfy you. However, for those die-hard Daft Punk alums, Human After All is yet another document of Daft Punk’s relationship with the netherworld and we should be happy to have them around to tell humanity just how music should sound in the 21st century.

one with chaos

by Brent Crampton ~ photos by todd ~ Many people eventually find themselves in the “early 20-something” category where the weekends are spent out and about in celebration without a cause. Then one day your peers get too busy with their full-time career and soon-to-be marriage. The carefree party lifestyle slowly recedes away as long days and early nights soon take sway. When your friends move on to the “next phase” – what’s a person to do?

While some move on from the party life to make a living, others such as Lee Burgess, earn a living off of partying. When it comes to his professional career, Burgess quite literally makes a profit from other people partying. As The Talent Buyer’s Assistant for Clear Channel in Kansas City, Burgess has enjoyed being part of the process of bringing in a wide variety of shows and concerts to the Lawrence and Kansas City area. Oddly enough, it isn’t those acts of goodwill to the entertainment industry that Burgess is most known for.

Events by the name of Chaos Theory, Prophecy and Synthesis hold more relevance than the tabloid exploited stars to the subculture of people who know Burgess. These events took place under the guise of Lee and his partners Lane Coley, Scenario and Will Crabtree’s own ambitions. Their production company, Architects of Chaos, has put on dozens of events. With a primary focus on catering to people of the ages 16 to 24, his events are late-night, sweat-infused party kids getting down to the underground sounds of electronic music.

Burgess recalls the one event that set the tone for his career:

“My brother and I convinced some friends of ours to help us break into this abandoned building to scope it out and clean it up. We then got police scanners, a map point, generator for the sound system . . . the whole nine yards. We passed out yellow business cards with the name of the party, a date and a phone number. That was it,“ Burgess recalls.

"Kids went nuts at the party. It was one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen. We partied until four in the morning, then we decided we had pressed our luck for long enough. We tried doing it again a couple more times, but we never had the success like the first one. Some people say, that was the last underground party in KC.”

Most people would say these events are raves. And for Burgess, the rave culture is where it all started for him.

In the mid 1990s, Burgess recalls being invited to an event in the Infinite Sun building in downtown Kansas City. The venue was a soup kitchen operated by hippies during the day and had parties “that were just out of control,” by night said Burgess. As the skinny blond-haired kid in high school who wore huge bottomed “JNCO” brand jeans, leather, hemp bracelets and metal chains – Burgess said he was a metal-head out cast. But “when I walked into the party, I saw all kinds of people who looked like me,” Burgess said. “They were friendly and I felt like I was where I belonged.”

While the rave era is disputably over, most people moved onto the club scene. Yet the ripple of influence is still carrying on to younger generations.

As Burgess says, “raves are dead,” but those times have been deeply imbedded in his persona, he carries on the torch of the rave culture by transforming it. “You gotta come correct and legal,” Burgess said. The days of invading warehouses in the middle of the night with no permits are over, Burgess said.

This is exactly where his day job comes into play. From his experience with bringing in big name talent, he knows the business when it comes to doing things the legal way. Using his abilities to estimate expenses, turnout and acquiring permits, “I would say Burgess is pretty damn good at what he does,’ said Jack Napier, aka DJ Sydeburnz. Napier has worked with Burgess on dozens of occasions in the promoting business. “Organized and professional are traits that I would definitely mention when talking about Burgess,” Napier said. “Getting people to take a rave promoter seriously is hilarious,” he said. Many venue owners are skeptical of rave promoters for good reason. In a industry where ambitious teens get the idea they want to throw a party, the subsequent action is usually picking a VFW Hall and adding some turntables into the mix. Countless details can go over looked when attempting a successful event.

As for Burgess, he’ll often choose the well-established and respected Uptown Theater for his venue. In the case of the event, Chaos Theory 2, an estimated 1,500 people attended. Having booked international DJ talent, the event was a huge success, Burgess said.

But things weren’t always that way. Early on in his career, Burgess wanted to step up the caliber of his events, but kept running into roadblocks. “We always have to prove our grain of salt,” Burgess said. And that chance came when he received an internship program with the House of Blues. Learning the ins and outs of being a legal promoter.

Now with a strong reputation in the city, there is always one obstacle he has to deal with. “Besides the politics – which I do not want to get into, there are a lot of haters in Kansas City,” Burgess said. “Keep it righteous, do what you love to do and then there shouldn’t be anything that people say to hold you back.”

Be sure to catch one of the upcoming events Lee is involved with:

April 8 - Terry Mullen & Dara @ The Last Call in Lawrence

April 22 - Shrapnel w/ Starscream @ The Madrid

April 30th - Berzerker w/ DJ Assault, J-Break, Pish Posh, Evol Intent, and Basic Operations @ The 411 in KC .

May 21st - Donald Glaude & Hive @ The Granada in Lawrence

caffeine music and arts festival 2005

story & photos by Joe Hensen ~ What's the kind of party that makes you drive 10 hours just to go? A party that has AK1200, Icey, Richard Humpty Vission, Dieselboy and Micro as it's headliners. That's right. Ultra Concerts and Triad Dragons pulled together these five major DJs to bring you Caffeine. Nestled right next to the Colorado Mountains, this dance party was located in Littleton, Colorado, right outside Denver.

The drive through the blandness of Kansas was worth it. We arrived at the party after a quick rest at the local Marriott Hotel. After parking the car down the street (no parking left at the venue), we came to the Line. It was about 100 yards long! We waited in the Colorado cold for an hour and a half, but knew already that this was going to be a party to remember.

Once through the door (and into the warmth!), I found myself in a sea of people. The lights and sound were amazing. The venue was at Fat City Entertainment Center; a local indoor fun park. There was a huge mini golf course, an immense arcade, skate rink (main room), concession area (second room), front entry area (third room), giant jungle gym (closed!), and a bowling alley (also closed off).

Finding myself drawn to the main room, I stood in awe at the amount of people that were there. There was easily a few thousand people in there dancing to Dieselboy. The lights, the sound...THIS WAS A PARTY!

The whole night flew by. I only noticed a few bad things. It was hot on the dance floor, they needed to lay off the smoke machine, and at some areas it was hard to move about freely. There were just a lot of people there. There was lots of concessions to be bought: candy, shirts, cds, glow sticks, etc. All the DJs were amazing. Dieselboy set the mood even though I heard from more than one person that his set would have been better without the MC. Icey kept the crowd going with some awesome breaks. Richard Humpty Vission made everyone shake their groove thang...then it was time. Micro was up. He should have been arrested. He straight up stole the show. The crowd was screaming, people were dancing, and I was right in the middle of it! Even made a video of his set. He had me going like no other.

All in all the party was great. Saw a lot of cats from Kansas City out there. I met a lot of new people and heard some awe inspiring music. Caffeine just proves that sometimes you need to travel ten hours to be blown away. Be sure to check out the pictures from the party!

april 2005 editor note

Wow! This month's "on decks" starts off nice enough, but I mean... it's hard not to like Roni Size, eh? Check it out!

This month's cover goes to Joe. It's a shot he took while at Caffeine Music and Arts Festival 2005 in Denver just this past month. From the sounds of things, they definitely had a party goin on out there. A few people guessed at 5000! I really wish I could have gone myself, but I was in the middle of moving, bah! It completely absorbed my life and two weeks later, continues to. I'm still digging out.

I really should start out-sorting photos of me as I go through them. It's a bit hard sometimes to find one. On the other hand, I do get a chance to go back through all the photos from the month again, which is always kind of cool.

The one for this column this month was taken by Shaun at the Derrick Carter event, recently at Kabal Restaurant & Nightclub. It was good to see John again. It seems sometimes that too much time passes.

This month was definitely a hodge-podge of photos. We've got a couple of new folks tryin out for photographer spots on the site. Jason and Sarah both have given us some new perspectives on thes scene. To top it off, Chris just sent me an update from New York and I just got Shaun's photos from Miami.

St Patrick's Day was the day that everyone seemed to building up to here in Kansas City though. By all accounts, the cities efforts to deter drinking at the parade completely and utterly failed. All that they really accomplished was to get people to start drinking earlier. The parade itselt was pretty good, but still lacking in comparison to parades that I have witnessed in other cities.

Besides the parade side trips that you can find in the galleries, under "a little culture", there were also a few trips into the unusual, with Freak-Fest at Davey's Uptown and Seraphim Shock at Balanca's Pyro Room.

Speaking of Balanca's, True Tuesdays have really started to pick up. I think that it's going to turn out to be a fine little night. DJ True is keepin it True and keepin the House a little funky and a little jazzy. Sara Please was our guest last week and some of the other guests that he has lined up are equally as fine. Be sure to come by on Tuesday and chill with us. True Tuesdays is slowly but surely becoming, in the words of the owner of Balanca's, "one of my favorite nights."

That's pretty much it for now though. Spring has sprung and there are some phat parties comin up in Kansas City and all over the Central MidWest. Keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground. You aren't going to want to miss a thing this spring.

See you out on the dance floor!

~phocas~

april 2005 issue