Thursday, September 01, 2005

solaris on decks

Unrelenting since 1995 is the best way to describe DJ Solaris. In a blazing fury of vinyl and chaos, Solaris assaults party goers and sound systems alike. Many have fell before the ceaseless barrage of gritty acid techno in Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, and in cities all across the Midwest. This devout DJ/producer stepped up to the Techno alter in the mid nineties and has been preaching the word of evil techno ever since. Picture a dark dungeon, pounding with a rhythmic drone. Inside people are in a fervor some still unable to comprehend what this man behind the decks is wielding. Such stories are just a drop to the stories Solaris has to tell about his experience performing around the US. Few have the stamina and perseverance that this man puts forth at every show, giving this Tyrant of Techno a formidable collection of sounds to penetrate the ears of any with the conviction to witness his presence.

This month, phocas.net brings you an exclusive mix from Solaris. His new CD titled Centrifuge has yet to hit the streets. Instead he has decided to hold out on the release, and make it exclusively for phocas.net for this issue. Centrifuge is Solaris’s latest mix CD, a compilation forged together with a purpose of driving and expanding people’s views of techno. With 25 tracks on the CD, this man never intended the listener to get too comfortable and apathetic.



This CD is a long time coming. I have put out a few and had this CD idea stewing for about two years. The name Centrifuge was a concept that I wanted to relate in musical form. I kept it on the burner and in my head until I was confident that I had the material to make what I believed would best suit what was banging on in my mind. I always dread making CD’s because the amount of things I have to leave out is boggling. I always try to fit as much of my soul into what I am doing as I can, and that takes its toll. Don’t look as Techno as simple music, its repetition is something that takes desire and commitment to work into this style. The style is a conundrum that has most confounded and others bewildered. I think of music in terms of energy when mixing and my job is to pull your strings and guide you through this piece of your life. I often find myself searching hours upon hours of tracks to find that one track that has that feel and energy that I desire in everything I play. If I come out of that (as I usually have) with one record from all those hours then I have considered it a good day.

Take to heart that I am and always be here to push the boundaries that others perceive as music. This style brought me into the scene and I have devoted myself to staying true to the form that guided me into this culture. Take what you can from this CD. If you enjoy it only an ounce of what I did while I was making it, I will consider my job well done. With 25 tracks in 70 minutes you have to know I was busy pushing out one about every 2.5 minutes. Even with that there is effect and tricks I was performing at the same time. These are too numerous to count and extrapolate on in the following information.

Track Listing:
(Label – Track Title – Artist)
  1. Intro
    I always like it when a CD sets the mood with a nice intro giving you a taste of what you have in store. This is no exception, with that in mind I had a time finding just the sample that would both describe what I was thinking when I was putting together the mix and how I wanted you the listener to think about.
  2. LK REC - Schlagschatten - Andreas Kremer RMX
  3. What can I say about Andreas? This man is one of my heroes. I just got this record two days before and had to have it on there. It is one of those moments where you know gold and this helps set the mood and energy for the rest of the CD.
  4. AR - Alliance IV - Gunjack vs. Jeroen Liebregts 
    I love drummy tracks. It was one of the themes that I was going for when I chose the title. It is so easy to lose yourself in one of these tracks, yet the subtle tones that sit in the background give me the charge that I desire to be when I go to a party, be it to perform or to observe.
  5. AR - Full Charge - Vincent De Wit 
    One of my favorites tracks of the time. I have had this track for a year and I still love hearing it blast its way across a room of people. I knew I had to incorporate this, and what a better time as it helps build the energy and flow of music harder. The name says it all and I think that anyone would agree that you won’t be able to stop moving your feet.
  6. LK REC - Punching Dummies - Lars Klein 
    I took it down just a hair here. Lars is another one of my heroes for making things so beautiful and driving. While it doesn’t have the energy of Full Charge, it does give a nice transition to some of the more minimal drivers that I have in store for you.
  7. Carnage - O.B.I. Wan Kenobi E.P. 
    This is a great track! I love how they mixed the hard drum lines with a bit of funky vocal to give it that edge. The way it hits and screams to me let me know that not only must I place it in the CD, but its progression to the harder side of things helped me to move even further to where I wanted to go.
  8. Pitchshift - Splash N Dash - Boris S. 
    Who would have thought I would bring it down just a notch? Well I know the whole idea is that I would drive you into the ground. Unfortunately I believe in the ebb and flow of things, and with the hammering I gave you with the last few I figured that a bit of a breather would be in order. Mind you it isn’t long so enjoy it. The break is one of a kind and helped me give you what I was looking for.
  9. Carnage - Partystecher E.P. - Frank Kvitta 
    Back to some driving sounds for your ears. I always like to get back into the saddle after a fresh breath. This driver set me up for what I love to do. Expand your horizons and make you dance until your legs fall off. If anything the laughter inside this track was a precursor to my next track and linked the two in a way I could not ignore.
  10. Pitchshift - Tonight You Sleep In Hell - Boris S. 
    No one can imagine the expression on my face when I ripped this out of its new sleeve and heard the breakdown. Couple that with its drive and desire and I found myself wanting not only a bit more of it, but couldn’t let it go to waste.
  11. Expanded - A. Crash - Darkness - Sven Wittekind RMX 
    I found this one a bit odd, but like to stretch the imagination. I loved the general tone of it, though the breakdown was nothing what I would expect, it gave a break from the norm that I created and a well deserved one at that. Though not long after it gets right back on the saddle and keeps chugging along. I admire any person who could make something unrelated fit into a song and make it work. This is just that and I feel it has to be just as suitable here.
  12. Squat Records - Mare Street - Jeff Amadeus 
    Every time I play, I can't wait to work this track into my set. It has got to be the favorite of mine for a while now. The funky breakdowns just send me into frenzy. I know that some others have fallen into that same fate when they get a taste. I have to watch out for this man he has a lot of great stuff and without this track I truly think my life would never be the same.
  13. Crowbar - Hamster Butcher - Stefan Wietek 
    There is a lot of driving and with that last track I had to do something, this is the ticket. Crowbar is a newer label that has proven to me that it has the talent and drive that I myself enjoy. It is a bit more constructed than a few of the others, but that is what gives it its flavor.
  14. Abstract Records - Reinsteckefuchs - Frank Kvitta 
    Nothing went better after butchering a hamster than this track. After all the crazy driving the breakdown gives you the idea it is going to take a minute to build back and give you a minute to breathe. FOOLED YOU! I can’t let you off that easy giving you breathers every time you see fit. I am trying to improve you and stamina is something anyone can respect.
  15. Crowbar - Way Of The Habak - Viper XXL 
    This driver has its nicety, although you would be hard pressed to find it. Once sound gives you the illusion of the tempo slowing while I keep driving. I don’t get too many of these, and why not let you believe that illusion and take that moment for yourself. Keep in mind that we are just over the halfway point and I don’t like to let you come down from that fervor I have been stewing that soon.
  16. Arms - Patadas - Carlos Rios 
    Ok, I am now ready to give you a bit of a break. This track has a great tech house feel while staying true to the hard driving that I wanted for this CD. I brought it to this level to help you not go insane with the crazy drum lines I was pushing for the last few tracks.
  17. Carnage - She Had It Coming E.P. - Switchblade a.k.a. Leo Laker 
    Taking it a bit more minimal and driving helps me get you into that long awaited rest. I was surprised when I stumbled upon this label. This depth of this track boggled me. It was the piece of gold I was searching for.
  18. FAK - Rocket Bay - Tuomas Rantanen 
    I picked it back up a bit and got a bit more driving and droning going on. This track helped keep the flow while still retaining the more minimal edge I developed over the last few tracks. It also gave me the leeway to move it either up or down in energy levels.
  19. Blitzkreig - Das Letzte Gefecht - Robert Natus 
    This is one of my old favorites. I pick it up and nothing makes me happier than something this bangin’. The way it is arranged is something that I strive for in my production.
  20. Blipped Out - Oli Brand 
    I couldn’t believe how well this track let me go from taking things down a notch to bringing them up a hair and still keeping that same feel. It is a new found favorite that keeps me jumping around behind the tables. The break has something even I am not sure how they did but I know that when I get the chance, it will be the first thing I ask him.
  21. Arms - Bend In The River - Lars Klein 
    Taking it down a notch was my intention and toward the end seemed like the best time. This is a nice track and gives me the feel of things I was still messing with back in the day. My love has always been for those things that make the hair on my neck stand up. This track had by far one of those moments.
  22. Cluster - Squat Attack - Jeff Amadeus 
    How better to take it a bit farther than with Cluster? This label has been around so long I cannot remember. They never fail to produce and push the boundaries while keeping a feel that is unique onto themselves. Cluster has been in my collection and track list since I started. My loyalty to them stems from the loyalty they have shown me among this last decade.
  23. Blackout Audio – Draw Out Your Breeches - Robert Natus 
    Mark EG’s label has been something I have been keeping my eye one constantly, ever since I saw him perform an outdoor event when a tornado was touching down a ½ mile from us. My diligence has paid with this one and keeps the flow steady while I collect myself for the tail end of the CD.
  24. Cluster - Did You Spill My Paint? - Co-Ax 
    Only a few tracks left and with this CD I thought it best to give you a bit of a wind down to help with the transition back to reality. Keeping it as driving as I wanted yet minimal enough to allow me to bring you back to earth.
  25. Blackout Audio - Pointless - Robert Natus 
    Next to last, but far from least it drones on and helps break down the CD to a mellower moment. Taking it even to the more minimal feel that helps when you want to wind down a set of bangin’ drum beats.
  26. Arms - Bend in the river - Lars Klein
    The best choice I could have made for an ending track! It sums up the whole CD for me and helps me bring it back full circle. Don’t let it fool you I always play what I think deserves the attention I give it and this one still gets me bobbing my head. Notice the producer and should I have to say more. This man is a genius. This wax has me from the beginning and keeps me there glued to the table to the last possible moment.

shadowrunner sept 2005 trance

With over fifteen years experience in the local and regional electronic music scene, DJ Shadowrunner has been a promoter, producer, DJ , as well as, provider of sound and lighting for clubs and events. Through the years he has gained quite the ear for the music that will inspire and move the crowds. Check out his monthly picks in the genre of Trance, and enjoy the music of the night.

Erro V & Essex - The Second Day (Perry O'Neil Remix) - Captivating Sounds
There are forces in the world set on killing your good time. Arm yourself with this lethal pair of Anthems, rally the troops, and give them hell. A strong synth driven effort here from Captivating Sounds. Dance Valley 2005 tested..... Raver approved!!!!

Stan Void - Montavo <b:side> A Moment's Definition - Somatic Sense VisionI am hooked on these two tracks and once we fire up the decks, there is no relief for this addiction. Epic trance fans can rejoice once again. Montavo is the more uplifting and driving anthem we would expect from a Belgian label. However, "A Moment's Definition" is the real beauty here. Sensual synth lines and warm melodies will give you goose bumps.

Fred Baker - Total Blackout <b:side> Hold Me Now - FBI
Here is a harder shot from the Man Of The Moment. If you like your trance hard, driving, and techy you are not alone. Tiesto drops this track in his "In Concert" DVD. Bangin trance for the naughtiest of DJ's.

Sander Van Doorn - A.K.A. (Slam Remix) - Oxygen Recordings
This one starts out innocent enough then, WHOOOOMP!!!!!! Groove MF'er, GROOOOOVE. Get ready for the funky wah wah wah goin on here as it pounds your senses like only a playground bully could. DIZZZZAAMMMMNNN!!!!!!

Gaudium - Nordic Nature - Spiral Trax
Dark progressive psy-trance is the flava of the month here. Swirling instruments and effects dazzle your subconscious into an altered state of being. Trust me you will be curiously pleased by this odd sensation. Just go with it and enjoy. Four different tracks on wax here. There is plenty to choose from.

Ava Mea - In The End (Hydroid feat. Santiago Nino Remix) - Electronic ElementsA dark erotic synth bass undulates through a deep percussive rolling drum. Slightly synthesized guitars and piano dangle an echoed melody over the steamy measures. It all climaxes into a beautifully stirring breakdown. Take a deep breath, smoke em if you got em, and then it’s back to it's raunchy business until the end of the track. I don't know about you but, I feel so dirty. :)

Nick Muir - Frankenstein - Apache
4/4 and Breaks fans let us all rejoice that Mr. Muir was thinking of you both when he made these tracks. With a killer electro feel and dirty synths these two mixes have the hook to rock the biggest of dance floors. This is gritty and unforgiving while perfect for getting that nasty booty shaking.

Charles & Kling - Parallel Realities (Habersham Remix) - Mixturi
"This stuff is getting ridiculous" is the sample but it is still an understatement. DIZAMN, talk about a evil menacing groove. "Parallel Realities" psychedelic tribal brings the madness to shake us loose of any inhibitions. Then we can truly dance and celebrate music and life.

Cristian Vecchio & Kitikonti - Finally EP - BXR
BXR is usually known for their bangin hard house. Here they show in four tracks a more subdued progressive style that drives for a couple and a gritty techhouse feel for the other two. The "Finally EP" has a slow churning naughtiness throughout it all. Ask your parents permission before you buy.

Kool & The Gang - Ladies Night (Soda Inc + Biogrd Remixes) - Plastic CityWhat the F???? 4 mixes of "Ladies Night" done alright!! One is deep dark and proggy, one is dub techouse, one is old school dub house, and the last is a slightly electro dub. I though I was having one of "those" flashbacks, and it felt gooooooood! I'm sure this was a limited press but I would recommend trying to get it anyway.

solaris sept 2005 techno

Techno DJ and Producer Solaris is back again pushing the sounds to those in the world that need it most. These are some of his favorite tracks that have pushed their way into his mind this month. Always looking for a way to expand your horizons, in the techno world, check out these tracks and reviews.

Mouseville - Cirez D - MOUSE001RMX
Leave it to great purveyors of the techno genre to go and do something so nice! Words cant even describe what Beyer and Henrik B. were up to or thinking but I have to say that this is a piece of gold electro elements with the techno attitude! The flip side has a nice builder while keeping the electro tip. A must have for any club. This will get them swinging off their seats!

Gigamusic – Nova - GIGA06
This reminds me of another record I have. Nice and spacey with it feeling almost Goa-like. This has the very minimal Detroit feel that kept me going when I first started. Like they say it is what dreams are made of! Keep in mind that this is still techno and with it comes some precautions: first do not lift or operate heavy machinery while listening to this wax. Adverse effects have been reported to be, vertigo, loss of appetite, and a sudden urge to play with metal objects. Signs and symptoms may vary, please consult a physician before purchasing or owning this piece of wax. But by all means get it you wanker!

F & L – The Brothers Of Mercy - FL001
As if the sisters of mercy weren’t good enough! Here is yet another remix for them. This one has less vocals and an electro feel. Very clubby and chewy. I like that ever lasting gum that keeps its flavor and you have it right here! Keep gnawing at it. I have a feeling that you too will come to realize that this one is a keeper. The A side is a bit more rugged and will get you going on any endeavor. More minimal than you would think, but there is a lot to be said for that space between the sounds.

Planet Rhythm - Lars Klein - PRRUK051
If you don’t know that Klien is German well then you need some help. With that you should also have a bit of respect for the birthplace of it all…keeping in tune with that, this man comes out and nails a monster minimal gritty thing that deserves to be my last record on this review. You know I save my best for last and this one keeps the tempo. Keeping the minimal driving and tame enough to keep the average listener from going into road rage is a talent few have mastered. Get it before you are made a laughing stock!

svs sept 2005 jungle and dnb

Originally from Long Island, NY, SVS has been playing around in Kansas City since mid-2000, playing different types of music over that time and finally settling on Jungle & DnB and pushing the limits of that since. Here's his picks for the month!

SKC: Dominion/Offguard: Promo: Commercial SuicideBringing the bang for your buck back to Commercial Suicide is SKC is this release. Dominion is a very nice dark piece with those ever so lovely chain-clanking snares. It’s a perfect track for any time of the night. Offguard sounds like something if Bad Company and Baron had a baby. Very nice bouncy beat with grasping pauses. The melody is some to be desired as it is almost mystical.

arQer: Locomoco/Squalor: Promo: Basic
Going solo this time arQer drives the A side as properly named, Locomoco. A very fast paced track for all of you speed freaks out there. Slowing it down a bit on the flip side is Squalor. A very nice release from the previous track with a very chill, late night synth line. Here is another promo on the hot list for all the DJ’s out there.

Mr L (Jonny L): Moonwalking/Turn Up The Bass: Mr L
Jonny L is back at it yet again. Still making some great toons after all this time. Moonwalking is wonderful head banging track with some light vocals over it. Nothing to drop at peak hour but it will defiantly get the heads up. Turn Up The Bass, honestly, was a big let down. It for sure had bass and it was turned up but not the floor stopper I expected. It’s very mellow and very simple, but very nice for something late night.

Murderbot/Amerie/Pharrell: One Thing/Drop It Like It’s Hot: Dead HomiesMurderbot kills it with One Thing. When you combine divine vocals with the master of beats your get a masterpiece. This track is sure to have everyone out of the pile the rode in on and up on the dance floor. The Snoop Dog remake is decently made. Nice drum loops and beats over the grandfather of modern gangster rap. Very well put together and one of the better R&B/rap remakes I’ve heard in a long time.

Drumsound & Bassline Smith: Grand Theft Auto 2/ Smokers Anthem: Worldwide AudioI love it when these two get together and produce something as raunchy as this release. After listening to Grand Theft Audio 2 I felt compelled to go out and shoot and loot. A very powerful and energy filled track that makes the thief want to come out of you. Smokers Anthem has a nice ragga tone with the essence of your standard techstep killer. Nice use of vocals, very bouncy, and surely a showstopper to get everyone up and dancing.

crampton sept 2005 house

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.

Andre Harris - Get Down Africa - Large
Soaring trumpets, spoken word and crisp drums, Harris makes his Large debut with this afro-centered jazz EP. With the main mix giving more of an instrumental New York feel, the house mix and dub bring the energy level up with smooth production reminiscent of a Miguel Migs and Jay-J selection.

Jihad Muhammad feat. Carolyn Victorian - Melt In You - Hustle Music
B ordering on porno house, this deep, moody, minimal and above all - sexy deep house track is a sexually conscious mix. A female spoken word urges that she wants to feel your special place in hers, wanting to melt in you.

Sueno En Ti - Soul Creation - Deepagrooves
Beach samba bliss, a Spanish female spoken word floats over drifting drums and sun-shaded keys. This Brazilian and Latin-tinged four-tracker brings deep house with an end-of-the-summer tango.

DJ Sneak - Funky Rhythm Remixes - Leg
With house music, if you got a good thing going - remix it. This two-tracker calls upon Chuck D to bring a thick bass line, quirky loops and big-room reverb. The "Hip House Mix" takes on a break-danceable groove with a drifting funky guitar line.

DJ Colette - What Will She Do For Love - OM
What's everyone's fascination with Kaskade? I dug his older style when he bordered more on the San Fran house tip, but these days it seems like he's shooting for the billboard charts. With his signature poppy house style, Kaskade remixes Colette's track off of her debut album, "Hypnotized." I'll pass on this one. Moving right along, Andy Caldwell's remix takes on his usual taste as well, which I describe as glam-electro. With big dirty bass lines, tight drums and flirty female vocals, Andy's house is best enjoyed wearing Prada sunglasses in a club on Hollywood Boulevard. And for those Frisky fans, my favored remix is from the East Coast Boogie Men, bringing you the hollowed out bass, chunky rhythms and bouncing grooves. I must admit, OM has marketing down to a science, consistently putting together remixers of every genre of house to appeal to a mass market.

Trademarq - 32 Piece Set EP - Bananza
Farina turned out the party with it, Justin Long pushed Smartbar's club system with it and nearly every major underground house DJ has been playing it coast to coast. With the catchy spoken word - "If it's broken we can fix it, but you have to have good credit," the infectious vocal and bass line sucks you in.

Anane - Move Bounce Shake w/ Mr. V - Vega
NYC's man of the moment, Mr. V is the next wave of deep, soulful house producers. Budding his talents under the wings of Louie Vega, Kenny Dope and other masters of rhythm. I've been picking up most everything from V-man lately. This EP however does nothing for me. With a dirty bass line, spacey chords, scatting rhythm section of old-school clap patterns and drums, there's nothing ear catching here such as his other tracks "Jus Dance" and "Somethin Wit Jazz."

rj bass sept 2005 break beats

So September is upon us. Were getting out of the warm months and heading straight for the cold months or as i like to call them, the Bers. It wont be long before were all forced to stay inside to escape the cold, wind and snow that generally come with the Bers. That being the case I decided to cover a few different radio stations in this months breaks reviews. Internet radio shows can help with not being able to get out and enjoy the night life. Internet radio shows are also an up and down thing. One station may have over a thousand listeners at any given time, while another may only have 10. Regardless of the amount of listeners on any one given station, their is almost always something good to hear. When it comes to the breaks, we have a plethora of great shows and stations for which to listen to, which is a good thing, because if its cold outside and also if you live in one of the many cities where breaks are not played out in the local night life much, these stations can really help you get by when you need your breaks fix. In the past I have covered individual shows on certain stations, but since their are so many shows from which to choose, I thought I would just stick to the most prominent breaks stations and then next month I will focus more on some of the individual shows that play on those stations.

Breaks FM
This station has been around for a minute now. Its one of those breaks staples that when needed, changes hands/owners/operators to keep it on the air. Breaks Fm features different types of shows from different artist some of which are live and some of which are pre-recorded. I have listened to Breaks FM on and off through the years, and sometimes i really enjoy what I hear while other times I'm not so sure. Breaks FM seems to have more shows dealing with the harder edge breaks sound, with lots of rasta and d&b influenced artist doing the shows. I cant say that they are all like that because I have not heard every show on the station, but when I do tune in, i tend to hear the before mentioned sounds. Regardless of your specific taste in the breaks market, Breaks FM is consistent in providing music every day that will please those with an ear for the breaks sound.

Nu Skool Breaks (NSB) Radio
NSB Radio is a great one. NSB has done a fantastic job at securing not only some of the best dj's out of the UK, but also a very loyal listening audience. With artist like High 8, AWE Sound System, The Janatah Dj's and many more in the weekly schedule, its no wonder they have such a loyal listening audience. The wide variety of different shows ensures the listener that they could hear any number of sounds on NSB Radio from the harder more d&b influenced sounds to the lighter disco breaks. The only problems with NSB Radio are the fact that they don't broadcast in stereo, and they have a low max listener allowance. Only 75 listeners can be tuned into the high speed stream. However, if you need your NSB fix and the high speed stream is full (as it often is) you can still use their dial up connection as a rough backup. NSB Radio is also backed up by a popular chat room where the NSB show host are always at during their shows so you can get the title of the tracks playing or even make request.

iBreaks
iBreaks is a bit newer on the scene and thus far I have not listened to their station as much as I would like to. However I have heard a few shows, and J-Bass the stations main operator is doing a great job of securing talented dj's and artist to appear on the station. On the few shows I have heard, I have had a chance to listen to The Future Funk Squad, Rennie Pilgrem and several others live on the decks. Like most proper internet radio stations they have both high speed and dial up connections to be able to deliver their sounds to whomever may want to listen. Their high speed stream delivers at 128kbps stereo so you are definently getting good quality radio. For more information about iBreaks head to their site and take a look around.

Boombox, Sirius 61
For you Sirus Satellite Radio subscribers this station is where you need to be. Boombox is a bit of all the sounds that are considered to be breaks or broken beat. From old school hip-hop to mid 90's Florida funk, to modern nu skool breaks, to d&b, they have your sounds. Boombox is backed up by on air personalities and dj's like Liquid Todd and Grandmaster Flash. Its always on, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no commercials, ever. The satellite streams are always solid, and great sounding weather your listening by direct source into your receiver, through a fm modulator, or online at their website. Boombox is always breaking new music before it hits the shops. When The Chemical Brothers released their latest album, they were up in the Boombox studio laying it out with Liquid Todd, when Elite Force puts out a new one, you can bet Boombox will be jamming it, and when Grandmaster Flash finds another rare hip-hop jewel in his vast collection, you can be sure he will drop it. Find out more about Sirius/Boombox and get a free three day trial by going to www.sirius.com.

Frisky Radio
Frisky radio isn't exactly one of the stations I would normally cover when discussing breakbeats. Frisky has been known to be mostly a prog house station with a couple minor exceptions. However they have finally decided to start expanding beyond the prog house scene and as such they have added a new breaks show called Thrust and its hosted by the one and only Lee Coombs. Although the show hasn't aired yet, Lee Coombs is a fantastic producer and dj, and as such I suspect his show on Frisky Radio will be off the hook. Unfortunately however, Thrust will only air once a month.

ask a dj sept 2005

by svs ~Have you ever been at a party and wanted to know how the DJ just pulled that trick? Ever wondered what all those knobs and buttons do? Perhaps you want to know what color his underwear was? For whatever question you may have had and didn't have the opportunity to ask or you were just to shy, now's your time.

fall3n: Is any / all of your equipment insured, and how often does your gear get jacked up or disappear?

Personally, none of my equipment is insured since normally it never leaves my house. However, due to recent events I'd suggest to everyone that they get their gear insured. I myself have yet to experience the pain of having anything of mine jacked aside from a pair of headphones here and there but I know plenty of people who have lost years and years of hard work due to some gutless culprits. My suggestions to you all, weather you take your gear out or not is to get insurance. Aside from things being stolen you also have to account for damage such as fire and or water damage. I once had the apartment above me leak water all over where my decks were set up. Fortunately I was able to dry it all out and it worked just fine. Cover you bases! As we all know decks, mixers, sound... it all cost a lot of hard earned bucks.

TheSnap: Is it hard beating all the DJ hos off of you WHILE throwing down a dope set and being so refrain hot at the same time?

I remember one time when I was playing at Shattered in Columbia, MO for a MW-DnB.com show and this girl walks behind the decks and asks me if I have any Alice DeeJay. I politely told her that I do not play that kind of music. She then began to sing the lyrics of the song to me. I told her, "Yes, I know the song, but I just don't play that stuff." After my set her and her friend are still back stage and begin talking to me. One girl says, "This is my friend, we both think you're hot. Do you want to go somewhere." Just then the one girl leans over to kiss me. Shocked at this point and the fact that I'm on stage with hundreds of kids looking I pull away.

At another point and time, I believe during Christmas Massacre 2, this girl was up in front of the decks screaming about how hot I was and how she wanted to do naughty things to me. I just smiled at her and kept on playing. All of a sudden, in mid mix mind you, I hear "whap whap whap whap". I look up and this girl is taking her finger and back spinning one of the records. Needless to say I wasn't too thrilled and she was promptly removed from the party. The whole time they carried her away I could hear her yelling "Oh my god you're so hot. I want to have sex with you." It's so hard being a DJ sometimes.

pdm: At what point in a reverse crab grab scratch do you drop the elbow and go for the flanger?

I've thought long and hard about this and I've come to this conclusion. Never. Unless you're Bad Boy Bill, a member of the X-ecutioners, or Z-Trip (if he would even do so), there really is no point. As a Junglist this whole technique does not appeal to me and quite frankly I don't believe there is a person in this city that is at that level where they can pull such a feat off.

anonymous: If you are a bad DJ, do you suggest hiring dancers or strippers to make sure nobody notices how bad you really are?

I think it's cheesy to be quite honest with you. If your ability to play is based on the fact that you have to have some half naked girl as the focal point then you may want to consider two things. One, quit and work a strip club or two, go back to the bedroom and practice. I've seen many acts that have done this and while the whole shock value is great, it takes away from the purpose of dj'ing and that purpose is the MUSIC. I've seen DJs pull beads out of strippers nether regions, DJs having intercourse on stage, and DJs with strippers dancing around as the DJ train-wrecks their 4th mix in a row. The sad thing is that sometimes the crowd loves it. What's even more sad is the thought that they are apparently not there to listen to a good set. If it works for you and you're getting booked all over because of it more power to you but I'll just stick to my skills behind the decks instead of covering it up with sex.

We're here to answer all your questions. From tricks and tracks to superstitions and love advice. Just mail us.

the politics of dancing 2

by Betty Kang, PlexiPR ~ Politics – nothing to do with dance music? Paul van Dyk’s first installment of Politics Of Dancing established his belief that dancing is a political act and dance music can very well be political. He should know. As someone who enjoyed little freedom in his native East Berlin before escaping over the wall to the West, he understood all too well that radios and dance music are windows to freedom for many young people in repressive societies. His own experience has led him to use the global youth culture platform provided by dance music to voice his political opinions, such as his vocal opposition to the war in Iraq, to encourage active participation in democracy, such as his Rock the Vote Tour in 2004, and to help fight poverty by supporting social care networks for the disadvantaged from India’s Mumbai province (Akanksha) to New York (Ground Hero Kids) to his native Berlin in partnership with the German Red Cross (Rueckenwind). And in contrast to the popular image of the ‘global superstar DJ’, much of van Dyk's political work goes on behind the scenes as in his private conferences with leaders of the main German political parties.

Politics of Dancing 2 contains van Dyk’s new original single “The Other Side;" van Dyk wrote the song in response to the devastating Tsunami which hit Southeast Asia in December of last year and killed over 150,000 people. Van Dyk felt it was important to recognize that so many people were instantly affected by death and the loss of loved ones. "The Other Side" expresses the feeling of still being with a person who has passed away in one's thoughts and expresses the hope of seeing that person again on "The Other Side." The single will also include remixes by Deep Dish, Mark Spoon and Martin Roth.

Politics of Dancing 2 is arguably van Dyk's best compilation yet, and shows how far he has embraced new digital technology. The majority of the tracks on Politics Of Dancing 2 have been reworked, remixed, rearranged or edited by van Dyk to form this unique compilation. The melodic, slower rhythms of CD 1 include tracks by Jose Zamora, Shiloh, Whiteroom, and Mr. Sam, while the tougher beats of CD2, feature tracks and remixes from the likes of Jose Amnesia, Angello & Ingrosso, Marco V, and James Holden. The end result is a stellar mix by one of dance music’s most exceptional figures.

Last year, van Dyk made history by nabbing one of the first Grammy nominations in the new category for Best Electronic/Dance Album for his artist album, Reflections, which includes "Time of Our Lives" as featured in HBO promos, in The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants and in the current Landrover TV ads and "Connected" as featured in Motorola's global TV ad campaign. He has been hailed by BPM Magazine as “America’s Favorite DJ,” “Best Music Maker” by DJ Magazine, has won 3 Dancestar and 3 IDMA Awards in the past two years and won the Ariel Award (Mexico’s version of the Oscar) for his soundtrack to the film Zurdo. His partnership with “Rock the Vote” to encourage America’s youth to exercise their right to vote in the 2004 presidential elections marked the first time an electronic artist became involved in the campaign with a national tour and he joined other artists such as Bono, Mary J. Blige, Lenny Kravitz and the Black Eyed Peas in the effort.

In support of the release of The Politics of Dancing 2, Paul van Dyk will be touring the U.S. in the following locations:
08.19.05 - Washington DC - Nation
08.20.05 - NYC Central Park - Summer Stage (6pm-10pm)
08.20.05 - Miami - Club Space (late, 2am-5am)
09.21.05 - Los Angeles - Mayan Palace
09.22.05 - Denver - The Church
09.23.05 - Phoenix - Myst
09.24.05 - San Francisco Loveparade - San Francisco
09.24.05 - San Francisco - 1015
  1. Alex Gold - String Theory - Xtravaganza
  2. Tranquility Base - Getting Away - Anjuna Beats / Vale Music S.L.
  3. Calmec - Tangerine - Gesture Music
  4. Jose Zamora - Transatlantic - Baroque Records
  5. Shiloh - Dream On - Sog Records/ Baroque
  6. Walsh and Coutre feat. Holly - Burn - Sog Chrome/Baroque
  7. Thomas Datt - Alone - Supreme Music / Discover Records
  8. Lolo - Why - Banshee
  9. Purple Haze - Adrenalin - Spinnin
  10. Kuffdam and Plant - Summerdream - Above the Sky/Vandit
  11. Filo and Peri feat. Fisher - Closer Now - Empire State 1
  12. The Unknown - White Water - Anjuna Beats/ Disco Imperio
  13. Marc van Linden - Forbidden Love - Midway Records
  14. Whiteroom - Someday Instrumental - Armada Music/Woom Recordings
  15. Kyau vs .Albert - Falling anywhere - Anjuna Beats/Euphonic
  16. Mr. Sam - Lyteo - Black Hole Recordings
  17. Solange - Messages - Vandit
CD2:
  1. Paul van Dyk - The Other Side – Mute
  2. Jose Amnesia - Second Day Vandit
  3. Steve Agnello & Sebastian Ingrosso - Yeah Size Records / L`a Mode
  4. Simon and Shaker - Make it - King Records/ Beat Freak Recordings
  5. Yellow Blackbird - Superfly - Sog Chrome/Baroque
  6. Giuseppe Ottaviani - Linking People - Vandit
  7. Marco V - More than a life away - Be Yourself
  8. Thomas Bronszwaer - Close Horizon - Vandit/ United Recordings B.V
  9. Mark Norman - T34 Black Hole Recordings
  10. CJ Stone- Shine - Bass Bumpers/Quake Records/High Note/Magic
  11. Santiago Nino - Believe - Critical Rhythym/ Aurium
  12. Perasma - Swing to Harmony - 3Beat / DK Records
  13. Dallas - Superstar - Universal AB/16 Inch Records
  14. Wellenrausch - Carry On Torsten - AlphaOmegaRecords
  15. James Holden - Nothing - SKINT Records / Loaded Records
"The Other Side" CD Single
  1. Radio Mix
  2. Original Mix
  3. Deep Dish Other Than This Side Remix
  4. Mark Spoon vs. Mobilegazer
  5. Martin Roth Mix
  6. Breaks Mix
  7. Mark Spoon vs. Mobilegazer "Sunrise Mix"
"The Other Side" 2 x 12" Tracklisting
  1. A) Original Mix
  2. B1) Martin Roth Mix
  3. B2) Mark Spoon vs. Mobilegazer "Sundown Mix"
  4. C) Deep Dish Other Than This Side Remix
  5. D) Breaks Mix
For additional information, please visit PaulvanDyk.com or Mute.com

three hallucienda

by Betty Kang, PlexiPR ~ The new mix CD from noted New York-based DJ/producer Three of the critically acclaimed Second-Hand Satellites (with Sean Q6) & remix project Three A.M. (with Rabbit in the Moon's David Christophere). The culmination of both the last three years work into the Hallucination Limited record label and the last 11 years of being involved with Hallucination Records (who’s roster included Rabbit In The Moon and electro giants Jackal & Hyde). HALLUCIENDA is Three and Hallucination’s long-awaited, first ‘official’ DJ-mixed CD and captures the genre-bending diversity of both Three’s DJ sets and the output on his Hallucination Limited label. It features rare exclusives and unreleased tracks expertly mixed by Three himself using Pioneer’s DVJ-X1, Allen & Heath’s Xone:92 mixer, Red Zone’s C-Loops sampler and outboard effects.

On this benchmark compilation Three says, “First and foremost this CD is about the label, but I wanted to present it as a live DJ mix that felt like a night out, with some never heard exclusives and mixed with a bit of on-the-fly editing/looping and some live FX in contrast to label compilations which are often more of a “home listening” retrospective of a label’s past releases.” HALLUCIENDA includes Enhanced CD access to a 2ND downloadable bonus mix of Limited and Hallucination Recordings catalog releases, also mixed by Three.

Armed with a sound that borrows equally from vintage acid house, soulful techno and electronic dub, Hallucination Limited has fast become a celebrated underground label in the world of electronic music garnering praise over its first 10 vinyl-only releases from DJs as diverse as LTJ Bukem, Charles Webster, and Lee Burridge. With a catalog of over 45 tracks to choose from on this first retrospective album Three says, “All at once I’m trying to expose new artists & forthcoming music as well as showcase more established names already associated with Hallucination Limited. I also made a conscious effort for the tracklisting to reflect the overall eclecticism of the label’s big brother - Hallucination Recordings – having just celebrated its 10th year.” Over the mix you'll hear sounds ranging from house & techno to electro and, Three explains, “some tracks that hopefully defy any single type of category.”

The album recognizes Three and the label’s longstanding relationship with Rabbit In The Moon with the inclusion of "Timebomb", a quintessential R.I.T.M. track. Other stellar tracks from Sycophant Slags (the inimitable Mr. C & Francis Harris), Terry Francis, Q-Burns Abstract Message featuring Lisa Shaw, Denver's rising star Little Mike, Hallucination's unsung hero Grumptronix and the twisted machine-funk of Reverse Commuter (a.k.a. [a]pendics.shuffle, dubLoner) make this package a music lover’s delight.

Three’s history precedes him, drawing accolades for his remix work from peers and contemporaries as varied as Laurent Garnier, Doc Martin, Sasha, and Tyrant for seminal remixes of R.I.T.M.'s - "Out of Body Experience” (Burning Spear Mix), "FloorI.D.A.” (A Dub for Strangeways) & U.N.K.L.E. feat. Ian Brown's - "Reign” (Black Swan Vocal Mix) and the original production Second-Hand Satellites - Multiple Mirrors parts 1&2. He’s held residencies at Florida’s legendary Simon’s and NYC’s Twilo and has played lauded guest spots with San Francisco’s Wicked Crew and the UK’s Fabric. The Hallucination Limited events at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and long-running Snatch residency in Tampa, FL are favorites of DJ’s and clubbers the world over. Three relocated to NYC last year and he’s been embraced locally at venues like Cielo, Sullivan Room and the infamous Robots parties.

Three: Hallucienda US Tour Dates
09.03.05 - Pure 3rd Annual Labor Day Boat Cruise - Chicago
09.16.05 - Robots w/ Hallucination Ltd. Reverse Commuter, Café Deville, NYC
09.22.05 - Lava Lounge, Atlanta
09.23.05 - Club W, Salt Lake City
09.29.05 - Cielo with Terry Francis Hallucienda Album Release Party, NYC
10.01.05 - SmartBar, Chicago
10.07.05 - Rise, Boston
10.08.05 - Taboo, Charlotte
10.22.05 - Hyde Park CAfe, Tampa
11.04.05 - Basic, King Club, LA
11.05.05 - Lotus, Vancouver
11.06.06 - TBC, Victoria, Vancouver
11.19.05 - Avalon w/ Sandra Collins, LA
11.25.05 - Vinyl, Denver
11.26.05 - Compound, Atlanta
12.04.05 - House of Blues, Orlando
For more information check out, HallucinationLimited.comTCA-Web.com or SystemRecordings.com!

made in miami

Justin Kleinfeld ~ “Over the last few years Miami has come a long way in developing as an important place for dance music and I am very proud to have been a part of that... I have always tried to be an ambassador for Miami when I tour and this CD is a reflection of the sound I take from Miami to the rest of the world.” – Oscar G, August 2005

On October 4, *69 Records will release Oscar G’s long awaited new mix compilation, Made In Miami. Look no further than the title of this CD to understand what Oscar G. is all about. He was born and bred in Miami; he is one of the architects of much talked about “Miami sound;” and he is one-half (along with partner Ralph Falcon) of Miami’s super award-winning production / remix team MURK. Oscar G. was indeed made in Miami and this CD is a window into his world.

Made In Miami is Oscar G’s most personal and introspective project to date. Unlike his previous mix CDs – which often only covered a moment in time on the dance floor – Made In Miami was a much more involved process. Oscar received tons of new music from the onset of this project and spent months handpicking the right tunes. After the tracks were selected, Oscar put on his production gloves and made edits, added loops and sampled vocals on to nearly every track. The result is a CD full of tracks he personally enjoys listening to and not one made strictly for the dance floor. “When I selected the tracks for this CD I was trying to pick tracks that represented where I am now as a DJ, but more importantly tracks that I thought would stand the test of time. I was less concerned with having up-front tunes than I was about having GOOD tunes. There is a combination of brand new un-released tracks, tracks that have been big for me on the dance floor as well as a few classics. This is a true representation of how I put my sets together and what I like to hear,” Oscar G. says.

Made In Miami features a dynamic pairing of tracks from dance music’s biggest names (The Basement Jaxx, Steve Lawler), its hottest young producers (Sammy Peralta & DJ Rooster, Carl Kennedy) and of course a few of Oscar G. and Ralph Falcon’s own classics. Specifically, be sure to check out Lawler’s blinding mix of Funky Green Dogs “Reach For Me” and Murk’s “Miami Heat” mix of Lee Coombs’ “Shiver.” Oscar G’s own personal favorite part of the mix is the disc-one mash up he did featuring DJ Pezi, Basement Jaxx and Ralphie Rosario. “Last Summer, I hung out for a few days in Ibiza after a date I played at Pacha. I went to a Circo Loco party at DC-10 with some friends and Clive Henry was playing. In the middle of his set he dropped Basement Jaxx "Fly Life" and it sounded SO relevant that I knew I wanted to use it for my next CD. I wanted to do something different with it so I ended up doing my very own mash up of it with Ralphie Rosario's "You Used To Hold Me" which is a bona fide classic. This mash up ended up being HUGE for me during DJ sets and so I included it on the CD,” Oscar G. says.

When he’s not touring the world, Oscar G. serves as the monthly resident at Miami’s premiere club Space. As one half of Murk, Oscar is busy running two labels – Murk Records and Murk Classics – and continues to deliver as a producer and remixer. This year Oscar G. and Ralph Falcon re-released their 1992 Funky Green Dogs hit “Reach For Me” (featuring remixes from Steve Lawler and Richie Santana / Peter Bailey) and delivered a jaw dropping remix of Lee Coombs “Shiver.” BBC Radio One’s Pete Tong has already labeled the track one of 2005’s finest. As for the future, we can expect more of the same from Oscar G. More DJ sets, more singles and more remixes. All made in Miami.

Oscar G. - Made in Miami Tracklisting
Disc 1
  1. Shahi featuring Razor Cain "Adrenalin" (Kut Mix)
  2. Friburn & Urik "Yapany"
  3. Paul Harris featuring Double H "Falling Stars"
  4. Funky Green Dogs "Reach For Me" (Steve Lawler Mix)
  5. K & Project "The Music" (Peter Rauhofer Mix)
  6. Paul Harris "Guitar 1"
  7. Peace Division "Groove Me"
  8. Blaze featuring Barbara Tucker "Most Precious Love"
  9. DJ Pezi "The New Dimension" (Original Mix)
  10. Basement Jaxx "Fly Life"
  11. Ralphie Rosario featuring Xavior Gold "You Used to Hold Me"
  12. Paul Harris & Mark Knight "This is Jack"
  13. Austin Leeds "Violence"
  14. Lee Coombs featuring Katherine Ellis "Shiver" (Murk Miami Heat Mix)
Disc 2
  1. Dirt Crew "Nervous"
  2. Big Black Boot "Vibrate 2005"
  3. Divided Souls "The Walk"
  4. Lower East Side "Sword Fight"
  5. Psykofuk "Psykofuk" (Robbie Rivera Mix)
  6. Dirt Crew "Rok Da House" (D Costello Mix)
  7. Sammy Peralta & Rooster "Move Your Body" (Armand Pena Mix)
  8. Carl Kennedy & Johnny Gleeson "Banta Boom"
  9. Soul Mekanik "Wanna Get Wet" (Buick Mix)
  10. Mark Knight "The Box"
  11. Tolfrey & Sylvester "The Horn"
  12. Emjae "Vanity"
For the latest information on Oscar G. and Murk, check out DjOscarg.comMurkRecords.com or Star69Records.com!

insen

Justin Kleinfeld ~  Forma announces a major European tour of Insen, the much-anticipated live collaboration between critically-acclaimed German electronic composer/visual artist Carsten Nicolai [Alva Noto] and multi award-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Released in March 2005 on the raster-noton / Asphodel label, the album has received critical acclaim around the world. This new live production of the collaborative project will feature the introduction of a specially commissioned new digital instrument used by Nicolai. An on-stage video installation by the artist will create a distinctive stage set featuring dynamic, real-time visualization of the sound as graphics.

Insen will be presented in major venues across Europe, with a world premiere at the Opera House in Chemnitz, Nicolai's home town. The tour continues with dates in London, Paris, Berlin, Chiasso, Rome, Milan, Bari, Modena and Udine.

Berlin-based Carsten Nicolai is an artist whose work comprises images, installations and music. Exhibited and performed in major galleries and festivals world-wide, Nicolai's works captivate consistently through elegance, simplicity and cool technicism. As Alva Noto, his compositions combine pared-down electronic sounds with the rhythmic groove of hip hop and R&B.

Award winning composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has made a career of crossing musical and technological boundaries. He has experimented with, and excelled in, many different musical styles, making a name for himself in popular, orchestral and film music. In 1987, he won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and a Grammy for his score for Bernardo Bertolucci's film, The Last Emperor.

Insen brings together these two different generations of artists in a live performance that creates a new synergy between acoustic piano and electronic music. Sakamoto's elegant acoustic piano phrasing is manipulated and counterbalanced by Nicolai's subtle digital processing to create vivid dialogues between melody, rhythm and texture. Insen demonstrates these artists' aspirations to explore the idea of electronic music as an inspiration for new musical structures.

The Insen tour is produced by forma arts and media co-produced by Romaeuropa Festival 2005 / Santa Cecilia It's Wonderful.

Full tour dates:
10.08.05 - Opernhaus, Chemnitz, DE
10.10.05 - Barbican, London, UK
10.13.05 - La Cigale, Paris, FR
10.15.05 - Volksbühne, Berlin, DE
10.19.05 - Cinema Teatro, Chiasso, CH
10.22.05 - Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, IT
10.24.05 - Teatro Manzoni, Milan, IT
10.28.05 - Palazzina Ex-Gil, Bari, IT
10.30.05 - Teatro Comunale di Modena, Modena, IT

extraordinary ways

Justin Kleinfeld ~   Conjure One is the product of producer Rhys Fulber. Fulber is best known as a former member of defining industrial act Frontline Assembly and one half of ambient dance project Delerium. You might be familiar with his million-selling Delerium album, Karma, which features the smash hit “Silence” sung by the Grammy Award-winner Sarah McLachlan. the multi-talented Fulber has also been a producer-in-demand for several years. His list of credits ranges from metal outfits Fear Factory (supplying production, programming, keyboards, and arrangements to such popular albums as 1995's Demanufacture and 1998's Obsolete, among others) Megadeth, Mudvayne and Paradise Lost to AOR pop acts Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban.

As with his debut, Extraordinary Ways (08.30.05, Nettwerk America) features vocal performances by several female singers while musically, is a blend of lush textures, haunting melodies and electronic rhythms. However, this time - for the first time in his career - the new album sees Fulber on vocal duties, delivering a unique modern take on the oft-neglected Buzzcocks classic “I Believe.” Two singers from the first Conjure One album also return in the form of Jane and Chemda Kalili, while new vocalist collaborators are Tiff Lacey and Joanna Stevens. The album also features collaborations with Ashwin Sood and Sean Ashby (Sarah McLachlan), Leah Randi (Pink and ex-Abandoned Pools) and London-based composer Chris Elliott who returns to assist with string arrangements.

alcyone

Justin Kleinfeld ~ photo by DJ Dragonfly ~ Alex Newman and Suzanne Sterling bring a rich legacy of experience to Alcyone from their studio and stage work as producer and lead vocalist of internationally renowned, pioneering electronic dance act, Medicine Drum. Newman produced, co-wrote, and engineered Medicine Drum’s 2003 third album Original Face, which was given a rave review by Billboard: “A Major Thrill... one cool track after another.” Newman and Sterling have toured the USA extensively and performed internationally with Medicine Drum - as keyboardist and lead vocalist - including the recent Australian tour, shows in Japan, and as the opening act for popular electronic/live crossover band Sound Tribe Sector 9 on their 2003 US tour. Alcyone has become a popular choice with clubbers, festival-goers and all-night party people, playing peak-time performances at Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man’s “Sol System,” Solfest, Anon Salon’s Sea of Dreams, San Francisco Decompression and many more events.

Alex Newman has produced and co-written over half a dozen albums, and each year his composition, “Prayer for Peace” is played simultaneously by DJ’s worldwide in over 100 locations as the pinnacle of Earthdance, the world’s largest synchronized music and dance festival.

Suzanne Sterling is an esteemed songwriter and has received critical acclaim as a performer and a recording artist. In addition to Alcyone and Medicine Drum she is well known for her work with Bhakti, Skyclad, Kali’s Angels and her music has been commissioned for theatre, film and video.

Joining Alcyone in live performance, percussionist Jason “Drumfire” brings years of professional experience and an added sonic dimension. A virtuoso with Congas, Bongos, Timbales and Djembes, he has already made a strong impression on the electronic dance music world as percussionist with internationally-known live act Afro-Mystik. Although self described as a “Drum Animal” he plays with precise speed and grace - as well as power and groove.

With their debut full-length album, The Stars Are Real (released August 23 on System Recordings), San Francisco, California’s Alcyone unveil nine exceptional compositions with flourishes of ambient, dub, trance, breaks and deep house. Producer / keyboardist Alex Newman and vocalist/composer Suzanne Sterling draw upon their years of studio and stage experience to create a sound that is exciting, sophisticated, and highly infectious. Drawing on elements of classic electronic music in the vein of Orbital, The Orb and William Orbit, Alcyone has created an album that is equally suitable for home listening and the dance floor.

Newman and Sterling have toured the USA extensively and performed internationally with Medicine Drum - as keyboardist and lead vocalist - including the recent Australian tour, shows in Japan, and as the opening act for Sound Tribe Sector 9 on their 2003 US tour. Alcyone has become a popular choice with clubbers, festival-goers and all-night party people, playing peak-time TOTALLY LIVE performances at Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man’s “Sol System,” Solfest, Anon Salon’s Sea of Dreams, San Francisco Decompression and many more events.

Mostly though, San Francisco-based electronic dance act Alcyone is fast making a name for itself by producing one of the most amazing live shows in the genre. It is a performance where humans, instruments and computers interact to create a wild “livetronica” spectacle rarely ever seen at this time of such musical parody. For this reason, you won’t want to miss Alcyone at one of their very special live appearances throughout the summer of 2005 (See below for list).

With their recent performance at San Francisco’s Bambuddah lounge (located in the Phoenix Hotel), Alcyone grabbed the attention of the local dance community. Alcyone got the place rocking with a wild two and a half hour set packed with live deep house, dub, tech-house, trance and breaks. Technically, this act is on-the-mark. As well as playing 3 synthesizers (including and old vintage Moog which creates some crazy sounds), Alcyone producer Alex Newman also mixes the band live from onstage. This allows him to put effects on the percussion and vocals. “I use timed echoes and foot pedals to create swirling dub effects - so all in all it's a real live show not just someone checking their email on stage," says Newman.

Alcyone is also working with VJ Kosho, who projects onto a giant (14x10) screen during the show. Kosho does a lot of experimental live mixing and uses several different techniques - including audio-video synchronization, effects, and mixing in of footage he has filmed himself. He really mixes it up so the content is varied in nature and far from just repeated graphic patterns. This is all live from top to bottom!

Those who checkout an Alcyone live show will undoubtedly hear tracks from their much anticipated debut LP, The Stars Are Real (released August 23 on System Recordings.) Emerging from internationally acclaimed dance act Medicine Drum, producer / keyboardist Alex Newman and vocalist/composer Suzanne Sterling draw upon their years of studio and stage experience to create a sound that is exciting, sophisticated, and highly infectious. Are you ready to see something new?

For more information, check out AlcyoneMusic.net, or catch them at one of their upcoming molecular enhancements.

08.12.05 - 08.14.05 - Alex from Alcyone/Medicine Drum
DJ set at Shambhala Festival, BC (tentative!)
08.19.05 - Poolside @ Bambuddha Lounge, SF
09.03.05 - The "Retro UFO Convention" Joshua Tree, CA
09.23.05 - Poolside @ Bambuddha Lounge, SF.
10.19.05 - San Francisco Decompression (TBC)

love week

Betty Kang ~ San Francisco, CA - The landmark electronic music event Loveparade San Francisco taking place Saturday, September 24th is announcing a full ‘LOVE WEEK’ of festivities to bookmark the main event with the City of San Francisco providing the perfect backdrop as the original home of the Summer of Love.

This year’s Loveparade DJ line-up brings together DJs from all over the global dance music community with Paul van Dyk, Carl Cox, Lee Burridge, Ferry Corsten, Crystal Method, Bad Boy Bill, Lee Coombs, DJ Dan, Hyper, Goldie and many more confirmed. Over the years, Paul van Dyk has been a leading force in the Loveparade Berlin and exclaims about this year’s event, "I was very excited when I heard that the Loveparade will take place in North America. I am sure that the positive and peaceful vibe of this event will be an extra feature in the amazing cultural life of San Francisco and is going to become an annual highlight!"

Here some other artists have expressed their enthusiasm for the Loveparade:

“We’ve been wanting to do the Love Parade for years, and San Francisco has always been one of our favorite city’s to visit. Needless to say, we’re gonna have a great time.”

Ken Jordan – The Crystal Method

"This will be my first Love parade in San Francisco and I can't wait, I have heard such amazing things about it, and now I am getting a chance to actually do it. San Francisco is one of my favorite places in the world with its heritage in music and the people there have such a great attitude to life." -Carl Cox



LOVE WEEK
The Official Opening Kick-Off Event
(Wednesday, September 21)
This event kicks-off LOVE WEEK in style with dinner & drinks for the Loveparade SF delegation and key organizers at the fabulous Supperclub (657 Harrison Street) from 7PM -1AM. Late Night Sneaky and other special guests. This will be an intimate night and is open to the general public. RSVP ($60 pp) available atSupperClub.com.



LOVE WEEK
The Official Pre Party
(Friday, September 23)
SEISMIC Presents BEFORE The Love at Club Mighty (119 Utah Street) from 9PM-5AM. This will be an indoor/outdoor event with The SPACE COWBOYS UNIMOG rocking the block outside with a preview of Loveparade floats on display right outside the club. Special guests include Soul of Man (Fingerlickin') Friendly (Fat!) and Stereo 8 (Fingerlickin') for a full on breaks & house music party. More info & advance tix available at SeismicSF.org



Loveparade San Francisco Parade Route
The Loveparade on Saturday, September 24, 2005 will start on 2nd St & Market Street, marching west on Market Street, San Francisco’s biggest thoroughfare heading towards the Civic Center Plaza for the main festival event. Floats will begin lining up at 11:00AM and start the parade at 1:00PM with the last float arriving at the festival grounds around 3:30pm with the festival continuing until 9:00PM.



LOVE WEEK
The Official After Party
(Saturday, September 24)
After the festival ends at 9PM...that's when the LOVE CONTINUES... at the conveniently located Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, less than 100 feet away from the festival grounds with 3 Massive Stages and over 20 of the world's premier electronic dance acts including Carl Cox, Ferry Corsten, Bad Boy Bill, Dj Dan, Markus Schulz. More info & advance tix available at GrooveTickets.com



LOVE WEEK
The Official After-After Party
(Sunday, September 25)
Following the festivities on Saturday, the love continues as Tech-Tonic presents "Super Hero Sunday" at the legendary Sundays at The End-Up (401 6th St. @ Harrison) from 6AM – 5PM at this indoor/outdoor venue. Special guest DJ s include UK Fabric hero Terry Francis, Jamie Andserson (NRK), Fred Everything (20/20) and Justin Long. Come dressed as your favorite super-hero for discount admission More info at www.theendup.com

There are a host of “un-official” Loveparade events constituting the full Love Week experience (Thursday – Sunday). Please check the ‘LOVE WEEK’ section of the website LoveParadeSF.org for additional details.

woogles!

by David Goth ~ photos by Todd Comer ~ Kansas City, MO - Jason Guffey is an artist friend of mine, that I think is doing something that's really cool, so when I got the chance to interview him for phocas.net, I jumped at it.

Guff's sculptures are a variety of different figures, some simple, but with an incredible amount of character, each one seeming to have it's own personality simply from the whims of the designer. Others include fully articulated figures that when you look at them, and see the detail, start to question if they really are only made with pipe cleaners. Yeah, pipe cleaners! It's a beautiful thing to see Guffey pull those figures out and people just start throwing out the questions... "Yes, they're made with nothing but pipe cleaners" is the answer to the usual first question. I once had an interest in making some figures for stop motion animation and I know how important and difficult it is to have joints with that kind of articulation. But Guffey put it together for himself a way that he could do it with pipe cleaners in his sculptures. I asked Guff about some of his earliest pieces that he had given away over the years, and he said that some of his first figures were teenage mutant ninja turtles. I wish I could have seen that because I was a fan too.

His influences have been the usual stuff like comic books, but also hip hop and electronic music cultures, and a strong personal connection with the Star Wars universe. I've had a number of conversations about his philosophical framework, and he'll give a reasoned discussion about how he's guided by outlooks described in the Star Wars series of movies. But look at Guff, and you just don't think about the great unwashed dark side of geekdom, giving the rest of us good geeks a bad name. Buy Guff a Newcastle and strike up a conversation about this. Take it with an open mind and you might find yourself feeling a bit more enlightened than when you started.

I think most people that have met Jason will remember the first time he pulled out the Dragon. This bad green dragon, made completely with pipe cleaners, has got about an 18 inch wingspan, as well as fangs and talons. And with the way it's joints are put together, it even moves in lifelike ways, much like you might see in a different way through computerized animation in a mainstream fantasy flick. This green beauty leaves an impression with you. I wish some more patient and dedicated person than me would collaborate with Guffey to get this stuff animated like the claymation of christmas specials and Tim Burton demented visions. But as cool as the Dragon is, all of Guff's other stuff just has so much personality I'm really looking forward to seeing the pictures that will go with this article.

One of his other sculptures has seen some wear, and is really his testing ground for a lot of his ideas, so he hasn't concentrated on making a repair that really only detracts from it a little. This is a large pipe cleaner figure with dreadlocks. His latest large piece is a figure of himself that blows you away. This was still a work in progress the last time I saw it. But when he's showing all these sculptures that obviously have taken a lot of time, and then he busts out the Woogles.

The Woogles are special because they're not of this earth, and complete spawns from Guffey's laboratory of a brain. Crafting from the compiled experiences of his lifetime, these bad little guys, made very simply from just a few pipe cleaners impress. They're these lizard looking creatures with prehensile tails that you can't decide if they're hyper-cute and you'd expect to be hanging from the sweetest tokyo kogal's keitai, or if you'd see some matrix-ed out martial arts move flying upside your head. Evoking the peace and wisdom of Yoda, while channeling the ninja turtles (and my guess, maybe a hissing Sleestack from Land of the Lost), Woogles are instant gratification at first glance. Jason wove me a tale of a culture and three different genders (instead of species) that make me think of different classes of individuals of a race of weird creatures. I've been anxiously awaiting the physical manifestations of the rest of this vision.

Even the little Woogles have been evolving in the short time I've known Jason, because now he makes "lairs" for his Woogle sculptures. These are little homes for the lizardy men, and are great places for them to demonstrate the action poses he bends their forms into. He signs every one in pipe cleaner (just like on the bottom of the shoe of his pipe cleaner sculpture of himself), and they make me remember days of hanging around on a jungle gym as a kid and want to do a lot more of that.

Jason's got a lot of ideas about where he'd like to lead his art, from collaborating for this awesome multi-perspectived animated world, to wall pieces and entire forests, with major grafitti influences hidden within, and I'm just waiting for them to see the light of day. Right now Jason has to work a regular job just like everyone else, so he does what he can. Guffey's an easy one to become friends with, and while I've become one of those people and might be accused of a bias, I really think Jason Guffey's work is worthy of some attention, so I hope I've done my part to entice you take a look and decide what you think about it yourself.

For more information about Jason... just visit his DeviantArt site.

chaos upon chaos

Sarah Bates ~ photos by Shaun Williams & Todd Comer ~ Kansas City, MO - July 30, 2005 - It's that time of year again, time for scantily clad women, cold drinks, late nights and parties that go all night long. Everyone seemed to be just waiting anxiously in anticipation. You couldn't venture out in Kansas City without seeing a flyer or billboard, hearing a radio ad. And with the drought of parties this summer, everyone was rearing and ready to go. It was time for Chaos.

This particular party, Chaos Theory v3.0: The Catalyst, held three consecutive years in a row, at The Uptown Theater. I have had the pleasure of attending all three of these events and I must say this year they outdid themselves yet again.

We showed up as the doors opened (as those of us who are hardcore do!) and there were already many anxious partygoers roaming around. We walked around and checked everything out. The Uptown itself seemed ready to party. All four rooms looked amazing, but I was really impressed with the decorations in the Jungle Room. This room was also where I heard my favorite set of the night from a local. Props to Arrhythmia he really tore it up. His crowd presence is awesome, and he really gets a crowd going. I even sat my stuff down and danced a bit.

The next set I caught was Sydeburnz in the main room. By that time the party was getting pretty full, and the crowd seemed to really dig his stuff too. I also caught a glimpse of the oxygen bar outside of the main room. I didn’t get a chance to partake, but it was cool to see one in action. I haven’t seen an oxygen bar in KC in years, and it was reasonably priced from what I heard, at ten bucks for the entire night.

The VIP room seemed like it was the place to be though. Manders earned some major respect that night by playing a 2 1/2 hour set, and rocking it the entire time. I was pretty impressed, as I’m sure many others were. I also heard good things about the complimentary Sushi (nice touch).

I’m not usually one to say anything negative, but there was one thing that effected everyone. Inadequate ventialtion made you feel like you were being slowly cooked to death in a giant oven. It didn't seem to deter anyone from having a great time though.

When Bad Boy Bill came on, you were lucky to find a couple square feet to dance in. I've seen him live a dozen times, but he really threw it down this night. With the massive crowd jumping up and down, the gorgeous lights and visuals, it was definitely an awesome sight to see. All of this surrounded by such a beautiful venue, this is something I will not soon forget.

As for the rest of the talent, I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted too. It proved to be a challenge to work my way through the crowd, stopping to say hi to what seemed like everyone I’ve ever met. Junkie XL, DieselBoy, Hive, and BT all got rave reviews (pun intended) from everyone I talked to. I also wanted to make sure to mention the awesome performance by video projectionist VJ Nexus. I can’t wait to see more from him in the future.

With four rooms, 30 Djs, world- renowned talent, and awesome sound and lights, Chaos Theory v3.0 was the party of the summer in KC. If you decided not to show, you missed out for sure.

scirbble jam 2005 - a hip hop frenzy

story & photos by Chris Milbourn ~ Cincinnati, OH - “Some come for the shows, some come for the hos…but whatever happens on the road, stays on the road.” - MURS and Mac Lethal

“There’s seven main hills that surround Cincinnati,” my taxi driver informed me on the way from the airport to the Days Inn. Looking out my window, I was taken aback by the hilly terrain in this part of Ohio. The scenery reminded me of the Ozarks in southern Missouri, minus the red clay.

This would be my first vacation in the Eastern Time zone, and the farthest I’d ever been without family members or a single friend. I was flying solo.

When I checked in and got the keys to my hotel room, I felt exhausted and frustrated that I couldn’t trust anyone around me, namely the taxi drivers and even the hotel clerks.

I dropped everything in my room and crashed on the bed until six o’clock that evening. I showered and changed clothes, only then realizing what a dump I would be staying in. I went downstairs and asked the clerk if she knew of any contacts to taxi services in the city.

“This is the best one,” she said with a thick accent as she handed me a business card.

Within a minute, a man on the other line explained, “Our rate is two dollars a mile.” I wanted to sound out an explicative, but just replied, “Thanks,” and hung up.

A taxi arrived in front of the lobby twenty minutes later. “Where to?” a man asked from the drivers seat with a seemingly Caribbean accent.

“Contemporary Arts Center, downtown.” The first night of Scribble Jam was to start out as a meet-n-greet on this Thursday night.

Patrick “Pase” Johnson, “Fat Nick” Accurso, MC Glue, DJ Mr. Dibbs and G Fresh are among the Godfathers of Scribble Jam. Ten years ago, Scribble started as a small gathering of b-boys, MC’s, DJ’s and most importantly graffiti artists in the Cincinnati area. In 1996, Scribble’s claim to fame came about when the then unknown and unsigned Eminem competed in the MC battle…and lost.

A couple of years later, Scribble Jam was mentioned among the “thank you’s” in the liner notes of his first album under Dr. Dre. Scribble grew into the conglomerate of all independent hip hop festivals, fostering the true elements and unity of hip hop lost to anyone getting their rap essentials from MTV. Rumors had been swirling recently that this year’s Jam was to be bigger than ever. Many countries would be in representation on stage and in the audience. I was anxious because I knew I’d be in the company of like-minded individuals from August 11-14 in Cincinnati, OH.

As my taxi approached the urbanized center of the city, downtown Cincy didn’t look all that much different from downtown KCMO.

“How many people live in the Cincinnati city limits?” I blurted from the back seat.

“The metropolitan area is about a million strong, but there’s probably about six hundred thousand within the city,” the driver assumed.

I stepped out of the taxi in front of the arts center, where young people were hanging around on the sidewalk. A huge mural on the outside wall depicted a beautiful black and white photo taken from what I guessed was the original Scribble Jam.

My fare for the ride was forty dollars. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep taxiing around the city at that kind of pace. I stepped out onto the sidewalk and took a moment to look around.

I walked into the building where DJ’s and break-dancers were putting on a show for a crowd of a little less than a hundred people in the middle of an art gallery.Diplo was scheduled to play at The Mockbee later that night, and he was definitely my main attraction for the entire weekend, in addition to Johnny Quest and Mac Lethal. I wasn’t going to miss it, but I wanted to catch a ride with someone going to the same place, rather than spending another chunk of change on a cab ride.

“Are you going to the Mockbee later tonight for the Diplo show?” I’d ask indiscriminately.

“Yea,” most of them said.

“Well, I’ve got a strange question. Do you think I could hitch a ride with you or whoever’s driving you?” I explained my situation to each prospect, and most of them said they’d like to help me, but simply came up with an excuse. I couldn’t blame them. A couple hours later, I met a girl named Carmen who had drove up from Louisville, Kentucky with some friends. At 9:30, the four of us walked a few blocks to their car, and from there we took off to The Mockbee. The streets of downtown Cincinnati were definitely livelier than KC, and swarmed with bums and beggars.

“Do you feel brave for riding with random strangers?” Carmen asked me on the way.

Before I could say anything, her friend in the driver’s seat said, “Well I feel brave for letting a stranger in my car!”

The Mockbee was a run down, three story warehouse. The stairways leading to the above floors were only wide enough for one person. Two-dollar beers were swerved from behind a rag tag bar out of bar-b-que style ice coolers.

I set up a chair facing the dance floor, admiring the b-boys and b-girls. Jah Sonic cut up old Common and Ghostface records among others. He delivered a very fast-paced set, letting most records play for maybe two minutes each before mixing in something new.

I was twisted off Miller Lite before long, and the crowd continued to mount in the main room. I shouted at Vertigone (of the Kansas City act know as The Guild), and ran into Sike Steez. It was nice to see some familiar faces.

Before long, I retreated into the art gallery where numerous kids were trying to hustle their CD’s and merch.

I cocked my head when I heard vocals suddenly spill from the speakers, “In the jungle, the mighty jungle…” Fittingly, a jungle beat backed it up. What the hell, I thought. I went back into the dance room and the floor was not hogged by breakers anymore, but by a horde of people just bouncing against each other like atoms with nowhere to go.

I knew Diplo’s reign had cast over the party. As expected, he played some strange music, but I had no idea the crowd would react with vigor as they did. Patrons were scurrying about in a sweat-drenched frenzy, as the outrageous degree of body heat and blazing beats created an unmistakable rave-like atmosphere.

The buzz around Diplo has been equally as frantic in the underground music community, after URB magazine featured him on the cover of one of their most recent issues. “The U.S. - hip hop, electronic, techno, whatever - can’t hold a candle to how real Rio is,“ he said after traveling to Brazil. Indeed, the style of music he was playing at The Mockbee was defiantly un-hip hop, but rather sort of Brazilian-tech, booty beats at a house music beat count.

Kids had probably been playing out his material on their computers and car stereo’s for months, but came to The Mockbee on this night to get a small taste of the steamy favela dance scene adored in Rio de Janeiro. When he mixed in some 80’s rock and Miami bass, it was flatly awesome. I’ve never seen a party like that before. I danced my butt off for the last hour that Diplo played.

“You wanna watch out when you go out there. There’s some drama,” a kid selling t-shirts advised me before I walked out of the building. An ambulance and squad car were idling with lights flashing right outside the front doors. One person had a towel covering his forehead, with friends consoling him, while another drunk was being hauled off in handcuffs.

I had lost Carmen and her friends, and began asking more people if they’d give me a ride to my hotel, about a half an hour away. No one was heading that far out of the city.

Before I knew it, I was in a cab speeding through one of Cincy’s rockier parts. Lost souls, dope boys and scantily-clad women were posted up on every single corner for several blocks. I went to bed hungry that night, without eating anything all day long.

The next morning I hooked up with two guys who’d come in town for Scribble Jam from Virginia and Maryland respectively. They had just checked into the same hotel, and we decided to split the cost of a cab ride up to Annie’s, an outdoor pavilion and dance club on the outskirts of Cincinnati.

I walked into the spacious club where breaking and freestyling were popping off in every corner. There was a bar at the doors leading outside, which you could attain from inside the club or out in the pavilion area. Outside was a crowd of about 60 people facing a large stage where a female MC was performing.
I walked by every tent, checking out any merchandise I might want. “These are hot right here,“ a guy at one tent suggested to me. I picked up the t-shirt and read it: “WHERE MY KILLA TAPE AT GOD?“

I eventually ran into Sike and told him that his tent blew all the others away (no joke). He had all kinds of stuff for sale, paintings, buttons, music, shirts, hats, everything.

It was hot and humid outside, which was too bad because there were no performances going on inside the club. The outdoor area was huge, and hundreds of kids were drinking, eating at benches, chatting, and walking around. I talked with people from St. Louis, Boston and California. Grayskull was performing on stage, but I didn’t care for their style at all and paid them little mind.

I ran into some people I know that frequent The Peanut and other hip hop shows in Kansas City. Some of the people in their group I’d never talked to before, but we had the KC connection going so it was all good. In later reflection at my hotel, I thought it was strange that I would finally meet some of these people only after traveling 15 hours from our own city.

“You’re taking taxis?!” AJ asked. “I’m not letting you do that. Take my phone number.” The rest of his comrades made me feel just as welcome, to which I was very thankful. One person even said, “That’s dedication,” after I told him I had come to Cincinnati alone.

The heat combined with the beer wasn’t doing much to help the side effects of some new medication I had begun. I stretched out with my back against the bar for a while, then moved inside the club and lay down on the cold, concrete floor. I wasn’t feeling good, and I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the day.
“Hey,” a voice called out. I opened my eyes from my little power nap to see an attractive waitress standing over me. “Are you okay?”

“Yea, I’m alright.”

“We’re worried about you,” she said.

Within a half an hour I called a taxi to bail me out and I went back to the hotel and fell asleep. I woke up around eight o’clock that night and called home to a few people, then made some organized notes from my experience up to that point while lying in bed. I finally got some grub, too. Guilt swept over me for missing performances by Lyrics Born, One B Lo and Masta Ace that night, however.

The next morning I loaded up on some cheerio’s, frosted flakes, donuts and juice in the breakfast room in the lobby of the hotel. I practically cleared out everything they had.

I talked with the young taxi driver about hip hop the whole way to Annie’s, and tipped him five bucks, which is something I rarely do. I got out and watched some artists painting graff on the walls outside in the parking lot, and then went to the bar and ordered a red bull. I was going to make sure that I wasn’t going to break down like I did the previous day.

I went straight to Sike’s tent, what I accepted as “home base.” Johnny Quest sold me his new album “Just John,” and I let him know everyone had his back from KC, and wished him good luck for the $10,000 prize which would be awarded to the winner of the main MC battle late that night. He told me an awkward story about running into the cat that he beat for the regional Scribble Jam MC title in Lawrence weeks earlier…who was staying on the same floor of the same hotel as he.

A large crowd was drawn to the preliminary B-Boy battle at 5:00, followed by the beat-boxing battle which was equally as entertaining. Then the bottom dropped out of the heavens, drenching everything uncovered. I made a dash to the front of the crowd, where people crammed as close as they could to the railing, modestly shielded from the downpour by the roof covering the stage. Some people just stood right out in the open.
The beat-boxers kept battling to the amusement of the crowd. “It’s the - Pillsbury - doughboy,” one contestant clowned at his overweight opponent, regurgitating bass, kicks and synths into the mic between breaths.

“To make sure nobody gets electrocuted out here, we’re moving the beat-boxing battle inside!” said the host after one battle. Everyone immediately stampeded to the doors, hopping over puddles of rain.

All the way from Toronto, J. Beatz ran off with the beat-boxing trophy, where the dance floor was packed with onlookers while the rest of the surrounding crowd peered from the encircling steps.

Kansas City’s own Mac Lethal took the stage and went through a new set of ironic rhymes and new material to be released on Rhymesayers Entertainment. Mac joins one of (if not the) the leading independent hip hop labels to which Atmosphere, Blueprint, Brother Ali and MF DOOM call home. His new album to be released on Rhymesayers sometime in the winter or spring is tentatively titled “11:11.”

Characteristically, he said some odd things on stage between songs, such as “Jesus Christ was mad homo,” and, “I wanna f--- Mr. Dibbs in the ear.” In one of his rhymes, he shouted out Overland Park and Raytown, which prompted me to raise my rain-soaked Royals cap to the air. Being the MC battle victor from 2002, he commanded respect amongst the Scribble Jam audience despite his fun and almost child-like acts.

Glue went on after Mac, and said in the middle of his performance, “Nerd rap? Whoever came up with that term is a bunch of b------!”

The preliminary MC battle took place at about 8:30. Anyone with skills could enter and battle for a slot in the main event. One guy, who went by the name Presence, took the prelims by storm. The dude was cold, no doubt, and the crowd let out a collective “OH!!!” after nearly every punch line he spat.

The Vicious Germz and The Brickheads were the two nicest b-boy crews in the final leg of the break dancing contest. I’d seen b-boy competitions before, but I came to truly appreciate just how raw and pure they are in the essence of competition. Out of the MC, DJ and b-boy battles, the breaking was by far the least controlled (no MC on stage to call out “time!”).

The two crews would stand on opposite sides of the stage, facing each other. One guy from the Vicious Germz for example, would start uprocking in the middle of the stage and then break down into windmills, flares, 1990’s, airswipes, spins, freezes, or whatever it is they chose to show the judges. Then a dancer from the other team would jump into the middle of the stage, basically kicking his opponent off the floor.
They governed their own battle, and sometimes that led to heated situations in which crew members would start shoving each other or talking trash nose-to-nose. A judge would always step in and diffuse the beefs before they came to blows, thankfully.

A screen on stage allowed people from all over the pavilion to see what moves each battler was throwing down, which was great because they spent a lot of time on their elbows, knees, heads and shoulders, out of sight to a few audience members. The competition was fierce and ran at an intense pace with old funk and breaks offering a platform. The crowd reaction was never dull, always bonkers after the most ridiculous moves.

At one point, one breaker from each team was going off at the same time. In the middle of this, a contestant from one side must’ve decided, nah forget that. He nonchalantly carried a folding chair to the front of the stage for all to see. What ensued drew the most ecstatic crowd feedback of the entire damn weekend. The guy put one leg through the back of the folding chair and dived toward the floor headfirst, landing on his hands and twirled around upside down with his legs basically holding on to the chair the whole time.
He wasn’t messing around either; he carried on with that deal for a good twenty seconds. The longer and longer he went, the higher the crowd decibel rose, and I’ll never forget it. By all accounts from experienced Scribblers, this year’s b-boy battle was one of, if not the best. The Brickheadz from Chicago rode the thrill of victory.

My favorite routine in the DJ battle came from Spare Change, who started out scratching old soul records. For the finale of his set, he let a record play that was just a man spelling out the alphabet, “A…B…C…” and so on. Then he spun the record back and forth to form, “U…R…A…B…I…T…C…H.“ Then instantaneously, he flipped the fader to the right and I heard Tupac call out, “You wonder why they call you b----, you wonder why they call you b----.” And with that, he sealed the deal and won.

I ran into Miles Bonny and politicked quite constructively with him about artists on his label, and how he manages his beats. “This place really makes me appreciate The Peanut, where you have all the elements gelling together at once every Sunday night,“ I commented. By then it was past midnight, and the rhyming bout for a grand prize of $10,000 was starting up.

The beginning matches were fun to watch, and I could hear every word, but the real battling didn’t start until the later rounds. The MC’s were saving their best lines for when it mattered most, playing “not to lose” in the beginning. The MC’s who came out very strong at first, quickly fluttered out when they met better and more experienced competition.

Out of sixteen MC’s competing, a few were actually booed heavily by the crowd, exposing their pre-written (memorized) raps or recycled punches from previous battles.

Midway through the first round, Johnny Quest hit the stage face to face with his adversary. I’m sure everyone from KC in the crowd would admit to having butterflies as Quest stared down his opponent. He held his ground with class, refraining from sexual innuendos and other played out battle material. The man just treated it like he was freestyling and having fun. John Quest didn’t receive any “Oooh’s” and “Aahh’s,” but he didn’t get booed either. He didn’t hop around on stage like he was on a pogo stick as some competitors did. He was “Just John,” like the title of his new album.

The only girl in the competition won in the first round with lines like, “Let’s get this straight/ I’m the girl, he’s the p----.” But she totally froze up in her second go round, completely speechless with the mic in her hand. Her opponent responded, “I’ve got the better flow, and when we’re done I’m gonna turn you back to hetero.”
Some of the more memorable raps were directed towards greasy-dreaded opponents: “I never lost a battle to Whoopi Goldberg/ I’ll beat you til’ you turn the color purple.”

Once again, overweight contestants were feasted on like large prey: “I would say he’s celibate/ But he can’t be/ He’s pregnant…with an elephant.” This line came from Justice, who along with Thesaurus and Iron Solomon eventually proved to the wailing, screaming crowd that this was survival of the illest.

Iron Solomon, from New York City ended up in the finals versus Justice, who came all the way from Sidney, Australia to have his shot at the ten grand. Iron Solomon ragged on Justice for wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers hat and a Zoo York t-shirt, claiming he was “jocking my country.”

Solomon added, “You need to vacate/ In your time zone, you’re a day late,” and the crowd went buck freakin’ wild.

“We got a battle ya’ll!” the host pronounced.

Justice paced around in circles when his opponent was trying to get up in his face while rapping. It seemed as though Justice was merely trying to think of lines for his next turn, and he was fighting distraction.
“Time!” the host announced.

Without hesitation, Justice put the mic to his mouth and rapped off such things like, “I’ll be dropping metaphors til’ you’re knockin’ on heaven’s door.” He appeared to have been training himself for years just for this one final battle with Solomon. He knew exactly how to get the crowd (and the judges) on his side.
Iron Solomon went out like a prize-fighter, but Justice simply came to win. Justice stood triumphantly with a gaudy check raised above his head and expressed his thanks to everyone in a quick speech. He even said he was going to split the prize money with Iron Solomon.

“He got me with that ‘day late’ s---,” Justice admitted.

The crowd applauded and everyone was buzzing about what a great battle they had just witnessed.
Suddenly and to the dismay of the audience, the host announced “We are seriously considering not doing Scribble Jam anymore,” Some boo’s and aww’s muffled throughout the audience. “You know, kinda go out on the tenth anniversary.” It was clear that this idea had not been leaked yet.

“Make some noise if you want us to do Scribble Jam again next year!”

The congregation of young people including myself who had come to behold hip hop in its absolutely purest form that weekend bellowed and screamed for what may have been the last time.