Wednesday, March 01, 2006

shadowrunner march 2006 trance


I hate to say it, but all the music people that have been hibernating all winter are waking up from their studio comas and are gonna be restless. Looking for an outlet for all this new creative energy, we are lucky that there are activities for the jet set party crowd. The beats keep coming and with the advent of spring, WMC is around the corner. For those of you who don’t know, WMC (Winter Music Conference) in Miami Florida, check it out at WMCon.com

This conference is in it's 21st year of existance. It has so much to do with the electronic music culture I would need so much space to describe to you the talent, gear, and vibe that goes on there. Expo's, trade shows, demos, networking, festivals, partying, and so much more. And if you do go down there, check out the Ultra Music Festival too. This is the big one of the year, check it out at UltraMusicFestival.com


Artist Site:

If you are a big fan of smooth progressive beats like I am, you should check out BenzandMD.com
This duo is one of my favorites and I’d love to see them come to the Midwest. But in the meantime I’ll just keep getting the tracks they put out and spin them for you.


Charts:

Closer feat. Linn – Jose Amnesia – KYR Records 

This three track wonder from Jose goes deep and stays there. The Dub Mix hints to a sensual vocal track with a hauntingly emotional hook. With just a little more flavor, the Vocal Club mix takes it one step further with all the words to get the ladies singing, and yet, it too stays on the deeper side. But if you drop the In Deep Space Mix, be ready to close your eyes and take a marvelously deep daydream. This stuff is so far into your subconscious before you know it.

Coldharbour Selections #9 – Coldharbour Recordings

One of my personal heroes, Markus Schulz, brings a few new tracks from artists on his label. Tonic – Kenneth Thomas, is a growler. One of those deep grungy tracks with a floaty melody that drops in and out at all the right places (SMOOTH!!!). Valley Cruiser – Opticane, is a synth lovers feast. With layers upon layers of synths hypnotizing you softly, we understand if you start drooling. Finally, My All – Shawn Mitiska & Jose Amnesia, dark and lovely just isn’t a hair product, it’s also a perfect way to describe this last track. This falls somewhere in between the last two, dark and synthy.

Horizon (Original & Mac Zimms Remix) – Substate – Liquid Recordings
Mac Zimms kicked much techy ass before dropping it into an epic synthy breakdown. These two tracks are just what the doctor orders call for. If you have been sick and bed ridden, put this on and in no time you’ll have a new lease on life.


Must Have Been A Dream – Scott Mac & Drax – Surface Recordings

There are six mixes of this bad ass bastard out there. Riley & Durant, Mac Zimms, and Dj Choose all put there intellects to good use in remixing one of the biggest new anthems out there. Let me put it another way, These are the weapons the big boys are packing in their record bags. Get yours and blow the competition away.

solaris march 2006 techno reviews


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.

Abyss Records -0 Hertz - ABYSS012

A very electro club like feel here. What can you say about Hertz? This man never fails to impress and this has definitely got the groove to last into those wee hours.

Pathfinder – Alex K Katz - PATHFINDER001

I got one word for you neuropatic. That song has a groove and feel all its own. Drummy and punchy, yet with a nice robust taste that only comes with finly aged techno. If I was one of those people who drank anything watered down like that.

Schranz F – Unknown - SCHRANZF002

ok well who can go wrong with a bit of schranz? If anyone raised their hand should just go home now. This thing is nuts, has a fell that will carry the crowd to new levels…lets just hope they can come back down after you get them there.

Hydraulix - Dave The Drummer & M. Perri - HYDRAULIX33

It is always nice to put Mr. Drummer on this chart. And well the note deserves it. Rocking till everyone collapses from sheer exhaustion. If that doesn’t convince you then maybe the buildup and bassline will.
Racetrax - Sterling Moss Vs. Lee Animated - RACETRAX009

OK, OK, I love it when someone goes and does a house track all wrong, well here ya go, shout it to the world. We take, we morph and we make our own. Now don’t let it fool you, we like our style, we just like making your style better as well.

Planetnatus – Various - PLANET04

Floor rocker of all floor rockers here! Stick a fork in me let me deflate and call me a bad suffle. Because there isn’t better than this tasty treat.

phocas on decks

photo by Jen Runnels

From me to you... ;)

March snuck up on on us this month and none of the folks that were supposed to have done this column followed through, so I thought I would throw one of my old mixes out there.

It was only recently that I stumbled across this mix that I had made for Sherri a couple of years ago. I thought it might be a good anniversary present, but never really gave her this copy with the last 4 or 5 tracks, until now. So, happy 20 babe... let's see where this highway goes, eh?

Honestly, the mix itself is mostly just a bunch of trax that I had on vinyl that she really liked. It's not perfect by any means and I definitely don't know what you would categorize it as. Kinda House... mostly. Whatever you wanna call it, have a listen. The mixer I was using had no channel-by-channel EQ, only one on the master, so the levels are a tiny bit off here and there, but not too much. Hope you dig it.




Here's what in it... track by track
  1. ummmm.... dunno.... it was the first track of a DJ Lawrence demo CD I got long ago that is awesome!
  2. O yea... if you've been around a minute, you know this one by Nalin & Kane - "BEACHBALL!" (The Original Club Mix).
  3. This track is one I picked up on Central Park Recordings, RSVP Remix by John Creamer and Stephane K. Very good inbetween track.
  4. I found this next track on one of Kid Icarus' records that he gave me a while back. It's "Hello Tomorrow" (JV & Red Eye Future Retro Mix)
  5. I just couldn't love this track more.... Joeski & Djulz - "A Night on Clery St" ... you can do anything with it... though this time, I let it go a lot longer than I really intended.
  6. Kinda stumbled here a little, goin into Faithless featuring Dido "One Step Too Far" - Alex Neri's Club Vocal
  7. Romain & Danny Krivit... I really stumbled into... sorry guys, but it is a great track on The Philly Groove EP. I just don't remember if it's "Phillys Groove" or "Ride"
  8. This track is undeniably one of the best tracks EVER! Puretone - Addicted to Bass (Different Gear Mix) But then, I have never been dissappointed in a Different Gear Mix.
  9. I have no idea where I got this, but it really is a pretty cool track. Amber "the need to be naked" (Peter Bailey's Tuff Luv Dub)
  10. What's not too love about this track? John Creamer & Stephane K - "I Love You". Positively Sexy Evil!
  11. The last two tracks were just kinda lobbed in there at the end... a couple that I was working with at the time, trying to decide which one would follow Track 10. Funny, they ended soundin just fine the way they are.
  12. see track 11.

turntable tutorial


by Brent Crampton ~ photo by todd

Turntable Tutorial is a class covering the basics of DJ'ing, by instructor Brent Crampton. Taking place from Feb. 18th to March 11th at the Hot Shops Art Center (1301 Nicholas St.), this 4-week course will provide all the necessary tools for those looking to get into DJ'ing, or for the novice trying to take the next step.

The class will include multimedia presentations, hand-outs, demonstrations, multiple turntable/CDJ set-ups, and lab time for the students to implement what they've learned. We'll be flying in internationally-known mash-up DJ, Ted Shred from New York City, to perform a private demonstration for the class. A performance open to the public will take place at the Goofy Foot (1012 S. 10th St.) on March 4th from 9 p.m. - 1 a.m. Local veteran, Aaron Lee, will also be a guest speaker during the course.

The motivation to initiate this class came from local deep house DJ, Brent Crampton, when multiple people requested lessons in DJ'ing. "Lately it seems as though there are quite a few people who have either just begun DJ'ing, or are interested in pursuing music through that format," Crampton said. "Yet there is so much to know and no where to go figure it all out." He went on to say, "despite the surge of interest for DJ'ing, there exists no tangible resources in our community to show people the next step. . . This class is a response to that need."

Costing $60 for the full class or $20 per session, topics such as - what kind of equipment to buy/where to get it, where to buy music, basics in mixing/scratching, history of the DJ and how to promote yourself, will all be covered throughout the 4-week course. To be considered for the class, please contact Brent Crampton (info below).

For additional information, check out the course outline!

think for yourself


by Brent Crampton ~ Omaha, Ne - Garnering an ascribed "holistic" type of tribal psychedelic party techno, internationally renowned DJ, Woody McBride, will make his way to Omaha on March 16 to perform a live PA set. McBride will spin at Bar 415 (415 S. 13th. St.), with an opening set by Brent Crampton. Music will be from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m., with an $8 cover charge.

From France to Munster and Austria to America, Woody has toured all over Europe, Asia, South and North America bringing his "engaging, inspirational music vision," according to his Web site, www.djesp.com. And while he is on the Think For Yourself Tour, McBride will be making his way back to Omaha.

Bypassing the record bag or CDR’s, McBride is opting instead for a live PA performance. Bringing his vintage synthesizer’s and drum machines, behind McBride’s looping techno patterns, “There is a holistic message of universal connectedness underscoring it all, but it takes shape in the form of the classic death and rebirth model where we must go through the darkness to find healthy and resolved transformation,” McBride said in a Newcity Chicago interview. “What's more, it often contains an unapologetically primal sexuality, engendering a soulfully human quality that transpires from more than the sum of technical mastery or artistic vision,” wrote journalist, Jim Walsh.

While McBride is among an international caliber of DJs, it's his lifestyle that sets him apart from the rest. Taking on the role of a techno shaman, McBride says, “My vision and drive is to liberate people and help them flush themselves out of the matrix-like gestation pods that teach us to be consumers and human garbage cans.”

Always pushing the boundaries of culture and your eardrums, his renowned "Wall of Bass," stands 20 feet high and 150 wide, pumping out a million watts of pulsating sound. Taking this sound system to select parties, McBride was “throwing some of the first and by far most legendary warehouse parties in Minneapolis in the early nineties,” wrote Walsh. “He initiated untold numbers of virgin ears into the realm of worldless techno.”

When McBride isn't performing in DJ booths, you can find his influence in your local record store. With more than a 150 releases and remixes, many of which are on his own label – Communique, McBride has left a deep impact in the world of dance music.

ted shred goofy foot

Brent Crampton ~ Omaha, NE - Ultramusique.com presents Turntable Tutorial on March 9th, with Ted Shred at the Goofy Foot (1012 S. 10th St.). Opening act will be Brent Crampton, with music starting at 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.

One of the original mash-up DJ's of America, Shred takes quirky bits of music, retro rock tracks, pure hip hop and breaks, and miraculously mixes them together with blends, scratches, tricks and quick cuts. Using the turntable as an instrument in itself, rather than just a tool to play other people's music, Shred tears down the limits of music compatibility. Having played in many parts of the world, Shred's notoriety goes beyond the DJ booth. Having been homeless, a cowboy, skater, and ran for mayor at different chapters in his life, his philosophy on life is a direct reflection of the way he plays his music.

His off-the-wall taste in music mash ups may be best edified in his duo, "Tribe vs Spider Man," where he plays a Tribe Called Quest song while mixing and scratching the Spider Man theme song on top. You can check it out on his Myspace page!

A mash-up DJ is a genre of jockey's that take any and all forms of music and mix them seamlessly to create entire new songs and compositions once thought impossible by the conventional DJ. A Lords of the Ring symphonic anthem atop a traditional break beat? Classic rock jams mix-matched with instrumental hip hop tunes? In this form of post-modern DJ'ing, all boundaries are being thrown away.

As part of the 4-week Turntable Tutorial Class for beginning and novice DJs, taught by Brent Crampton, Shed will be brought in to Omaha to conduct a demonstration for the students. Since we're bringing him to town, we thought it would be a good choice to share Shred's abilities for the rest of the public at no charge. So despite the epic talent of Shred, this night at the Goofy Foot will be free of charge!
Ted Shred

San Francisco/NYC based DJ, Ted Shred, has played records across the US, in Japan, Germany, and Puerto Rico. He has opened up for Nirvana, Cypress Hill, The Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, 3-11, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Sublime, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Fear, Mix Master Mike, and was the first DJ to scratch records with Primus in the early nineties.

While he appeals to your average club go-er, his vast knowledge of music and his attention to detail would impress any serious music lover. Finding it compulsory to antagonize popular music with mischievous and rare samples, like commercial ads or rock anthems, he adds a level of humor to music with very serious undertones. Going beyond your average mix, he develops entire narratives with his records. One might even find a moral subliminally stashed within the story.

Having been an unofficial mediator as a teenager, between homeless teens, including himself, and city officials, he made changes and turned heads wherever he went. He has played in punk and metal bands, was a young cowboy, a skater, and has been riding bikes throughout. He even ran for mayor of Chico (and came in close enough to make the town squirm). Ted Shred has lead many lives that inform his music today.
He has received reviews in magazine such Sassy,Thrasher, New Look, Art Forum, Blast (Japan) and Pulse.
He recently finished shooting a short film, produced by New York based Brendt Barbur for the Bicycle Film Festival called “Bomb Bay,” where he was filmed bombing the hills of San Francisco on a bike with no brakes.

Ted is currently working on his fourth album, called Ted Shred Volume 4, and volume 1 of a top secret musical gem to be released very soon.

loom


Brent Crampton ~ Omaha, Ne - A dance event with world-beat music featuring DJ's Brent Crampton and Greg Jackson with live percussionist Shif-D and host, Jay Kline. Presenting a new concept in music and dance, the event is geared towards eclectic music while transcending demographics. loom will take place at Espana Tapas Bar (6064 Maple St.) on March 9th, from 9 p.m. - 1 a.m., with a $3 cover charge. Community instruments will be available for dancers, and a special late-night tapas menu with drink specials will be for sale.



This is not just about dancing, music and drinks. Rather, we want to create a communal experience - people coming together, using music as a mode of fellowship and release. With an environment and music incorporating Latin, African and American culture, this event is geared towards an eclectic crowd with all ethnicities, religious, cultural and social backgrounds. This is about creating a positive, worldly, uplifting atmosphere.

Past events involving DJ's and electronic music have often been marketed to the post-rave generation demographic. While there is a certain mark of loyalty within this group, there is also an extent of predictability in who you'll see walk through the door. When others, who do not engage this culture, hear something about DJ-so-and-so playing house music, they may associate this with the often ambiguous and misused umbrella term, "techno" and disregard the event.

Meanwhile, house music should rather be viewed as a rhythmic template with a plethora of musical genres and influences to pull from. Limiting house music to only the post-rave demographic is overlooking the colorful and diverse backdrop the music protrudes. Namely, there are types of house, and sub-genres that are related to house, that are contemporary takes on widely recognized forms of music. Latin, Soul, Afro-beat, R'n'B, Jazz, Bossa Nova, Hip-Hop, Salsa and Tango, to name a few, are all forms of music that have been adapted in contemporary, electronically-minded forms. Much of this music, though, isn't readily available or known to the public at whole in Omaha. Our event is going to take these intangible forms of music and bring it to the peoples in a way never before seen in Omaha.

“This night is going to push my DJ’ing abilities,” said Crampton, resident DJ and one of the event coordinators of loom. “We’ll be divulging beyond the familiar, easy-to-mix, house format. At times, I’ll try to seamlessly blend in an old school hip-hop track, a traditional Salsa number, or wipe off the dust of an old 45’ soul EP. In a sense, I’ll have to ‘unlearn’ mixing to pull this off.”

So musically speaking, who is this night for? It's for those who like world flavored house music, it's for those who like house music but don't know it yet, and it's for all those who are lover's and dancer’s of rhythmic music of old and new traditions.



Big clubs are a focal point for the masses, but often at the sacrifice of homogenizing the personal connection with people. Instead, we are going for a small, intimate and hospitable venue. Instead of attempting to acquire 500+ participants during a night, we want 50+ people that are serious and light-hearted about creating a positive, uplifting landscape that will facilitate an escape through music.

Espana will also provide a late-night tapas menu and exclusive drink specials.

In order to accentuate the rhythm in the music, a hand-drum percussionist will be on site. In addition, we will be providing various instruments for the crowd to pick up and join in on the musical creative process. Community instruments such as tambourines, morraca's and hand-drums will be on site.

4th annual club world awards


Betty Kang ~ The Club World Awards return to Miami triumphant this year, after a star-studded, fun-loving ceremony in 2005 that boasted 500 invited guests, presenters like Kelly Osbourne and Murk, and follow-up press coverage as far up the media food chain as Entertainment Weekly. The fourth installment of the annual awards event will take place on Friday, March 24, 2006 at Crobar 24 @ Nocturnal in downtown Miami.

The Club World Awards program, sponsored by trade magazine Club Systems International, is one-of-a-kind: It recognizes not only the best club and lounge venues in North America, but also the people and things that make them tick…and boom, flash, and glow. The “Best System” (sound, lighting, and video), “Best Product” (sound, lighting, video, DJ, effect and LED) and “Best Jockey” (disc, light and video) fields recognize the designers and operators of clubland’s future-forward gear; while “Best Party” honors the pavement-pounding promoters, and “Best Interior Design,” the flow-creating designers. There are 19 categories in all (full list below).

Winners are selected by a panel of 10 industry-veteran, entirely neutral judges, in all categories except one: The NightStalker Award, CWA’s own “people’s choice,” which is determined via online voting. The combination of expert and public judging makes the CWAs one of the most relevant and legitimate awards programs in clubland.

In just three years, the invitation-only CWA ceremony has become the hottest ticket of Winter Music Conference/M3 week. In 2006, dance-celebrity presenters will once again mix with the nominees, members of the press, and local Miami club stars, on Crobar 24 @ Nocturnal’s scenic rooftop patio. The club itself is nominated for five disco globes (Club World’s mirror ball trophy), including “Best Video System” for the immersive, planetarium-style installation on the patio. Unlike a typical award show, the CWAs feature a two-hour open bar, porn stars serving as “Globe Girls,” and the thinnest thread of a script, all keeping the proceedings fun, sexy and spontaneous.

Club World Award nominees are determined by the staff of Club Systems International, the only magazine devoted to the look, sound and feel of nightclubs. Launched in July 2000 to instant acclaim, the monthly publication covers the world’s best venues from a technical & aesthetic perspective. Club Systems International and sister publication DJ Times are published by Testa Communications.

Fore more information, just visit ClubWorldAwards.com, presented by ClubSystemsInternational.com & PlexiPr.com



CLUB WORLD AWARD
2006 NOMINEES FOR:
BEST SUPERCLUB
Avalon, Hollywood
crobar, New York
Mansion, Miami
Space, Miami
The Docks, Toronto
BEST CLUB
Amika, Miami
Cielo, New York
Ice, Las Vegas
Ruby Skye, San Francisco
The Church, Denver
BEST LOUNGE
Cain, New York
Rokbar, Miami
See Sound Lounge, Seattle
Tabu, Las Vegas
BEST NEW
e4, Scottsdale
Nocturnal, Miami
Pawn Shop, Miami
Tao, Las Vegas
Vanguard, Los Angeles
BEST SOUND SYSTEM
Nocturnal Miami, Sound Investment
Ruby Skye San Francisco, JK Sound
Stereo Montreal, Systems By Shorty
The Docks Toronto, Dymax
Vision Atlanta, Atlanta Sound & Lighting
BEST LIGHTING SYSTEM
Elysium Detroit, Advanced Lighting & Sound
Nocturnal Miami, SJ Lighting
Sky Lounge Austin, Creative Production & Design
Spin Minneapolis, Metro Sound & Lighting
Vision Atlanta, Atlanta Sound & Lighting
BEST VIDEO SYSTEM
Nocturnal Miami, Obscura Digital
Ra Las Vegas, BJ Stanton
The Docks Toronto, Dymax
Vivid Las Vegas, Laser Magic
BEST INTERIOR DESIGN
Monarck Denver, Jeffrey P. Elliot Interior Design
Nocturnal Miami, Telesco Associates and FFD
Pawn Shop Miami, Kurt VanNostrand
Tao Las Vegas, Studio GAIA
Vision Atlanta, Patti Krohngold
BEST PARTY
A/V Las Vegas
Asseteria New York, Rob Promotions
Buzz D.C., Buzzlife
Deep Space New York
Mixed Elements San Francisco
BEST RESIDENT DJ
Boris, crobar New York
DJ P, E.D.E.N @ Studio 54 Las Vegas
Francois K, Deep Space
Ivano Bellini, Space Miami
Stephan Luke & Cue, Amika Sundance
BEST RESIDENT LJ
Mike D., crobar New York
Johnny Eubanks, Oz New Orleans
Ozzie Rodriguez, Space Miami
ChristianJude “Eyeball” Zacharka, Mixx Atlantic City
BEST RESIDENT VJ
Brainwash, crobar Miami
Cagan Yuksel and Chris Biggins, crobar New York
Roonie G., Ra Las Vegas
Russell Edwards, The Docks Toronto
BEST DJ PRODUCT
Ableton Live V.5
Denon DN-S3500
Mackie d.2
Pioneer EFX-1000
Soundcraft Urei 1620LE
BEST SOUND PRODUCT
dbx ZonePRO 1260/1261
EAW NT Series
Martin Audio W8LMD
SLS RH3
Yamaha MSR Series
BEST LIGHTING PRODUCT
Chauvet Legend 5000
Elation Professional Focus Spot 250R
Martin Professional Mania SCX500
Robe ColorWash 250AT
ShowCAD Artist
BEST VIDEO PRODUCT
ArKaos VJ 3.5 MIDI software
Coolux Pandora’s Box Mediaserver
Edirol CG-8 Visual Synthesizer
Livid Instruments Tactic m2
Numark AVM01
BEST EFFECT PRODUCT
American DJ Emerald Scan
Chauvet Scorpion LGX Laser
CITC Starhazer II
LaserNet BeamRaider
Omnisistem Planet Galaxy
BEST LED PRODUCT
Chauvet COLORTube 2.0
Color Kinetics ColorBlast 12 Powercore
Lightwild Ultimate PixelBlock
Pulsar ChromaBank IP
Staging Dimensions Pixel Panels
NIGHTSTALKER AWARD
Gorg-o-mish, Vancouver
Rise, Boston
Smart Bar, Chicago
Sullivan Room, New York
The EndUp, San Francisco

djs are alive


Michael Bradshaw ~ photos by David Wells ~ As the Thursday night crowd at Tribeca’s Canal Room closed around the stage to view the newly formed and moderately hyped, DJ’s Are Alive, something strange happened. No headphones were passed from one selector to the next, no one got on the mic and tried to hype the dance floor for an oncoming DJ. Instead, instruments were picked up, keyboards, drum machines and samplers were warmed to a start with the flick of a switch. Five individuals took to the stage and started to play music - House music.

DJ’s Are Alive, an unfortunately named dream team made up of legendary established DJ’s and producers including, Scumfrog, Static Revenger, D:fuse, Karen W. and DJ Skribble, started to open a can of whoop-ass on New York City Thursday night, the likes of which it had never seen. Unfortunately however, they put the lid back on said whoop-ass can within the first fifteen minutes of the show.
With lyrics like, “Happy people / Gonna have a good time,” “Keep on livin’ your dream!” and “Gimmie some love...,” After a while, even the psycho-happy boys in the crowd were like, “WTF?”
See, anyone listening to DAA’s music is sure to reminded of something very familiar. That’s because their music sounds pretty much like every other house track you’ve ever heard. One is inclined to think that if Disney ever wanted to open a future music wing of Epcot Center, DJ’s Are Alive are definitely the go-to band to play the food court.

DAA admits via its press release that it is a response to the “rise of laptops and digital files” that have made dance music and DJing “as exciting as watching people check their email.” For this they should be commended because this hurdle they have certainly overcome. DAA’s show is a show. However, in pushing the presentation of House forward by harkening back to it’s origins, they have pulled the music itself back into territory that’s so played out, it’s difficult to stomach for an entire hour.

What’s really disturbing about DAA is that the group is boasted as a “unique exploration into a live DJ’s set,” when, in fact, there is nothing unique about them at all. The project itself is nothing new. Electronic dance music started with groups organized like DAA. Kraftwerk, New Order, even C & C Music Factory to name a few. What separates DJs Are Alive from these pioneers is that DAA isn’t doing anything new. Every peak and every valley of their performance is painfully predictable. Kristin W’s vocals, although adequate, sound no different than the countless wailings of house divas who have come before her. DJ Skribble’s uber-precise record scratching comes off as cliché and the Scumfrog’s guitar riffs stumble through trails clearly already blazed by Basement Jaxx nearly a decade ago.

In some ways, DJs Are Alive is an insult to not only DJ’s but the living as well. As a consortium of renown House DJ’s and producers turned club rockers, DAA should be the talk of the upcoming Winter Music Conference. There is hope that this may actually happen—not because the group is necessarily good, but rather because they beg the question of where the genre of House music is going in the United States and why it’s probably time for it to retool.

For more information about DJ’s Are Alive and to download their debut single, “Gimmie Some Love,” just visit DJsAREALIVE.com!

elements of bass


Michael Thomas ~ interview with Elements of Bass ~ photos by unknown ~  St Louis, MO - Taking up the web reigns and leading the Midwest DnB scene into greatness, Ryan Renfro (Source Code) and Randy Mars (MC Precision) are inking up coasts, promoters, booking agencies, and artists on a whole new level It was recently that I had an opportunity to speak with them. Here's what they had to say.



You both have been involved in the drum and bass scene for long time now. What first got you guys started with Electronic Dance Music and the drum and bass aspect of things?

Ryan: I was introduced to electronic music through Amiga MOD files back in about 1994. Basically MOD files were the mp3's of the old skool. Composers from around the world would come together with all these crazy acid and hardcore tracks. I had around 1300 MOD tunes in my prime, which was around 100 or more floppy disks of audio. From there I really got interested in breakbeat sounds around the US release of "Prodigy - The Prodigy Experience". Tunes like Jericho, Hyperspeed, Out of Space, and others really got into my head and drove my interest in electronic sounds. At the time most of my friends were into metal or hip-hop so I was really on my own. It wasn't till about 1997/1998 that my full interest in Drum and Bass really took off. It all really happened with a rather funny story, I had melted a crate of about 100 hip-hop, hardcore, techno, misc vinyl’s and decided from that day the only tunes I'd buy were dnb/jungle vinyls. From that day till this I only own dnb vinyls.

Randy: Well leaving the 80's there wasn't really too much on the plate yet, electronic wise. While listening to hip-hop and metal, rock and classic rock have always been and will always be enjoyable for me; I was ready for something new. I played acoustic drums and always had an ear for percussion, so as music started to slowly change more to electronic music, I was influenced. Ministry was a band that really influenced me to seek out and hear more. And by the time Prodigy was starting to surface, Drum and Bass was starting to leak out through rich new breaks, and then it was on. I remember going to raves in the early 90's, the techno got on my last nerve, but the trip hop/acid jazz kinda styles would always catch my ear. It still amazes me how much DnB has evolved over the past 10 years, all the different styles and forms

Have you always been into drum and bass or did you start off more involved in another genre?

Ryan: I've really always been into most anything breakbeat or unique sounding. My 3 loves now are drum and bass, hip-hop, and dancehall. So really anything with a fat bassline, rugged breaks, of ill rhythm gets my ear. I've never really been into any other electronic music genre besides acid techno way back when.
Randy: Like I said it started with acoustic drums. I schooled to learn jazz and blues, but later got more into rock, using the same funky beats. As years passed I started to get more into the vocal aspect of music, as I have been writing songs and poetry since practically a seed. I started rapping to old hip hop tracks, finding the instrumentals and freestyling. I wrote hip hop lyrics, but nothing mainstream. It wasn't until about 1996-1997 I started to write to DnB and realize how much more exciting and challenging it was. After a few years passed, and I had been in a hip-hop group, I decided it was about time to go for Drum and Bass. Seemingly hooked for life I still can’t get enough of it.

How did the both of you meet?

Ryan: I met Precision through a mutual friend, Gary aka Jinxx. We actually met during a party when everyone was just dj'n, mc'n, and chillin. From there another mutual friend from England, Q-Trax, really started working on music with Randy. Q-Trax and I were basically shadows of each other at the time, so the 3 of us really formed a unique bond. Since then Q has headed back to the UK so we are holding it down till he's back.

Randy: There was a party at Gary’s (Jinxx) house. I had just met Gary not long before, and so we were all kicking it there. That's the first time I had ever seen or met Ryan. There were three or four Dj's and a few MC's in the house so we were all getting musically acquainted fast. And like Ryan stated before.... then came Matt (Q-Trax) from England. I hooked him up with a cash job moving loads from trucks on the side. From then on Ryan and I became great friends

What first sparked your interest in forming a drum and bass website?

Ryan: Well most of St. Louis had been hanging out on a yahoo group/egroup like message board for a long time. It filled the need, but some of us felt that we needed to really expand outward and try and work with other people in the Midwest. At first the goal was small, have a place to post events/news and talk on a message board. After 3 years it quickly expanded into everything from an internet radio station, to club nights, to one off events, and tons of other wastes of internet time.

Randy: All there was at the time was puny little yahoo groups and other cheesy communities with very little music and info available. Ryan being the main man with computers mentioned it once and the rest of the crew (union crew at the time), stood fast to help in any possible way. We all contributed any way we could. www.mw-dnb.com was overwhelming with all the traffic, huge database and net radio. It brought so many together, and opened opportunity to meet and compose with many other artist's/DJ's/producers.

What were your expectations, if any, with the first website, mw-dnb.com? Also, did you think the first site would pick up as much as it did?

Ryan: We never really expected to have the thousands and thousands of members we made. In fact I originally imagined somewhere from 500-2500 people, that mile marker was passed the 4th month the site was up. 3 years later we had around 40,000 registered users and nearly 1 terabyte in bandwidth a month. To say the least the site really did max out and went beyond what any of us thought it would be. For the most part it really took its own direction and we followed the lead of the fans.

Randy: Expectations were very low. We wanted it up solely for the purpose of staying in touch with each other, sharing our produced tracks, and booking to play out. Mw-dnb took off and climbed faster than any site I have ever heard of. It was getting over a million hits a month in its prime. Went a lot further than any of us imagined! But then again, Ryan was the man behind the site, a fully knowledgeable braniac with computers and design and the right man for the job without a doubt.

When mw-dnb.com ended its 4 year run many people missed its presence and the support and connections throughout the Midwest defiantly fell. Since the return of the site under its new name elementsofbass.com that support is once again on the rise. Did ever think your site would have held the scene together as much as it did?

Ryan: We were all sad to hear that the impact mw-dnb made when it left. Towards the end of the sites life things were actually picking up. However due to costs, time, and other personal reasons we knew the site needed to either change or go away. So it did both. After a 6 month breather, we returned with our new site based on our old ethics. We hope to reinvent ourselves and offer a stable platform from which talents from the Midwest and around the world can gather, communicate, exchange sounds, and make new connections.
Randy: At first no, not to the extent that it did. It wasn't till after the first 6 months or so when we were starting to see how valuable the site was for all us Midwest heads. Elementsofbass.com is not only a continuation of mw-dnb.com, but a fresh site dedicated to our 4 years and running internet radio show, "Elements Of Bass”.

What prompted you both to start the site back up? And why did you decide on the new name?

Ryan: Well after mw-dnb went down I ended up returning back to St. Louis from Memphis, TN. I had been living there for about a year and a half and developed a really kick ass piece of software.
To make a long story short, this software allowed us to quickly redevelop and expand on our own ideas and directions rather than the directions of a pre-developed content management package. We wanted to bring some of the newer popular technologies available widely on the internet to our site such as podcasts, news feeds, and other interesting features. We also knew that no one else was currently doing these things we wanted to do. We knew the site had to be called Elements of Bass simply because of the radio shows creators would be the staff of this new site. Elements of Bass is really a statement about the founders and drum and bass itself. This expansive sound covers almost every element of every other type of music from funk to punk - and our radio show and website reflect that. We registered the domain, figured out what we wanted to offer, in what order we wanted to offer it and from there it's history in the making.
Randy: Ryan’s new technology and constant elevation of software and web design knowledge brought the question "Why not put a site with a forum for archiving the past Elements Of Bass shows? It came out of Ryan's mouth after he was explaining this new software for developing websites. From there the site went up quicker than ever.

The new name is a no-brainer. For going on four years now our radio show has been known as Elements Of Bass. We had been putting that on flyers to parties we would play, and built a name. Even after mw-dnb closed I refused to let go of the weekly broadcast. I moved the show back to pfradio.com, which showed us nothing but support and respect, and later on to destroyer.net. The whole time still we had the same show name. So we simply "HAD TO" go with elementsofbass.com.

What are your expectations for the new site? And how have things being going so far?

Ryan: My expectations for the site are rather minimal. I feel after the massive mw-dnb site that even if EOB doesn't grow to that magnitude, that at least we have the more dedicated and interesting heads hanging out and contributing to our community. I know that we will all help new people gain interest and knowledge in these sounds.

We have actually had a great kick off with lots of old and fresh faces joining up daily. We have kept a consistent stream of mix sets and show archives each week to keep the audiophiles leeching. Like anything else the site is just starting to build its momentum, strength, fan base, and functionality.

Randy: Supplying support to all our friends, fans, and connections with Midwest drum and bass. Keeping the huge rotation of many different DnB Dj's on our show, locally and out of town, providing the freshest tunes and talent from all the most dedicated artists in the region.

Things have been set off as we planned. Everything is in place for one of the most successful and longest running DnB weekly broadcast's ever. With over 35 different guest Dj's a year, an experienced crew, and trustworthy site staff things can only get better.

What’s in store for elementsofbass.com in the future? And are you guys planning on doing events again?
Ryan: I really feel the future writes itself. I can tell you that some of the really cool things coming up will be aimed at producers. We plan on launching the sickest producer area to EVER touchdown on the net. Once it's launched we will be doing a massive campaign to promote it out to all the old and new producers alike.  We will also have various headliners touching down to perform live broadcasts for the weekly radio show and archived sets. The next upcoming talent is Robot Death Squad (Moving Shadow) on March 5th.

As far as events this has been talked about. I know for sure we won't be doing any weeklies. We have discussed one off events and a monthly night for a while now. If we did start another series of events I'd imagine they would be a call back to the old days of DnB/Hip-Hop in combination. We really felt that the presence of both of these breakbeat sounds made for a great atmosphere. We have also thought about another Midwest meet up that would be a outdoor weekend long gathering. Other than that you can always catch our founding crew performing around the Midwest.

Randy: Just know that elementsofbass.com has no planned future. Between us, the music, and the people that surround us will determine where we go. Be on the lookout for some bigger names to play on the show, and for the site to grow with time. There are many ideas floating through our minds now for this year and next. The site will only get bigger, this you can be sure of.

Weekly events I would have to say we are going to leave alone. We may set up more DnB bbq’s that has been talked about. I'm more for playing the events and not setting them up. We have some good contacts that set up events/club weeklies - in St. Louis, Columbia, Chicago, and Kansas City. We leave the events to the promoters for the most part.

As a member and moderator of the site I have to say things look great. I’m happy to see the family back together again and I know your presence is felt all over the USA. I thank the both of you for your hard work and taking the time to sit down with me and ask you some questions. Is there anything else either of you would like to add or anything we didn’t cover that you’d like to discuss?

Ryan: I just want to say to anyone reading this that if they haven't checked out drum and bass they really should. Drop all the stereotypes you've heard and embrace the widely expansive sounds of the genre. I know bottom line that it has something for everyone. If you are a drum and bass fan, you should really check out the site and join up, some of your friends are most likely already posting. Respect goes out to all the heads that strive everyday to live by their own rules and walk to the beat of their own drum. Big Up's to phocas.net!

Randy: To all the fans and supporters of Drum and Bass: Keep strong with your love of the music and contribute in any way you can to keep it alive. And to those who are new to DnB, take the time to expand your knowledge of new and old styles. Go out and see the big names when they come through, and find out more with elementsofbass.com and destroyer.net.
For more information, just visit ElementsofBass.com

shakin the ground


Mike Zelazek ~ San Francisco, CA - In the centennial anniversary year of the Bay City’s great quake, local San Franciscan and imported talent intentionally shook the ground on back to back weekends in February. The Blue Cube and the Hemlock Tavern venues provided more intimate environs than the South of Market (SoMA) super clubs and showcased accessible, avant-garde entertainers.



The Future Sound series of events has successfully drawn thousands of attendees in San Fran, and the third installment with a D & B and Breaks orientation, delivered the finest British and American talent to the heart of the city. The ‘Cube, at 54 Mason in the Financial District, assembled a handful of the top DJs in the aforementioned genres (and provided temporary refuge from dishwater-dumping, pepper-sprinkling tenants living in upper-story apartments).

Breaks DJs spun beneath massive, steel X-bracing and welcomed the patrons into the club with funky tracks on the main level. But at midnight, the queue to the second floor grew into a less-polite-than-usual mob hungry to see the headliners on the main stage.

Upon ascension to the club’s second level, Pendulum, his entourage of MCs, and select friends visibly dominated their altar of bass opposite a crowd of several hundred of mostly twenty-something hipsters, minglers, newbies, and neo-hippies. MC Dino led the lyrical accompaniment to Pendulum’s aural assault and unflinchingly delivered an emotionally charged, hour-long set with tracks of his own creation as well as some from other prominent junglists like Adam F and Dillinja.

At peak action, the floor was noticeably heaving in rhythm with peoples’ feet, and SF’s own Audio Angel wove her own soulful style into the mix. All smiles, Pendulum swung the torch to AK1200 who displayed his Floridian finesse for collaboration with the lyricists. Despite his icy cool demeanor on the decks, he was visibly exhausted— drenched in sweat in the club-cum-sauna. The crowd thinned as D-Bridge’s chill beats closed the end of a raucous night, and the allure of Pendulum’s downstairs breakbeat set allowed the upstairs crowd to breathe and digest the previous two-hours’ masterfully coherent sets and provide rest from a jam-packed upper floor.



After a six-day beat-hiatus for the ears, the Hemlock Tavern opened its greasy portals in the lovably downtrodden Tenderloin district to a progressive bunch of performers in the Tigerbeat6 label showcase. For those unacquainted with the label, whose trademark is reminiscent of a teeny-bopper publication, it is a mélange of misfits that blend DJ skill with performance punk/art.

Clipd Beaks is effectively an acquired taste from Oakland via Minneapolis, and they kicked off the night after battling an exploding amp early in their set. Halfway though their performance, vocalist/guitarist, Nick Barbeln, was wearing only a pair of pants and a galvanized bucket on his head that he mercelessly beat his head to the cadence of the horrendously raw synthesizer sounds. The crew created the perfect ear-piercing segway to the human tornado with attitude, Drop the Lime (Luca Venezia).

Drop the Lime began his hour-long aural adventure with a surprise silly-string attack from assistants in the audience and seamless stitched select tracks from his new Shot Shot Hearts release. The Brooklyner briefly donned a white, faux-fur jacket on loan from a few Japanese fans with Kid606 grinning like a proud father as he took photos of the on-stage action. 606 even consoled Drop the Lime in a tender moment of solace during the latter’s performance. When ascending to the stage himself, the Kid was a bit smashed but fully capable of summoning the gorilla within him. Despite some clumsy moshing incitements ending in floor spills and a broken microphone (surprisingly not due to him chewing on it), Kid606 and his odd ensemble of associates gave a fine farewell as they parted ways for distant spots on the globe. The San Francisco reunion for these three acts is currently unplanned, but rest assured, they won’t return silently.



Fore more information, check out Tigerbeat6.comHemlockTavern.com and BlueCubeSF.com!

march 2006 editor note


Man! I can hardly wait for springtime and it's almost as if this Kansas City weather taunts and teases us with it's up and downs. It's no wonder it's a primary topic for discussion in this part of the country. When Bubbls grabbed this Shot at Fourmation, it was colder than hell that night. Today... it's friggin 80! What do you do with that?

Special props to Sherri this month, for hangin around with me for so long. She really is great girl and I look forward to hangin around with her for awhile longer. ;) Check the "on decks" for more information.

Otherwise, there is some really great stuff in this issue and there's more planned for upcoming issues. We are really starting to get some quality content, such as our new San Francisco correspondent, Mike Zelazek. He is shooting and writing from out there to give us a peak at West Coast life. His photo and accompanying story are featured this month. After reading it, I was ready to hop a plane! That's one city I never really had the opportunity to visit for very long at all and I very much look forward to seein how they get groove on. Look for more from Mike in the coming months!

Speaking of planes, phocas.net is off to WMC again at the end of the month and we expect to return with some really great footage of the events goin on down there. Give us a holla if you're doin something and we'll come check it out! Other wise... we'll see you on the dance floor!

~phocas~

march 2006 issue