Thursday, June 01, 2006

solaris june 2006 techno reviews


Xenex – Ostarrichi –Schub Factor - OREP002

So I am starting to believe that schranz is going to not only start a riot but have me go bezerk in the process. This wax is hard as nails with a interesting b side that solves it. don’t let it go away…with all the good stuff goin around you want to get your piece.


Bruce Logan & Burt Banner - Machinegun / Monsters – Moll - MOLL002

Nneed a nice electro/techno tune that is good chill and has all the groove a floor could ask for? This thing aint that dirty crack you get off the street pusher on the corner. Keeping others away from your goods however is your problem.

Various - Machined Operations – Unknown Forces - UF014

Lovely, just plain amazing. This has got the chill techno with the glitchy rifts, and a breaks mix that makes me want to dance a jig. Too bad I am not irish, then perhaps the lepercaun would not steal this pot of gold. You don’t even need that rainbow.

Verbos - Crossing The Rubicon – Simple Answer – SA012

Mark has a style all his own and that is one reason I love it so much. This rekid speaks true to form and keeps the hard and punchy with the sounds I have come to love about him. No if only I can get that patent on the vinyl I.V.

Hertz – Priorities – Sway – SWAY018

Another heavy hitter in the techno arena. This guy keeps those club tunes tighter than a virgin saving it for marriage. My only priority is to get this and play it before anyone else does. If you cant keep up then at least you can hear the masterwork when I am out and about.

Ortin Cam - The Past Is Gone – Corachi - COR051013

Chill and on point. Some nice vocals that keep ti vague and interesting. The electro rift in there keeps it real and good for those long nights when all you want is the funk only techno knows how to bring.

DJ Ghost – Ghoststyle – GS2 - GSII0610

Side a great groove builder, and the B side has that build that keeps going…I would hope the floors don’t explode from this it would be a shame not to have them there after this peaks the night.

Jeff Amadeus - Still On Mare Street – Squat - SQUAT007

The A side isn’t much my fortay but the B has all the groove and Shranz effects that keep the party moving with or without you. This thing just plain pumps and deserves no less that making it.

brent crampton june 2006 house reviews

Various - Rewind! 5 – Ubiquity

The more I dive into this musical history thing, the more I realize – no one’s original. In a sense, the booty-shaking numbers of today are tributes/regurgitations of moments experienced and sounds heard in the past. Ubiquity is perhaps the label that actualizes this sentiment more than any other (right next to Soul Jazz Records). And rather than just sample another retro-dinaire track, they’ve plotted together a host of contemporary under-the-radar musical stars to throw away the samples, re-edits and remixes to reconstruct classics from the ground up. Think of them as covers, think of them as renditions, think of them as genius. Think of NuSpirit Helsinki on Led Zepplin’s “No Quarter,” think of Osunlade on Prince’s “Crazy You,” think of Owusu and Hannibal on The Beach Boy’s “Caroline, No.” Think hot! Think old made new. Highlights are the funk-de-suave sounds of The Rebirth remake of The Sylvers’s “Handle It,” and Daz-I-Kue with bossa-flavored Bembe Segue and Colonel Red’s rendition of Ben E. King’s “Spoiled.” And I’m sure Osunlade’s version of “Crazy You” will remain a favorite with the KCRW and Gilles Peterson-ites.

LC – unreleased boots

I received a whole Payless box full of unreleased boots by the Midwest brotha’ in house – LC out of Springfield, Mo. First he sent me a remix of Hall & Oates’ “I can’t go for that” which was a better rendition than the Kaskade remix that came out a few years ago. Where Kaskade’s version drowns out the sample to the background, LC puts it right in the forefront with a strong kick. The next track samples Eminem & Nate Dogg’s “Shake That” acapella with a tracky San Fran feel. Cool jazz key, rumbling base line with the proper house-music-from-stoner-perspective make this a party rocker. And if this track’s a party rocker, his booty of De La Soul’s “Me Myself and I” will jump start any lagging dance floor engine. He keeps it simple with a four-to-the-floor beat and a sick break-beatish breakdown.

Matthew Bandy – Man of Soul – Blue Iguana

Finally there are some more white labels floating around of this hot jazzy number. Throw down the $8 to pick up this number – it’s deep, it’s hot and there’s a Jay-J remix.

Lawnchair Generals – Lost and Found – LCG Music

We all know the LCG – they put out dope tracks. And it’s stuff that has longevity, too. So when a whole album came out – I jumped on it. When I actually took the time to listen to it, I was surprised. It wasn’t jumping. Instead, I was flipping through the tracks, trying to find that one stand-out number. There’s some good parts, but overall, I’ve seen better from LCG.

Trademarq – Neighborhood Hero - .dotbleep

BOOMPTY! It’s got a pinch of swing, quirk, jackin’ jazz and a Chi-town mustard-rimmed hot dog. But it’s put out by a live house band, so where boompty lacks, these guys make up in musicality. Plus, this four-tracker’s got serious dancefloor-rockability.

Vibe Travelers – Wash Away / Dirty Beats – Dufflebag

This cut is all about Dirty Beats. This track is phenomenally original. Thumping base line, deep tracky sounds with a sexy female spoken word making sexual connotations via the verbage of music and dictionary definitions. It’s real catchy. Wash Away is all dubby, DJ Garth-y.

Kenton Slash Demon – Big Mammas Runaway – Aroma

I’m feelin’ some of these tracks, but then again – I’m not too sure. Sometimes these quirky, boompty, sampled based tracks are a bit over done. It’s almost as if this producer sat down, compiled a few dozen samples they liked and threw them together like a jigsaw puzzle. No hook or composition. Just a lot of cool sounding blurbs and bleeps.

Nino Moschella – The Fix – Ubiquity

Soul, rock, funk, jazz fusion with a slight indie feel, Moschella is camped out with the Ubiquity sound. Overall, this is genre-binding, car driving music apart from the dancefloor.

sonar on decks

(originally published in the June 2005 issue) written by Sonar ~ compiled by Brent Crampton ~ photo courtesy of DJ Sonar

Matthew J. Rissi, aka DJ Sonar’s fascination with rhythm and music began at an early age after his father had given him a dual tape deck and a stereo for his tenth birthday. Matthew was immediately addicted to the sounds of synthesizers and drum machines, and couldn't resist the temptations of wanting to be on a dance floor.

Through hip hop culture, Sonar was introduced to the rave scene in Arizona. Shortly after this discovery, Matthew and his family moved to Iowa. He began DJing on his own in ‘97 and completely focused all of his efforts on establishing an understanding what it takes to become an avid performer. He would find himself traveling all over the eastern part of the country to watch internationally respected DJs work their magic behind turntables for crowds of people up into the thousands. He was in love - in love with techno, the environment that it provided, the feeling that it gave him, and the way that it blessed him with something that made nothing else matter.

From the basement, to the house party, to the all night music event, Matthew found himself wanting more. Naturally he was inclined to start his own production company, “Solar Cathedral Productions.”
Having played along side names such as Dieselboy, Grooverider, Richie Hawtin, Woody McBride and Terry Mullan, Sonar’s mixes have gained him much respect, subsequently getting him booked throughout the Midwest.

Through his promotions under the guise of Solar Cathedral Productions, Sonar has played a part in bringing international talent into Iowa such as Tommie Sunshine, Donald Glaude, Derrick Carter and Frankie Bones.
Pulled From Perversion is Matthew's latest mix CD, a compilation highlighting memorable tracks played by Sonar at the infamous Perversions of Science event series. Scheduled to be released in June, the mix more than likely sell out fast. But Phocas.net is providing you an exclusive mp3. So grab it in the month of June while it’s hot!








Track Listing
  1. Nathan Fake/The Sky Was Pink(Holden Tool)/Electro Choc
  2. John Dahlback/Eastern Light/Immigrant
  3. Hugg & Pepp/Mazarin/Dahlback
  4. Unit 4/Bodydub(TiefschwarzRMX)/Clone
  5. The Gritsch & Royal TS/Techno Tanzen!/White Label
  6. Misc/Status Now/Kompakt
  7. Vanguard/1 Bit Bass/Frisbee
  8. John Dahlback/The Bad Giant/Giant Wheel
  9. Jesper & John Dahlback/Sundin Lost In The K-Hole/Turbo Rec.
  10. Basteroid/Reaching Betriebstemperatur(Sonar Re-Edit)/Areal
  11. Jens/Never Be The Same(Jesper Dahlback RMX)/Shallow Cutz
  12. The Hacker/Radiation/Goodlife
  13. Tiefschwarz/Ghostrack(Blackstrobe RMX)/Four Music
  14. Gregor Tresher/Firebutton/Datapunk
  15. Ferro(W.J.Henze & Toni Rios)/Redes Privadas Virtuales/Danza Electronica
  16. Anthony Rother/Bodytalk/Cocoon Rec.
  17. Anthony Rother/Father(Sonar Re-Edit)/Datapunk
  18. Sven Vath & Anthony Rother/Komm/Cocoon Rec.
As in the words of Sonar:

Keep in mind that this is a compilation of tracks that I played at three different events. For 'PS1' I played at three a.m., right after Frankie Bones, who had just laid down a wild-ass ‘96 styled 'ardcore techno set. So, I had to come with the heat. At 'PS2' I played the 11 p.m. slot right before my partner, the Goat, who had planned on playing a fairly hard techno set. We also had Chris Liebing out from Germany who BEAT the shranz' style techno. I tried to play a little more 'electro-ish' to add diversity to the line-up. For 'PS3' I opened up the nine p.m. slot with some stripped down minimal techno.” For this show, we had Derrick Carter out, so we had a lot of house heads in the building. I figured that a minimal set was perfect for getting the crowd started. With that being said, this 75-minute mix has a little bit of everything that I have to offer.

Now . . .

The first track that I play on this mix is by far one of my favorites. It reminds me of something that I've heard Hawtin play at about five in the mornin' in Detroit, right about that time where absolutely EVERYONE in the building has just lost their minds. It's some of that minimal funk, but at the same time, it's so dance floor. The shit moves me. The programming of all of the blips ‘n' bleeps is just ridiculous. I absolutely love it. I figured that playing something like this early in the mix would set the perfect tone.

The track that I play after that is a John Dahlback tune that has a real “housey” feel. For those who know me, I don't really play house - at all - unless you catch me laying down one of my two and a half hour residency sets at “Orbitz” here in Cedar Rapids. I'm a techno guy, and I really like to conduct an electronic energy, but this is one of those tracks that puts that shit aside, and just gets inside of me. Lately I've been dabbling into the realms of soul, and depth, and this jam just swims way out there. The sounds on this record just remind me of sunsets, or better yet, sunrises! This is the kind of stuff that I want to hear after I've been taking a beating on the dance floor all night. It will get me moving no matter what.

Next up, I laid down a Jesper & John Dahlback piece called “Mazarin.” I think that it could also be an “opener” track, but it really helps set a certain mood in my mind after a small warm up. I actually opened with this cut at “PS2,” and the crowd really got into it quick. The vocal on this track is very hypnotizing, and combining it with that little acid riff just made for a perfect combo. The base line starts out very nicely, and out of the blue drops a few octaves giving listeners that little push that will keep them listening to the track until it's over. I absolutely love this track. The break in the middle gives you a little chance to take some deep breaths before it picks up again, but it never really “takes-off.” It really gives the DJ a chance to lay something on top of it that is going to win over an audience.

After the break, I decided to bring in the Tiefschwarz remix of Unit 4's “Bodydub.” This is one of those tracks that will permanently imbed itself in your brain. The shit is butta! So clean, so pretty, so dance floor. I mix it in really smooth using the filters on the Allen & Heath to sweep the melodies in and out. When the base line drops, I get the chills . . . seriously. I think that I actually played this out of the “Mazarin” cut at “PS2” and the b-line drop absolutely made the dance floor come alive. Just when you don't think that it can get any better, the main bleepy riffs kick in with the claps and movement becomes alive. I can safely say that this record is in my all time “top 5's.” Love it.

Next I start to bring out the techno in me. I play Gritsch's “Techno-Tanzen.” This is one of the last tracks that I played at “PS1.” It's sort of a “wet behind the ears” crowd pleaser. It's the kind of track that newcomers would really get into. A lot of your more established techno heads won't really get into this track because it's a bit amateur - but I like it. The synth-line is gritty, and if it's played on a proper sound system, it will turn ANY dance floor out. Nuff said!

Then we take you to Germany. Anyone who knows anything about techno is down with the “Kompakt” sound. It's a bit more stripped down and not as bangin, but it's VERY dance floor friendly. You hear dudes like Sven Vath, Hawtin and Villalobos canning the shit out of stuff on this label. It's quality. This release is a bit more mathematical than some of the “speicher” series releases, and that's why I like it. I'm very in tune with the timing of my mixes, and this cut is very DJ friendly. It's got a nice breakdown, and the pattern changes are pretty obvious. It's got a catchy little acid riff that will have even the most jaded of techno fans bobbin' their heads. GO GET IT!

The next track that I play is a killer. I opened with it at “PS1.” It’s the sickness. You see, we had asked Frankie Bones to play an “old-skool” rave anthem set, and he did. We're talkin' 150 BPM fist-in-the-air techno. I knew that the crowd was going to catch a beating from him, and I was going to catch a peak-hour audience when he was finished. I wanted to play slower, around 135 BPM's, but I still wanted to play material that captivated a rougher audience. I thought that an explosive opening was something that I NEEDED to keep their attention. This track was the answer. Paired with a 70-foot WALL OF BASS, vanguard blew the roof off of that joint! I swear that I could have just played this cut alone, and walked away from a happy audience. The one-bit base is SERIOUS. It hurts people.

Up next I drop this “Giant Wheel” cut. I wouldn't normally play anything off of this label due to their outstanding ability to release super-cheesy trance anthems with samples of crowds going crazy over rolling snare drum build ups. However, this jam is different. It's a bit ravey, but the base kick had me locked. The patterns on that drum are simple, yet so effective. It makes me want to “break a neck!” That's all that I've got to say about that!

Once again, I drop another Dahlback piece (do we see a pattern developing here?). I've really been into these dudes lately, and it just so happens that I played a bunch of their cuts at this series, explaining why so much of their work is on this CD. This shit's on Tiga's infamous Turbo Record label, and I think that it's the bomb! I actually chose to play this track because of how I thought that the acid line would work with the lights at our shows. The sounds on this record just give me a visual full of intelligent lighting. I don't know - I guess that I'm a bit weird like that. The tone on this release is a bit breakey, but it's layered over a 4-4 beat, which is the best of both worlds in my opinion. Who's got the juice now?

Now we begin to get a little gritty. This Basteroid record is in every way shape and form, SLAMMIN'. Heavy on the base, dark on the tones, meant for the warehouse. This track was perfect for “PS1” as we held the event in an armory. It was like the days of old, huge sound, huge lights, huge visual screen and a huge vibe. This piece was meant to be played in that environment. I think that I flipped two copies of it, got a little cocky for the audience. Ya know? It worked well, and the mood in the room began to shift. A few people told me that I began to look possessed when I started playing this stuff. I'll bet it's true. The dark tones just consume me. I turn into a visual display of the noises that are coming out of the speakers. Youngin's get scared and tough guys start to jack!

After the heat, I drop a “Jens” gem on “Shallow Cutz.” It's got a bit of a girly vocal sample, but it's completely balanced out by insanely nasty acid stabs that defecate the dance floor. I really like the clap. I think that it's got a dull rim shot laid over the top of it that gives it the perfect texture. Midway through the track a bunch of tones ring throughout that remind me of Speedy J's remix of Adam Beyer's “Ignition Key.” Very inspirational. I naturally close my eyes when I hear them. They just give me a very deep feeling. Anytime I've ever played this record live, the crowd has always given me great response. It has the capability to reach inside of you only to stir up feelings that you didn't think a techno record could stir up. Sexy!
Now back to the dance floor. Next, I play a “Hacker” track that is very taunting. I can't really explain it, it's techno, but it's electro . . . I don't know. The vocal samples on it sound like they were recorded in an old gothic church. Sick. Everyone that hears this track gets moving. It's quite attractive for even the most hard to impress electronic music listeners. It's not too intricate of a track, a bit simple actually. But it's so effective. I drop it right off of the scratch so it's the only mix on this CD that I would call sloppy, but very few notice. Tell me what you think!

Blackstrobe, blackstrobe, blackstrobe . . . What are we going to do with this guy? I've been canning his shit for a few years now, ever since his remix of Dave Clarke's “What Was Her Name” came out. His tone is very signature, sort of like Johannes Heil. You can hear a couple bars of any of their tracks and immediately know that they produced them. It's definitely on the electr side of the fence, and dance floors eat it up. This is one of those records that you can use to get peoples attention. The formula is standardized but at the same time it's unique and extremely catchy - a crowd pleaser for sure.

After Blackstrobe I play this Gregor Treshor release. I would assume he's German, but I really don't know. I can honestly say that I play this track for the vocal. The shit is punishing, it makes me feel like I'm part of some cult that I really shouldn't be running with. All of the drum programming and kick patterns sound like Gregor was highly influenced by none other than the great Johannes Heil. I know that they both do work for “Datapunk,” and I've been a big supporter of this label since I heard Johannes' “This World.” If you don't already know, look out for this label as they are about to be dominating the German electro scene.

Now I start to get back to the techno with this hot pick off of the new Danza Electronica label. W.J Henze and Toni Rios aka Ferro bring the pain with this stormer titled “Redes Privatas Vertuales.” The shit is foul. It's got a bit of a “Murder Was The Bass” feel through out the main bar. 13 But I really like the noises in the intro. I played this track closer to the end of my set at the “PS2” show with Chris Liebing. The sound system that we had that night was insane, and when I laid off of the filter to drop that bass, the crowd erupted. Put a smile on my face, that's for sure. I've heard some tracks sound really good from behind the decks, but this one took the cake.

Enter Anthony Rother. This guy is making moves - seriously. I've been on top of all of his releases lately, and I've never been let down. He's a staple in the electro scene, but his techno just kills me. When I play this live, it's always the track that everyone asks me about. “Hey Sonar, what the hell was that shit that was like, 'BODY-MOVE, BODY-TALK'!?” Sometimes I don't want to tell them, because I haven't heard too many people around here playing this stuff. It doesn't really matter though, because in Europe they can't keep enough copies of Rother's music in stock. Cocoon is a sweet label, and you've got to put trust into anything that Sven puts his stamp of approval on. BOOYAH!

Once again, I drop another Rother cut. “Father” is one of my faves. It really has the ability to pull a crowd together. It's sort of an anthem track. I play my own personal re-edit of this release because I felt the need to cut out a few parts that I didn't agree with. It just got a little repetitive for me. This shorter version seems much more effective, and sets me up for an explosive mix out of it.

And last but most definitely not least, Sven Vath and Anthony Rother's “KOMM.” This piece is by far the sickest track on the CD! I can't even begin to explain the visual that I got when I first heard this tune. It painted a picture in my mind - a picture of a landscape so vast that I will in no way do it justice by using English diction to try and explain. Just listen to it. I had to play it last because I really don't think that I have a record that is powerful enough to play afterwards. This is what I call music, and precisely why I love this thing that we call techno.

For more info, contact: thesolarcathedral@hotmail.com

crosstown rebels get lost


Betty Kang ~ Crosstown Rebels are very proud to present a journey of unrivaled weirdness. Strange sounds, odd beats and twisted melodies fill two perfectly crafted CDs with new-school minimalism mixed by the men behind the excellent UK-based label, Damian Lazarus & Matthew Styles.

Get Lost is a deep and tripped out fusion of mighty mastercuts, techno toys and special songs carefully excavated from the electronic underground. Featuring exclusive new Rebel releases from Mlle Caro, Naum, Ost & Kjex and DJ Koze, Get Lost offers up new angles and fresh experiences for both the mind and the dancefloor. Disc 1 is a wonderfully twisted mix for the dancefloor while CD2 spreads its wonky wings even wider… Lazarus and Styles mixed both CDs together having spent the best part of six months combing the underground and compiling its awesome 29 tracks.

The incredible painted artwork for the double album has been created by LA based artist, Natalia Fabia. Glasses filled with luminous liquids, ladies holding weasels and octopus haircuts are just some of the weird and wonderful images to be found on the booklet and sleeves to the accompanying soundtrack.

This is the first mix album from Damian Lazarus in 2006. Since last year's ‘Rebel Futurism’, and Bugged Out ‘Suck My Deck’ compilation releases, he has extensively toured North and South America, Australia and Japan and is continually building a firm following of underground techno supporters and discerning electronic music aficianados across Europe and beyond. Following his ‘Time Out – Other Side of London’ compilation in Fall 2005, Damian currently hosts a residency at the Stink parties with Kompakt owner & A&R head Michael Mayer at T Bar in London and will once again hold fort at Ibiza's infamous DC-10 club this summer.

As label manager at Crosstown Rebels, Matthew Styles has up till now been the secret weapon in the Rebels DJ team armory. After receiving critical acclaim for the See You @ The Party CD on Music For Freaks, Matthew has created a buzz and a great deal of love for his exceptional DJ sets at some of the world's coolest clubs, particularly the Panorama Bar and WMF in Berlin, Pulp in Paris and Fabric in London. Matthew is a DJ and producer on the rise.

Crosstown Rebels reached a milestone in 2005 with the label’s first artist album with Chilean artist Pier Bucci ‘Familia’. The album’s South American melodies juxtaposed against the intricate electronic micro-house leanings and minimal techno excursions are at once trippy and beautiful and continue the cutting edge path of emotive electronic music.
Damian Lazarus U.S. Tour Dates

06.08.06 - Lava - Atlanta
06.09.06 - Love - NYC
06.10.06 - Avalon Hollywood - LA
06.15.06 - Mighty - San Francisco
06.16.06 - Vinyl - Denver, CO

For more information visit DamianLazarus.comCrosstownRebels.com or PlexiPR.com!

kraak & smaak boogie angst


Betty Kang ~ Get ready for the addictive future funk sound of the Netherlands, Kraak & Smaak Boogie Angst (June 6th). Leading Dutch dance music trio, Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug, bring their massive musical debut full-length stateside. Boogie Angst has garnered praise from Pete Tong, Laurent Garnier, and Annie Nightingale and is to be released on the venerable Quango Music Group, headed by industry veteran Bruno Gruez. The exclusive US version will include a kick-ass bonus disc of new & exclusive remixes.

Kraak & Smaak actually take their name from an old Dutch proverb meaning ‘crunchy & tasty’, not any schedule 1 controlled substances in case you were wondering. The debut LP is a slinky adventure into funked up breaks and future jazz rhythms, infused with live-sounding instruments and awash with soul jumping grooves and vocals. Their organic sound is sure to appeal to those of us who still hear the big beat but may have found themselves grown up and opted off the dancefloor. For these misplaced souls, this album will delight their woeful Boogie Angst. This is the perfect soundtrack for sun-drenched summer days.

As a fearless threesome, Kraak & Smaak dose their funked-up breaks and soul jumping grooves (as the name implies) with everything from ‘70s rare groove (“Keep on Searching”) to ‘80s references heard on the addictive single “Money in the Bag.” Obsessive late-night flirtations with Blue Note jazz sounds and ferocious ‘70s guitar licks ensue to mark their signature breaks sound.

Boogie Angst kicks off with the hooky twang of “Money in the Bag” then moves into “One of These Days,” a tune that pours honeyed vocals over looped guitars, spiraling trumpets and brass stabs. The balmy summer house sounds of “Keep Me Home” bounds through dusty woodwind and glimmering strings. “Danse Macabre” is a tripping, downbeat track with hauntingly soft vocals, while “5 to 4” takes on an epic Blade Runner style with stark mutated echoes and Middle Eastern pipes. “Mambo Solitario” elegantly curls strings around shuffling samba. And on and on it goes.

The first single "Keep me Home" has been supported by taste-maker KCRW and will be released on iTunes and 12" vinyl on May 16th with mixes by 4Hero and Soul of Man and a hot, hot video on the way.
Twenty-eight-year-old Oscar De Jong, the main knob twiddler in Kraak & Smaak, formed the group in 2003 after a series of chance meetings with the other two. From his exposure to endless types of music as a student at the Music Conservatory in Rotterdam, he now cites his influences as jazz, hip-hop, funk, breakbeat and “all experimental music.” It’s something the other two relate to and have used to help create the musical synergy and energy-charged live shows that have been winning European audiences over ever since.

For more information, visit KraakSmaak.comQuango.com or PlexiPR.com!

get made


Justin Kleinfeld ~ New York, NY – On August 18 & 19th, international superstar DJ/producer Paul van Dyk makes his much anticipated return to New York City’s Central Park. This event marks the culmination of the highly acclaimed Politics of Dancing 2 US Tour. Commencing in 2003, Paul van Dyk’s annual Central Park performance has become one of New York City’s most popular summer concerts and a testament to the vitality of electronic music. This is a must attend experience for all true electronic dance music fans.

Made Event is excited to announce the launch of “Get Made” - an interactive contest that searches the U.S. for the biggest and most loyal electronic music fan. Made Event wants to know if YOU have what it takes to promote like one of the electronic music industry’s most successful promotional organizations. One lucky Grand Prize Winner will receive an all expense paid trip to New York City for both Central Park performances!

“Get Made” contestants will be asked to create highly original ways to promote the Central Park events. It doesn’t matter how big or small their town is; what counts is unparalleled creativity and passion. We’re looking for “Get Made” contestants to photograph or video tape their creative promotional techniques and send them to us as part of their official entry. Made Event will scan through every submission and narrow the field down to the “Get Made” Final Four. This means that contestants must be as creative as possible to impress the tough Made Event judges and make it into the final round!

On June 28, the “Get Made” Final Four will be revealed exclusively on www.made-event.com. Then, it will be up to Paul van Dyk’s own fans to decide which of the “Get Made” Final Four contestants has the best promotional skills. Fans will determine the winner of “Get Made” by actually buying tickets through a dedicated link that corresponds to each individual “Get Made” Final Four contestant, in effect voting for their favorite! The Grand Prize Winner and Runner-up will be announced Monday, August 7 on www.made-event.com.

Here’s how it works:
  1. Beginning May 25, Paul van Dyk fans are invited to sign up for the “Get Made” contest at www.madeevent.com/getmade
  2. It is the job of “Get Made” contestants to conceive the most original ways of promoting the Central Park events to their own town and the entire globe via the web.
  3. From May 24 – June 23 “Get Made” contestants will have the opportunity to submit proof of their great promotional work. Made Event will personally review every submission and narrow the field down to their “Get Made” Final Four promoters. (For full submission details go to www.madeevent.com/getmade ).
  4. On June 28, the “Get Made” Final Four contestants will be announced exclusively at www.madeevent.com/getmade
  5. Each of the four “Get Made” finalists will be given their own personal link with which to sell tickets and the winner will be determined by the number of “votes” they receive (i.e. ticket sales.) This means the winner of “Get Made” will be chosen by YOU. You have the power to choose the greatest electronic music fan in the U.S.!

Made Event is committed to excellence in the promotion, production, and execution of electronic dance music events. They constantly bring a world-renowned caliber of entertainment into ever increasing unique and innovative venues, and seek to push the limit of expertise in their field. Made Event was the trailblazer for bringing international DJ events to Central Park and this August 2006, they bring their award-winning event Made in Central Park with Paul van Dyk back again for the 4th successful year in a row.
For more information on “Get Made,” Made Event and Paul van Dyk please visit www.made-event.com,www.paulvandyk.com, www.vonyc.com or RephlektorInk.com!

bottom of the 9th

sherri ~ phocas by todd ~ Hurricanes - 1 / Saints - 0 - I was down in New Orleans this last week for Freakfest and to visit some friends, and was astonished at how little had been done since Katrina hit. Sure Bourbon Street is still there with all of your Daiquiri and Beer venders, but a different story should be told about St. Bernard Parish where the entire parish has been devastated.

Our friend drove down to the parish for the first time since Katrina with us. She was raised in St. Bernard Parish, she saw the house she grew up in, her grandmothers house, the school she went to and all of the local hangouts that she used to frequent either demolished, if still standing, moved from their original foundation or contaminated by the flood water.

Most of the buildings are still boarded up with the original X on the front of the buildings. The top has the date it was searched, on the left is the unit that searched the dwelling, on the right the code for the type of contamination that was found and of course the bottom number was how many bodies were found inside. Some had the marking of TFW, which means Toxic Flood Water. Those houses will have to be either demolished or if salvageable totally gutted to remove the mold and waste.

If you have never experienced a natural disaster or been to war, this site is as close as it gets to it. Almost a year later the smell of death and contaminated water still lingers in the air. The sense of loss for all of the people that have either lost everything they have ever worked for, loved ones or their own lives is overwhelming. Under all of the overpasses there is debris and cars destroyed by the flood. It reminded me of a junkyard. Cars were parked side by side with doors missing, windows missing and sometimes two cars high.

A friend of hers parked his car on Canal St. to keep it safe right before one of the levies broke. When he returned to get his car it was gone. At first he thought it had either been washed away or stolen. After searching for the car, they looked up and found the car sitting in a large tree. The water had risen so high, the car had floated and when the water receded it had landed in the tree.

Our friend was fortunate enough to escape the natural disaster, but is having to live with the aftermath. Her house was robbed several days after the disaster occurred. What is sad is that they didn’t steal the drinking water that was in bottles or the canned food that was in the pantry. They stole knives, jewelry, and other items of value. This was not for self-preservation, it was about the money. She has since been able to go home and get on with her life, however, nobody can replace the heirlooms that were stolen from her home by neighbors.

In her neighborhood there have been trailers set up in driveways for friends and family that had no place to go. Depending on how large your lot is depends on if you can put a trailer on it. Some people had two or three of the trailers alongside their houses some only one. Trailer parks have been established in as many parts as possible with approximately 20 trailers per park, tall chain link fences with barbed wire around the top have been put up for security. There was one tent that I did see that had clothes in boxes for the residents of the parish. That is fine if the residents of St. Bernard Parish were still there. Some have returned, but the ones that have moved on to new lives in new cities are not benefiting from this.

We heard countless stories of water main break that the homeowners, even though the house wa
s destroyed, were being billed for water usage from the break. 30,000 gallons of water was used and the homeowner was required to pay for it. Electric bills from homes that nobody could inhabit and still they were required to pay for it while they were evacuated. People that work every day to make ends meet, were not only robbed physically and emotionally, but also by the utility companies. Yet on the front page of the local newspaper read “Free Internet Access to New Orleans”. Doesn’t do much good if you don’t have electricity or a computer to work on.

Progress needs to move faster for the people in New Orleans. We hear about how well it is progressing, but you can tell, it just isn’t fast enough. I won’t deny that I didn’t see clean up going on down there. Businesses are being rebuilt, streets are being cleared, and the Super Dome will open for the Saints first game of the season. It is the residents that are suffering the most though. With another hurricane season on the way, they need as much help as possible, as quick as possible.
Some facts about the current situation:
  • 300,000 homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina (Democracy Now)
  • 160,000 houses are beyond repair (planetark.com)
  • 750,000 were displaced and still can't return home (Democracy Now)
  • There are still people that do not have drinkable water or electricity and live in tents outside their destroyed homes. (oxfamamerica.com)
  • 22 million tons of garbage remains in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. (planetark.com)
  • Debris from Hurricane Katrina spans about 55 million cubic yards -- enough to fill 3.5 million dump trucks. (planetark.com)
  • There are still 300,000 abandoned cars in the city. (planetark.com)
  • There are currently 9000 students in 17 re-opened schools out of 118 schools that existed before Hurricane Katrina (nola.com).
  • 1,836 Dead (apnews)
Since the disaster, numerous web sites have been set up for Hurricane relief, including one by the Electronic Music Dance Industry, DanceCommunityCares.org. You can always drop by there to see what you can do, or just visit your local Red Cross.

above & beyond fire


Nathan McWaters ~ Dallas, TX - One of Dallas’ oldest and most notable venues, The Lizard Lounge has a manifold personality to it that only Dallas can generate in a venue. On Thursdays and Sundays, it even has a different name, albeit a more disreputable and sinister one: The Church. I’ve been a longtime attendee of this club, but mostly of its Church side, the side of the darker, industrial, electro goth-tech vampire-wannabe crowd, who go to angst, listen to eerie tunes, wear a lot of black, rave with razors between their lips while waving glowsticks or LED lights, and are almost unanimously looking to score a quick fix and an escape from reality into a place where they can scream and still be alive enough to feel it. DJ Irene likes to play at The Church, but she’s a patsy compared to residents like DJ Virus. They knew my face at The Church under a different name, but that was a long time ago and I doubted they’d recognize me now. I can’t look at this seedy building in one of Dallas’ oft-forgotten side roads just a stone’s throw from I-35S and the Dallas downtown skyline without having to dwell on The Church.

Still, the schizophrenia of Lizard Lounge owes its lifeblood to the goth-tech side, so it never really shuts that part of itself down; instead, it splits into two to accommodate both: FIRE, and the Video Bar. Over half the DJs mentioned in the flyer above weren’t there to spin for FIRE; they were there for the industrial half of the venue, to challenge FIRE’s trance with hardhouse/industrial from the Video Bar. It doesn’t help matters that both sides of Lizard Lounge possess arguably the two best sound systems of the EDM venues in Dallas.
Every other day of the week, Lizard Lounge is Lizard Lounge, and it has drawn names from around the globe to grace its happier, plurrier side with EDM of all types and persuasions. I had the opportunity to catch James Zabiela here last year on the FIRE side, and it was a party the likes of which I’ve yet to repeat; he’s one of a kind, after all. Tonight, Lizard Lounge brought out the tie-dyed carpet for another one of a kind event, and that’s Above & Beyond, a trance trio from England, for their first-ever gig in Dallas, perhaps even their first-ever gig in Texas. Above & Beyond have stormed the trance world with sets that have sold out clubs all over the globe, rocked WMC’06, released their first album “Tri-State” just about a month or so ago, and rank in the Top 25 on DJList.com. I expected to get my ass handed to me with a side of mustard; I even anticipated it.

I showed up on schedule for this one, if only because this was my chance to get a listen in on some of Dallas’ local talent live. The opener was Dylan StClair, one of FIRE’s residents, and it wasn’t hard to see why. He decided to give his opening for Above & Beyond a progressive trance flavor, very much reminiscent to me of Deep Dish’s style; same kind of energy, tempo, etc. All in all, a pretty tight set. I admit I strayed on several occasions onto the other side of the house during his set, to hear Fabian Bates and BaZar throw down some thumping industrial-electro tech that was seriously flowing, but Dylan was maintaining the larger crowd, even if it took them almost an hour to finally get into the pit. Imagine, if you will, something like seventy people just lounging around while an act like Deep Dish drops sick tracks like there’s no tomorrow. I felt pretty bad for Dylan at that point, even though the crowd was growing at a rapid rate, but then Lizard Lounge unleashed their dancers onto the stages, and Dylan dropped Aquagen + Warp Bros. – Blood Rave (Bloodbath Mix), and that changed the whole thing. Suddenly, the pit was filled with people, and the overflow was in the seating area and on the second floor, and it was like the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s “Messiah”. . .albeit a progressive mix.

Near the end of Dylan’s session, FIRE jumped us with some sort of interpretive dance routine made up of Grecian deities. I was a little peeved that they had to kick Lizard Lounge’s dancers offstage to make space for them; I particularly annoyed by how they ended up mis-cueing Dylan into a big fat trainwreck, but he took it all in stride and kept on spinning. I can say this about Dylan StClair: the man loves his work. The initial audience response fed directly off of him, and he was into the music he was dropping with gusto. The gods and goddesses vanished before Above & Beyond came on, though, and with the dancers reestablished in their zones, things were all nicely prepped and packaged.

At midnight, the pumpkin turned into a stagecoach, and Above & Beyond made their appearance. Only two of them decided to show for this one; not sure where Paavo was, but Jono and Tony were more than adequate for what they had in store for Dallas. From their ease of transition into their set, to their almost instant rapport with the crowd, Above & Beyond proved why their rise in the EDM community has been as lofty as their name. A lot of their set came straight off of “Tri-State”, which was to be expected, but they held no bones about using remixes of their tracks instead of originals. They also tactically inserted material from some of their older works into the newer, vocal tracks that “Tri-State” boasts, which was a real treat to see; having almost 300 people singing the lyrics to Home while people waved cigarette lighters, to them turning it all around and following that up with No One On Earth (Gabriel & Dresden Dub). I ran the batteries in the camera out and had to run to the truck to get more, and I just kept on shooting, trying to capture the energy that these guys were generating and that the crowd was returning. Seamless mixing and a constant tempo throughout all three hours of their set. The closing tune of their night, the one that brought the whole club to their feet to scream Above & Beyond’s accolades: Oceanlab – Satellite (Above & Beyond Progressive Mix).

I felt sorry for Frankieboy, to have to close for a set like that, but he smiled through it and broke out the vinyl, and he ended the night with a hardcore set that well and truly made me blink. I only caught the opening half of it, as my pumpkin time had come and gone and I still had the drive to make back to Hood, but from the way things looked as I headed out onto I-35S, Frankieboy had things well under control, and the pit was kept packed even through A&B’s autograph session on the second floor. In the Video Bar, the hardcore goths not into the trance scene maintained their vigil, probably all the way until 0400, and they seemed content enough. A good night for all, I suppose.

It’ll be a long month-and-a-half before I get to see another gig, so here’s to hoping this one’s buzz lasts a good, long while. Above & Beyond – “Tri-State”, available in stores, on iTunes, and in other such sundry merchandising establishments now. See them if you’re able; if you aren’t, pray that you become so.

psychadelic pimp-daddy land


Blasting out of Kansas City early Friday morning on a non-stop 13.5 hour drive, I could barely contain my excitement at covering this year's Freakfest. This annual tradition of Pimpness, presented by Disco Productions is held at the State Palace Theater in New Orleans. Hosting some of the best acts in the World, there is never a disappointing beat for the thousands in attendance.
The night of the party I got there just about the time the doors were opening and was not shocked at all to see lines stretching out in both directions As is typical of events in New Orleans, the lines of those waiting to get in were a melting pot of culture and the feeling in the air that something really exciting was about to happen.

Filtering through the doors, through the entryway and into the main room, the first that struck me was the enormity of the stage setup. Rising probably 15-20 feet above stage level, it dominated the room with video screens on and around it. Dominating the rest of the room, was the familiar pulse of bass that can only be found in places like the State Palace Theater (or the Uptown & Madrid in Kansas City).
People were still slowly filtering in through the pat-downs and there really wasn't much happening at the main stage, so I decided to go upstairs and check that out.

Up on the balcony, locals / regionals were spinning it up for the lobby area. I didn't catch who was playin, but I really liked everything I heard every time I passed through there.
Upstairs, Jungle & Drum & Bass found a perfect home for the night and a charged crowd. For all of the rooms, I couldn't find any lineups posted anywhere, so I couldn't tell you who played where and when, but it was awesome... on all levels.

Donald Glaude did his usual fantastic job of whipping the crowd into a dancing frenzy, but the highlight of the evening for me, Uberzone took the stage at 1:30 am. From the first beat, they turned the place upside down. Raw Power through CDs & Drum Machine, moving a thousand or more to that pulse.
Having no less of an impact, I think Photek was playing about the same time as well, or a little before/after. That was another I hadn't seen since WMC a few years ago and was glad to get the opportunity to see tearin it up again.

Unfortunately, having been there since doors, I ran out of memory at the end of Uberzone and was unable to take any more photos. And the best I can do is you shoulda seen it by the time Jackly & Hyde were through, as well as George Acosta and Concord Dawn. The energy was there from the start to the end at the State's first party to go all night again. I think it was 7 am... or something like that?

june 2006 editor note


Right before cutting out to New Orleans, I stopped in for a couple friends' graduation ceremony and Sherri snapped this shot of me with the newly graduated! Congratulations and good luck to all of this year's graduates wherever your path leads you!

This month's path lead me to New Orleans for this month's cover story and photo! The trip was exhausting, but I had a really great time, as well as taking a moment to witness the devastation of my "home away from home". Words and photos can't compare to the reality of the situation. Once I finally get a chance to review all of my footage from down there, I'll be posting it up to my portfolio web-site-in-progress next week sometime. Where words failed me though, Sherri picked up the torch and made a contribution this month, with "Bottom of the 9th Ward." Be sure to check it out!

Here on phocas, everyone has provided some amazing coverage from all over the country and we have more planned for the month's ahead! I wish I had time to write about everything that we looked at this month, but sometimes... it really is easier to just look at the photos and see what you missed... or maybe you didn't? :)

This month's topper, Freakfest really was an amazing night, followed up with Gabriel & Dresden at Ampersand! That club, tucked just behind the State Palace Theater, on a Sunday night after one of the biggest parties in the region, this place exploded and they played to packed house until 4 am. I am told that this is nothing unusual for events of this type that are hosted there.
It was a nice room too and the layout kind of reminded me of The Grand Emporium, with it's cozy little alcove, seperate bar and main dance floor.

Speaking of The Grand Emporium, it is undoubtedly recognizeable as one of Kansas City's most important landmarks of music. It has a solid reputation for showcasing some of the best talent seen in the music industry and it just so happens that we will be hosting our next event there on July 14th!

You are not going to want to miss this either! We heard your demand for bigger and better talent! Partnering with Disco Productions, phocas.net invites you to join us in welcoming internationally renowned DJ, Producer and Recording Artist Nigel Richards (NigelRichards.com - 611 Records - Philadelphia, PA). This will be his first time back to Kansas City since his headlining performance at Chaos Theory 2 that rocked your world!

That's not all and it doesn't stop there. We are going to do this every month, on the 2nd Friday. In fact, we already have a lineup of world-class talent that is going to blow your mind! Better get some new shoes ...

and I'll see ya on the dance floor!
:P
~phocas~

june 2006 issue