Saturday, February 28, 2004

event photos feb.04


Flyers for events photographed in February 2004 appear below.

A link to the associated photo album appears beneath that.



02.04.2004
featuring
TBA (Towards a Better Acronym), SL8TR, cQuence, Flotilla, Eclypz
Cup & Saucer
Kansas City, MO


02.06.2004
featuring
Steve Thorell & Bill Pile
The Point
Kansas City, MO


02.07.2004
featuring
Bill Pile & Two Heavy
Empire Room
Kansas City, MO


02.09.2004
featuirng
phocas and residents
Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club
Kansas City, MO

02.13.2004
featuring
Steve Thorell & Bill Pile
The Point
Kansas City, MO


02.14.2004
featuring
Ming & FS, Ces Cru and Game, DJ Sku, and Oscar Slugworth
Granada Theater
Lawrence, KS
photos by todd & joe


02.21.2004
featuring
Full Cycle featuring Roni Size, Derrick May, Dave Seaman, Miguel Migs, Tortured Soul, Demonix, Oktane, Stryfe, and Cease
Loew's State Palace Theater
New Orleans, LA

AND

02.23.2004
featuring
Charles Feelgood, Danny the Wildchild, Dieselboy, MC J Messian, Micro, Monk, Nigel Richards, Phantom 45, Tim Walsh's Laser Music, Ballzach, Zach, Trent Cantrelle, and J. Andrew
Loew's State Palace Theater
New Orleans, LA

02.20.2004 thru 02.24.2004
featuring
Endymion, Mid-City, Bacchus, Orpheus and Mardi Gras Day
French Quarter
 New Orleans, LA


02.28.2004
featuring
D:Fuse, Dave London, Johnna, Bobby Duracel, Mike J and John Clark
Club Stop 345
Memphis, TN
photos by kourtney


02.28.2004
featuring
unknown
Chakra
Kansas City, MO


02.28.2004
featuring
Pleasurehead, St Marc, Mike Pierce, Blue Skeiz, FitzRoger, Atom Bryce, JD Staley, and Overpour in the Main Room.  In another room, Breakbotix led things off, with support from Mike Scott, Mike McGrath, & cQuence
photos by todd & joe




~ that's it for this month ~

Sunday, February 01, 2004

now playing february 2004

by Ben Ramsey ~ I like lists. I like making them and I like reading them. If you have top 10’s or reviews or anything, post them over in the music section of the forum.

I was thinking about some records I was going to take over to a friend’s house this weekend. The kids will be mainly indie rock kids and hip-hop kids in Lawrence and my role is going to mainly be playing some stuff when the main dj doesn’t want to play. Of the stuff I pulled out, these are the first 10 I grab out of that stack:

The Cure – “just like heaven” 12” – Yeah the original 12” release of this . . . I just put on the b-side to it and . . . yeah the A will go over fine though I’m sure. One of the wonders of buying 50 cent records at goodwill.

Deltron 3030 2x12 LP – You can’t go wrong here.

Music for Modern Living 2x12 compilation – a Recycled Sounds find from quite a while go – Kruder & Dorfmeister, Nicolette, Combustible Edison, Jimi Tenor – and yet the other unknown artists actually have the more outstanding tracks.

Elvis Costello – My Aim is True LP – Heh yes. Seriously – the KCPL library system has the extended cd release of this album. But you just cannot beat the original lp version. This is seriously a great, great album.

Belle & Sebastian – The Boy with the Arab Strap LP – Honestly, I remember when this band had a single or something out on pop radio, and I thought they were a tie-in from the Disney movie. I read otherwise and bought this on a whim. A nice factoid about Belle & Sebastian is that the twins from Mum were on the cover of Fold your Hands Child, You Walk like a Peasant, but seriously – this band is really pretty good.

Digable Planets – Blowout Comb 2x12 LP – this is easily the funkiest album ever. I picked this up in Chicago – in Gramaphone actually, first time ever going up there for record shopping, and only had maybe $40 at that to do it with. This was something like a limited 1000 repress back in 2002 I think. This was worth picking up over all the other things in that store to me that day.

Guns ‘n’ Roses – Lies 12” EP – I paid $2.98 for this, and I’m not sayin where. You know this is a crowd killer. And yeah, the inside dust jacket is a much larger version of the inside of the cd and tape sleeve.

Nuyorican Soul – “Black Gold of the Sun” 12” – I’m glad I pulled this one out. This is, of course, a classic – I mean the original version has vocals by Jocelyn Brown and Q-Tip dammit. I have a few copies of the 4 Hero remix, which I highly recommend as well – but the A side here, the original Masters at Work mix, is a great track to play. The B-side is a couple of remixes of “Runaway,” another track from the Nuyorican Soul self-titled album, which are also featured in a 2x12 release of singles specifically for it, which means label redundancy – but ultimately it’s worth having both this and that. Double copies are always nice.

Fugazi – Margin Walker 12” EP – 79 cents in a thrift store on Noland. Also got Never Mind the Bullocks there for the same amount. And Aztec Camera.
Tears for Fears – Seeds of Love LP – I got this mainly for “Sowing the Seeds of Love” but honestly . . . it’s a good album.

As you can see, I like a lot of diversity in my music. I have a wide range of tastes, but honestly, I’m pretty narrow-minded when it comes down to what I like. If I like it, then I like it – very rarely, unless it’s truly innocuous, am I ambivalent about it. More importantly, I like forcing my tastes on others, so I hope you find something in this column now or in the future which turns you on to something new.

from the bench

by J. Phoenix ~ Music is something both abstract and concrete. Concrete in that it exists, sound waves through the air, contained on sheets of paper, grooves in a record, zeros and one's on a CD. It becomes abstract when we begin analyzing it, trying to break down why something sounds like it does, how a sound was created, or arranged. Electronic music goes one further from traditional music by breaking down barriers of what can be actually be played by a human being with an instrument, or things like tonality and scale in reference to notes. This can make electronic music difficult to talk about, without resorting to focusing on the personalities behind the music, or specific traits of a genre.

This presents a problem for beginning creators of electronic music. If you're working by yourself, without someone to guide you, it can be very hard to find information about how to do what you want to, or understanding the information you do find.

When I started there were very few people I found that were seriously producing, and few people that knew what a Live PA was exactly, but that number has increased as time has gone by. Now in online forums, there is more discussion from people that are making electronic music, or are interested in starting. Interest is increasing in creating the music, not just playing it.

At the same time, with new and emerging technologies such as mp3 players, cd players, and hybrid vinyl/software systems like Final Scratch, dj's are more able than ever to play out original music from producers and get them attention on the dancefloor. More and more people are turning to music not aimed at the dancefloor, giving a number of producers an outlet shortcutting the dj system found in the dance scene. The line between dj's and producers will further blur as time goes on and technology allows for more and more to be performed live, remixed, and created.

In my series of articles, I'm hoping to establish some basics about the different instruments and techniques used with them, which allows beginners an idea of what to use to create a desired effect. I will talk about the basics as I've learned them of sound synthesis, sampling, an explanation of drum machines/sequencer, effects, and a bit about
programming. After that, I want to begin interviewing producers and trying to discuss where they get ideas from, how they work on their music, highlighting some of the different methods that exist to get a given result, whether working in software or hardware.Later in the series, I plan on interviewing producers and having guest articles on how other people accomplish their art in electronic music.

To introduce myself, my name is J. Phoenix, I am a musician and I write electronic music. Lately I've been working on slower, more groove-based music, incorporating Trip-Hop and Drum and Bass elements. Before that I was working on Techno, specifically acid and minimal forms of Techno. My foundation is in rock and roll, and I have played guitar with several different groups before 1999 in that genre. I have been performing Live PA for audiences since 2001, and worked with d33p thou9ht and Ebon locally. In my Live PA I have strived to prove that electronic music is something that can be improvised live, which I don't see enough of in the Scene. This year I look forward to pressing on in new directions, and look forward to watching people dance to my music on the floor.

The first piece of advice I can give to producers out there, whether beginning or advanced, is to remember that It Isn't What You've Got, Its How You Use It. That came from an old black man w/ a guitar on the street back when I was playin' blues. It is still be best piece of advice I can give any musician. Its easy to get bogged down in the gear game, thinking that if "I had one more piece, or one more software program, I could do exactly what I want to". The truth of it is, that you can get effective results using what you've got at your disposal already, and if absolutely not, keeping working and learning in the meantime.

Whether or not the end result of your work satisfies you or your audience is what matters, not how you got the result. Whether you're recording yourself beat-boxing and sequencing loops from it, using a computer program to create tracks, or running a system that incorporates several pieces of hardware and a computer at once, there is no one way to create electronic music. It is always good to remember that.

february around the kc metro

Mondays
Industrial Area Productions is definitely expanding their horizons with a new attitude and a new look for their weekly at Davey's Uptown, called Evolution. Using both rooms they are taking on a more Non-Partisan approach to Electronic Music Education. The front Bar room Music has a more electic feel where pretty much anything goes. The Back Room, with it's dance floor and superior sound system provide a contrast with everything from A-Z, Electronically speaking and depending upon the guests for the night. If you haven't had a look or a listen, be sure to stop in some Monday night and check it out.

Tuesdays
This is kind of strange day with no definite crowd at any specific place. Most people tend to stick to the places they know or are close by their homes. Mike's Tavern is probably one of the most homey places to hang, have a beer and shoot some pool to the sounds of various Electronic DJs. If you're clear out South though, stop in at Hannah's Bistro on Metcalf. Steve Thorell just started a weekly there that already has some dedicated fans.

Wednesdays
Hands down, the Wednesday Perk at The Cup & Saucer is probably best place to be on a Wednesday Night in KC, spinning up some of the finest in DownTempo and Drum and Bass. Be sure to get there early though, because if it's "one of those nights", you may find yourself sitting outside if you show up after 11.

Thursdays
DeepFix Records have put together Frisky, decidedly one the Best Nights in Kansas City every Thursday at Kabal Restaurant & Nightclub. More times than not, you will have the opportunity to dance to some of the finest headliners from around the continent, and even the globe.

Fridays
For the end of the work week, I highly recommend stopping by The Point for a good solid dose of House from a couple of the best DJs in Kansas City, Steve Thorell and Bill Pile. Laying it down smooth and sexy in the basement, you are sure to have a good time and get a little sweaty shakin your thang.

Saturdays
This is kind of a strange day in KC for Electronic Music. Typically, Saturday is a day reserved for "The Event", though there has been a scarcity of such things as of late. Regardless, on the club front, there are so many places to go, it's really difficult to nail down The One Best Place. The best places that I have found are The Empire Room (newly remodeled!), Kabal Restaurant & Nightclub and XO Nightclub.

Sundays
Is there anything going on Sundays anymore?

free music

by Ben Ramsey ~ I recently realized that I have never owned a Mudhoney album, and the fact that I’ve never had one of their albums means I haven’t really fulfilled the Singles thing. There is an interesting place to turn if you're like me and have never owned a Mudhoney album. Almost surprisingly, it's the local library systems.

Have you ever looked at what your tax dollars bought? The largest local library systems – the Kansas City Public Library system, Mid-Continent, and Johnson County are stacked with great free music. Just searching for Mudhoney in the KCPL system yielded the Singles soundtrack, as well as Mudhoney’s album from 2000, and a find – a two-disc comp called Gimmie Indie Rock with Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr., Minutemen, The Fall, Galaxie 500, and a ton of others. I tell the online system I want it, it reserves it at the most convenient branch to me, and the system emails me within a few days when it’s in.

Now, of course, these systems are not going to have the ease of selection that the online p-2-p services have. However, libraries are generally funded based on usership, and by supplying more of what users want, can get better funding. You do have the ability to give purchase suggestions, both on-line and in person, to systems as to what they buy, whether it’s books, dvds, or music. Donations are of course accepted as well.
And yeah, I said dvds. You don’t like paying late fees or supporting superchains and their limited selection? Did you know you can get dvds – and vhs as well of course -- from the Kansas City Public library for $1 for 3 days? Not only is the arts and education section expansive, but the number of (often newly-released) feature films is fairly impressive.

Your tax dollars can buy a lot of this stuff so it’s worth exploiting for a free, valuable source of music, entertainment, and education. For more information about the Kansas City Public Library, be sure to visit their web site, KCPL.Lib.Mo.Us

lunatik

by Brent Crampton ~ photo by SteveO ~ Lunatik, aka Aaron Godbout, is a DJ always on the edge of electronic music. Throughout the years, his styles have graced the sounds of reggae, break beats, two-step and electro techno bangers. Lunatik is like the emporium of the midwest, always traveling around the globe, to see the who's who and the what's what of electronic music, and then bringing it back to Omaha. His production company, AM, has brought in top notch names to Omaha such as H Foundation, Nigel Richards, Frankie Bones, Keith Kemp and Rowland the Bastard to name a few. And now recently, he has begun work on his new record label, Wreckless Recordings. So expect this star studded selecta to rise in the ranks.

Where do you live?

I currently reside in Omaha, Nebraska.

How long have you been mixing and who do you play for?

I have been mixing for almost 10 years. I represent 519AM.com, AM Industries, Wreckless Recordings, and Technomaha.com

Tell me more about your new record label - Wreckless Recordings?

Wreckless is a record label devoted to top quality dance music. The music is edgy and is geared towards the harder sounds. The first release is by Trinity Sound System called “Addicted,” with remixes by myself and James Deep. Look for it soon everywhere. More information is available at 519am.com.

How did you get into DJing?

I got involved with electronic and dance music before I attended parties. I used to make tracks with this program called ScreamTracker which was essentially the precursor to Fruity Loops back in 1994’s. I had been to a couple parties and snuck into a couple dance clubs, and I basically tried to emulate what I had heard. The event that influenced me to DJ was an event called Junk Shun in late 1995 by UFO Productions. I decided that evening that I wanted to become a DJ. I knew nothing about it, I just knew I wanted to rock parties. I wanted to do something different, and CDJ’s had just come out, so I started learning how to mix on cds. I switched over to records about a year later, and have been playing ever since.

Who influences your mixing?

I am influenced by the styles of all the talented DJs and performers that I have been fortunate enough to see. When I travel to go check out DJ performances, I always watch what they are doing. Some of the DJ’s whose styles influence me are Andy C, Adam Freeland, Mauro Picotto, Sven Vath, and Adam Beyer. Anytime I hear a good set, I try to take something valuable away with me that I can apply to my style.

If someone was to hear you at an event, what could they expect?

I play a wide selection of music, depending on the event and situation. When I play club and dance style events, I play aggressive, bass driven music that is fun both to listen and dance to. Its music for the dance floor and the mind. Each set that I play is completely different from any other. I include unreleased tracks and tracks that I have produced. Every performance features exclusive material. I try to take listeners on a ride, keeping the selection switched up. I usually go through about 25 tracks in an hour. It is my responsibility to play to my utmost ability at all times, no matter how I feel or the size of the event.

What gives you motivation to keep DJing?

My motivation to play records is intrinsic. I love the endless possibilities involved with the mix. I also enjoy working crowds. Music is a powerful force and the turntables are the DJ’s light saber, slicing through the monotony of everyday existence.

What advice do you have for up-and-comers?

My advice to up-and-comers is to know your abilities and skills. Too many new DJs are focused on the end result, being up in front of people, and they try and play out too soon. DJing is an art form, and, like any other art, must be practiced. Don’t take short cuts. Only play when you know that you are ready. I also encourage newcomers to learn their music and music history, and choose their tracks carefully. There is too much bad music out there.

What is the best and worst (if you feel you want to respond to this) party you have spun at?

There have been so many events that its hard to pick just one (good and bad). I try to take something good away from the times that were bad. We did this party called Renegade in Sept 2001. It was out in the middle of nowhere. You had to park in a forest and walk a quarter mile in the darkness to a clearing where the party was. A complete DIY party. The vibe was very thick and I am happy to have been involved with that event. People were grooving on the music, even after we blew the low end. (laughs)

Who are your favorite producers?

There are a lot of quality producers at the current moment. For breaks I rate Freeland, Aquasky, Tipper, and Rennie Pilgrem, among many others. The electro stuff I get is so diverse it’s hard to pin down the good producers. Umek has a nice tweaked out electro track that I’m rockin currently. John Selway is quality. Green Velvet always makes interesting tracks. There are really too many producers to name. Sly and Robbie, Bobby Dixon, Dr . Dre, Rick Rubin, Giorgio Moroder . . . It gets deeper.

What are your plans for the future?

The future is now.

For more information on DJ Lunatik, visit TechnOmaha.com

fireside chat with negro scoe

interview by Scott Venable ~ photos by todd

CD title: Negro Scoe presents Absurd Sin in: Different Than You
Artist: Negro Scoe of the Hip Hop Addicts

Who are the Hip Hop Addicts?

We’re a group of MCs that originated in Southern California. The other members are Hijinx, Acre Antics, and a homie of mine that passed away a few years ago named James Martinez who we called Menace1. Since moving here there’s a new breed of Hip Hop Addicts. It’s me, Drastic, Archaic Academy, and Hands Off as well as our producers Beat Broker and Spinstyles from Breakbotix.

What are you trying to bring to local hip-hop?

I’m trying to bring something new, something innovative. A breath of fresh air. That’s why I called my new album “Different Than You”.

I think that the local scene is mostly on life-support, just trying to stay alive. To get heard nationally you usually have to compromise. I mean it’s a matter of what kind of music you’re trying to put out there. Stay clear of gimmicks and shock rap. You want to be known as an artist with substance.

As is common for local music, distribution is difficult. Where would I be able to purchase your CD when it drops in late February?

You can get it at any local hip-hop store. Also at Lovely’s here in the city and 816 Skateboards in Lee’s Summit.

Are you planning on touring this album anywhere?

Most definitely. Sometimes that’s the only way to get your music outside of the area. We’re gonna be calling up venues that we know play hip-hop and try to get booked all over.

Anything else?

Be your own leader. Listen to music you can feel and connect with. Be yourself. You gotta be an individual first. Lots of kids are trying to be a part of the local hip-hop scene because they all want Bentleys with 24-inch rims. But they aren’t doing it from the heart. I say I’m a hip hop addict because I am. I love the beats. I love the words. It’s what helps me get through the stress of work and relationships. That’s love. And that’s all that really matters.

Scoe also wants you to know: Look out for the Leroy Chilifoot and Dante Everglade EP due out late 2004.

breaking the old

Interview by Michael Bradshaw ~ photos by todd ~ Breakbotix is, arguably, the hottest thing going in Kansas City right now. The members of the three-man live production group can‘t walk through the mall in KC without getting recognized. They’ve blown away acts like Skylab 2000, UFO, Tech N9ne, and Danny Tha Wildchild. Breakbotix, is composed of DJ Soda, Spinstyles and DJ Clockwerk and continues to turn heads across the Midwest with their three-way battle-style, on-the-spot remix, b-boy explosiveness.

Breakbotix spoke to phocas about their music, their future and their new found fame.

phocas: What is Breakbotix?

DJ Soda: The idea of Breakbotix was to keep it real freestyle with no rules... We never know what other people in the group are going to try... Production-wise, I started making more minimal break beats, fewer melodies and simple bass lines. [This] gave Clockwerk more room to mix over the top. We were taking an old school hip-hop studio setup and doing it live. Drum machines, samplers and turntables--we had a lot of fun and have been booked almost weekly for two years straight.

phocas: How did Breakbotix get started?

DJ Soda: I had been playing live P.A. for about three years by myself when I moved to KC from Vegas. I thought I would try to find a scratch DJ to team up with. I found this kid named Trey who really just tore it up, so we started Breakbotix... With me on the drum machines and samplers and Trey scratching and mixing over the top. Eventually, Trey’s friend, Clockwerk got booked to play with us at [the party] Super Happy Exploding Fun Ball (c. 2001)--the crowd went crazy, we stole the show and [Clockwerk] became a permanent member of the group. We knew right then we would be doing this more often.

SpinStyles: I had seen Soda and Clockwerk around and chatted with him at parties. Trey had just left to go to Chicago and they needed someone to fill in his role as the scratch DJ. They asked me if I was interested and that where it all started for me.

Clockwerk: We played S.H.E.F. Ball and it blew up. It was the first time we’d ever done it.. no practice or anything. The response was overwhelming to have us do it again. It just kind of became an electronic band after that.

phocas: What is it about your personal playing style /musical philosophy Breakbotix facilitates?

DJ Soda: I evolved into it with no choice. I went from a solo performer into Breakbotix when I joined up with the other guys. I loved to watch the crowd react to a certain remix we do. We will take songs you might know and completely mash them up with a break beat sound. Spinstyles and Clockwerk play over my over my beats, creating brand new remixes of anything and everything. I play all drum machines, samplers and use various effect boxes and controllers. What the crowd is hearing is something brand new and on the spot, created live for them. When we are playing at a show, we are hearing it for the first time ever and sharing that with the crowd.

Spinstyles: When I joined, Breakbotix had already had a nice little name buzzing about within the scene. From there, I just wanted to see how far I could push things on my end. [At first] I was just scratching over everything like Trey was doing. Shortly after, I started coming in on the mixes as well with Clockwerk. My style with track selection has always been real hip-hop influenced. Going from hip-hop to drum n’ bass to 2step is where I usually take it.

Clockwerk: It’s exciting to be doing something different. Something fresh. Something a lot of people haven’t done before. It was also a challenge for me. I have to be on point. I have to be on beat mixing over stuff. It’s sort of a challenge but it’s turned out alright. Anything goes really. Anything I feel people want to hear. It works out good.

phocas: What’s the best part about being in Breakbotix?

Soda: I love playing on the huge sound. Where else can I get to do that? There’s something about my hands controlling bass kicks and snares on a huge sound system that is hard to describe. When we are on point and in the zone, it just sounds awesome to me.

Spinstyles: I love playing big parties and watch kids freak out to our sound. Just being able to stand behind the decks and watch that is amazing.

Clockwerk: I like the attention and the energy. When we play a lot of people are curious and they’ll get up and check us out. When people are up front checking us out that helps us play better. The more people that are right crammed up front, it doesn’t matter how many people [are at the show]. If everybody’s up front, that makes it that much better.

phocas: What is Breakbotix’s future?

Soda: Playing shows farther from KC... We seem to be talking production more and more. I think our sound and setup pushes toward a lot of remix work. We are already remixing live on stage, so naturally, I think we will get some remix opportunities. A year from now we will have some records out, we are talking to several big time producers and DJ’s about remixes... Overseas is a big goal for us.

For more information about Breakbotix, visit their website at Breakbotix.com.

chakra

Interview by Kourtney Anderson ~ photos by todd & Kourtney Anderson

Club ChakraI had been hearing whispers about a new club to hit the area. I kept my eyes open for any solid info about this new place but little was to be found. So when I pondered my options for New Years Eve I got excited to hear that this new club was offering a sneak peak of sorts for the holiday. With this NYE party announcement came some clues as to what I should expect. The people behind “Club Chakra” were the same ones that blew me away at the beginning of the year with their short lived club night, “Ultraviolet”. I dressed to impress and as I got closer to the club the excitement built. When we reached our destination the bright Chakra sign reassured my assumptions that it was going to be a great night. I had always loved Ultraviolet and now I had a place to return for a similar experience. Yet I only knew that Chakra was open for NYE and had no other clue about its future. Still in the dark I decided to track down Charlie and get the scoop.

Where are you from? How did you end up in the Midwest?

London, England. I went to an international college in London where I met my wife, Amy, who was studying abroad. After graduating, I followed her back here as her family is from Topeka and we married in ’99.

What is your most memorable clubbing experience?

My favorite club was a place called Club UK. Every Friday they would bring in the usual suspects like Sasha and Digweed, Coxie and Okie, Sven Vath and PVD etc. and we (and 3000 regulars) rarely missed a Friday! That was a decade ago however…

My favorite experience was dancing 12 hours straight at the Tom-Tom club in Sydney, Australia in 1992 at the peak of the EuroTrance era. No-one noteworthy was playing, I just had an incredible night and we spent the next day chilling on Bondi beach, soaking up the rays!

When did u decide to open a club? Why KC?

My wife and I were driving back from New Years 2000 in Cali. We were full of hope and promise and we decided, “What the hell!” Amy had always wanted to open a club and with our combined experiences to draw upon it seemed a natural choice. We had had such a good time in London and we wanted to bring a piece of that here. We scoped out every venue from Manhattan to KCMO. We needed something that had parking, lack of neighbors and was the right size but everywhere we went, local ordinances and the initial costs made things next to impossible. The spot in the west bottoms had the right combination of a ready-to-paint venue, oodles of parking and an understanding landlord. Plus KC is where it’s at.

How did you come up with the name Club Chakra?

Amy came up with it. We wanted something exotic and sexy so she looked for names in other languages. Chakra fit perfectly. It also means “hot blonde” in Arabic!

What is the theme of the club?

An international style that is vibe-oriented. We geared it towards socializing and wanted a place for people to relax and soak up a warm friendly vibe. However there will be plenty of action on the dance-floor with intelligent lighting and visual effects of a standard that people who saw UV will be familiar with. Upstairs we have the “deep floor” devoted to deep house. It’s warm, sexy and intimate. Our philosophy is that creating the atmosphere and vibe is the most important thing. Everything else will flow from that. We wanted to create a place where you can relax, enjoy yourself at the end of the week but still dance your ass off if you want to.

What kind of music should people expect to hear?

The music downstairs is designed to have a progression throughout the evening to cater to a wider audience. Expect accessible, sexy, upbeat sounds to begin with, becoming harder and trancier as the night goes on. The top floor will be exclusively deep house so there’ll always be a contrast.

Chakra is committed to fostering new local talent. Each week there will be a guest dj opening for Chakra residents who represent the major genres. Also, every three weeks we aim to have a show to add spice and break up the month.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Financing. Since a nightclub is obviously a risky investment, banks treat you like a leper’s jockstrap. It takes some serious schmoozing to get anywhere! I would also have to say making a business that takes 110% and at the same time making time for two small children has been exceptionally difficult.

What has been the best part?

Seeing the help that people have given. People can see this is something different and want to be a part of it. I literally get a lump in my throat when I think of all the hard work and goodwill given to help get this off the ground. I will be eternally grateful to all those who have given up so much of their time and energy.

When is the opening night? Ages?

January 31 and we will be exclusively 21+

How late will you be open? What is the capacity? Number of rooms?

For the next month at least, we will be open ‘till 3am. Our initial capacity is 500 and we have 2 floors of music and 2 bars.

What would be your ideal for the club?

The ideal would be to steadily improve until we become an international class nightclub of the standard that city-dwellers worldwide enjoy and KC sorely deserves.

Do you have any advice for those wanting to open their own club?
Get your finances in order first because it is easier to talk with venue owners etc. Also keep persevering –never give up!

Any regrets thus far?

I wish we had more time to make a better first impression and really show what we can do. We found the venue early last year while doing the club-night “Ultraviolet” in Lawrence, but the lease wasn’t signed until October so we couldn’t start work until then. Since then it’s been “balls to the wall” and we are all a bit frazzled.

Favorite fast food?

McDonald’s and I get a filet-o-fish!

For more information about Club Chakra, visit their website at ChakraKC.com

re:phocas review

What was it all about anyway? Well, have a seat and I'll tell you. re:phocas was about a turning point for this web site. I wanted so very much to have a story to go with all of these photos because there IS a story there, just aching to be told and Nobody is telling it. In fact, that's much of the reason for "journal" that I started back in October. I thought that if I could get nothing more done, I would have that piece of it.

Regardless, it all really started about a year ago. I made several attempts to move to a more Article-based format, but it never really materialized, so I kept pushing forward and talking to people. Eventually, around October of '03, I finally started getting some input and feedback from people that were interested in contributing to the effort. By the end of December '03, a definite form was emerging with definite people. We still have a little ways to go, but I think we're headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately, we missed our first and then our second release deadlines (1/30, then 2/1) and several people misunderstood the meaning behind the party, thinking it was a 2nd Anniversary party of sorts. Sorry, that was in December and it really was a great little chill party. This party was about re:phocasing and I really wanted the release of this to coincide with the party, but... well, as in all things published, deadlines can be evasive as hell.

Though I had my doubts, the party was a huge success on various levels, and I do want to take some space here and thank each and every person involved and kind of give you my take on the whole affair. My doubts started at about 10 am Friday Morning when I got the call from Chad, the owner of Club One 51, telling me that KCK was not going to allow him to re-open that evening. I thought... great. That's just perfect. How did I know this would happen? Don't panic. This can be fixed.

After several phone calls to various places, we convinced Kabal to let us move it there. Though Kabal was much smaller than we had initially planned for (400 capacity vs 2000), I decided it was really my only option available and took it.

The rest of the day was spent eMailing and calling everyone that I could to get the word out about the change in Venue. I managed to get to Kabal around 8 pm. There wasn't a whole lot going on. JAH was playin some tunes and there were a few lingering.

At the start, there was still that same small amount of people there and we were worrying and praying that the sign was still up at the other club. Shortly thereafter, the Kidz started to show up. The entered the room as a peacock enters the barnyard, Kandyied out and turning heads. They gave the place such a nice splash of color. What would we do without them.

By 10 o'clock, Velvin had some people movin downstairs and things were filling up quite well. There were a few people asking what the lineup was and whatnot and at one point, someone came up to me and asked when the Electro-Clash would be. I had to tell them that unfortunately it had been a casualty of the Venue change. Half of that Tag set was at the door and the other half had already played his set. I told him that if he stuck around, I'm sure that he would not be disappointed. He did. I saw him later and though we didn't speak, he appeared to be having a rather good time.

cQuence took the decks right after Velvin. He had built up quite a little dance crowd for her and she played her heart out keeping and adding to it. I passed through at a couple points and people were dancing their asses off.

By 11 pm, the place was crowded and a little difficult to move around, but it wasn't impossible. The downstairs was really full and KC's own SuperModel, Shandi was just beginning to tease the crowd a little with her set. By the end of her set at Midnight she had built them up enough that they were ready to receive a good lashing of Techno. I thought that cQuence had them going good, but the crowd just seemed to gain even more intensity as the night progressed.

Somewhere around 1130 pm, Kabal had decided that they could no longer allow any more people under 21 in to the club until some people left. By Midnight, that rule had changed to Anyone. We had moved to a in-and-out situation. The place was At Capacity and remained that way until the very last track was played. People waited outside in vain so that they might gain entrance, but by 1230 pretty much everyone that was there had no intention of leaving. Good Vibrations were Everywhere and everyone was soaking in them.

At Midnight, Offtrack, formerly of KC, now a Chicagoan took the tables and took his listeners to the next level. Techno had entered the Kabal Basement for the 3rd time since it's opening, but nowhere in this city have I ever seen a response like I saw that night. Everyone was dancing. It didn't matter that it was crowded and you could barely move. The dance floor was alive with people moving. I moved in and out of the dance floor. I danced with several people each time I passed through. I wish that I could have stayed down there and played with everyone a little longer, but I was doing the "circuit" and wanted to be able to meet and talk to everyone.

Several times while I was downstairs, I gave away some T-Shirts and a few phocas 2003 YearBook CDs. Which was the same Video that Mark was playing with. The CD contains about 15,000 photos that were taken over the course of 2003. If you're interested in getting one of those CDs, get in contact with me. I have yet to figure out how much they will be, but I will be making them available, fairly cheap, as well as a CD Yearbook for 2002. I also had some Ming & FS tickets to give away, but somehow forgot that they were in my pocket. I will be giving those away randomly in the next week.

Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end and everyone was ultimately shoved out the door by 130 am. The party had been a WhirlWind. I didn't really want it to end. I wish that it could have kept going and going and that is my only disappointment, that it couldn't have gone all night long. Regardless, it was still awesome. It could not have been any better. I remember thinking and telling several people, "It could have been just as good at Club One 51, but I do not think it would have been as good." and I still maintain that.

Needless to say, I was so pleased with the way that everything turned out. If you took photos that night, you should get in touch with me and I'll add them to the gallery. The photos used here are from the party. Thanks to JesseP, Kandice, Mage, Joe and Richard for getting me something to work with in this article.  View the photo event post for more of their photos.

I also want to that the following people.... in no particular order. If I miss anyone, don't take it personal. I really do appreciate everything that was done for and at this event by everyone from A-Z.

HUOJ THX 2 -

Sherri - For putting up with me and my evil twin phocas and all of this.

MikeB - This would NEVER have happened without you.

Offtrack - Techno... That's What I Thank You For. For that Sweet and Brutal Beat.

Shandi - SuperModel - SuperDJ. You are a sweetheart through and through. We're all rootin for you!

cQuence - You rocked it! I know you're pretty critical of your playing, but you are always The Tops in my book.

Eric - Just Shut Up and Play. hehe... No really. Thanks for some fine House.

Shad (or Shadd or whatever) - Sorry I don't know you're DJ name, but you kept the upstairs shakin it all night, just right.

Charlie & Amy - It's too bad we couldn't have done it there, but there's always next time, right?

Will & Lee (PhukBed)- Thank you for the last minute scramble to find a venue. Even though we didn't use it, I appreciate the last-minute effort that you put in to finding me a place.

Joe Jackson (ActionJ Ent) - Thanks for letting us Invade your night. You don't know how much I appreciate it.

ALL of the Staff at Kabal - This wouldn't have happened without you either. Thanks for being there and helping me get through this in one piece. My sincere appreciation.

VJ Ones - There No Kandy Like Eye Kandy. I liked what I saw immensely. Maybe you can figure out something obtuse to do with those photos in future video displays.

The KandyKidz - Every party needs a splash of Color and that Sense of Childish Abandon. I hope to see you at every party I'm ever at. I don't know what we would do without you. I even more appreciate the fact that you showed up to a venue that doesn't have a particularly good reputation with you. Thanks for remaining faithful. It means a lot to me that you came anyway.

Alicia (RedBull) - mmmm.... RedBull & Jaeger.... Think about it. Good to see you again!

Jason (Leo Productions), Zack & Co. - I can't believe you came all the way from Springfield! Damn! We partied hard and we'll do it again soon. My Sofa is Your Sofa. Anytime dood.

John & Kate - You 2 are 1 of a Kind. No doubt. Thanks for the insight. Thanks for trust. Thanks for just being ... You. And thanks for being Offtrack's cheerleader that night, Jon ... hehe.

White Label Productions (Kris?) - I can't believe you came all the way down from Des Moines!

Sophia (Gots 2B Phat Productions) - I never even knew. I hope you enjoyed my sofa. Don't think a thing of it. We'll do it again real soon.

Gary! - St Louis Raver! I hope that KC met your expectations. When we go crazy, well... we go a little crazy.

Kandice - You silly girl. I wanna see those pictures and Soon!

JoeH - Thanks for taking pix. There will be more opportunities. Stay tuned. You haven't let me down yet.

Kent - Indeed. I really didn't expect to see you there. Thanks for your encouragement.

Dougie - You MadMan!

Richard & Kim - Though you don't go to parties and don't care too much about the music, I KNOW you had a good time. Thanks for your support.

Rick & Lee - Welcome to my world. I hope you liked it and come again. Careful with the drink, those stairs can be a nightmare under the influence.

SydeBurnz - for Syde-Sho.com, of course.

Monkey & Chrissy - You know why, but that's another story for another time.

FitzRoger - You have been there from the beginning and I know you'll always be there. Thank You For Your Most Generous Donation! It will NOT be forgotten.

Chad - For reminding of the way things are and will probably always be.

And ... to everyone that showed up.  I love you all.  You are the reason I keep going.


~phocas~
of the massive 4 the massive

united we dance

Story and Photos by Gary Adams ~ December 31, 2003 - St Louis, MO. "United We Dance" was a great experience. I'm not quite sure what made the party as good as it was, but I expected less because of the over- used venue. It may have been the D.J.'s, the amount of people, or just the magic of New Years, but it proved that no matter what, it's the people that make the event.

Waiting in line to get in took only a few moment. I watched the kids full of excitement dance around anticipating the party. Walking in, I realized quite a few people had turned out for the party, most in hopes of seeing Polywog, who had unfortunately not shown up for her last booking in St. Louis.

Looking around the party, I noticed a lot of newer faces, as well as many older ones I had not seen in a while. Even though it was still early many people were already dancing and grooving on down. I wasn't feeling the music at first, so I walked around talking to people and meeting some new kids. One reason I love Underworld events is seeing all the new people excited and eager to party.

The decorations and lighting were average at best. No one seemed to mind though, because most in attendance were happy to be there.

One good thing about the Aloha building is that although over-used, it has good places to just sit and talk.

The moment Polywog entered the building, you could tell. Everyone recognized her and rushed to meet her. She is one of the nicest, down to earth people I had met. She sat and talked to most of the people flocking to meet her, letting everyone know her fame as a D.J. Her spot in the movie "Groove" had not altered her reasoning for doing what she does.

As everyone raced to talk to Polywog, back in the main room, Antipop went on with their tag set. It was an amazing set to watch. They were having so much fun, and the crowd was loving every moment of their performance. Their music reflected their energy and excitemnet. It was upbeat and sent out a very positive vibe.

The New Year was close, you could feel all the anticipation overwhelming the room. The count down started with Snoopy, one of the people who was throwing the party, standing on the table on stage. Polywog was counting down with everyone . The energy and feeling was erupting from the crowd. Everyone hands raised with each number they bellowed out. Midnight brought in the New Year as people hugged, smiled, laughed, and yelled, "Happy New Year!"

Polywog gave out New Year's kisses right before she started out 2004 with her amazing set. The set was something that was very individualistic. Something I had not really heard before, with some old school songs mixed in and the music refelected the entire night and the feeling that was gathering in the Aloha building. She had some very moving Whitney Houston re-mixed track, and then to completely fill the night with music that matched the feelings the song "We Are Family" broke out and echoed throughout the building.

I'm not sure what made this party what it had became, however I felt very lucky to experience what I had experience that night. For the most part it made me realize why I had started being involved in this as much as I am now, and why I'll keep going and getting involved in it as much as possible.

carving a niche

TechnOmaha 1st Anniversary ~ Story by BrentCrampton ~ photos by SteveO ~ Technomaha.com is a web site based out of Omaha, Nebraska. It was started a year ago by the ambitions of Nolan Gaskill, a.k.a. dj Dr. Mindbender. There is a great deal of DJ talent in the area which is one of the reasons Technomaha.com was founded in the first place. The web site showcases various djs from Omaha, as well as a very active forum that has been effective in networking the community.

Technomaha.com celebrated its one year anniversary on January 10th. The day was commemorated by having a celebration party. The entertainment for the night was some local Omaha Dj's, and the headliners for the night were, .Com and C-Vaughan. The former resident of Omaha, .Com, was infamous in Omaha for being able to drop more than 30 booty house tracks in an hour. He was a local favorite that moved away to Kentucky, so it was naturally a celebration in itself just to have .Com play once again to an excited crowd. Although, considering that the music industry doesnt seem to make barely any more booty house records, his styles have changed to include more of an electro feel. The low Technomaha budget somehow was able to muster up enough money to bring C-Vaughan from K.C. to bring the breaks. To no one's surprise, the Kaleidoscope record artist threw down a great set.

Contrary to the trend in Omaha for parties to flop, the night went on without a flaw, and the attendance was spectacular. There were many young and new faces at this event. The crowd was rather eclectic, as Nolan commented, There were many old schoolers that I haven't seen out for anything in quite a while, as well as many people who are just getting into the sound. From the success of the party, the web site has many new updates planned for the future. Nolan said, We have been able to expand options for all of our users to upload their own productions and mixes so that anyone can download them. Other updates include a larger dj roster, monthly dj features and an image gallery.

standing on its own 2

Story by Scott Venable ~ photos by todd

“This track changed my life a year ago,” cQuence shouted over the blaring treble. The name of the song speaks for itself: “My art is better than your art.”

That’s what the Cup and Saucer has been about for the past 2 years on Wednesday nights: art. “I mean we’ve had everyone in there from bands to MCs and random bedroom DJs to Pat Nice who is doing really huge production now with Deepfix records. You know it’s just the generosity of artists. That’s why the Cup and Saucer has lasted so long,” states cQuence. Slater agreed: “Everybody and their brother has played there. It’s a platform to be experimental.”

The Cup and Saucer will be celebrating the 2-year anniversary of the Wednesday Perk on February 4th starting at 8pm. On the bill for the evening is Toward a Better Acronym as a warm up as well as all the past resident DJs: Slater, cQuence, Flotilla, and Eclypz.

But how did this all begin? How did a tiny coffee shop on 4th and Delaware become such a stalwart venue for the local music scene? Slater is not afraid to admit it, “To tell you the truth, I couldn’t get booked for a weekly anywhere locally. I used to hang out at the Cup and Saucer all the time so one day I just asked Charlotte, one of the bartenders, if I could maybe set something up with the owners. They loved the idea and that was that. After Spark Bar closed I invited cQuence and Flotilla to come play with me. Then I moved to Wichita and for about 8 months and we stopped playing altogether. But two years ago Eclypz joined with cQuence and Flotilla to restart the Cup. That’s what this celebration is actually about.”

It is packed on the night I show up, every table full, a few people in the back barely notice the MC freestyling over Slater’s scratching, another few are right up front absorbed by what they’re witnessing. On any given Wednesday in Kansas City, brilliance is taking place at the Cup and Saucer. Earlier that night it was Toward a Better Acronym (or TBA), a duo known for their incredible down tempo sets.

cQuence made a point to remind me, “That’s all it’s ever been: us going out there every Wednesday and playing records and having guests out there that wanted to show their music off to the local scene. It was never about big lights and hoes and bitches and you know all that shit.”

A statement that Slater corroborated, “This place is a platform for good music, not ‘The Humpty Dance’. (The Cup and Saucer) is for real music appreciation.”

So how does that explain the summer of 2002, a year when the occupancy of a Wednesday night literally spilled into the streets? cQuence delineated it like this: “It was FUN and people came back for about 5 months in a row every single week, it was amazing. It was something that I’ve never experienced outside of this city. Even in the scenes in Dallas, Oklahoma City, or Atlanta. It was just a really big continuance.”

As 2002 neared its end, so did the massive draw at the Cup and Saucer, and by the time the article came out about the Cup in The Pitch Weekly (April 24-30, 2003 p. 52), Wednesday Perk was already seeing some of its slowest times. In December 2003, only a dozen heads could be seen at the Cup and Saucer. According to cQuence, Wednesday Perk marked its lowest numbers by far in the end of 2003.

The first two weeks of January, however, have shown an incredible comeback in Wednesday Perk’s following. Both Wednesdays of this month have posted standing room only occupancies. Not that that is incredibly hard in such an intimate venue, but it is a sign of return.

February 4th will be the event that marks that return with a thick black line. The bill includes turntablism, breaks, and drum and bass as well as a live band. “Come here if you want to see people who really care about their art,” remarked Slater. And after a short musing he added as an aside, “A lot of people in Kansas City sleep on their art. Don’t sleep on it.”

So wake up Kansas City! Or you might just miss it.

The 2 year Anniversary Party of Wednesday Perk will be on February 4th from 8pm until 1am located at the Cup and Saucer 412 Delaware St. in the River Market area of Downtown Kansas City, MO. Wednesday Perk is held every Wednesday from 9:30-midnight.

For more information about The Cup & Saucer and the various events happening there, be sure to visit their website at TheCupandSaucer.com

house without a home


A Post-Rave Chicago ~ Story by Michael Bradshaw ~ photos by todd

On Interstate Highway 55, the Chicago skyline pours into view like a galaxy pluming out of the Midwestern cosmos. The lights of Chicago flicker with the silent poise of the stock yards, Lakeshore Drive, Wrigley Field, deep dish pizza and The Blues. Between the skyscrapers, on the illuminated streets of Chicago’s Downtown, music thumps from a array of sources as the glitter of metropolitan life streams over head and the bodies that crowd the streets jive in unified measure.

The sound of Chicago twists from manhole covers; it unfolds over the streets and lights as you descend the cadences of the city.

In Chicago, it is immediately evident just where the sound of House music and the legend of the Chicago party scene originates.

For the rest of the United States, Disco ended with the onset of Punk in the early 80’s. Clubs in New York and L. A. thrust rebel-fueled mutations of guitar rock into the spotlight at clubs like

The Whiskey and CBGB‘s. America was rejecting the feel good rhythm of Disco at the height of the Cold War and fears wrought by nuclear arms. Change was in the air and no one wanted to feel good.

As the transition from Disco to Punk took hold on the coasts, a different revolution gathered momentum in Chicago. Although, mainstream popularity of House wouldn’t reach the surface until more than a decade later, the post-disco era embraced the party circuit in Chicago, boiled over into the global dance consciousness and never let go.

Although Chicago can credit New York as co-creators, the sound of the Windy City is the form of dance electronica known the world over. Thanks to a small cluster of clubs, DJ’s and vinyl press houses, the Chicago sound was allowed to flourish under the command of legendary disco DJ Frankie Knuckles, in the early 80‘s.

Knuckles, resident DJ at the infamous Warehouse club where Disco records blended into New Wave synths and electronic drum lines, transformed dance music into the international phenomenon known as House. From the Warehouse to the local gay club scene, to the influence of the New York Rave scene (which derived from the subsequent European Rave explosion) sprang the Chicago party scene known today.

However today, the future of the Chicago scene is uncertain.

Through the years, Chicago’s dance music scene has been inundated with victories and controversies. Amidst firestorms of resistance from city officials, the media and the office of Mayor, Richard D. Daley and a litany of drug-related deaths, Chicago’s underground Rave community is experiencing a notable recession.

Despite the obstacles set forth by the city, Chicago’s support for the underground dance music by fans remains unaffected.

Smart Bar, a 22 year old nightspot located on Chicago’s East Side in the shadow of Wrigley Field, hosts a cacophony of weekly events highlighting the enthusiasm and rich history of the city’s House and Techno scene.

On any given Saturday night, Smart Bar can pull up four hundred people. Although substantial by club standards, 400 people on the weekend remains in stark contrast to the thousands which regularly attended underground massives in venues like Route 66 in the late 90’s.

However, on the dance floor at Smart Bar, it is apparent the vibe of the party scene has maintained it’s core audience over the years. Bodies grind to the pulsating thud of the sound system suspended from the ceiling of the cavernous basement dwelling.

The crowd is thick with smoke and alcohol, as beams of light scan the limbs of the gyrating crush which flails with celebration.

Smart Bar resident DJ and fourteen year party veteran, Justin Long told phocas the fluctuation of attendance at dance events are inevitable but pressure from the city has forced the underground back, underground.

“[Smart Bar] is the only place dedicated to the underground in Chicago,” Said Long. “This is the last salvation.”

Another institution of the Chicago scene hit by recession is legendary vinyl retailer, Gramophone Records.

Established in 1969, Gramophone has specialized in underground music since the beginning. In 1984, the store narrowed it’s selection to Industrial, Hip-Hop and electronic dance music with the hiring of Andy Moy, now store manager and head buyer.

“Anybody who comes to Chicago comes [to Gramophone,]” Moy Said. “Paul Oakenfold, Deep Dish, Daft Punk... It’s crazy.”

Moy noted, the DJ Funk mix tapes which appear in the background photo in the insert for Daft Punk’s legendary “Homework” album, were given to the French superstars when they visited the store in the mid-nineties.

Warehouse alumnus, DJ Greg Norwood, now a buyer for Gramophone Records said he could feel that something important was happening in Chicago dance music back in the late 80’s.

“Around ‘86, ‘87, I was like, this is it for me,” Said Norwood. “Our roots are in Blues, Jazz and Disco. It was just a natural progression [to House music].”

Norwood said, like that of established musical forms, electronic dance music is as much rooted and therefore a part of Chicago’s history as anything else. However, the Gramophone employees say, this fact is not recognized by the city itself.

“[The mayor] has a hard line when it comes to parties and ‘undesirable’ events,” Moy Said. “Luckily the whole Rave scene graduated to the clubs when they got old enough.”

However, Moy continued saying the income of the store is feeling the pinch as well. Factors like the economy coupled with the convenience of downloading tracks from the internet, on top of the city’s systematic deconstruction of the scene, Moy says customers are spending less than half than what they used to on Vinyl.

A true Rave is a rare event in Chicago. However, “Stardust 4,” presented by Global Adrenaline and Northstar Entertainment drew a staggering 3,100 people on Sunday Jan. 18th. Making use of the three-day weekend, Stardust 4 hosted an array of top-notch local and regional talent.

Richard “Humpty” Vision, Donald Glaude, Frankie Bones, DJ Swamp as well as locals, Phantom 45, CZR, Alex Peace and Danny Tha Wildchild rocked the decks in what any seasoned raver would call a true, “massive.”

The event was set at the Southland club complex, “Oasis 160” where the usual fare includes, Jell-O wrestling, rock bands and wet T-shirt contests.

For Stardust 4, the venue was completely transformed by the promoters, adding extra lasers, projections, enormous hanging star decorations and gigantic letters spelling out the words STARDUST across the main dance floor.

phocas spoke with the party‘s promoter as to why Rave events have taken a recent downturn.

“The biggest reason is the anti-rave law basically that was passed,” Said Christian Banach, head of Global Adrenaline Entertainment, “Really there’s no venues left to do anything in. [Oasis] is one of the very few venues where you can fit in three thousand, four thousand people and legally get away with it.”

Banach said a combination of factors are responsible for the drop in the number of raves happening. Capped by the pressure from Mayor Daley’s office, influences such as the media and the economy echo the sentiments expressed by the rest of the dance community.

However, this single biggest reason for the decline is the availability of venues.

“If there’s no place to throw parties, there are no parties,” Said Banach. “We even [planned] a party at The House of Blues--[DJ] Keoki was supposed to be there and the city came and told House of Blues "a bunch of shit about us". [The House of Blues] did their research and found out [what the city had said] was completely false.”

Banach continued to say House of Blue lawyers went to the police and convinced them to allow the party to go on. However, the promoter claims the Chicago police told House of Blues they would be shut down if even one person was found under the influence of drugs.

House of Blues responded to Banach saying the chance of a liability was too great to take a risk on a dance event.

Banach said although things have lessened in the last six months, it is still difficult to get a one-off Rave off the ground. The promoter attributes the city and parent’s fear of Raves to a natural fear of trends that are new.

“This is the new thing that older people don’t understand,” Said Banach, “It’s just like Elvis when he first came out.”

Despite the discouraging circumstances which Chicago natives explained, dance music enthusiasts all agree the city is in the midst of a turn for the better. Many in the Chicago dance community listed a number of factors contributing to the demise of the scene, yet establishments such as Gramophone Records, Smartbar and the party, “Stardust 4” all seemed to maintain a healthy patronage.

What’s more, the essential spirit of Chicago is one which has seen trials and tribulations for decades. Although the city government of Chicago may have taken action to limit the facilities which dance music is played, the soul that gave Chicago dance music a place in the global lexicon, remains.

A Very Special Thanks to...

Offtrack (TJL-Chicago)

Gramophone Records

SmartBar-Chicago

NorthStar

Global Adrenaline

and Giordanos in GreekTown

view photos of Stardust 4