A type of popular dance music combining Punjabi folk traditions with Western pop music, fusing traditional drum-based music with elements of reggae, ragga, hip-hop, rock, soul, and dance.
World music promoters Cultural Cannibals have been putting together the extremely well-received Bollywood Bhangras since January of 2010, but this Friday's event is the biggest by far. The brightest star of the bhangra scene, Rajinder Singh Rai (known by his stage name Panjabi MC) will visit Indiana for the first time to play the event.
“Indian people are very passionate about music and the energy at the Bollywood Bhangra parties is like nothing else I've ever seen in Indianapolis; people are lifting each other on their shoulders and the entire room just explodes into dance,” said Kyle Long, a founder of Cultural Cannibals.
Visual artist Artur Silva is the other founder of the organization, which aims to use the arts as a force for social change; they've done events featuring the music of Haiti, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Cuba and Colombia this year.
Although previously wildly popular in India and the UK, Panjabi MC was catapulted to international stardom when mega-star Jay-Z remixed his track “Mundian To Bach Ke.” We spoke to him about making music that crosses borders, combines languages and interweaves new and old sounds.
NUVO: You've been making music a long time. How have you seen recognition of bhangra music change since you've been in the industry?
Panjabi MC: Bhangra was invented in England so it's always had many non-Indian followers. It has become a little more mainstream in later years. My music has gone from being labeled as “world music” to “dance music,” so that's good. I think there is an obvious language barrier which doesn't really exist in other underground music.
NUVO: Do you feel like something is lost when your fans cannot understand the language of the music they are listening to, or does it truly not matter?
PMC: I think it can work both ways. Sometimes finding out what the lyrics mean can even spoil the song. This has happened to me in the past. With my music I try to use concepts and samples which may give you a clue what a song is about, just in case you don't understand it. Also, I use the ultimate universal instrument, the dhol drum. Anywhere I go in the world, people always want to dance to this prehistoric sound.
NUVO: Describe the differences in fan bases/shows between India, the UK, the US and other European countries.
PMC: There are many crazy vibes and movements happening all over the world. India is becoming a big place for clubbing and DJ shows. I play my sound and mix it with the vibe that people are feeling. I always improvise something new for each show. There is no races or religions on the dance floor. I play a huge variety of crowds. With the Internet, there are global tracks in the charts everywhere.
NUVO: How did it feel to be singled out by Jay-Z?
PMC: It was great for me and the whole bhangra industry in general. It was the first time that a global name got involved in our music. It took the music to another level. I've always mixed hip hop and 'desi and to get a huge rap artist on that dhol beat was amazing.
NUVO: What album are you listening to right now? What book are you reading right now?
PMC: I'm reading manuals all the time. I like to try all the software that's out there, which means reading the online manual and tutorial. I'm listening to loads of old tracks lately and they seems to sound so much better me lately. Norah Jones - don't know why. Blackstreet. I just downloaded albums by The Police, Pink Floyd and Ace of Base!
NUVO: What performers do you admire?
PMC: I've always wanted to do a whole rap album. My next album, 56 Districts, started as a rap album. Then [I'll] get an amazing DJ and do some stage shows. Get my rapper look on! I think Busta Rymes is one of the best.
NUVO: Your music mixes traditional and very contemporary work. Which do you tend to listen to?
PMC: That's true, I've always wanted to get the best of both worlds. I think that traditional instruments and vocal styles have a power which hits the soul. Mix them with some bass and that's my sound. The “Been” instrument in “Snake Charmer” was recorded in India with a real snake in the studio. Then, I added an 808 kick drum and a lot of sub bass. I knew that the frequencies would work in the clubs.
NUVO: As an international artist, where do you feel most at home performing?
PMC: I love Canada, the USA, Punjab, and Russia but equally everywhere else I go. UK has the biggest bhangra scene. However, in Europe the crowd doesn't get as [many performers], so it is always lively.
NUVO: Have you been in Indiana before?
PMC: Actually I haven't been before. I am really looking forward to coming. I'm bringing my exclusives! Right now I'm playing my exclusive “Moorni Remix,” featuring Warren G, and my first single from the new album, "Bhari Barsi."
Although a lot of new music crosses the NUVO Music editorial desk, by no means do we (or can we) hear everything. So every week we turn to a local music luminary (or in this week's case, luminaries) in a feature we ingeniously call Don't Miss to talk about the best new music they've found.
This week we spoke with DJs Action Jackson and Flufftronix of Rad Summer. The gentlemen launched Rad Summer's booking company in 2007 and its record label this past summer; here they help us launch the second installment of Don't Miss, where we find out what they're spinning lately. Check out the slideshow for their picks:
Don't Miss: Rad Summer Edition
Each week a local music luminary highlights the music picks you shouldn't miss. This week: local label Rad Summer founders Action Jackson and Flufftronix.
Andy D's latest video brings a mystical, sexual dance party to your computer screen.
Best known for songs like "God Loves Drunk Chicks" and his ever-present cut-off denim shorts and long rat tail, Andy D has created another signature dance track heavy on synths and electronic drumbeats.
The single, from his album Songs in the Key of Magic, stays in line with most D creations, ensuring it will be played at parties across Indianapolis. Join Andy D in his celestial dance party down below.
Broad Ripple Music Fest: The Mousetrap (Slideshow)
Catch photos from Broad Ripple Music Fest's Jam/Electronic Showcase at The Mousetrap. Acts included Brian Summers, SeaMonkey, DJ Topspeed, JIN-XS, and more.
Broad Ripple comes alive at dusk and stays up ‘til first light. So it’s not a surprise that the early crowds at sites like The Mousetrap and its IndyMojo showcase were in the single digits in the 5 p.m. era. Not that it seemed to stop the DJs and performers, who were in the moment and every bit as focused as if they’d been at a packed London nightclub. Brian Summers, taking over the ‘Trap’s outdoor tent, worked the boards as if he was flairing a drink in “Cocktail,” and G, out back, did his thing with deeply intense concentration. Inside, Blue Moon Revue got the evening off to a start with a bluesy and heartfelt performance. Soon thereafter, Ed Trauma and SeaMonkey stepped in on the separate DJ tables, both delivering sets with distinctive video game overtones — Trauma with the bleep-bloop of the Nintendo era, and SeaMonkey with dramatic beats that could have been part of a PlayStation-era “Final Fantasy” game.
The Mousetrap was like a little bubble universe on the edge of BRMF proper that evening — it’s far enough away from the rest of the event that passerby were few. However, the crowd grew steadily and audience participation was encouraged, and included neon dancers, jugglers and of course a few dudes tossing around things on fire. As night fell, JIN-XS presided over the backstage controls looking like a mad scientist at work, while veteran DJ Topspeed handled the front tent with a decidedly 1980s theme, right down to a truly enviable hat. Each performer delivered the sorts of rhythms that you can dance to equally well in a group or all alone with your thoughts. They were rhythms to lose yourself in.
Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9)
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
3 stars (out of 5)
Sound Tribe Sector 9's music is a recipe that could've been cooked up by Ticketmaster execs: "For a good time, mix Trey Anastasio's guitar tone, half-a-dozen congas and bongos, huge LCD screens, various electronic instruments, large live-music venues and substance(s) of your choosing." Depending on the last ingredient added on Saturday, STS9 either created an amazing sensory experience or simply provided background music to a people-watching extravaganza.
Like the albums of Eliot Lipp (who recently visited The Mousetrap), the Santa Cruz five-piece's music is good to do stuff to (e.g. work at the computer, do your dishes, get your freak on). And like Lipp's music, STS9's is best enjoyed live. Unlike Lipp, though, STS9 has a massive tribe of followers — jam-band and electronic-music fans — who easily fill up cavernous spaces like the Egyptian Room. The thing about a band like STS9 is that most people attending their shows dig the music deeply, in spite of it not being particularly exceptional.
STS9 started their first set around 10 p.m. (after opener Archnemesis) with the laid-back funk of "This, Us," which flowed into the electro jam "Tooth" and the heavy riffs of "Beyond Right Now" - all of which gave the colors of the rainbow a chance to shine in STS9's light show, likely appreciated by a club kid who looked forlornly at his broken glowstick that had somehow splattered on the floor as the band started.
STS9's live sound rides up-and-down-and-repeat waves that dabble equally in downtempo segments, breakbeat dashes, hip-hop kicks and Phish- and Pink Floyd-influenced licks. They do all this well enough, but so many elements combined don't necessarily offer good reason to form a personal bond with the band's music: melodies aren't memorable enough, beats aren't bangin' enough, and overall, the experience is more vanilla than the finer-honed flavors offered by others who focus a little more on a lot less.
Vocals are generally absent, save for shouts of "How you doin', Indy?" and "Thanks so much y'all - so awesome!" - which is fine; plenty of good music goes without. But with STS9's sound exemplifying a coherent vibe more than exemplary musicianship and songwriting, the strength of STS9 seems to lie simply in that they're a live band doing what one good DJ typically offers a crowd.
STS9 is kind of like a fusion restaurant: instead of excelling at any one cuisine, they offer a buffet of sounds prepared well enough to give a wide swath of people what they crave. With so many live-music choices in Indy lately, though, STS9 didn't offer anything new. The light-and-LCD show, whose graphics looked straight out of the early 90s, was bested by that of both Foster the People and Cut Copy; the show's intimacy couldn't match that provided by Eliot Lipp; and musical proficiency was better demonstrated by the technically quaint Shellac.
In an interview that aired on public radio this summer, Jimmy Buffett implied that his flock of Parrotheads was an unforeseen consequence of making music that simply sounded good to all kinds of people - he never planned to have a following of drunkards. Similarly, the popularity of STS9's shows is a formation of a somewhat heterogenous mixture of people combining into a mass in need of something to groove to. For this, STS9 deserve credit: The people-watching experience offered by STS9 is second to none (save for Girl Talk's orgies of absurdity). One guy in flip flops did the cha-cha while his friend waved a toxic-looking glowstick overhead as if anointing with a fairy's wand. A couple's outfits debated monetary standards: The gentleman's dollar-bill-print suit argued for U.S.D., while his gal's gold-lamé disco-ball dress fought loudly for the gold standard. And people such as the slinking, glowstick-ensconced gentleman wearing a "FUCK BITCHES CURE CANCER" shirt provided yet more visual stimulation.
In the world of electronic music, there have been select few acts that have crossed over to mainstream popularity. Name recognition of DJs for most people is generally limited to a few names, and one of the first that comes to mind is Fatboy Slim. Defining the “big beat” sound that dominated the ‘90s and early 00’s, Norman Cook’s alter-ego has quite literally done it all, from starting influential dance bands like Beats International, scoring hits as a member of the Housemartins, rocking dance floors under pseudonyms Pizzaman, Freak Power, Mighty Dub Katz, and Wildchild, redefining music videos with director Spike Jones, playing legendary festival sets at Glastonbury and Coachella, and playing to 250,000 people in his adopted home town of Brighton at 2002’s Big Beach Boutique II (a monster of his own creation). Q Magazine has cited a Fatboy Slim performance a one of the 50 Bands You Muse See Before You Die. At age 46, he still maintains a ridiculously active DJ tour schedule, hopping from one side of the globe to the other (last week saw dates in San Francisco, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Detroit, and back in the UK over the course of 6 days).
This year’s installment of Detroit’s annual electronic music festival, Movement 2011 marked a significant milestone for Fatboy Slim, as he was invited to headline the vitaminwater stage on the festival’s last day. Known for his quick wit and easy-going manner, he’s a very sought-after interview subject. On the day of his first-ever performance at Movement 2011 in the mecca of techno, Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim sat down for this exclusive interview for NUVO.
RK: How's it going?
NC: It's great - it's fantastic to be here.
RK: We're so glad to have you in the States for a spell. You've got this gig that you're doing out at Marquee Day Club in Las Vegas. That town seems to be purpose-build for Fatboy Slim. What was that like?
NC: It was OK. I mean, coming here - you kind of feel like it's a gathering of the tribes who worship at the shrine of electronic music. Vegas, it's still more about, kind of, pneumatic tits and, you know...
NC: I mean, they're very much interested in the party more than the music. I mean, I do both, I do the party and I do the music. I feel more comfortable here.
RK: These are your people.
NC: Yeah, I mean, there's only so much Botox you can look at. (laughs)
RK: Now, you're doing something a little bit different with this new "Big Beach Boutique" touring show, with the added aspect of video as well as audio.
RK: Talk a little about that technology and how that's affected the way you perform.
NC: Well, I was always very old school with technology. I learned to DJ on records, on turntables, and when they invented CDs and computers and everything, I was like "NO, No, no, no no, no - that's all wrong."
NC: And, plus, I couldn't work out how to do it.
NC: But eventually, they started releasing vinyl, and I had to kind of "wise up". Darren Emerson from Underworld is a mate of mine. He turned me onto Serato (digital vinyl emulation system), and then I kind of bypassed CDs completely and went to Serato, whereupon you can put the visuals (synced to the track). As we've been doing bigger and bigger shows, we're competing with rock bands. So, I'm just a bloke DJing - we had to make a visual show. Before, they never knew what I was going to play next and we couldn’t sync the visuals to the music. So, I would sort of shout, "I'm going to play 'Star 69' next" and the visuals never quite synced to the tunes. I'd play them at different speeds... With Serato now, I take the audio file and the video file goes straight to the LED screens. So, technology in the right hands. I was a late adopter, but I figure it's worth
RK: Wait until they get it right, rather than deal with something that's janky.
NC: Yeah. And also, with LED, you can build enormous great screens, which are really vibrant, and they become a light source as well as a source for the visuals.
RK: That's pretty awesome - I can't wait to see it tonight. Let's talk a little bit about your material. Some of your best-received remixes started out as bootlegs that you tucked in your crate just because you loved songs. The one that leaps to mind is Cornershop's "Brim Full of Asha". Are you still doing a lot of that kind of thing?
NC: Actually, it's happening even more now because I just got Ableton (production software), which I'm trying to learn to replace my studio, but it's quite complicated. Again, I'm old school.
RK: I was going to ask - that was my next question. Has the technology made it easier or harder for you?
NC: I'm still learning about making tunes on Ableton, but Ableton's great for doing mash-ups. It REALLY is perfect for doing mash-ups.
NC: Between that and Serato, I can do a mash-up in my hotel room. In fact, I was doing one an hour ago that I'm going to play tonight. I'm actually loving that. That's in kind of the last 6 months, and already two of the mash-ups I've done are getting released. One is the new Crookers single where I mashed up the Crookers single with the Lazy Hands, because he's on my label and we're putting it out.
RK: Ah, OK. Makes sense...
NC: And I did a mash-up of His Majesty Andre, right, where I put a vocal on it, and now we're releasing it with the vocal. It's the same kind of process but with better technology.
RK: You mentioned your label. Skint has been releasing remix packages of some of your older, better known stuff.
NC: Yeah, it's because I haven't made any new records. (laughs)
RK: How involved have you been in that process - selecting remixers, choosing what to release?
NC: I kind of A & R it. Again, we just get sent a ton of bootlegs and people say "can we put this out?" Sometimes we say "yes, you can put it out" or sometimes we say "we'll put it out". So, yeah. Again, with beatport and that, it's not an official release, so we just call them the bootleg series. Most of them - they're not commissioned. People just play what they've got, and we say "yeah". Some of them I'm actually like "NOOOOO". There's a few that I've kind of said "no, I don't want that coming out with my name on it".
RK: This has been a great weekend, because I feel like I've gotten to talk with both of Brighton's favorite sons because I talked to Beardyman yesterday. He sends his regards…
NC: Oh yeah? Great! He's a good old boy.
RK: This is your first experience playing Movement Festival, and knowing the history of Detroit techno and the history of this festival...
NC: ... and the history of Detroit music, from Motown to Iggy Pop, yeah. For me, it's a proper honor to be invited to play here, because obviously I'm more of the commercial end of electronic music. I can imagine a lot of people in America probably think I'm the Antichrist because of what I've done with it (laughs). You know, to come back to the birthplace of techno and come back with my sort of bastardized version, it's a real honor to be invited. Everyone I've spoken to, they’re like "don't do a techno set — do what YOU do. That's what we love." For three days everyone's been kind of like, sitting on this kind of tense groove...
RK: People have been amped all weekend.
NC: ...and what I'm going to try to do is have the big party at the end - it's just the big release.
RK: Beyond the US tour dates, what kids of things do you have in the pipeline, studio or otherwise? Are we going to get another Fatboy Slim album?
NC: There will be, possibly, another Fatboy Slim album. (laughs) To be honest, the past couple of years I've been enjoying doing other projects like the BPA and working with David Byrne (of the Talking Heads).
RK: That project was fantastic.
NC: I just had another baby, which keeps me out of the studio. I'm really enjoying DJing at the moment. I kind of figure at my age, there's a finite amount of time I can do this, and I really enjoy the fact that I can still travel around the world and enjoy it (DJing). At the moment, I'm not really motivated to go into the studio. As I said, the only tunes that are coming out are sort of mash-ups I do. In this part of my career, I'm just not in the studio. Who's to say that in a couple of years time I'll get burnt out of traveling travel and get back to it.
RK: Well, we'll wait with baited breath.
NC: Yeah, but don't hold your breath. (laughs)
Fatboy Slim will be touring the US with upcoming dates an Marquee Day Club in Las Vegas July 3 and September 4, with a return to the area for North Coast Music Festival in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend.
Experienced and amateur producers were thrown into the same ring last Friday at the Circle City Soundclash Spring Beat Battle. Eight producers local to the city of Indianapolis were recruited to take part in three rounds of the head-to-head competition organized and hosted by El Carnicero and DJ Stefan. The final winner received a payout and (more importantly) bragging rights, but all participants indulged in the priceless act of face-to-face networking: handshakes, business card exchange, and demo sharing.
I had the opportunity to sit at the judges table with two other well-respected figures in the local electronic scene- Dave Owen (a drum-and-bass DJ/producer) and Johnny Ban (an electro/pop DJ and owner of West Coast Tacos). The judging format was an exciting change from the typical assessments I give every Thursday at The Acoustic LIVE Challenge; namely, the pace of the event was much faster (one-minute beats vs. 25-minute sets) and winning beats were chosen solely by the panel (as opposed to a 60% weight on audience votes at The Challenge).
In the first round, an early tie was called between Defame and Son of Thought, mandating an on-the-spot tie breaker. If there had been an award for most energetic delivery, it surely would have been bestowed upon Son of Thought. He ran and danced across the entire floor for the full duration of his electro-pop beat, showing genuine pride and enthusiasm for his work. Defame’s countering beat was raw and grimy, approaching the realm of dubstep but leveraging more on sinister laughter samples and eerie funhouse music that transported listeners to a whimsically scary environment. In a post-battle Twitter exchange, Defame answered my praise of the beat with the promise that “The long form of that will be on a project [he’s working on with] Lorax (of Twin Monster).”
The next-level, twisted carnival beat advanced Defame to the second round where he faced F.I.R.E., the reigning two-time Heavy Gun Beat Battle Champion. “This doesn’t get easier,” fellow judge Dave Owen continuously insisted with each beat’s conclusion. In the end, Defame conquered F.I.R.E.’s beat in the second round and moved to the finals to face a freshly-turned 21-year-old named Sky Shaker who carried sketch pads to the DJ table each time he performed. He later explained to me, "I've always liked visualizing what music looks like in my head, so I have dozens of sketchbooks where all my songs have a bunch of little pictures associated with them. My navy blue sketchbook holds a lot of my 'peak-time' songs, so I was using it as my tracklist when deciding which songs to battle with." As Sky Shaker flipped through the books and picked a contender, DJ Stefan exclaimed, "That’s cool. We can illustrate the beats.”
See the final results below (winners in each battle are bolded) and be sure to check out Circle City Soundclash Spring Beat Battle Champion Sky Shaker.
Mefadone Klinik vs. F.I.R.E.
Defame vs. Son of Thought
Ed Trauma vs. Lonegevity
Sky Shaker vs. Levi
F.I.R.E. vs. Defame
Lonegevity vs. Sky Shaker
Defame vs. Sky Shaker
RedFoo at Sensu (Slideshow)
LMFAO's RedFoo flew solo at Sensu in Indy this weekend with an overabundance of electro beats, wild stage antics, and lots of shots! shots! shots!
It was nearly 12:30 before RedFoo, one half of crunk party rock group LMFAO, took stage at Sensu for his headlining performance at Indy's newest swanky nightspot. The show was billed accurately; the majority of the set consisted of RedFoo in the role of DJ, occasionally taking the mic to spit a few lines for his rowdy listener. As if to get it out of everyone’s system, RedFoo opened with “I’m In Miami Bitch”, of course replacing “Miami” with “Naptown”, followed by a combination of familiar club bangers (David Guetta, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, et al.) and less-recognizable electro beats. Furthermore, we heard two new LMFAO songs that RedFoo claimed no one had heard yet-though I wonder if he says that to all his audiences on the tour.
DJ RedFoo’s Party Rock Crew did a great job at doing what you would expect a group operating under that name would do. Leader of the pack, hype-man Q, maintained a spot at the front of the stage for most of the night, dazzling on-lookers with his glitzed out stunna shades, T-shirt, and shoes. One of his primary job duties in this coveted position (aside from hyphy dancing and relentless stage antics) was dispensing shots of vodka directly from the bottle into the mouths of front-row audience members. Props for the night included ignited sparklers, showers of confetti, a fog machine gun, and even a vodka tunnel- not to be mistaken for a beer bong as I did in a pre-performance tweet.
Nearing the end of the night, RedFoo bestowed champagne shower upon the crowd that instantly turned a fragrant and attractive audience of men and women into a stinky and sticky hot mess. The show ended in a series of familiar LMFAO songs including “I Am Not A Whore”, another run at “I’m In Miami”, and of course “Shots! Shots! Shots!”
Danielle covers local music for NUVO.net and IndyMojo.com.
After a long, hard night of raging at our Nightlife Guide Launch Party on Friday, I was seeking something a little less demanding and laid back for my Saturday night entertainment, which is why I’m still wondering how I ended up at FUTURISTIQUE: Where Techno Meets Burlesque.
Arriving well after the party had gotten started (due to an obligatory appearance at the T. Party Spring Collection fashion show on the northside), I entered White Rabbit Cabaret during the burlesque peep-show that preceded Adam Jay’s revered Live PA birthday set. A series of scantily-clad women from The Rocket Doll Revue each took their turn giving a feisty performance to the mass of bodies that gathered around the stage. A true work of art, each woman used a different theme (my favorite was the futuristic babe whose costume was adorned with the scraped innards and wires of an electrical device) to curate their outfit. Creative dance and striptease saw each woman disrobe to bikini bottoms and pasties before disappearing backstage as another paraded to the front.
After the dancers completed their performances the lights dimmed, Adam Jay took command, and the crowd rallied on the dance floor amidst a haze of flashing lights and rampant laughter.
Relative to the size of the club itself, White Rabbit Cabaret has a massive stage. FUTURISTIQUE utilized the copious amount of space better than any event I’ve seen at the venue. The DJ table was positioned in the middle, veiled from the audience by a gauzy grey curtain surrounding it. Each side of the stage was occupied by a large white sphere that gave me flashbacks from the DJ Shadow show I saw in Chicago last year. Video projectors illuminated the globes and DJ curtain with futuristic imagery supplied by VJ Benji Ramsey. Future-themed costumes and headgear speckled the audience and nearly everyone was dancing.
Kudos to Adam Jay who has been collaborating with DJ Shiva to bring the electronic community of Indianapolis something different. In a recent interview with IndyMojo.com Adam declared, “Our collective, SUBterror, used to throw raves that were built around unique concepts. They weren’t parties for the sake of parties like so many night clubs have become. There was always a message.”
If FUTURISTIQUE is any indicator of things to come from SUBterror in the future, it would be wise to start keeping tabs on them now. Here’s to seeing more of Adam Jay’s distinguishably creative work around town more often.
Danielle covers local music for NUVO.net and IndyMojo.com.
Sure, we feel bad having to destroy some of the weaker specimens — the Little House on the Prairie-themed break-dance symposium, the Ring cycle karaoke night, the Bring-Your-Daughter-To-Work-and-Dance! community outreach project, the Roomba drag race spectacular. But we allow for nothing less than perfection.
We humbly submit to you that Friday's NLG! Nightlife CityGuide Launch Party and DJ Showcase at TRU Nightclub is a party made better, faster, stronger; the kind of party you want to be with, a party designed for maximum satisfaction.
We invited some of our finest local DJs to play the main stage — multi-tasking husband-and-wife team A Squared Industries; dirty crunk maestro OhBeOne; ageless, tireless entrepreneur Indiana Jones; funky brothers-in-crime Twin Peaks; the eclectic and suave Action Jackson; Oranje mastermind Helicon; electronic scribe Jackola; G-9 rep Matt Allen.
But this party wanted more; this party was designed for excess. So we asked additional local talent — Stylistic, Uzo, Jamestown and Kodama — to hold it down in the Blend lounge, for there can be no stopping the beats; this party must have total beat saturation, on every floor, in every corner.
And then our party — now sentient, working of its own accord, calling its own shots — said to us that partygoers should not have to pay too much to do what they were meant to do, to fulfill their destiny to party. So our party found a dentist - Kolman Dental - to share the costs, and then decreed: you shall pay $5 for advance tickets and $7 at the door.
And lo it was good. And lo it will start at 9 p.m., with doors opening at 8 p.m. And lo you ought to be there, else the party, disappointed, may very well destroy us all.
This Thursday Indianapolis will pass another milestone in putting our city on the map for cutting edge entertainment in the Midwest. The bass-crazed, laser-infatuated minds behind IndyMojo.com and G9 Collective will once again present authentic live West Coast electronic music at The Mousetrap. Traveling all the way from San Francisco, CA; Andrei Olenev (a.k.a. Heyoka) will bring a truly unique experience of “relentless basslines, hip hop rhythms, and dub vibes within an atmosphere of heavy psychedelia and alien dimensions”. What seems like an over-the-top description from the famous dubstep DJ’s website is actually not all that far off. Check out this track from his Soundcloud page, creatively tagged as “alien_puke_core_step”
Heyoka’s music is unquestionably centered in glitch, a subset of electronic and breakbeat music that exploits sonic artifacts, defined by Wikipedia as “material that is accidental or unwanted, resulting from the editing or manipulation of a sound”. In slight contrast to the famous West Coast group The Glitch Mob (whose music focuses on the formation of spacey, abstract soundscapes and dark, mystic melodies), Heyoka intricately blends and manipulates bleeps, beeps, quirks, twists, buzzes, and rings; these are the foundation for his mind-bending works of art.
Heyoka’s impressive list of past achievements and performances (including five sets at Burning Man 2010, as well as one EP release and three full albums of original production) can only hint at the state of intensity and chaos that The Mousetrap will experience this week. It’s almost as if this installment of Altered Thurzday is what it’s all been building up to since the weekly event’s launch last fall: all remaining sets of the night will be played by Altered residents Hollow Point, Psynapse, and Kodama; Herm Productions will deliver (as per usual) a staggering light show of colors and effects; dancers of all forms will crawl out of the woodwork, lured by their attraction to powerful bass music; and hoops and poi’s will fill the air with dazzling, blinking lights.
You might want to go ahead and put in a PTO request with your employer for Friday; you're gonna need it.
Danielle covers local music for NUVO.net and IndyMojo.com.
The entire lot dedicated to Talbott Street’s patrons offered no vacancies as I attempted to park my car shortly after midnight. Inside, few people lingered near the bar as the majority of the club was raging full force on the lower level dance floor. “This is trance. It’s all about the melody,” my friend explained as we joined the comfortably packed mob of dancing fanatics. He looked sternly at me, a self-proclaimed dubstep addict, and reinforced, “It’s not just all about the bass.”
Cosmic Gate’s music had the ability to mentally transport recipients to another place through the power of collective energy. It is anthematic in nature; strong, penetrating beats twirl around synth patterns that make aerobic activity sound like a fun idea. Dancing becomes second nature and requires no thought, to the point where it’s nearly addictive. Everyone was moving, and they were moving fast. “Stand still for just a few minutes!” a random guy yelled at my friend as he scooted by, to which she continued bopping and screamed back, “I just can’t!”
The intertwining of intense beats and ultra-brisk melody created a musical space that was easy to get lost in, conforming to the appropriate label of “trance”. Paired with flashing lights and an overwhelming sense of oneness radiating across the dance floor, it felt as though we were somewhere other than little ole’ Indianapolis on a Thursday night- an exotic location, perhaps, where world famous DJ’s perform at swanky nightclub raves until the morning sun comes up.
This was a gathering of true dance fans. All agendas were void of motives such as finding hookups and getting hammered at the club. Instead, it was a brief but deeply cherished getaway for trance and techno aficionados. For a few precious hours, inhibitions were checked at the door and attendees let loose on the dance floor en masse. A lot of diehard fans showed up at Talbott Street to hear brand-new remixes of Cosmic Gate classics they know and love. Others came to get a taste of something new and exciting or to experience a different type of lve music experience. Whatever the reason, it is undeniable that Cosmic Gate’s audience on Thursday night was a happy one. It was an exhausting night of dancing madness that surpassed what I expected to find by a landslide; a truly delightful and fulfilling surprise.
Cosmic Gate at Talbott, Jan. 20
German trance duo Cosmic Gate stopped by Talbott Street Thursday night before heading to NYC, London and Singapore.
Danielle covers local music for NUVO.net and IndyMojo.com.
[Music] Jazz + Blues + R&B
[Music] DJs + Dancing