Steady rockin’ all night long…
Who?: Shannon Burton, AKA Steady B
Came to Indy: 6-7 years ago, but, has always a bastard stepchild of Indianapolis.
Places you may have seen him: Neon Cactus, The Vogue, Subterra, MojoStock, Melody Inn, The Mousetrap
This week, Indianapolis lost a shining star in its nightlife scene to the likes of Austin, Texas. Shannon Burton, aka, Steady B is a local dj/producer who has made major moves in his years in the Indy electronic music scene.
Shannon Burton has built a solid reputation and following since stepping into the music scene over 18 years ago. Through his many years of experience, countless headlining performances and successful events, he has earned the title as one of the Midwest’s leading and sought after DJ’s.
Steady B has brought his infectious energy and style to stages in Germany, Toronto, Detroit, Orlando, Chicago, and the rest of the Midwest’s major cities. Over the span of his career, Steady has held more than a dozen different longstanding residencies in different venues and cities.
Steady B performs regularly for major brands like Victoria’s Secret, Upland Brewing Company among others and is a DJ representative for Scratch Events based out of New York.
DJ Steady B’s talent is music. His passion is sharing it with others in any way he can. His unique and dirty music stylings mixed with a dynamic stage presence has made him an invaluable entertainer. Shannon and his wife Amanda will be relocating to make a new exciting life in Austin, Texas and it is only proper to give him a worthy send-off. Shannon sat down to answer some questions about his career, his hustle, and his upcoming move to Austin.
Amy Foxworthy (AF): How did you get your start?
Shannon Burton (SB): Well, it was something that I watched my older brother do growing up, and my step father DJ’d while in the Air Force. He had some records sitting around; I remember pulling out a UTFO’s Roxanne and scratching with that record until the needle broke. Then I pieced some gear together with my friend Mike Morgan and started doing house parties.and it seemed to become something that I became passionate about.
AF: First time you mixed records:
SB: Hmmm… are we talking a legit mix? I really didn’t have someone telling me what a proper mix was but I really payed attention to the mixtapes that my brother was sending me. I really don’t remember my 1st….but i remember playing records in the basement at my parents house–and I’m sure it drove them crazy–with this type of music with no vocal. A lot of 4-to-the-floor Hard House, House jams and Hip Hop, but they were supportive and it grew on them. My mother still shows up for shows and club events. When putting on shows myself, mom and pops would work the door at some.
AF: Who inspired you?
SB: My mother has been one of the biggest inspirations due to the fact that she is the one that instilled my love for music, my work ethic, and my party. As far as music is concerned, growing up I’ve listened to a lot of music and i appreciate it all-regardless if I like a genre or artist. Prince, Trent Reznor, Cajmere, Carl Cox, Rakim, Parliament , Depeche Mode….. the list goes “on and on” like Erykah Badu….
AF: When did you know you wanted to/could do this for a living?
SB: You catch this bug… this piece of you that wants more…..but, I really felt that I had this bug when I went to visit a friend in Germany and he had set up some shows for me. At the time I was still a infant in my career, but, being on the other side of this place called earth, and really not being that good I don’t feel. I wanted more out of it, and was willing to put in work to get to the point I’m at today. It is really powerful how music can bring people together; it was a life changing experience for me.
AF: Since you play so many different types of music, if you could only pick 3 genres for an entire year, what would they be?
SB: House, UK Grime and Juke!
AF: Scene drama–how you stay above all of it and how you stay tight with EVERYONE and don’t fall into cliquish shit?
SB: I stay in my lane. I SUPPORT when I can, i don’t take anything personal. I make my own opportunities, and my steps are guided.
AF: When you get to Austin, what is the plan? Build on what you’ve grown, or start fresh?
SB: A bit of both if that makes sense……the plan is to connect with like minded people with the type of gigs my heart is into, and continue my professional career as a DJ representative for Scratch events and with my own brand as DJ STEADY B.
AF: Who in Indy inspires you, who do you enjoy working with? Did someone give you some sort of chance where you got to open for someone, etc.? Did you have a “mentor,” per se?
SB: The DJ/Music community as a whole inspires me. I personally make a conscious effort to take something positive from everyone that I meet and take that and adding that to myself. I’ve played with many in this city–OG Brandon Patr!k, Jackola, 100proof……..but, when I’m on the decks with Cool Hand Lex or Buck Rodgers (currently in Austin, TX ) there is something about those sets that stand out; a type of vibe that gives ya chills. .As far as chances, I did different shows before i relocated to Indy, but, Techno Producer Adam Jay was the 1st person to book me as I started my 7 year adventure here…
AF: First Indy DJ gig, and first gig as a whole, nervous?
SB: Being like 16, doing house parties, R&B cafe, clubs/bars in Lafayette. I wasn’t even old enough to be in there and I still dj’d there. Purdue campus, we would load up the 79 Fleetwood (my first personal car) Cadillac, we’d hit specific party spots, play. I remember doing that at like 17 and 18. My junior and senior year in high school.
AF: Tell me about your production aspirations? have you been working on producing more? Talk a little bit about the differences in producing as opposed to mixing music/playing live and what you get from each, what you like most about each, what you dislike about each, etc.
SB: At this point in my career I’m wanting to evolve. From when i first started I was hip hop, then the booty & house, then I have produced my some tracks for my own person use for my shows…. I’m personally not too fond of my own work, but, people have liked the tracks I’ve made when I’ve played them out. This next phase of my career, production is going to be a focal point… I have a lot of concepts and projects that I’ve started by myself along with others. Just taking the time to sit down and arrange the concept to make a structured song from start to finish is my least favorite part.
For me, I want to produce stuff that sparks a person’s ear. When I’m in the studio I don’t have a genre that I’m going to make, I have idea that just vomits…. but, I may hear something and I just do it. There are too many “labels” in the world–genres or whatever. Same thing when I dj an EDM set somewhere. I ask the promoter what people are digging at the venue at the time, or look at what idea of why the booked me, and I build from there. I crate dig and then I get to a final cut process, then I will put the 1st 15 to 20 mins together on how I want to start the journey of my set, then after that we just see what happens. It’s about reading the crowd and seeing if you have them engaged.
AF: Collabs? Dream collabs? Michael Mcdonald? Kenny Loggins? Bob Seger? Are you wanting to like, break into the yacht rock scene? What’s something that people wouldn’t expect to hear from you that you’d like to experiment with or break into sometime?
SB: I enjoy working with people on tracks; you bounce ideas, you feed of one another vibe, you have a second pair of ears. You can play off of their strong points and they can play off yours. Dream collaborations… hmmm….Art of Noise, Cajmere, anyone from Dirtybird, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Jaimie Fanatic.
AF: Talk to me about Booty House…. explain it for our listeners…. where did it come from, how did you get into it? Who are your inspirations or role models in that scene?
SB: BOOTY HOUSE…. ghetto house, ghetto tech, hip house miami bass… sexually driven party music–can be vulgar… It was twerk music before twerk was twerk in the “EDM scene” the booty house / ghetto house / juke based out of Chicago. The ghetto tech & was based out detroit. I made babies with the genres…..my brother would send me mix tapes from Detroit with such artist like Godfather, Assault and Nasty and other. I was also following djs from Chicago like DJ Funk, Slugo, Deeon, Nephews, Fast Eddie and so many more….I was the only Dj playing it from South of the region (Northwest indiana )
AF: Versatility…you play everything…. talk about ability to assess/judge your crowd and how important of a factor that is in dj’ing. How do you deal with sporadic requests, when you are playing a set?
SB: Its all about balance. The club or venue hires the DJ’s for a reason–to make a party and to rotate the crowd from the dance floor and to the bar.
Some DJ’s do requests, some don’t., depending on the venue or event…. its up to the DJ’s discretion….. it is a customer service-based job for some events.
AF: Charity…. you’re involved with some charities where you give your time and talent for free for some really good causes. Not asking you to toot your own horn, but can you tell me a little bit about the ways you give back to your community through your music? To follow, tell me some things going forward you’d like to get involved with or make an impact in some way.
SB: When you are blessed to be able to do what you love for a living…. why wouldn’t you want to give back to the community…or give time back to those who might need it. Everything from Red Cross to Boys and Girls clubs…. marathon to fund raisers……
I did work for the Boys & Girls club for years, I do miss that…..Something I may do a little more once down in Austin.
AF: Tell me some funny stories you’ve seen or witnessed on your many times playing out. Weirdest request, most frequent request, has anyone ever messed up your equipment, etc.
SB: A Funny story….I was up north near Chicago and the power went out, and as the dark silence took over the bar, the party kids started mouthing their own house track. “oontz,oontz,oontz,oontz,oontz,oontz,oontz,oontz!” Weirdest request; nothing weirder than someone requesting a song they have seen on youtube. Most frequent request, “That one song I don’t know the name of it, or who its by, but……” None of my equipment has been messed up….but my gear are my children….they are insured…but, you best not hurt my children…..lol.
AF: Nerves… Get nervous?
SB: during the set, you are releasing this energy out, and receiving out, and they’re pushing an energy back at you. After you get done, you are kind of depleted, so, coming into your space, makes me feel ill sometimes…not really “nervous” but just a sort of anxiety sometimes. My prep stage, hunting tracks down for a few days, then getting a few tracks together for a start, and get into that set. I don’t plan sets, other than the beginning and then I just go from there. It isn’t playing that makes me nervous, I get a little anxious about an hour before a big show, I double check everything, same bag in the same order, and I don’t make plans before the show, I will go back in the house 2-3 times before I actually leave for a gig, to make sure I didn’t forget things, etc. Every big show, that usually happens. I talk to people afterward, but it just takes me a minute to get my….chi….back to a certain level.
AF: Do you have a new years resolution?
SB: To get a job.
AF: Do you have a gig lined up in Texas yet?
SB: Not yet, but discussions have begun!
AF: What would you be doing if you weren’t a rockstar?
SB:Mentoring, that is the fulfilling portion of what I do. Maybe like a drug and alcohol rehab center, a Boys & Girls Club… I’ve driven trucks, worked for Fedex… one time , I’d only worked there for a few days. I put the van in park, went to unload it, and it started rolling… it slipped out of park. I hit a garage got fired that day.
AF: Who are you listening to right now?
SB: Run the Jewels, Talk Radio, Flat Black (coy) Jin XS-Wu Tang collection, Two Tears in a Bucket mix I just did,
AF: Memorable performances you’ve seen as a fan, who are some people you just admire their skills or like to watch?
SB: Anyone from Dirtybird. Green Velvet, Cajmere, I always miss Carl Cox but really want to see him. Prince, George Clinton/Parliament Funkadelic
AF: You have an awesome wife…I see her at a lot of your shows… tell me how it works with being a working dj who does this for a living, and also has a family/wife, etc. What is the recipe for success for that to work? I know a lot of dj’s don’t have successful relationships and lots of relationships fail in this field… what’s your and Amanda’s secret to making it work?
SB: Understanding the business as a couple, communication and a strong support system for one another. I have a awesome wife. She loves me and and the passion I have for it. I love her for that. It’s not for everyone, but when you find the one…..ya better keep her!
AF: Tell me some thoughts of yours, overall, on the music scene in Indy. How it was when you became part of it, how it has changed over the years, and where you think it stands now. What do you see for its future, and what do you think are the factors we need to make us stand out more in the national scene? Long question…sorry.
SB: I’ve enjoyed my time here in Indy. There are REALLY talented people here in Indy. Top notch such DJs, Producers and Promoters. I would say you could take most and put them in any other major city and they would hold their own.
Along with anything, you take the good with the bad, but, YOU MAKE YOUR OWN PATH!
I’ve felt like a black sheep from the start. I’ve been fortunate to be able and accepted within Underground electronic music scene and also able to play club venues and corporate events while keeping separation of both spectrums within those particular stylings of venues. I also have been accepted in both. The change over the years in the Indy music scene I feel is the term “Open format” has taken the DJ of the old out of their comfort zone. Making DJ’s more diverse for those who choose to. I think there is a different generation of partygoers. Are there “party starters” anymore? Yes…but are there as many? I’m not sure. When I was younger I wanted to be at the shows or the club from close to start to finish–not just when the headliners came on or when the club was already packed. I think there are many reasons behind this but we are not writing a book! haha.
I think there are fractions of promoters that are doing good things and I don’t think it will stop when I’m gone…. It just might miss a smiling face
AF: You’ve mentored some younger musicians/artists who are on the come up; you’ve worked with different people in different areas, to create things together and build up multiple parties. Tell me about how important that is to you, and is helping people starting out something you enjoy doing, or is it something that sort of gets thrown in your lap and you do it reluctantly, etc.?
SB: I enjoy mentoring other artists. I think there is a generation gap sometimes. My mentors and people that showed me the ropes in the music scene I feel gave me advice and the do’s and dont’s. You listened, took notes and paid your dues. You put in work and move up the ladder. But as a young guy, you made sure you took that advice and utilized that info. Iit would make you or break you.
AF: What will you miss MOST about Indianapolis, besides me? What inspired you to move to Texas?
SB: I will miss some really good and genuine people hear in Indianapolis. A lot of good relationships were built here in Indy.
One of my mentors moved to Austin the year prior to me moving to Indy and I was told I would love it, but, it just wasn’t my time. Things lined up for me to come to Indy 1st; guided steps…..now its my time for Texas.
The inspiration on this move was that the wife and I where looking to relocate in 2015. We had been on the Emerald Coast of Florida checking out the music scene there few times, plus we have family there. We went Austin for my little dj brotha’s bday (Buck Rodgers) and the wife and I fell in love with city, and things fell in place. Once again, guided steps….
And thats that; a new chapter of blessings for the seen and unseen….
AF: Any chance on coming back to Indy occasionally to visit us/play for us, or do we just have to get a caravan and bring the Indy party down to you? Also, I call first dibs on any potentially open rooms or floor space in your new house during SXSW….
SB: That overlaps with Steady-Gras… it’s going to be the best birthday for several years. I’m very excited, and yes, I will be back to play, it’s a possibility.
AF: Tell us what you will REMEMBER most about your time here.
SB: Remembering those who I could be a positive influence on to fight the “good fight” because in the last 2 months, so many people like yourself have spoken to me about how much of an influence I have been to this city. Not trying to be “this guy or that guy,” but, being a “good, stand up guy.”
AF: Any advice for people who are trying to do what you do, get where you’re at, etc.?
SB: Look past the fog and mirrors, and don’t compare yourself to others or what others are doing. MAKE YOUR OWN SUCCESS FOR WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE!
LOVE YOU ALL! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH, Shannon DJ Steady B.
DJ, Producer, Indy Nightlife scene staple, mentor, father, son, friend…. we will miss you like The Colts miss Peyton. Godspeed to you and Amanda, Shannon “Steady B” Burton. Don’t forget us little people…
Quotes about Shannon from esteemed colleagues and Indy elite:
Jason King-CEO of IndyMojo: Steady B is one the most versatile DJs in the game today. I have hired him to open for Snoop Dogg with a 3 hour hip-hop set at The Vogue.. But have also asked him to play a late night EDM set at MojoStock Music Festival. Steady B is as “well rounded” as they come.
John Mattox (Ed Trauma) “All around King amongst men”
Shannon is one of the nicest and versatile Djs I’ve ever met- Rob S, indigo child
-Hugh Jeffner-: I have know Shannon for 20 years. Here is my quote.
“Growing up in the 219 ( “The Region” ) the pressure to be great was overwhelming in the DJ game. Steady B is another one of the amazing talents, kindred spirits, and lifelong friends to come from an area that produced a plethora of talent.
Christopher Noland/DJ Hollow Point: Steady B and I got to know each other from his time at Subterra. He and Cool Hand Lex used to have a Tuesday night event there, which usually catered to whoever decided to wander in. Usually it was populated by folks that were in town for a convention, but there were several locals who would come down to hang out and jam. The best part of this night was how open the format was. You see, Steady B and CHL are two of the most versatile DJs on town and could rock a dancefloor with any genre of music, and trust me when I say that they flexed this skill on a regular basis. I heard smooth jazz, hard house, downtempo, drum & bass and a heavy dose of top 40, hip hop, and house music all mixed together in the most unique and complex ways. I’ve known Cool Hand Lex for over a decade, tracing back to my days in college at Ball State, but I’m blessed to have gotten a chance to get to know Steady B as well. I’ll always look back at those nights fondly with a smile as, in my mind, there’s a special connection DJs have when they’re able to sit back and watch each other mix not always what other people are requesting, but what they themselves love to play. To witness the emotion we each put into the music we truly care about and share it with each other in a fun and social environment is a rare treat DJs aren’t always afforded.
Tyler “Stewbot” Stewart: I’ve known Shannon for as long as I’ve known anybody since I moved to Indianapolis 10 years ago. Not only as he made a major postive impact on dozens of midwest DJ’s, but also in my personal life as well. Speaking of DJ’s, I don’t know of many DJ’s as versatile and well rounded as Steady B. A true friend and midwest hero. This guy knows no booty he cannot move.
Lawrence Moore (Elliott Eastbourne): Thankfully, Steady B was my introduction into the electronic music scene in Indy. I say thankfully because he was always supportive and inclusive of everyone. He gave me my first handful of opportunities to play in Indy and I’ll be forever grateful for that. He somehow managed to avoid cliquish nature of electronic music in Indy and he was always out at somebody else show, showing love, whenever he wasn’t working himself.
The first time we spoke was when you and I had been to Takeover Tuesday a few times and on one of those occasions, he asked us if we were ok or needed a drink or anything. I think that’s representative of what kind of person he was. Straight up genuine and friendly.
Jamie Jackson-Sam Ash – “So, I am in Lafayette for the first time. I am sitting in on percussion with a few friends and am loading in across a cobblestone street. On my second trip, I hear “Jamie Jackson.” I look around in wonderment, because, I have never been here and who is this! The one and only Shannon Burton is looking at me and smiling. He is dressed to the nines and looking good. He was next door DJing a friend’s wedding. I told him to come check us out afterward if he had time. Well, he did. And he brought over the whole wedding party with him. We partied for a while, had some drinks and he made my only trip to Lafayette a very memorable one.
Shannon is truly one of the happiest people that I have ever met. He is nice, caring and was an important figure in the music scene in Indy. He and his smile will be greatly missed.”
Rob Jones: Shannon was of the coolest dj’s I’ve ever gotten to listen to and to learn
from.Great technique and flow to his sets, always on point with the track selections whether it was Retro Rewind at the Vogue or just throwing down at the Melody Inn. Cool, down to earth guy to talk to. I’ve been around a lot of dj’s in Indy and its good to know he’s one of
the many who will offer words of encouragement and pointers to some of
the young, up and coming dj’s. That sort of mentoring is what’s needed for the next group to flow with and grow with.
Jack Shepler aka Jackola: Steady is not only a great DJ, he’s real. He doesn’t overhype, he doesn’t play politics, and he has a genuine interest in promoting local music culture.
Indy has been lucky to have him. Austin is getting a true player, and by that I mean team player of course. I’ve had many opportunities to tag team with him and it’s always fun. He keeps me on my toes, but we play off each other in a way that’s fun and fluid. I’m going to miss that!
TopSpeed: Lay flatts IN, aka Lafayette… seeing shannon spin there at the rink, for me, it was great. Got to see a side of a guy do a different kind of music to a crowd that really accepted it well. From that to the Cactus, I told Him I’d always try to stop and see him at the Cactus. I said from here and Chicago I’d come see him…. when I could knowing if I’d stop, I’d stay too long You were pretty excited when he actually moved to Indy. I knew if he was closer, I had a chance og gettng music from him. He met me at midtown grill at 2008 and gave me a folder of House, I still haven’t been able to go through all of it. Shannon Burton, if anyone doesn’t know, it is a derivative name of a rapper who I am fond of….so why wouldn’t I be happy about a guy adopted that name and keep it steady on the turntables. He will be highly missed. Met too many djs around the city that know his name real well that will miss him as much as I do.
Kyle Wilson: Shannon and I started out with the dance background. Always seeing each other at different events out on the dance floor cutting it up and just having a good time. There are even several memories I hear others share of us out on the dance floor. Then there was always the fact the Shannon would be behind the decks tearing it up as always dropping “O’Sheila” on vinyl before I could even ask. He is without a doubt one of the faces I was always happy to run into. I truly feel Shannon will always be one of those friends that although we may not see each other for a long time, when we do we can pick up like it was yesterday. Hope everything works out like I know it will for ya, and keep up the good work with the positive vibes. – Big Kyle
Lisa SHIVA Smith: My memories of Shannon all revolve around his big smile and infectious demeanor. He’s always been that dude, bringing the party to you with a smile and an upbeat attitude.
Nate Cancilla (Jin-XS): Back when I was still shitting green as a DJ, i was on some very tiny ass shows for Crash! promotions that drew next to no one. However, Steady was one of the few local names that came to check it out when we were getting a lot of ire from other local DJs. He got one of my mix cds, which he still says is in his car cd rotation to this day. It may not seem like much, but it was little things like this that went a long way when i was breaking in, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I have so much respect for Steady B
DJ Rican : At a time like this for being thankful for many things, I am grateful for gaining a friendship with Shannon. He, along with the TSRP crew, taught me a lot of the ins and outs of the DJ Business and introduced me to a lot of great people. From chaperoning him at the Neon Cactus gigs to enjoying T.N.T / All Record Parties / and the (Squish face) music, I know he will bring just as much love and talent to Austin as he’s done for Indy. God Bless and Best Wishes for Shannon and Amanda Burton (Mom and Dad) *BAM*
Pete “Antik One” - NAP DNB: I can’t say I know him well, but his influence on the scene here has been apparent since I returned to Indy. I’ve shared the stage with him once. He was very kind and encouraging. His attitude and general support for Dj culture as a whole will be missed.
Schaunita J. Falter-Lett – SHANNON’S MOTHER – “I am the #1 fan and biggest supporter of Steady. I have followed and encouraged his love for music since his first desire was expressed. Gifted not only in music but also gifted in his love for mankind and the gathering of many through his Steady Beatz! So Proud that the Love he has shared is being reciprocated as he turns one more corner to new adventure and possibilities.
As for funny stories;
Who do you know that ever skipped school in 1st grade? Must say he has always been creative! Love you, prosperity and blessings be with you. -Steady B’s Mother”
Buck Rodgers – formerly Indy, Transplant to Austin: Shannon is the big brother I never had. Back when I first started to dj he used to bring records back from Chicago just to give to me. Introducing me to new genera’s and showing me the ropes when it comes to business. You really don’t find many people like Steady. However, where as most of you are sad to see him leave. Im actually VERY excited for Shannon and his mrs. to start their new venture down here in the dirty south!! Can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store us. #whatthebuck #thebteam #959
Cool Hand Lex AKA Alex Edgecomb: Shannon is the best friend and DJ partner anyone could ask for. He’s an outstanding mentor to the younger class, a savvy businessman, and a world-class destroyer of dance floors. We’ve shared in a lot of ridiculous situations in a lot of ridiculous locations and there’s nobody I trust more to have my back. He’s quite literally loved by all and his departure from Indy is just Austin’s great gain. D!rtst*r in ya mouth all day.
FIND HIM HERE:
Steady B on Soundcloud
Photo credit: Dynamik Optiks, Aaron Lingenfelter, Amanda Burton, Neon Cactus
Who: J. Caprice
What: Real HOUSE Music for real House Heads
When: Friday 12.13.13.
Where: RISE at 247 Skybar on Meridian downtown
Why: Because he’s a badass and you do not want to live with the regret and shame that will unavoidably result from missing this show.
J. Caprice was kind enough to answer several burning questions; some of which were submitted by local fans like you!
AF: Waaaay back in 1996, what or who was it that inspired you to start spinning?
J.C. The person that inspired me most as a DJ was definitely Mark Almaria. He is like a house ninja the way he moves in and out of tracks layering beat after beat throwing in acapellas there is never a dull moment when Mark mixes. He is a true Mix master in my books.
AF: What kind of stuff did you start out playing?
J.C.: House Music has always been my thing from the start. I was really big into the Jazz/Funk/Disco/Jam Band sound so when I discovered House Music I felt right at home.
AF: How long would you say it was between the time you started playing and the time you actually made your own track?
JC: I started playing with programs around 1999 but really didn’t get into producing seriously till around 2007. I’ve always been a Fruity Loops guy and still to this day feel like it’s a very underrated program. I’ve tried out other programs as well but it seems like I always ended up back on FL. I’ve always said it’s not about what program you work in it’s about how you use it!
AF: What was the first track you ever made?
J.C.: Wow I honestly do not remember what the first track I made was called. The first track I had released was a remix I did for Kinjo in 2007 of Dave Allison’s Uptown Jazz and that’s the track that really kick started my career as a producer.
A.F. You’re from Indiana originally, but now you live in Texas….why did you leave us and what do we have to do to get you back?
J.C.: I came to Texas because I needed a change. My mom had joined the military and got stationed in San Antonio. I had the choice to stay in Indiana or to come to Texas with her and at that point in my life it just seemed like the right move. Don’t get me wrong I love Indiana and not a day goes by I don’t miss it. I’m very proud of where I come from and my roots but I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for making such a big change.
AF: You’ve worked with a lot of amazing artists such as Wattie Green, South of Roosevelt, Scrubfish; most of my favorite artists, really. Who is/are someone that you have not yet had the opportunity to work with but you’d really like to? Or a label you’d like to work with, etc.
JC: It’s been a blessing to work with all the talented artists that are on the labels. There are so many names I would like to see on Juiced or Home Again Recordings Digital (H.A.R.D) that have inspired me over my career. I would love the chance to sign some music from Cricco Castelli, Pound Boys, DJ Nekbath, Olav Basoski, DJ Rhythm, Deaf’N Dumb Crew. I’m not sure if any of those guys are doing things these days but it would be an honor to work with them.
AF: Tell us how, when and why Juiced Music and Home Again Recordings Digital came to exist.
JC: When 4Peace and I came up with the idea for Juiced in 2009 our main goal was to start a label that artist and fans could trust to put out a quality product. Home Again Recordings Digital was started with the same idea in 2010 but with more of a verity of sounds ranging from deep,tech,disco to jack . Juiced is pure Jackin House and that’s the way we wanted it to be from the start.
AF: Fan question submission time! “With the abundance of social media is it easier or more difficult to gain an audience?” I can see where either answer would apply. What do you think?
JC: This is a great question! There is an art to how you use social media it can make you or break you in opinion. You have to know how to conduct yourself in a professional manor. As a DJ/Producer/Label Owner whatever in the end you are a product a brand you have to market yourself in the right ways to make it work. Nobody wants to work with a Mr. Dither ! Be humble, honest, take some risks and above all be yourself and social media can take you a long way in any business.
AF: How did you get hooked up with Chicago House FM, and tell me a little bit about how your show came to be.
JC: I don’t remember how I came across the station but I’m very happy I found the CHFM Family. I have had a few different shows on the site over the years. The idea of a radio show I guess came from the fact that I was already practicing so why not broadcast it. If I wasn’t writing music I was spinning it so it just seemed like the right thing to do. Currently I’m not doing any radio shows because life has been so busy but I hope to start back up sometime in the near future.
AF: How much prep and work went into keeping the show as fresh and bad ass as you always have? Walk me through a little bit of your world in that sense; how do you find new music, prepare and decide what to play for the show?
JC: It was a ton of work doing the shows. I can be pretty picky about what I play so digging for music can be hard at times. It was a nonstop process of listening to promos and digging page after page on the music sites. I also never plan a set I’m very big on improve and just going with the flow of what I hear in my head as the mix comes along. Fun fact that a lot of people don’t know My DJ name comes from the word capriccio [from Italian: caprice] Meaning = (Music / Classical Music) a lively piece composed freely and without adhering to the rules for any specific musical form.
AF: That is awesome! I did not know that! One question I like to ask dj’s/producers is whether they keep up with the “latest charts” on sites like Traxsource and Beatport; how, or even IF, they keep up on what’s new in electronic music, and whether they use that in any way as any sort of guideline or influence when making their own new tracks.
JC: As I said before I really don’t pay attention to the charts. I find with a lot of charts it’s the same names over and over. I have mad respect for anyone in this business but there are so many talented people out there that if I just listened to what people find to be popular I would miss out on so much music. I also don’t do very many charts and that’s because I always make sure to label the mixes I put out. I would rather feature the tracks in a mix and make it more personal then throw it together on a site.
AF: What are your feelings about the quality and state of House music right now? What would you like to see in the future for House music?
JC: I think House Music has come along way over the years and I am very proud to be a part of it. In the future I would just really like to see more education on what the House Music sound really is and where it came from to the younger generation.
AF: What would you like to see less of and what would you like to see more of in the world of House music or even electronic music as a whole? For example, for me personally, I’d like to see less of the “vinyl v. serato v. controller” debate, less of the “Sneak v. everyone else” debate, etc. Sort of less in-fighting and squabbling over equipment preferences, etc. What do you think?
JC: It would be nice to see everyone work together and be supportive of the scene as a whole. We are the future of this music and we need to put our egos aside as artist and promoters and do what’s right to set the next generation up for success.
AF: Another fan question submission: “What is the first, or one of the tracks you ever really fell in love with, and why?”
JC: Cricco Castelli – Life is Changing has to be my number one favorite of all time. No matter how many times I hear it goose bumps. I have a ton of good memories attached to that track and every time I hear it I feel almost like a kid again.
A.F. Somewhere you’ve never played, but want to?
JC: This is a fun question and I think I may even surprise myself with this answer. I’m sure a lot of people would say somewhere over seas. Don’t get it twisted I would love the chance to visit another country but off the top of my head the first place that comes to mind is Smart Bar in Chicago. There is so much history inside that club and behind that name it would just be an honor to play on that system. (A.F. Sidenote…this is my favorite venue in the entire WORLD and I go there every chance I get! I loved this answer!)
AF: What/who are you listening to right now (new OR old) that you just can’t get enough of? Who are some of your current favorite artists, and also what people have inspired you the most in the past?
JC: There are so many names I could talk about that really inspire me as a artist. Currently I’ve been doing a ton of record digging and listening to a ton of old funk/breaks/disco/soul/jazz like The Meters, Eddie Bo, The Mohawks, Chocolate Milk, ABC Band, Houseband, Curtis Mayfield, Dazz Band, Zapp and Roger, Medeski Martin and Wood, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock. With More Current music in the House Music genre I really enjoy everything Arturo Garces, J-Fader, Petrus, Doc Link, Soul De Marin and The SoulMates have been doing. Those are definitely a few names that inspire me and make me want to step up my game in the studio.
AF: We are SUPER pumped to have you back in Indiana to play at RISE. Can you give us a sneak peak as to what we can expect from a J. Caprice live show?
JF: I’m pumped to be coming to play so big thanks to all that’s involved for making this happen! I guess if you would like a sneak peak at things to come you can watch a recording of a live show here @ http://bambuser.com/v/4056380
Come party with us Friday 12-13-13, and bring your dancin’ shoes!
“Well, I would go out more, but everything is always on a weeknight…”
“All these shows start too late and I have to get up early for work tomorrow…”
“I can’t afford some big cover charge and overpriced drinks…”
Save your excuses; this show is on a weekend, starts early (7:00 p.m.) and is free. If you are looking for something new and different, a sound that is inspiring and unique; sometimes funky, sometimes melodic, and always soulful, go see Z&A at the Melody Inn Saturday, December 14th.
This electro-soul duo (Jake Zavracky and Amanda Khiri) calls Brooklyn, New York home currently, but Amanda is actually an Indianapolis native. I recently had the opportunity to hear their new album and ask them some questions and was anything but disappointed.
Their self titled debut album described in 3 words: Diverse. Moving. Infectious
These guys are truly like no other group/artist I’ve ever heard, and that is saying a lot. You can hear faint tributes to everything from blues to jazz to funk to reggae to soul to electro to rock and more, spread beautifully and craftily throughout this 10-track masterpiece.
The album begins with one of the 3 of its fascinating and unique interludes, before one of my favorite tracks, “Have it Your Way” begins. This track, from the second it began I knew I loved it, and that has only grown since listening to it in excess of 50 times over the past week. This song has the sound that I feel like the people in mainstream are TRYING to accomplish when they make a vocal electronic track, yet fail miserably. I can easily see this song being a “hit” and the catchy hook will get stuck in your head for days. This track really pulled me in and made me excited to hear the rest of the songs; all very different, but equally attention-grabbing. At no point during this album did I feel bored or wanting to skip over anything. I’m sure a lot of you can relate; when you listen to so much music you tend to develop a sort of music-A.D.D. and we want to skip ahead to “the drop” or the hook, etc. One of the best things about this album is that it keeps the listener’s interest throughout its entirety.
I could easily do a track-by-track praise session, but in the interest of time and your attention span, I will just briefly mention some highlights in hopes of piquing your interest enough to come check them out live with us at the show.
“Neon Arches” is intense and thunderous; deep and sort of eerie in parts; definitely a dance floor filler. The vocals are phenomenal and the music is genius. I can almost hear things that remind me of everything from Prodigy to Daft Punk to Nine Inch Nails…combined with something unique and new that I’ve never experienced all wrapped into one.
“Father’s House” is one of my personal favorites. It is so soulful and heart-pleasing. Amanda’s voice is just outstanding and works so perfectly with the reggae sound and feel of the music. This track causes involuntary swaying and dancing and should not be listened to when operating heavy machinery because it will make you feel intoxicated; no joke. It sort of puts you in a trance by the end of it, and I honestly wish this song were about 5 minutes longer.
“Before the Fall” is the most beautiful, serene interlude, into my favorite track on the album, “MNDSTLR.” At the very beginning, the track starts with this beat that makes me want to 80’s break dance. Then, these electronic sounds begin…and they build to form the beautiful structure that is this song. When the lyrics begin you immediately FEEL something; it causes automatic emotional response within the listener. The harmony is absolutely breathtaking. Everything about this song is impressive, from lyrics to harmony to structure to the beat, the guitar–and come on, it has vocoder in it!
“Yeah, I wanna…steal your mind. I’m in love with….what’s inside.” -Z&A “MNDSTLR”
The final track, “Kiss, Kiss” is really, for lack of a better word, “sweet.” There’s beautiful guitar and Amanda’s entrancing voice, and a positive message, cool effects, and a mellow/chill vibe. The only bad thing about this song is that it means the album is over.
After hearing and loving the album, I had some questions for Z&A about their history and their upcoming show in Indy at the Melody Inn.
AF: How did you guys meet and how long have you been playing?
Z&A: We met working at the same bar in Brooklyn. We also live in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn which is called Gowanus. We started getting together and making demos sometime around April of this year. Things started coming together pretty quickly after that.
AF: Tell me about your musical backgrounds, were you in bands before, what instrument(s) have/do you play, dj/etc.
Amanda: I got my start in church and studied classical voice and jazz at IU, then after a short stint doing backup work in LA, I moved to New York and had been singing jazz and blues in various trios around the city for the better part of the last ten years. Jake’s been playing in clubs for ages, since he was in high school.
AF: Who are some of your musical influences, either as a band or individually? Who are some of Amanda’s vocal influences/favorites?
Amanda: One of the things that was exciting for me and Jake, once we started talking, was just how wide our influences ranged. On this album you can find shades of Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Lee Scratch Perry, and even LCD Soundsystem and Zeppelin. Personally I love the ability of someone like Jill Scott or Cee-Lo to be light and free, and then get deep and go Gospel and Soulful.
AF: What was your very first live show together like, where was it, etc.?
Amanda/Z&A: Our first show was awesome. It was in a great neighborhood club in Boston. We were excited, I knocked over my whole setup onstage, which I think won the crowd over. After that we just jammed.
AF: The new album is fantastic. It has a really nice flow and everything is different and unique from track to track; yet it all just flows together so well, and I can tell that a lot of thought and heart went into it. What was the writing process like and how did you go about putting everything together; tell me a little about the making of the album.
Amanda: Thank you! This was my first foray into studio work in this particular genre, and it’s a very fast way to work. Jake has 100 ideas a minute and it was so exciting, everyday to get the new versions of the mixes from him. We had a system where Jake would send me a sketch of the track itself, and we would usually work together on the melody over that. Father’s House was a little different, I came up with the melody first and gave it to Jake. He came up with a couple ideas and we went from there.
AF: Do you have a favorite track, or is there any certain track that has a particularly special meaning for you?
Amanda: I loved “Neon Arches” and “Father’s House” so much when we were recording them. I pushed for those two songs to be the A&B sides of the single, because I like how they fit together. But live, I LOVE singing “Transistor”. It’s so fun. I feel like I’m floating when I sing that song.
AF: I’m really looking forward to seeing you guys play at the Melody Inn. Tell us a little about what we can expect to see at a Z&A live show. Give us a little sneak peak, if you will.
Amanda: What happens live is Jake uses a device that records his guitar and plays it back live. So nothing is pre-recorded except for the drum beat. And then you have me, who loves being on stage so much, I’m invoking the jazz side a little, and doing a lot of improvisation. Then once the song is built, it kind of bursts wide open and usually the crowd feels it and we all just start dancing and letting go..
AF: Somewhere you’ve never played before but want to?
Amanda: Well, the Midwest tour was my idea, because I love the vibe here and it was a great excuse to come back to my hometown, Indianapolis. But I can’t wait to go to Europe. We plan to get there by the end of next year.
AF: You also have shows in Ohio and Chicago; is this your first time visiting the Midwest/Indianapolis?
Amanda: I think I got drunk and did Karaoke in Chicago once! Jake has toured a lot in his career and has actually played the Melody Inn before. But this is our first time here as Z&A!
AF: What’s on the horizon for Z&A? Where do want to take things, or what is the next level you want to achieve or milestone?
Amanda: I am really excited to see how many phases and sounds Z&A is going to go through. We have so many ideas and influences we draw from, that the possibilities are very plentiful as far as the kind of material. Jake is also very passionate about the way in which we release our music to the fans. We are trying to merge the new model of getting the music to the fans with the old model of releasing two albums per year like they did in the 60’s and 70’s. I mean you look at somebody like Ella Fitzgerald, I think she had maybe 70 or 80 albums out? We don’t want to wait. And Jake is such a skilled producer that we don’t have to! As far as touring, we’re lucky to live in Brooklyn, so the chances to perform are many, but I love being on the road and we plan to stay on the road as much as possible.
I am sure that if Z&A continues to play and create music, and more people get the chance to be exposed to them, that will definitely happen. Come check out Z&A live at the Melody Inn Saturday, December 14th at 7:00!
Here are some more places to check out Z&A:
Born in a meth lab deep in the hills of Tennessee, Wattie Green was found and raised by a pack of coyotes; one of which only had three legs. Wattie later took up with a band of nomadic gypsies who formed a band and made their living selling magic tonics and some taxidermy on the side. After a falling out with the gypsies, Wattie staged a rebellion and fled in order to single-handedly create the EDM subgenre of “Cave-Rave.” Dj’ing since ’99 and producing since 2004, this spelunking, multi-instrument playing, jazzy swing house producing phenom moves the crowd wherever he goes. Wattie’s vinyl and digital releases on Flapjack, Spatula City, Juiced, Knocturnal Emissions, Serial Sickness, Funk Mansion and Coyote Cuts have topped the charts of Stompy and Traxsource. Come check out how he has redefined the swing house sound with his nuskool/oldskool jackin’ feel.
Mojo/AF: So, what kind of stuff did you listen to growing up as a kid? What was the first tape/CD you ever bought?
WG: My dad played music. He had a bluegrass band and I liked that stuff. I also liked classic rock and Motown. My mom’s from Detroit and bought all these Michael Jackson records and Motown music.
I started playing guitar at 10 or 11. I played early alternative rock stuff like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Sonic Youth was a big thing for me; different kinds of punk rock, commercial punk stuff like Bad Religion and Butthole Surfers… Then at 14 I started going to parties with a fake ID.
AF: How did you first get into “electronic” or house music?
WG: Going to underground shows in Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta as an early teenager. They would be featuring Chicago house djs and drum and bass stuff from the east coast, and some west coast. Paul Johnson Derrick Carter, strictly Jazz Unit Crew like Vic Lavender, Glen Underground; and at that time, it’s embarrassing to say now, but Bad Boy Bill and Humpty Vision– that was hot shit in ’97 and ’98. Terry Mullin, DJ Dan– these people were all at parties that I was trying to sneak into. People like Farina, Sneak and Carter, frequented Nashville, Atlanta and Memphis … around 99. We’d go all the time on weekends, missed a lot of school…
I first got turntables when I was 15….I got them for Christmas and had those until I was 18, and I convinced my parents to use a small college fund on Technics at 18 and I still have them. That’s basically all I have.
AF: What was the first track you ever made?
WG: In 2009 I finally released some stuff. I’d been trying to make tracks for 4 or 5 years but wanted someone to release them on vinyl, but most of the people I sent stuff to were not willing to do vinyl. But, eventually Frankie J agreed to release Sea Lion Woman on Flapjack. I made some tracks for Juiced Music in 2009 and 2010 I gave them several tracks. Flapjack and Spatula City and Juiced Music in 2009 and 201 were my first releases… I was the 2nd release on Flapjack. (A.F. sidenote to readers. This blows my mind and I have to take a moment to collect myself and get my breathing under control again, as this is a huge fucking deal….)
AF: Do you keep up with the “latest charts” on Traxsource and Beatport and the like? How do you stay current on what’s coming out, or do you; and do you use those as any sort of guideline when you’re making new tracks, or do you just not care and do your own thing?
WG: As a DJ I’m supposed to, but I really do not. I don’t keep up. Every now and then I go through the top 10 or go to the Jackin’ top 10, and be like “I know that guy”, or I already have it or I ask them to send it to me… I only play stuff that people send me. I don’t pay attention to those websites… I play them when I get promos, but most of the good stuff that is top 20 in the genre I get most of it already, People are putting out stuff I love, but I hit them up and ask them….”Here’s my new thing, let me get that one thing.” I really don’t keep up with all that stuff, I’m lucky if I get on line for 20 min every day… I am blessed that people send me promos… The only stuff I play live is the stuff people send me or stuff that I’ve made.
AF: So what’s up with this cave stuff?
WG: Actually – me and my grandfather and my father, our pastime was to hunt for arrowheads…this was in Paris Tennessee, there is this land between lakes and between the rivers, and we’d find cave openings while hunting for arrowheads. In middle Tennessee, we have some of the largest concentrations of caves in the US. I took up caving and repelling, well it’s been over 10 years that I’ve been doing that. I’ve been members of caving grounds, it’s a big hobby of mine. There are about 400 different caves I’ve been to. I’m a member of Tennessee Cave Survey, Georgia Conservancy and Alabama Cave Survey. I am in this group of people who take notes and when they find caves they turn in coordinates and map them; it’s a big thing where I live. A couple times of year we get together and share new information and digital information about new caves found, There are 11,000 caves in TN alone; they have more than any other state in the US. So, it’s not only like a family tradition, a lot of my friends and I did that straight out of high school as a big hobby. I grew up in west Tenn. there aren’t any caves there, but my grandparents were from Paris, and that’s where the caves start and we’d go canoeing down rivers and look for arrowheads and I went out on my own and took my friends and it was our hobby. There are lots of caving groups in upper Cumberland grotto, in the college town I live in. I don’t do it as much as I used to, but usually when I do, it is revisiting things….so yeah, it’s been a family tradition and one of my major hobbies. (WATTIE:
AF: If you had to go spelunking with any people from history, musicians, actors, artists, etc., which 3 would you choose?
WG: You, Thomas Barr, who wrote the original book Caves of Tennessee in 1961 and Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Anton Wilson.
AF: What inspires you to make new tracks? Is it methodical and pragmatic for you, or do you just kind of go with the flow and create as it comes to you?
WG: I just spend time digging through old music, researching who, or what guy from this genre jazz or disco or whatever, search for other people like them, dig through old music, find something that lends itself to house music then I use it. I spend time researching and learning about old jazz, funk and disco music and when I run across something that lends itself to house; I try to work it in. The library of Congress Recordings from the 20’s-60’s have been a giant influence to me… Alan Lomax is a big influence to me; one of the first people to do field recordings for Library of Congress. Anything from jazz to bluegrass, the type of stuff I do is directly motivated and influenced by super old stuff I come across digging through old obscure things from folk to blues to jazz to funk and disco. I try to go back and do something better that’s already been done. I have a lot of respect for people who can make house music without using any samples from old music. The main things people know from me and that I’ve had the best results with, it’s from is digging through old house, disco and funk music.
AF: Coolest show/venue you’ve ever played?
WG: Earlier this year in San Francisco at the Monarch with Mark Farina…this place was giant and packed and I got to rock…The Smart Bar in Chicago last year with Frankie J .and the dude that owns Gramaphone and South of Roosevelt. playing Bonnaroo, guitar on the street outside the big stages and bass… and it’s like right down the street from my house….
AF: Place you’ve never been/played but really want to?
WG: I’ve never played anywhere in the pacific northwest . Seattle or Portland or Eugene…
AF: Your biggest musical influences. Name as many as you want.
AF: If you could play a show with anyone, who would it be?
WG: Miley Cyrus. Well….(I laugh hysterically) I’ve gotten to play with most of the people I wanted to… I’ve played with Sonny, Mes, MarkFarina, Sneak…. so Daft Punk or Basement Jaxx or Green Velvet or Cajmere….
AF: Wild Turkey, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam or Makers Mark?
WG: Yes please… (Wild Turkey).
AF: What’s up with the debt ceiling debate?
WG: During the government shut down, the only national park in TN was closed down and that sucked…I would rather not speak on that.
AF: What’s up with Obama care?
WG: I have no idea; I don’t know what to say about the debt and I don’t even know what you just said.
AF: Is there any track or record you’ve done that you’re MOST proud of or that means the most to you?
WG: I used to ghostwrite for Jodeci but they never gave me any royalties and we don’t speak anymore, I also was an original member of Menudo, but due to personal differences we don’t talk anymore. I guess the ones I put out on vinyl with Flapjack and Spatula City.
(AF Note to readers: At this point I was laughing so hard I almost peed on myself)
AF: Someone you haven’t ever seen perform, but really want to; name up to 3.
AF: Three artists/djs/producers who are rocking your world right now; doesn’t have to be “new” and doesn’t have to be any specific genre.
WG: Mark Funk, my young buddies from Philly: Maggs Bruchez, Oh and Geraldine.
AF: If you could take private lessons, on any instrument, from any musician–past or present–who would it be and what instrument?
WG: I’d want to take banjo lessons from Earl Scruggs
AF: Anything to tell the people as to what they can expect from your show at RISE?
WG: Expect to see me get half way drunk, and then completely drunk afterward. Yeah, I’ll be playing my stuff and playing stuff from labels I’ve been on, the labels I’d like to be on. Expect jazzy funky disco house music; that’s what I do.
One of my favorite Wattie Green tracks, “We Can Funk”
See you at 247 Skybar this Friday night 10:00 p.m.-3:00 a.m. Don’t miss this monumental night!
This Friday the Eiteljorg Museum is hosting what is sure to be an unforgettable explosion of culture, music and art. The Contemporary Arts Party will kick off the museum’s new exhibit, RED: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. The party will include performances by DJ Kyle Long, DJ Little Town, Know No Stranger, sketch comedy group The 1491’s, Big Car and most notably, A Tribe Called Red.
This Canadian trio — Bear Witness, Dee Jay NDN and two-time Canadian turntable battle champion DJ Shub — specializes in an unparaalleled hybrid of electronic music of many flavors, Pow Wow Music, traditional drumming and singing of various First Nation/”Native American” (as Americans know it, but that term is not actually acceptable. When “Columbus” or whoever discovered “america”, the :natives were already here, and since this place was neither India or the Indies–which would make them “Indians,” nor were they “American:, since there was no “America: yet, let’s just call them Natives or aboriginals.
The group’s name gives a nod to intellectual hip hop pioneers, A Tribe Called Quest. The “Red” represents indigenous people on the traditional medicine wheel. The group began when DJ NDN and Bear Witness were DJ-ing at the same club around 5 or 6 years ago. NDN used a loop from a Pow Wow song, Bear Witness put a beat under it and that’s when the magic began. Add in turntable battle champion DJ Shub, and the result is a unique, massively powerful sound that is unmatched by anything you’ve ever heard.
A Tribe Called Red’s music is both hypnotic and infectious, blending traditional Pow Wow samples with moombahton, trap, electro and dubstep. They have released EP’s, full length albums, toured the world, and run a sold-out monthly party called Electric Pow Wow in their home town, Ottawa Canada.
Their music is heavily rooted in indigenous politics and this becomes clear in videos Bear Witness produces and projects at some of the live shows. ATCR uses their music to advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights, and even uses samples from defamatory native film portrayals. Far more than “just a band,” ATCR participates in social commentary and are adamant about correcting stereotypes and negative misrepresentations of Native/FN people. The most appropriate quote I could find to describe A Tribe Called Red said, “A Tribe Called Red are more than just a music act; they are an audio-visual, cultural phenomenon.”
No group can claim to even come close to what A Tribe Called Red is doing, and has done. To put it best, they “revamped and honored their culture, contemporized an often forgotten and forsaken segment of society and catapulted their concern and care for their people into the mainstream.”
I was lucky enough to talk to DJ Kyle Long, another performer for Friday night’s event and ATCR fan, about his feelings on the group, their music and the event.
AF: When did you first hear ATCR/what was the first track of theirs you heard and what was your reaction to it? Do you have a favorite?
KL: I first heard of the group around 2010 on a Canadian electronic music blog I used to follow called Masala. The Masala site was created by a bunch of DJs based in Montreal and they were really at the forefront of exposing North American audiences to emerging global electronic music scenes in places like Angola or Argentina.
I vividly remember reading on Masala about this group of First Nation/Native American guys who were mixing their traditional music with dubstep. I was immediately intrigued by the concept and when I listened to the tunes I was seriously impressed with how well they executed the idea. I thought the music was just really visceral and powerful, mixing these intense Native vocal samples with super-heavy bass sounds. It was a wild combination that really worked.
I really like the track “Red Skin Girl,” which samples a traditional recording by the Northern Cree singers. I love the track they did with Das Racist “Indian From All Directions.” I also dig their moombahton stuff, which sort of veers away from the Native American based work. They did a killer moombah remix of Caetano Veloso’s Tropicalia anthem; I spin that remix often in my DJ sets.
AF: Have you ever seen one of their live shows?
KL: Yes, I played with the group in Indianapolis in November of 2011, which was also for the opening of the Eiteljorg’s Native American Contemporary Arts Fellowship. The museum initially contacted me to spin at that event with a couple other locally based DJs including Jackola. But immediately after they contacted me I started literally begging them to bring A Tribe Called Red in to perform. I’d actually approached the group much earlier about performing here and was already in conversation with their management. Everything just sort of magically aligned to make it happen.
At first I think the museum was a bit skeptical of the idea. Which I understood, as it’s considerably more expensive to fly a 3 piece group in from Canada, as opposed to using local talent. But when they heard the music and watched the videos, they quickly realized how perfect they were for the event.
AF: If you had to give people a description or preview of what they might expect to see/hear at an A Tribe Called Red show, what would you tell them?
KL: If you were at the first show the group did here, you only experienced one element of their live presentation. This time the Tribe will be bringing their complete visual presentation, which includes a traditional Native American hoop dancer and an extensive video presentation that features stereotypical images of Native Americans edited by the Tribe in a psychedelic fashion.
Musically, I think A Tribe Called Red have one of the best live presentations of any electronic music act I’ve ever seen. That’s partly due to the amazing turntablism skills of DJ Shub, who has won some prestigious DMC turntable battles.
Their live show is just an all-around assault on your senses. Musically they hit audiences with this incredible, rapid fire blast of musical ideas – obviously the traditional native sounds are an integral, recurring component in the sound, but you’ll hear the entire spectrum of modern electronic music represented in an extremely unique and creative style.
AF: What inspires you/impresses you about their music?
KL: Beyond the music itself, I just love the concept of A Tribe Called Red and the questions and ideas the group puts in front of audiences. We live in a culture where it’s still socially acceptable to portray Native American culture in demeaning, stereotypical ways and I believe that needs to change immediately.
Native American and First Nation people are rarely in control of how they are portrayed in popular culture. I love how A Tribe Called Red are aggressively reversing that unfortunate trend and creating this confrontational music that challenges listeners to rethink all these tired stereotypes of Native People.
I’m really attracted towards music movements that are built around empowerment – whether that’s Rastafarian roots reggae, Riot Girl punk rock, or Fela Kuti style afrobeat. I just naturally gravitate towards those sorts of things, and I think A Tribe Called Red have created an important, necessary musical movement for their culture. I love artists who mix volatile music with volatile idea – like MIA, The Clash or Public Enemy. For me A Tribe Called Red fall right in line with that tradition.
AF: Besides your own performance and seeing A Tribe Called Red again, what else can we look forward to about this party?
KL: I’m really excited that DJ Little Town aka Jessica Hemesath will also be spinning at this event. Little Town is an emerging new artist in the Indianapolis electronic music scene. She very recently turned 21, so she’s just now getting the opportunity to get out and spin in clubs. There are some areas where my sound and Little Town’s overlap; Jessica’s has some Brazilian influence from her family and you’ll hear her dropping some classic Baile Funk cuts in her mixes. That’s really cool for me, as what I do is pretty far removed from what most of the other DJs in the scene here are doing – so I’m really stoked to see Little Town on the bill with A Tribe Called Red and myself.
This event is sure to be an unforgettable experience and we hope to see you all there!
Download their self-titled debut album here for FREE!
More Info: Eiteljorg press release
EITELJORG TO AWARD $25,000, EXHIBIT TO FIVE CONTEMPORARY NATIVE ARTISTS
Special show, opening Nov. 9, defies stereotypes about Native art
(INDIANAPOLIS) – Imagine walking into an American Indian museum and seeing a totem pole sawed into pieces and scattered across the floor. That kind of statement-making Native artwork – that clashes with tradition and confronts stereotypes – will be on display beginning Saturday, Nov. 9 2013, when the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western art opens RED: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship.
RED will feature five Fellows whose paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and installation art exemplify the highest standards of artistic excellence in the field of contemporary art.
Invited Artist, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Coast Salish/Okanagan) is a Canadian painter known for his large-scale works that encompass political and social issues.
The work of Minneapolis-based mixed media artist, Julie Buffalohead (Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma) challenges commonly held social conventions in the theater of the backyard, bathroom and ambiguous landscape where animals play dress up, attend tea parties, and go diving in baby pools. Buffalohead’s narratives at first look are charming only to find she turns the world upside down.
Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut) is a Sitka, Alaska-based concept-driven artist who uses indigenous technologies and global materials when exploring his unpredictable installation ideas. In his large-scale work, I Think it Goes Like This?, Galanin takes a traditional-looking totem pole and deconstructs it to create a puzzle-like installation.
Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band of Cherokee) uses traditional Cherokee basketry to bring awareness to contemporary Native issues. She builds her baskets out of paper on which she’s printed the text of treaties between Cherokee people and the U.S, maps that mark out land once owned by the Cherokee and even lists of athletic teams that use Indian names.
Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree/Blackfoot) is a young artist from Ottawa, Ontario, whose photography shows a maturity in its reinterpretation of the idea of portraiture. She combines exploration of race and social issues into her unique photography using sculpture and installation.
Eiteljorg Fellows receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant, are featured in a catalog and exhibition and the museum purchases works of art for the permanent contemporary collection. More than 100 works from this year’s Fellowship class will be on exhibit until Feb. 2, 2014.
“These artists represent unique cultural and personal backgrounds, and their artwork reflects the diversity of Native artists in North America,” said Eiteljorg contemporary art curator Jennifer Complo-McNutt. “As an exhibition, RED is a platform for exploring the work of artists who take pride in their cultures and express strength in the knowledge that has been passed down from their ancestors.”
To date, the Eiteljorg Fellowship has honored 40 contemporary Native artists, totaling nearly $1,125,000 in cash awards and purchases for the permanent collection.
OPENING WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, Nov. 8
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Awards reception honoring 2013 Fellows
Friday, Nov. 8
8 p.m. – Midnight
Contemporary Arts Party!
Event features DJ crew A Tribe Called Red and sketch comedy group the 1491s
Saturday, Nov. 9
10 a.m. – Noon
2013 Fellows Gallery Talks
Tour the special exhibit gallery with the new Fellowship class
Saturday, Nov. 9
1p.m. – 3p.m.
New Native Speak: the 1491s present Social Smallpox
Native American comedy sketch group performs at the Eiteljorg. They are known for bringing Native awareness and humor to a wide, mainstream audience.
About the Eiteljorg Museum
The Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or visit www.eiteljorg.org.
WHAT: Debut full-length studio album “Flapjackin'” is a showcase of his prowess and versatility as an artist and House Music producer.
WHERE: InHouse records
“You know The first time you heard House music, where was you at? What was you doin’?”
This album starts out with a bang. The first track, Remember House is what we call a “floor burner.” The track has a straight up no nonsense “Chicago House” sound and is guaranteed to move bodies. It’s like as soon as you hit “Play,” it’s instant party. At 3:50 it breaks into that sweet and funky disco sound and this is the part where, if you weren’t dancing already, you will bust out some moves. Prediction: This is going to be a big favorite for a lot of folks.
Another Night is my personal favorite track on the album, although it’s incredibly hard to choose. This song just embodies everything I love about House music. The funkiness, the disco element, the jackin’ tempo; and it features a vocal that gets stuck in your head for hours at a time; long after you’ve shut it off. What makes this song my favorite is because it makes the listener feel like it’s 3:00 a.m. at The Smart Bar in Chicago; which just so happens to be the best feeling in the entire world. “Don’t wait ANOTHER NIGHT” to listen to this track; it will turn even the biggest frown into grin and cause uncontrollable dancing fits.
LSD – “Let us observe the effects…” You don’t have to be on it or have ever used it to appreciate this track. The beat, the horn-type sounds, the vocal sample that sounds like a scary underwater scientist, explodes into a jackin/tech-house explosion of sound, wonderment and hard beats.
Knockin’ Boots – This song is very melodic and is on that sexy deep house tip. The high hats, along with that “handclap” beat makes you want to move, but not in a turnt up jackin, way, in a sensual, chill way. This song represents everything I enjoy about “Deep House.”
Make Me Melt starts out almost almost techno’ish. “I want to get into your world…sexy vocal. I want to be vulnerable with you. I want it to be submissive to you… (SEXY BEAT) Giving you anything you want. You make me melt…” This song has a deep, sexy vibe and makes the listener feel like makin’ babies. I foresee a lot of hot, sweaty sexually tense dancing when this track gets dropped in the club.
Feel Like I’m on Dope – starts with a BEAT. The song’s title is an accurate reflection. Not to say you would know what it felt like to “be on dope” because we’re all upstanding, law abiding citizens who would never engage in such activities, but if we use our imaginations, we can imagine that this song actually does, or what we’d imagine does, feel like to be high. It is happy, mellow, calm and just very chill. Some very sweet deep house. Prediction: Some reputable Deep House producers are going to remix the hell out of this track; someone like Golf Clap would be dope!
Thoughts of Charlotte I know from one of E’s Facebook posts is his personal favorite track on the album, and it is because it has the most emotional significance to him. This track is in honor of E’s grandmother, who unfortunately passed away just a few months ago. E-Clyps shows off his R&B/hip hop production skills beautifully on this track. The song does an excellent job of conveying a feeling in the brief 2:00.
Here is an excerpt from E-Clyps on what this song–and this album–mean to him: “My grandmother passed away April 30th of this year and was the inspiration for this album. She was the one who made me pancakes in cast iron skillets and when she died, she had every piece of music I ever made in a box for safe keeping. She was a stern woman who loved through action and not with words. She is a woman that taught me to be mentally tough and always work hard for what you want in life. It’s sad that this album is coming out post-mortem, but I know she is listening to it loud in heaven and stood over my shoulder as I made it. The track “Thoughts Of Charlotte” is dedicated to her, and although it is the shortest one, it’s the most meaningful to me because it has her name on it.”
De’Moscato- Although not deep as in the sexy deep house from earlier in the album, De’Moscato starts out with a sort of peak hour deep house tease, into a nu disco celebration in your ears and everyone you ever thought was cool is there. It makes me feel like I’m a beach at a party at 7 p.m. that’s been going on since 2:00 because it’s an island, and that’s just how we do it… ok, snap out of the daydream. But that’s what this song does. It makes you feel like you’re somewhere else, and you’re having a damn good time, wherever it is. This song, when listened to repeatedly, actually does improve moods and increase happiness. I’m predicting big things for this song.
Party’s Still Not Over: This song steps it way up in tempo and sounds like what a good, classic old-school House track should. First there’s the claps, and then in comes the bass, then the high hats, the vocal samples start and then…wait for it… “The Party’s Not Over!” is sang, and the track explodes into a frenzy as the involuntary dancing ensues. E-Clyps really shows off his all-around prowess on this track. Not just production; although the quality DOES sound absolutely crystal clear and perfect, but the intensity he builds at the proper times throughout the song. The ability to completely manipulate a dance floor with his actions, while everyone thinks it is actually their own idea; that’s talent. Party’s Still Not Over makes you feel like it is 20 minutes before the club is going to close but you are having such an amazing time that you never want it to end, and you dance like crazy in a futile attempt to “get it out of your system” before they turn the lights on.
Drunk as Phuck – “Everybody with me, drunk as fuck.” This describes a typical evening for me, so I really relate to and enjoy this song. It’s very upbeat and fast paced; I love the almost tribal sounding percussion at times throughout the track and the filter sound he uses at 2:21 are all ingredients in this audible celebration. I foresee a lot of booty shaking all over the world to this track in the near future.
In addition to being awesome enough to let me hear an advance copy of Flapjackin’, E-Clyps was also generous enough to take the time to answer some questions about the album and music in general.
AmyMojo: Tell me how long you’ve been working on this album, and where did the inspiration for the making of it come from?
E-Clyps: The inspiration of the album honestly came from the passing of my Grandmother. It was a really difficult loss for me and I never properly dealt with it, still haven’t. But it also really hit home that we don’t last forever and tomorrow is not always in the cards. So I asked Todd Terry what the next open release date was which also happened to be my birthday (September 24th). I booked a “blackout session” and just went non-stop until it was done.
AmyMojo: Do you want to talk about any special efforts you put into the album production wise? What are you most proud of, or wanting to stick out about that aspect of the album?
E-Clyps: I ventured to make an album to wasn’t an endless run of the same. Many albums don’t do well because it usually sounds like a bunch of versions of the same style. I listened to the people and took their feedback of what kinds of albums they liked the most and used that as the blueprint. To make an album that appealed to a wide variety of people, because House as a whole is vast… so many styles to choose from and I love them all. Deep, Jackin, Funky, Tech, etc… I didn’t want to be the “one trick pony” who you always knew what was going to happen musically. I’m most proud of the fact that everyone has a favorite tune, or have multiple favorites. The US DJ’s have embraced different ones from the UK and so on… that was the goal and glad it was received that way, so I’m pleased.
AmyMojo: This album is extremely highly anticipated by a lot of big time producers and dj’s; Do you know of any of those reputable folks doing any forthcoming remixes of any of the tracks off your album? Are you allowed to tell us?
E-Clyps: I was honored to see Artists/DJ’s like DJ Mes, Bear Who, Maurice Tamraz, Colette, Midnite Jackers, and others who had heard the advance album and loved it. Funny part is when Todd Terry says nothing, that’s your indicator you actually did it right. I’ve learned to never ask, because he’s not going to tell you, but then one day you hear him playing your record on Boiler Room TV, Ibiza, or something: and there’s your answer. I can say there may be remixes. Who is doing remixes if there will be any, I can’t tell you: I’ve taken the oath of silence.
AmyMojo: Speaking of Midnite Jackers, another one of my favorite up-and-coming artists, when I asked them what they thought about your album they said, “We think it’s a great album from start to finish. Non stop dance floor mayhem,” and I couldn’t agree more! *Smiles *Back to business* Is there a favorite track on this album for you, and if so, why?
E-Clyps: It’s hard to pick a favorite… they all have a different feelings/vibes to me so it’s hard to pick one.
AmyMojo: Do you see a potential tour following the release and subsequent blowing up of this album? If so, there better be an Indy date!
E-Clyps: I have been a nervous wreck just waiting for the album to come out and see how it is received by the people. They will determine what is going to happen. I would love to tour but cannot say that it is for certain, but it has been talked about.
AmyMojo: Favorite show you’ve ever seen live?
E-clyps: Best DJ I ever saw live? Which genre? LOL! Best live band? The Roots. Hip-Hop? KRS-One. Best DJ Performance? Kid Capri, Q-Bert, Scratch Picklez, Jazzy Jeff. Best House DJ performance? Todd Terry and DJ Dan… those dudes lay down clinics!
AmyMojo: Favorite show or venue you personally have ever played? Or, any particularly unique gig that sticks out in your memory?
E-Clyps: My residency at Nocturnal back in the day as well as the Get and Kingpin parties in Chicago/Indy. Those moments really helped me define my sound as a DJ and I will never forget them.
AmyMojo: What are some of your favorite things you’re listening to right now?
E-Clyps: Wow, so much stuff… but lately I’ve been a big listener of the classics… Old Crydamoure releases, Rhythm Masters, Todd Edwards, Todd Terry, Olav Basoski, Green Velvet, Lil Louis, Azuli, stuff like that. All were rule-breakers.. game changers. When I worked on the album I made it a point to not listen to anything recent, so right now i’m playing catch up.
AmyMojo: Who have you NOT had an opportunity to see live that you’d like to?
E-Clyps: Carl Cox, hands down. Seen a ton of videos and heard a lot of mixtapes, but never the privilege to hear in person.
AmyMojo: Where is a venue that you’ve not gotten the opportunity to play that you want to some day?
E-Clyps-Ministry of Sound, Circus, ADE.
AmyMojo: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions and I’m excited for the world to hear Flapjackin‘ and wish you the best of success with it!
1. Remember House – House – 125bpm
2.Another Night – House – 126.7bpm
3.LSD – Tech-House – 127bpm
4.Knockin’ Boots – Deep House – 122bpm
5.Make Me Melt – House – 124bpm
6.Feel Like I’m on Dope – Deep House 122
7.Thoughts Of Charlotte – Hip Hop and R&B – 91bpm
8.De’Moscato – Nu Disco – 125bpm
9.Party’s Still Not Over – Jackin House – 127bpm
10.Drunk As Phuck – House – 130bpm
Label: InHouse Records
Release Date: Sept. 24, 2013
Festival goers were already pouring into Opti Park at 5:15 when I arrived at the opening day of Wheel House Festival. A Squared Industries were definitely doing an ace job of kicking off the party. I could hear Daft Punk as I approached the gates, which to me, is always a good sign. Even though it wasn’t even 6:00 p.m., A Squared definitely gave off that midnight party vibe and it was a great way to start the festival.
Keys N’ Krates came on next and though I’d never seen them before, I was pleasantly surprised by their vibe and how they got the crowd hyped. The best word I’ve heard used to describe their overall sound is “Dream-Trap.” They have this atmospheric, melodic sound that creates an interesting juxtaposition to say the least, with the trap music they also play. They did a nice job of interacting with the crowd; talking about how they drove down to Indy from Toronto, and my favorite part of the set, where Jr. Flow did some solo scratching; a fine display of turntablism indeed. Adam the drummer also got a fancy little showcase and it was a great demonstration on how “EDM” artists can actually be talented musicians. From these solos, they went into some sort of mix of “Bittersweet Symphony” and the crowd was all about it. It was both interesting and refreshing to hear familiar songs like “I’m a Hustler” “On to the Next One” and, “Go DJ” with both a trap beat and a melodic, atmospheric background. I could appreciate their uniqueness and originality. Their final track was fun, energetic and eased the crowd into a more escalated party mode that would only continue to build throughout the night.
Flosstradamus was a bro’s traptastic wet dream. This was an extremely high energy set that was perfectly timed for the large crowd increase that poured into the festival during this time slot. They had the crowd chanting, bouncing, screaming, making bro-tem poles…yes; apparently this is a thing. I saw go-go dancers, a dude with a hugenormous mohawk, a girl in nothing but panties, a turnt-up crowd screaming, “Face down, ass up!” “No pants girl,” “No shirt girl,” some dubstep “wobwobwobs,” some Benny Benassi “Satisfaction” remix that was honestly less than stellar (Shy guy’s is exponentially better, if you’ve heard it), Kendrick Lamar tracks, Lana Del Rey remixes into Rick Ross, and Major Lazer, the crowd yelling “Fuck a P.O., Fuck a piss test!” repeatedly, and a new original track titled, “Mosh Pit.” Although this type of music is not my personal cup of tea, I could definitely appreciate how hyped the crowd was and what a good time they all seemed to be having. I saw that it is possible to be a good performer no matter what type of music you are making.
By the time headliner Paul Oakenfold exploded into his trancetastic set, the crowd was ready to get buck wild. This veteran of the electronic music scene truly knows how to manipulate a crowd and give the people what they want. The crowd had grown; seemingly tripled what it had been just an hour prior, and every face I could see throughout the crowd appeared to be smiling. The lighting, sound, and visual experience was overall impressive. All through the crowd I could see glowing objects, spinning things, hula hoops, fire dancers, bromance, hugs, high-fives, and a peaceful, happy camaraderie that made me have a warm feeling in my belly…that, and the Sun King…
Much to my dismay, I didn’t make the after party at The Vogue that night, but word on the street was, and I’m talkin’ from legit, reliable resources, that Gerald Collins, a.k.a. Cadillac G completely dominated the after party in every way, and made everyone drool and go completely batshit crazy. The Facebook posts were abundant, and I heard about it the entire next day of the festival; from multiple decent folks. Very sad I had to miss that, but I know I will get to see him again soon, and I’d encourage you all to do the same. You can check him out with the the CRUSH Entertainment crew, catch him spinning throughout the city, and hear his sounds here.
On the second day of the festival, I arrived partway into X5ight’s set. I heard a track that sampled “Rock the Casbah” from one of my favorite bands of all time, The Clash. This was the highlight of their set for me; the remainder was a lot of party rock-type tracks, and it was just too early in the day and the crowd hadn’t gathered yet. They did start the days festivities off on an upbeat, party hype mode, and I think the crowd appreciated that.
Shy Guy Says came on next, and despite some sound issues, his set was phenomenal. Of all the performers I have seen; both local and national, Shy Guy Says places more enthusiasm and passion into his sets than anyone I’ve watched. He puts seemingly everything he has into his sets, and it SHOWS, and it always makes for an entertaining set. Whether you enjoy the type of music he produces, which most seem to, or not, the one thing absolutely certain is that this guy is a natural born entertainer, and he has a large fan base that seemingly worships him, and that’s saying something. He plays in Bloomington, Indianapolis at IndyMojo events, festivals such as Hyperion, MojoStock, and more than once he’s flown across the country to play in places as far as Idaho. Although a long time local favorite, he is someone to watch and expect to blow up nationally and maybe even worldwide in the coming months/year. Some highlights of his set were when he played his rendition of “Satisfaction,” which was exponentially better than the group I heard mix it on the night before. The diversity of his set was also noteworthy. I heard everything from reggae, to dubstep, to hip hop and trap, to some melodic “pretty” sounds all within an hour… One entertaining aspect of Shy Guy’s performances is the use of his hands…and not as in controlling the equipment. I mean the hand motions/gestures he makes. At times, it seems as if he is literally using his hands as magic wands that control the music that is coming out…like some sort of wicked symphony maestro conductor guy. The crowd grew rapidly midway through his set and he officially got everyone in “all the way turnt up” mode.
Action Jackson was up next and his set was, to be completely honest, even though it sounds generic, FUN. Chances are if you live in this city and you go out to bars and clubs, you know and/or have seen Ben Action Jackson “in action,” but if not, I strongly urge you to do so. He is so eclectic and diverse, and really just completely equipped to read and satisfy any crowd; a true talent in itself. The crowd had grown by this point and everyone piled in the front to check out the set. Some of the things I heard during his set: Lil Jon, Ludacris, some electro-house, some dubstep “woop woop bleep bleep wob wob wob” sounds, some Latin flavor/salsa type/worldly sounds, hip hop flavor, arena rock anthems, some badass electronic version of Listen to Your Heart by Roxette, Jay Z’s Dirt off ya Shoulda, Move Bitch, Get out the Way, and Lana Del Rey… this really kicked off my day and got me in serious raging-face status, along with seemingly everyone else.
Salva came on at 3:15 and although I admittedly hadn’t heard his music before the festival, I’m vouching for this fella and pledging that going forward, I will check out what he’s doing. He was a truly impressive performer, and that is coming from someone who is not easily impressed. A notable point about his performance was that I did not see any laptop on stage with him, which intrigued me. Salva played everything from “EDM/electro” to dubstep to trap; and he was visibly into what he was playing. He actually appeared passionate about what he was doing and that always makes a performance better. He was really in a zone for a minute and I just really enjoyed his enthusiasm and it was refreshing to see someone new, playing music in genres that aren’t normally my “wheel house” but still thoroughly enjoy.
The other admirable thing about Salva is that he seriously knows how to use a mixer. He made me want to really let go and dance for the first time of the day as he played some trap, some trance-ish stuff, some hip hop, some melodic stuff, into some booty house, into a mix of that “Woke up in a New Bugatti” song that at least 3 other artists did that weekend, but none as cool as his. The variety in his set was seemingly widely adored. Salva wins my award for biggest surprise/best set by someone I’d never heard before. I’m a new fan, most definitely.
Araab Muzik‘s set consisted of trap and dubstep, scantily clad dancers, and drum machines. The two highlights of the set were hearing a mix of “Welcome to Jamrock” by Damian Marley as well as Flux Pavillion’s “Got 2 Know.”
FIGURE @ Wheel House
The sun was high in the sky as the people starting making their way up front for FIGURE‘s show. The king of Drumstep was about to take the stage, armed with his MIDI fighter, a shit-ton of new beats from his new OWSLA release, and even some unreleased surprises. The crowd started growing as to the biggest the day had seen as he played one of his signature tracks, Dominate, in which the BPM shifts five times in a four minute time span. Figure’s horror tracks were not left out as he murdered the crowd with Michael Myers…highlight for me, and the grand finale was Cas One coming out to rap his verse from Doomsday. Cas One had the whole crowd pointing their “guns” at him as if to shoot him as the drop hit and he stage dove into them. This was a truly remarkable performance from one of Indiana’s own, and left a lasting impression with several festival goers. Several reputable musicians and fans alike stated that Figure’s set was the highlight of the festival for them.
The moment that everyone had been anxiously awaiting for two days had at long last arrived. 7:00 p.m. Crystal Method take the stage for a now massive crowd who all went berserk as the sound exploded from the speakers. Instantly I was mentally and emotionally transported back to 1999 when I first saw the Crystal Method on the Family Values Tour; I felt 19 years old again, and I literally had goosebumps and cold chills.
They used these amazing contraptions that combined cdjs, multiple guitars, and a keyboard or controller of some sort, and it was truly unique and impressive. The quality of their performance, both aesthetically and audibly, was impeccable.. Watching the crowd as well as CM, I took special notice of the facial expressions and it was truly awe-inspiring to see the pure bliss and amazement of the faces of the awe-struck fans. One really moving thing was seeing the new fans and the old fans enjoying the hell out of this show in a beautiful display of togetherness and simultaneous elation. I heard a lot of material from their first albums during the set and that was a great surprise. One of two paramount moments of the set for me was when they broke into “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. The crowd; myself included, went absolutely bananas times 12. I actually squealed uncontrollably at the “Satan laughing spreads his wings….OH LORD YEAH” part. I mean, literally shrieked like a toddler. It was almost overwhelming; I may have even shed a tear. The other amazing moment, and this one touched the hearts of MANY people I talked to after the show, was, if I remember correctly, sometime around when they played Busy Child– when one of the members gave mad props to our city and expressed to the crowd the importance of supporting our local music scene because, “…without it, things like this can’t happen.” The crowd again went wild, and it was very moving and heartwarming to hear someone of such stature pay such a kind tribute to Indianapolis and intently urge the continuing supporting of our amazing local scene. Crystal Method’s set was beyond the shadow of a doubt, the musical highlight of my entire weekend, and maybe even the entire summer.
Wolfgang Gartner appeared as the final act of the night and the entire festival, the crowd to what looked to be the largest it had been the entire weekend. Familiar tracks such as Space Junk, Redline, One in a Million-Charlie Darker, and Love and War were played, the lighting was so perfect and built and exploded at all the right times.
Near the very end of the set, Wolfgang Gartner disappeared and Joey Youngman came out… this, for me was the highlight of the set. For the next several minutes I was in House Music heaven as Joseph Youngman dropped some proper Chicago House on our heads. I was fortunate enough to be standing next to phenomenal local talents Rudy Kizer and Richard Jangatha/jFET, both of which are extremely appreciative of that Chicago House sound, and their faces appeared to light up just as mine did. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that EVERYONE was dancing by the end of this set and I don’t know that there could have been a more perfect way to end Wheel House Festival. Check out this YouTube video featuring part of the set.
The after party at the Vogue already had a line wrapped around the building when we arrived shortly after the end of the festival. Helicon, Gabby Love, Lockstar, Bad Boy Bill & Richard Vission, and Bryan Downs collectively put on the best party I have ever been to, and that’s a very bold but true statement. The Vogue was absolutely packed and everyone showed up with dancing shoes on. There were 8 cdj’s on stage, and the sound was banging. The dance floor was packed from beginning to end. It was like everyone didn’t want to let Wheel House Festival go, and we all held on to the after party for dear life so that it would never have to end.
Wheel House Festival was, according to everyone I know who attended–as well as strangers, a complete success. On all of the Facebook, Twitter and other social media posts, I have yet to see a negative comment about the festival or the after parties, and that is beyond impressive; especially for a first-year festival. Wheel House will most definitely be an annual tradition for my friends and I and something that I look forward to all year long. Wheel House was an all-around win for sure.
Here are some good quotes from our local musicians, promoters and friends:
Gabby Love: “I’m semi-recovered from this amazing weekend and finally have enough whits about me to express my love and gratitude to my DJ/promoter extended family and the people who came out this weekend to enjoy some amazing music and talent at Wheel House and The Vogue. What a BLAST! The festival had great turnout and I heard nothing but good things from people who attended. The Vogue was absolutely bananas Saturday night. That was one of the best parties I have ever been to, and I have been to quite a few. And opening up for the DJ that solidified me having to become a DJ (Bad Boy Bill) was a personal highlight and am so beyond thankful for the opportunity. I just want to thank all those involved in putting on such a great weekend of music and 2 rocking after-parties. I love that we can all come together and support each other and do amazing things! Much love and respect !!! ….This weekend was the definition of plurnt-ness… So amazing!”
Antik One: “I loved some of the subtle statements that Crystal Method made during their set… As well as the very blatant. It was great to see someone so influential make these statements publicly to the event goers. Most importantly “support your local scene, without it things like this can’t happen.”
Gizzmo: “Crystal Method was the highlight of my one day visit. It was great to see a crowd of kids getting down to a couple of guys I’ve been getting down to since I was a kid. Was also nice to hear stuff that wasnt watered down poppy “dance music”. The festival was all about hanging out with the family for me though. I wasn’t expecting to be 100% into the music but still enjoyed a good chunk of it.”
DJ Mass Appeal: “I’m so proud of my city. The level of sponsorship was fantastic; from the food trucks to the vendors to the sponsors, the response from the Indy music scene was amazing.”
Rudy Kizer: “I’m just really happy we are able to have this here. The last time we had something like this was Identity Festival. The rave days are gone; in the past, an event like this would’ve had to be in an old abandoned grocery store. …I was glad to see Wolfgang Gartner still maintaining, All things considered, we had good weather, a good crowd; I’m really pleased with the turnout; and it was good to see a new and different crowd as well.
Cadillac G: (When asked who he’d seen at the festival that he hadn’t previously had a chance to see) “Paul Oakenfold is a legend. He was really one of the first “big time” dj’s. Wolfgang Gartner definitely reached another level; that was some proper house. I’m really excited for Richard Vission at the after party; proper DJ shit. He’s been pushing the envelope since forever. Good skill and turntablism.”
Shy Guy Says: (When asked what the highlight of the festival was for him) “For me probably watching Figure’s set, watching Cas One’s stage dive, or just being able to stand like 10 feet away from The Crystal Method backstage. Playing the show was cool, but I was just excited to be around all the awesome talent.”
Hugh Jeffner: Mad respect to Slater Hogan, John Larner, Keepin IT Deep The Vogue, Steve, Drew Arness,Crush Ent Ron Miner, Gabby Love , Lockstar , Rad Summer, A2 ,Andy Skinner, Annie Skinner, Jason King, Matt Ramsey, IndyMojo, Nuvo, RadioNow100.9 , Switch District, Jeff Long, Sinclair Wheeler, Studio 77, James Meiser Lindy Meiser, Buck Rodgers , Action Jackson , Ryan Hickey Rachel Rubenstein… If I missed anybody it’s not intentional. Tonight I am watching Wheel House. I am so proud to be an Indianapolis DJ. This isn’t about radio, cliques, it’s about a city coming together and putting their personal ish aside for the greater good of our music scene. F………. Proud moment…drinks ups Indy! Today is a good day – Ice Cube….
Joseph Franklin/DJ Iron Lion: “Indianapolis is really starting to shine!!! Couldn’t have said it better Hugh Jeffner. So proud of Slater Hogan/John Larner, Annie Skinner/Andy Skinner, Jason King/Matt Ramsey, and all people involved in putting together Wheel House Festival. Let’s keep this ball rolling Indy!!”
Jason King-IndyMojo: “Thanks and praises to Matt Schwegman from The Vogue. I see lots of promoters flexing this weekend, but proper respect needs to be given to the man who made it all happen”
Take a moment to let us know! What was YOUR favorite moment from Wheel House Festival?
photo credits: Keith Griner/FX Media/Phierce Photography, Matt Ramsey, Matt Duncan, Life of the Party Entertainment
We’d flirted over the years, MojoStock and I…but we’d never made it come to fruition. There was lots of innocent toying, teasing, and taunting…but we never sealed the deal. Until now. And the second that we finally connected, united…joined together as one; well, no insanely impressive amount of journalistic prowess could ever thoroughly and truly describe the full experience, but I’m going to go ahead and give it a go.
Due to several fiascoes, scandals and skirmishes in my day-to-day life, I was only fortunate enough to attend MojoStock for certain hours throughout the weekend. Though this saddened me immensely, I certainly made the most of my time there. It was above and beyond any and all ridiculously high expectations I’d had as a result of stories I’d heard from those I am close to who have attended and/or been a part of MojoStock since its inception.
Friday evening was already jumping at 7:00 p.m. Upon arrival, my ears perked up at the sound of some beyond-decent old skool hip hop. I followed the sound and was led to Jake Massey, aka DJ Mass Appeal. He was playing an all hip hop/old skool set. This pleased my soul greatly. I heard some Wu-Tang (my personal favorite), Mos Def, L.L. Cool J, maybe even some Sugar Hill Gang or Grand Master Flash. The portion of the set that I watched had both a good energy and a chill vibe. It was definitely the way to start a party off right.
My main focus while attending MojoStock was to check out our local acts; some I’d seen before and some I had not yet had the pleasure. I wandered over to the EDM tent to check out one of our fabulous local DJ’s, Ed Trauma, where the stage was massive and awesome. Glowing, light-up tubes of color stretched across the booth and a giant screen behind the stage projected mesmerizing videos. Ed Trauma was totally slaughtering his set and making that stage his bitch. His sound was marked by really hard bass and hella crazy drops, as well as very melodic and beautiful ambient sounds that were soulful and even enchanting (I don’t throw that word out too much, but it is appropriate in this situation). Then unexpectedly, he would smack us with a nasty bass drop and then these crunchy sounds and the “wobwobwobwobwob” it was a very eclectic and diverse set with a crazy-high energy level. One of the many highlights of Ed Trauma’s set was when he sampled, or played a track that sampled, Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life” and the crowd went crazy.
From there, I headed over to the main stage where Blue Moon Revue was playing. I was beyond enthused to hear them playing “Helter Skelter,” by The Beatles. It’s a very hard song to cover, but they did it superbly and I was quite impressed. Never having seen Blue Moon Review before, the set definitely made me a fan.
I caught part of a tag team set with Ganzarelli and Brian Summers that was strikingly energetic! Ganz was jumping around and very into it, which really got the crowd going. It was a cool thing to see someone so into interacting with their fans and engaging with them while performing. I had seen Ganzarelli on a previous occasion long ago, and this performance made me want to check him out again in the future.
Although I enjoyed all of the performances I saw that night, the high point in the EDM tent was the tag team with Hollow Point and Psynapse. Their set was absolutely explosive. Being the local favorites that they are, they drew what seemed to be the largest crowd I’d seen that night thus far, and it was easy to see why. Their energy level was gigantic. These guys really know what they are doing and you can visibly tell by watching them that they genuinely enjoy doing it. And when you can tell that by watching, it always makes it better. The set was absolutely paramount.
The next artist I went to see was performing in the Local Tent. Marcus Blac is someone I have wanted to check out for a while now, but unfortunately had to miss his last show. I was really excited about seeing his set, and was absolutely blown away by this performance. This was the performance of the entire night for me. I had no idea what to expect when I walked in there, and I was so pleasantly surprised that I think I smiled nonstop the entire time I was in that tent. First of all, the dude is a boss dresser. I specifically remember a super-dope, shiny green jacket of which I was incredibly envious. Accompanied by some pimp-ass shades, this guy played so much great stuff that I fell in love with his sound. I didn’t want that set to end. I heard some House, some Nu Disco, and even a House version of “Jungle Boogie” and that was way beyond super-dope. There was dancing, there was “Ride the White Horse” and lots and lots of big smiles; mine of course being the biggest. Marcus Blac doesn’t know it, but he has new dedicated fan. The fact that he’s been playing for I don’t know HOW long, and I’ve been missing out all this time is rather earth crushingly devastating to me!
I walked around from tent to tent to stage for a bit and said goodbye to my friends- some of them old friends and some new friends- and had to get home before I turned to a pumpkin. All observations led me to believe that every single person there was having the absolute time of their lives, and this was really moving to see. I heard stories later about how the rest of the night went and it pained me to know I had to miss it; both the performances on stage, as well as the silly shenanigans that apparently went down in the camp grounds all throughout the night into the morning.
The next day I ecstatically returned to MojoStock just before 5:00 p.m. I stopped by just early enough to catch the very end of NuM3R1K’s set. I had not gotten a chance to see him play, but the little teaser I got at the end of his set definitely fueled my desire to hear more soon. As it became 5:00, I hauled ass straight to the EDM tent because Gizzmo was about to play. If you don’t know Gizzmo or have never caught one of his sets, I strongly urge you to correct this! After a minor technical difficulty at the beginning of the set which ultimately caused Gizzmo to play an all vinyl set (this was obviously my lucky day) he totally fucking rocked everyone’s faces off with some classic jungle masterpieces. Gizzmo is a performer who not only sounds magnificent, but who also really gets into his sets, which in turn gets the crowd really fired up. Everyone I could see was extremely into what he was laying down. Due to the fact that I am somewhat vertically challenged, and the fact that the booth/stage was raised, I couldn’t see everything that Gizzmo was doing to what I’m guessing was the mixer, as well as the records, but it appeared to be some sort of major surgery that was life-and-death and very involved. I badly wanted to be able to see what all he was doing, but it looked very busy. This pleases me immensely because it is really a phenomenal treat when someone really; I mean REALLY knows how to use a mixer. One of the highlights of this set for me was looking over to see F12 and just how into the set HE was. It was really inspiring to see a performer move people the way Gizzmo did. This was my favorite performance I was fortunate enough to catch in the EDM tent on Saturday.
Next, I got the pure delight of seeing Wes Clay‘s set at the Local Tent. It’s no secret that Chicago-style House is my favorite type of electronic music and Wes Clay mixed the most fantastic House tracks; including a brand new one by one of my favorite performers, J Paul Getto, and it was absolute fire! Wes has extremely diverse tastes and it shows in his sets. I heard some Latin influence at one point, and my friend and I had the overwhelming urge to start salsa dancing, which we of course did. Wes Clay is a skilled audio professional by day, so he really truly knows his stuff and it is apparent when he plays. He’s definitely one of my favorite local DJ’s and he brought the heat as always. Wes Clay’s set provided a nice little House oasis in the middle of all of the other types of music going on around us. I would’ve been okay if his set lasted three hours.
Just before I had to leave for the night, I had to check out jFET‘s set. I got to see the beginning and was not let down in any way, shape or form- other than having to leave, of course. jFET is a madman in the booth and always a delight to watch. I was hoping he brought his new megaphone, but I wasn’t there to see. jFET is adored by pretty much everyone around, and even not around central Indiana, so it was no surprise to see that he had drawn a colossal crowd that clearly had all been waiting for his set all weekend.
Sadly, I left MojoStock, knowing it would be a whole year before I got to experience this again. They say you never forget your first time, and I certainly hope that is true, because it pains me to think of not having these amazing memories for a lifetime. I am yearning for next year, when my new found love can ravish and savagely violate me once again in a truly buck wild fashion. I really can’t wait to rage face with you all again next year!
Currently Dwelling in: Fort Wayne, formerly Indy, formerly Kokomo
Music: Drum & Bass, Techno, House, Various forms of electronic music that don’t suck,
Affilates: IndyMojo, G-9 Collective, SUBterror
BIO: After emerging from the comet that brought him to earth Gizzmo found a pair of turntables. Little did the people of Earth know that their world had changed. From that point on he proceeded to tackle any form of decent electronic music (i.e. NO TRANCE) and perfect the mixing of it. He can be found anywhere there are Subarus racing or Beats bumping. DO NOT get him wet and DO NOT feed him after midnight.
I asked Gizzmo some questions about his music and his upcoming MojoStock appearance and it was quite the enlightening experience that I’d love to share with you all now.
A.F. Can you give us any sneak peak or describe for us what we can expect to see of you at MojoStock?
Gizzmo: Some bearded dude playing drum and bass at a loud volume whilst resembling a bobblehead doll of Si from Duck Dynasty.
A.F. Describe for me, in a few words, the Gizzmo sound experience.
Gizzmo: It really depends on the mood of the room (or tent in this case). I’m a drum and bass guy through and through. I usually play what I would describe as “runnin” or “high energy” dnb. I’ve also been known to play dubstep (not the brostep shit most listen to; bass music with soul) as well as techno, house, and hip-hop.
A.F. Share with us some history. Give me the condensed version of your musical voyage thus far.
Gizzmo: Honestly, I didn’t get into playing music until I started going to raves in 95-ish. Something about it hit me and I ran with it. Got some belt drive Gemini turntables at Christmas that year and started playing techno. Then I heard a mix-tape by Phantom 45 called “Think Twice” (I still have an mp3 version I rock out to) and I was immediately a junglist. Had some friends get into the turntablist world in Kokomo where I grew up so I was blessed to learn some scratching to go with the mixing, as well as being exposed to real, underground hip-hop. Once the Serato/Traktor world came around and I could play ANY mp3 I had through turntables, I got into playing house and later dubstep.
A.F. Tell us 5 artists who musically rock your world right now…they don’t have to be “new.”
Gizzmo: My biggest influence ever as a DJ is UFO! That guy is a madman on the decks and has more creativity in his toenails then probably 80% of the world. Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age front man); everything that guy touches is pure gold. The G9/Mojo DJs. These guys ALL put loads of heart and soul into their craft and push me to keep up! Bad Religion. Do I really need to say anything here? Pennywise. I’ve been on a punk rock and alt rock kick for a few years now really. I don’t listen to much “edm” unless I’m out at an event.
AF: Favorite MojoStock Memory?
Gizzmo: People remember that weekend?!?! On the real though, when Shiva and I did a techno tag team 4 turntable set. There were people with inflatable pool toys dancing about and at one point a beach ball skipped one of my records mid-mix. The having an AMAZING mix of two techno classics sucked, seeing the beach ball post set with “SHIZZMO” and “DON’T HIT THE DJ” written on it in sharpie made up for it.
A.F. Where can the kids go to hear some of your sounds?
Gizzmo: Soudcloud doesn’t get changed as I’m too cheap to pay for “pro” https://soundcloud.com/gizzmo
bunch of my live mixes (as well as just about every other local and some headlining dj) induceonline.com
Make sure you catch Gizzmo’s set at MojoStock on Saturday July 27th at 5:00 p.m. at the Tent Stage!
Six Four Commodore
- Launched: 2012
- Genre: House
- Members: Christopher Mooney (Formerly DJ Declan)
- Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Record Label: Funk You, Inc.
- Influences: Format: B, Bryan Jones, DJ Dan, Clyde Donovan, Christopher Lawrence, Wolfgang Gartner, Umek, Joey Beltram, Paranoid Jack, Joey Fanatic, The Major Boys; the list goes on.
I recently traveled to Fort Wayne to check out a Funk You, Inc. production of some excellent House music and it was well worth the trip. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to today’s featured MojoStock artist, Six Four Commodore. He voluntarily agreed to cooperate with this interview without me having to use violence or drug him in any way, so that was a pleasant surprise. Check out Six Four Commodore’s thoughtful answers to these questions and be sure to check him out Saturday night at MojoStock on the local stage at 11:00 p.m.
- AF: Can you give us any sort of preview…or maybe give us a broad description of what we might expect to see/hear from you at MojoStock this year?
A.F. That’s an intriguing answer! I’m very much looking forward to checking out your set! Describe for me the Six Four Commodore sound experience for our readers who may be seeing or hearing you for the first time this year at MojoStock.
A.F. Can you tell me some history? Give me some background on your musical roots, and your musical voyage thus far.
A.F. That’s pretty amazing that you all meet up like a little family throughout the week to work together and help each other out. Also, I have to see these house shoes…maybe you all could come out with your own shoe line? I can say with certitude that I’d be rockin’ those on the regular.Tell me 5 people who are musically rocking your world right now. They don’t have to be current or “new.” And why.
A.F. All GREAT guys and heroes of mine as well! You guys did an awesome job bringing DJ Dan and Golf Clap to Fort Wayne recently. That was a great night and you guys know how to throw a party. I would recommend that more Indy people make it up to your events whenever possible You don’t disappoint!What is your favorite MojoStock memory?
A.F. What do you want people to take away with them from your show?
A.F. Where can folks go to hear your sound?