This Saturday the British duo Way Out West is performing LIVE in Denver for the last stop on their US tour! I warn you, sleeping on this might result in a lifetime of self-loathing and detrimental regret, ultimately leaving you permanently damaged and alone. OK that might be exaggerating, but they did establish themselves as one of the most authoritative DJ duos since the turn of the millennium. Imagine for a second, if Danny Boyle and Guy Ritchie made a film together. These guys would helm the soundtrack. Yeah. So, do you have plans this weekend? Perhaps you’re going to Club Vinyl on March 25th for a space-bound foray into the most cosmic party this Spring?
In 1997, Global Underground superstar Nick Warren and teen prodigy Jody Wisternoff combined their talents to form Way Out West, successfully blending multiple genres into one sonic morphogenetic force. Shortly after their inception they carved their own niche out of an already deeply layered musical movement: the trance/progressive house scene of the late 90’s/early 00’s. The duo garnered huge praise for their soul piercing track “The Gift”, released on their debut album Deconstruction in 97′. Being only the second track on their first LP, one could argue it’s the genesis of the breakthroughs they were about to make in the scene. (In fact, it had such an impact in the clubs back then that there is a rumor it was remixed over 400 times.) While emotional and melodic versatility was starkly present in the Global Underground community of the early 2000’s, nobody else seemed to be as proficient at developing it. The danceability of “The Gift” is undeniable, but the emotional response from the song is inescapable. One is powerless against drifting into a deep and personal space when immersed in those vocals, “The Moon and the stars, were the gift you gave”.
That was just the beginning folks. It’s fascinating how we go out of our way to recognize brilliance, but so easily forget that which we honor. Even more fascinating is how quickly we move on from artists even if their talent never faded. Nick and Jody are nowhere near becoming an epitaph of electronic music history. In fact, they are still churning out songs as W.O.W on labels like Anjunadeep, and even their own platforms. Even more admirable is that despite the pressures of evolving music and transitioning generational trends, they have held onto the style that made them what they are through all these years. The 2016 release of “Tuesday Maybe” last year broke a lot of tropes in the dance music realm. After 20 years, they’re actually still capable of topping themselves while staying true to their roots.
There is a fairly definitive reason this duo has stayed relevant and succeeded at remaining in electronic music’s upper echelon. They essentially represent the entire spectrum of 90-00’s dance music under the umbrella of one moniker (minus disco). No other act can flow between break-beat, drum & bass, techno, house, and especially trance like them. If they could, they were nowhere near as adept as W.O.W. In just minutes you can go from wiping the sweat off your brow to wiping proverbial tears from your eyes (unless you’re really sensitive which is cool too). I was vaguely familiar with their work and decided to see them play at Vinyl last summer. What took place that night quickly transcended into an experience I didn’t think was still possible with modern dance music. Then again, chances to see respected OG’s like this come few and far between. Not only was their work translated perfectly, it was weaved into a completely unpredictable performance utilizing tools outside the usual DJ decks. If you’ve forgotten, or are perhaps unaware, you have a massive opportunity to witness a chapter of music that never should’ve faded into the background. In most ways it really hasn’t. This duo is sewn into history with the likes of Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo, Deep Dish, and Sasha, and you can see them perform this weekend. It’s past, present, and future all at once.
We have all yearned for that sonic comfort within ourselves at some point. That place that strikes a chord in you so deep you could swear you were mainlining the secrets of humanity itself. That is what truly lies under the surface of these dance music gurus. There is a living-soul embedded in their work. So when the party ends and you look at that city skyline, and the weight of the world comes back, what do you really want as the soundtrack to your life at the end of the night? Oh yeah, and the whole detrimental regret you might be risking. Event info and ticket links below, my friends!
On a scale of one to ten, describe how much it hurts to not see live music. When you’re away from festivals, nightclubs, and summer tour, do you often feel fatigued, run-down, or depressed? Do you find yourself short of breath after long bouts of silence? How long have you felt like this? OK, now just turn and cough please. OK I know where to go for help, there’s a doctor right down town. You can always talk to me. Dr.Fameus is making a house-call at the Wonderbar this Wednesday, and he’s ready to remedy, my friends.
You may know him as a sort of robotic octopus being. You might know him as the current drummer of The Disco Biscuits, widely recognized for his quick draw of the sticks, handsome smile, and ability to write some killer setlists. His parents usually refer to him as Allen Aucoin. When he’s not touring with the Biscuits (which gives him a lot of free time), this assiduous musician still performs and keeps the momentum rolling. The Fameus project features Allen playing solo over programmed segments on Ableton Live, and sometimes performing with various special guests in the process. The programmed loops leave a lot of room for improvisation and the man basically goes nuts. While this format isn’t overly complicated, the Doctor is. What you’re seeing has plenty of substance. He tears through several styles of drumming at hyper speeds, and with an uncanny sense of time signatures and measurements. It’s really quite amazing to stand right in from of him, and still fail to follow the details of his precise movements.
With tDB having just announced six new gigs this coming September, it looks like the Doctor will be hitting the road for some bar room warm-ups. Hop over to the Wonderbar in downtown Boston tomorrow night, tickets at the door!
Allen Aucoin, the quick handed drummer of The Disco Biscuits, is bringing his solo project Dr.Fameus to Western New York this Saturday, March 22nd! This is a great opportunity to see the bionic man do his thing in a smaller, more personal environment. We’d all love to see TDB tour again, but after a great couple of runs in Philadelphia and Colorado, and we’ll have to ride those recordings out for the time being. The Doctor is a blast to see live if you haven’t yet. Musically it’s nothing boundary breaking or innovative, mostly just Allen, in his raw form, playing over loops on Ableton Live. However, it is Allen Aucoin, so you’ll be watching one of the most mechanically fierce, and agile drummers of our modern day, drop those sticks like a madman right in front of you. It won’t cost you much either, you can find tickets in the link at the bottom of the post.
The cosmic and mysterious Space Dimension Controller recently released his album Welcome to Mikrosektor-50, paired with a digital EP consisting of 4 tracks off his first studio album in years. Endlessly dynamic and devoid of any set formula, this proves to be another stunning piece among his all too stellar discography.
The EP starts out with his most genre-influenced track to date, and actually took us by quite the surprise. “Welcome To Mikrosektor-50” initiates a high octane, Galactic-funk intro that would most likely reminisce the spawn of Midnight Star and Dieselboy had they conceived a child together. Although in the realm of synth-based 80’s electronic, true to his modus operandi of dissolving formulas it is a breed of its very own. Following the intensity of the introductory track he transitions into his trademark of mystic and astronomical soundscapes with “While I Was Away”. This opens with an array of soft pads and soothing bass lines that fill the canvas of his work with an oceanic atmosphere, but at the same time somehow gives you a sensation of high altitude. That may very well be the intention of Mr.8040 as the next track is labeled “It’s a Cold Planet Without You”. It is here that we are subjected to the Drum and Bass influence of his music. The rolling drum tracks begin and although always present and rhythmic, are nothing short of mind-blowing. They lay the main theme of the song and never repeat themselves; there is always a series of notes to differentiate each measure from the last. “Music For Spaceports”, appropriately named, marks the culmination of the EP and serves as a testament to the limitless creativity of SDC. The sounds created in these tracks are what make this artist so special. Never repeated outside the boundaries of a track, and always vivid to the point of manifested imagination, the effects and the arrangement in which they’re placed leave you submersed in a colorful dream sequence almost too surreal. We give the Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 release a 7/10.
His sound is hard to define in terrestrial terminology but could be lightly compared to Amon Tobin, Flying Lotus, or Mars Volta, but basically it’s sound in general. This is an artist truly dissimilar to anything you’ve ever heard. The most familiar or genre-based characteristics he displays are vaguely like Drum and Bass and notes of funk, but describing him in even those terms is blasphemous. His music induces states of childlike curiosity and imagination thought only to be achieved in dreams. You can almost touch the notes, and you can produce a detailed image in your mind of every song. The only reoccurring truth in his productions is that it carries an uncannily electronic and spacey vibe. Among the avid experimenters of sound production and those who don’t follow the formulas of rhythm, he is without a doubt a master of space and technology.
Every album and EP he releases is a conceptual installment to the mythos of his origins and journeys. Each individual track is a like a paragraph to a chapter, and each album a chapter to a story. Artists like the Mars Volta and Daft Punk have reoccurring characters and themes in their songs, but nothing we’ve heard is so true to detail and consistent as SDC’s works. Rather than use one compilation or series of tracks to make up an opera, everything he does is the opera, or in his unique case, Electro-Opera. It’s Stephen Hawking meets Mozart.
Signed to R&S Records with some of the most respected artists in the industry, be sure to check out his previous releases and grab your copy of Welcome To Mikrosektor-50 today!