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Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010

Finding Second Sun

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Recently, a sister friend invited me to attend her cousin's performance who tours internationally, acclaimed for a live DJ/ electronic fusion. Erica hadn't seen him since she was a child, but he was in town and he wanted us at the show and backstage. We joked about being 18, about the raves where she danced all night long and about the clubs I visited when I lived in Europe. Little did we know how far this genre has come.

We were blown away by the feel of the fusion of live DJing. This experience opened a door that next led me to Second Sun. Canadian born Antoine Becks is the songwriter/ sound maker and his musical partner, Adam White, engineers and also makes sounds. Together they alchemize music. I came across Second Sun during the Mile High Festival in Denver and the excitement of this new era of electronic, live fusion again struck me. The element of mixing and remixing only their original music puts this duo in it's own category.

The crowd helps to create the vibration—it's symbiotic. "At a certain level music transports different states of being, magic. Dance music creates a collective euphoria," Becks explains. The other clear difference between live electronic music and live acoustic music is the lighting. Rather than a spotlight on the artists, the lighting encompasses the entire stage and audience. Though he performs around the world in huge venues, Becks does not consider himself a star, but an integrated part of a musical experience. He feels that the music he spearheads is the most popular among the youth around the world because it's far away from the older generations. It's a forward movement and young people love to dance, period.

Their recently released album, The Lost Weekend, embarks the dreamy party of Miami, where both lived, "where you go from club to club to boat, where partying is taken to another level, where you are disconnected from the world." Becks is not only getting the party started and the crowd dancing, but pioneering a new fusion by DJing live his own music, but by sprouting a culture in areas of the world this sound has not dawned. He describes their touring in Latin America where often the set began with a still crowd staring at them until the ball got rolling, then it's like a snowball effect of great waves of movement passing over the crowd. It's on!

"Even though I'm a gringo, I wanna communicate on their level not as a conqueror. In Cartagena, Columbia, we performed for over 10,000 people at a beach festival. I wanted to know the vibe there and became informed of paramilitary groups kidnapping and the peoples' protest against this. The protesters wear white clothes and sing the theme song, Sueno, which means dream. So at the end of our set, I took off my black t-shirt, put on a white one and starting singing that song, Sueno so we could be one with the audience and dream of peace. The crowd went wild.

"However", Becks concludes, "the whole album can't be about the party." Several pieces on the album like “Lonely After All” and “Slaves of the Sun” are foreshadowing of other musical projects ahead. Their full band, CB7, will travel this continuum of non-dance music. "I'm an artist and I don't want to get locked in, just wanna keep creating." He describes this musical branch as "a blend of all my favorite music since I first started playing guitar at age seven."

Not just for the young, look beyond your limitations, Second Sun is a spiritual and intellectual experience for anyone who is sensitive to exotic sound. I feel as though the music enlivens me, giving a buzz to free my mind and move my body, feel my heart and play with my soul while everyone around me does the same, a contagious trance dancing. Second Sun will be performing in Chicago amidst their The Lost Weekend album tour on Nov. 20, 2010, at Vision, 632 N. Dearborn St. Chicago. (312) 266-1944 This is an ages 21 and up show.