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Monday, Nov. 3, 2008
Ken Christensen keeps his musical secrets closely guarded. Since moving to Chicago from Washington, D.C., in early 2008, the producer and DJ has balanced his time crafting beats, running a record label and opening for high-profile artists like Chicago rapper Common. "Chicago seems to churn out talent in all realms," Christensen said during an interview earlier this year. "[That is] something I have always admired about this city and I am happy to be a part of it now." Not that Christensen needed much of a boost. He began...
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

Plus: Villainous treats, family beats

The promoters behind the successful Projekt events at Six Degrees (518 N. Water St.) say they didn't spook themselves into shutting down their night too soon. The move to pull the plug on their EDM monthly this coming Halloween weekend simply presented a prime opportunity for the three-man collective to bow out while the monthly still attracts solid attendance. "As Projekt promoters, we don't do shows just to do them-we're too old and not interested in that these days," says co-promoter Brad Valerine, who organized the night with Justin Grall and Nate York...
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008
The last time I heard Donald Glaude I was at Mighty, a San Francisco venue tucked away in the shaded alleys of the Mission District. The year was 2006; it was late September and I had traveled to the Bay Area alone to dance away the weekend at the U.S. version of The Love Parade.
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

Nineties label giant reignites with DJ Hyperactive, ESP Woody Mc

Midwest Dance label Communiqué Records has come a long way since the early 90's. Founded by the Midwest's own DJ legend ESP Woody McBride, the label has been home to underground dance giants including Josh Wink, Derrick Carter, Mystic Bill and DJ Hyperactive. More than 15 years later, the imprint has evolved with the times, launching its new Communiquemusic.com site that incorporates a fresh interface with direct sales links. Today, the label that built its reputation on...
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Bad Boy Bill, Diz Bring Back Chicago

Before he was a DJ, Bad Boy Bill was another just Windy City house fan, mixing records in his bedroom at 4 a.m. and priming for a shot on the decks. Like many players of the day, Bill let his beats speak for themselves-until they piqued the legendary ear of Farley "Jackmaster" Funk of WBMX's Hot Mix Five team. While Funk gave him his first radio broadcast, the rest of Chicago would soon go on to embrace big room sound with every nasty rub of vinyl. From his rise as a turntablist in the late 1980s to the launch of his own . . .
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008

Plus: Funky house gets a new-schooling

Cuban producer Maetrik will be passing around plenty of "Space Chronic" this coming weekend. The latest EP on Claude VonStroke's new Mothership Music label has the backing of one of the Bay area's most exciting techno and tech-house producers. Maetrik's Aug. 22 Space Chronic record release party at San Francisco's seminal party palace, The Endup, solidified his dark, seductive sound as a primal force on one of electronic music's hottest scenes. Now a resident of Dallas, Texas . . .
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008

Classic sounds heat local underground

In a dance-music age when how much an artist tours is almost always synonymous with how many records they've produced, there are a rare (and lucky) few who are busy trotting the globe based purely on their merits as disc jockeys. Mark Farina is one such anomaly, as is his female counterpart, the legendary dance floor damager DJ Heather. It may be her incredibly humble and inviting demeanor when interacting with fans, or her no-nonsense-no-frills personality behind the decks that keeps the punters coming back again and again, but more likely than anything, it's the fact that everyone who catches a set from Heather live-from the uninitiated dabbler to the seasoned house music vet-can always agree that "she destroyed it . . .
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

After four years, Red Light says goodnight

One of Milwaukee’s most esteemed dance venues is dimming its lights for the final time Aug. 4. Mike Eitel, co-owner of Diablos Rojos Restaurant Group and the company behind Red Light (1758 N. Water St.), announced last week that the lofted lounge will hold its last regular show next weekend. A growing demand for banquets, private parties and special events at the Trocadero restaurant downstairs has forced the company to close Red Light, he says. The company indicated that the closure of the lounge was “temporary.” Eitel and business partner Eric Wagner are reportedly
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Plus: Honey Dijon sweetens the deal

Techno keeps twisting its way toward the top of Milwaukee’s underground dance music scene. This week, it’s Detroit/Berlin’s Lee Curtiss who bridges the gap between house and techno with dark and minimal tenacity. The Spectral Sound artist says he took cues from Chicago’s Derrick Carter and melded them with the reverb of producers such as Ricardo Villalobos, Zip (aka Dimbiman), Matthew Dear, Peter Ford and Richie Hawtin. In 2007, Curtiss headlined Spectral Sound’s sixth “Death Is Nothing to Fear” tour across North America, garnering critical success from the underground dance music masses. Dark, deep and uncompromising in his mix, the DJ/producer has performed live sets with the likes of Samim and Alex Smoke for the Kontrol crew in San Francisco, as well as a play date for Bill Patrick’s acclaimed Robots bash in New York City. An alumnus . . .
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Plus: Jamie Thinnes, Kate Simko summer warm-up

The perpetual flux of underground dance music has caused the party to continually change. The scene finds a way to reinvent itself every couple of years, proving to the veterans and uninitiated alike that this so-called simple music might not be so simple after all. Who better represents such a free-form, sample-heavy state of mind than U.K. electronic music phenom Dave Taylor? More commonly known as the driving force behind the genre-defying production hype machine Switch, Taylor has redefined the rules for producers who once abided by the conventionalities of the game . . .

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