Monday, September 21, 2009

Live Preview: D3K | Chicago

Dialogue Incorporated & Prime Numbers Records present:

D3K | Chicago @ Sonotheque

09.24.09 | 9pm - 2am

Trus'me (Prime Numbers)

Mister Joshua (Time Out Chicago, Dialogue Incorporated)
SR-71 + Scotty Brandon (Pretty & Popular, Chicago Workgroup)

$5, free with R.S.V.P. to
R.S.V.P.'s with confirmed attendance receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Time Out Chicago Magazine!

Manchester's global party embassador, Trus'me comes to Chicago, bringing together the past, present and future of forward thinking music.

Disco 3000 is a global music brand concept conceived of by Manchester DJ and producer Trus’me to showcase his widely varied musical styles in an International forum. Bringing together like-minded DJ compatriots around the globe, D3K now has homes (a.k.a. party residencies) in Manchester, London—at famed super club Fabric, New York—at A-list lounge APT, Guadalajara Mexico… and now in CHICAGO, where it is launching a new quarterly series starting in September. An increasingly successful International party, D3K showcases forward thinking music from today while also tracing back the roots of what brought us here. Our goal is to connect the dots between the past, present and future and have a raging good time while doing it.

With nothing more than good music at its core—be it house, techno, disco, boogie, funk or soul—D3K is pleased to announce the latest addition to its growing network of forward thinking DJ nights. Taking place quarterly in the Ukrainian Village’s hottest DJ lounge, Sonotheque (1444 W. Chicago Ave. 312.226.7600) and helmed by Mancunian selector Trus’me—the man behind the brand and increasingly prominent record label, Prime Numbers—D3K is also pleased to announce the inclusion of Time Out Chicago Nightlife editor and long-time tastemaker Mister Joshua P. Ferguson. For each edition of D3K:CHI there will also be featured local DJ celebrities from a variety of club backgrounds. Event kicks off September 24, 2009. To help promote our launch the party is free all night to those who RSVP and before 10-pm to those who do not.

While the musical talent is without a doubt the focus for the evening, we are pleased to announce a few added amenities beyond our esteemed selectors. SVEDKA Vodka will be on hand all night so that patrons can enjoy an exclusive menu of specially priced SVEDKA cocktails. We’re also pleased to announce that Time Out Chicago is our media sponsor for the night, so everyone that RSVP’s to and attends the event will be given a complimentary one-year subscription to the magazine, an invaluable source for all noteworthy happenings in the our Windy City. Red Bull Music Academy Radio will also be in the building, broadcasting the entire event LIVE. The musical content will also be available after the show for interested bloggers and media types to rehost via their websites. All in all, DISCO3K | CHICAGO is shaping up to be the first of many nights to remember over the course of 2009 and 2010.

Prime Numbers, Dialogue Inc., Red Bull, SVEDKA and Good for Party present:

D3K | CHICAGO : 09.24.09 @ Sonotheque 1444 W. Chicago Ave. 9pm – 2am

FREE admission all night with RSVP to: All RSVP’s receive a free year subscription to Time Out Chicago Magazine. $5 after 10pm for non-RSVP guests. | | |

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Article: Mary Anne Hobbes | Do You Like Bass? + Live Review

For BBC Radio 1's Mary Anne Hobbs,
the answer is a bloody YES!
by Joshua P. Ferguson
Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine: 9/10/09

Radio jock, journalist, festival curator: All apply equally to Mary Anne Hobbs, host of BBC Radio 1’s Experimental Show. Weekly, she champions the best of the world’s bass-heavy club music, showcasing forward-thinking dubstep, drum ’n’ bass, hip-hop and all those genres’ tangents. Her latest compilation, Wild Angels, is out this week on Planet Mu Records, and her first U.S. tour kicks off at Smart Bar Thursday 10. We phoned Hobbs at her London home to find out how she’s become a global ambassador for underground sounds.

Of the U.K. electronic genre that’s recently found a foothold in the mainstream, Hobbs says, “My response to dubstep was very much like John Peel’s response to punk.” Referring to the late BBC radio host and early punk enthusiast, Hobbs continues, “He put punk on this global pedestal, championing it vigorously. I’ve done the same with dubstep.”

Hobbs is probably the genre’s most high-profile proponent. A music junkie since she dropped out of school and joined a rock band at 19, she left the U.K. for L.A. at 21 and slowly enmeshed herself in the city’s metal scene. A well-placed friend at NME brought her back to London for a job writing features for the magazine. In 1997, she jumped ship for the BBC. Now, at 45, she has a radio show and three compilations dedicated to the low-end-loving genre, as well as a gig curating a dubstep stage at Barcelona’s Sonar Festival.

Over the last four years, dubstep has become one of the biggest musical phenomenons in British DJ culture since drum ’n’ bass (its distant cousin). Dubstep—most of it produced by kids who’ve barely reached 25—draws from the reggae and dub sounds that came to Britain with its Caribbean immigrants, the moody influences of trip-hop, the syncopated shuffle of two-step and, most of all, the breaks and bass heaviness of drum ’n’ bass.

Continue Reading

LIVE REVIEW: Mary Anne Hobbs @ Smart Bar 9/10/09
by Joshua P. Ferguson

Dubstep—the U.K.’s latest bass-music obsession borne of drum ‘n’ bass and garage—has grown into such a phenomenon that the genre has garnered its own show on BBC’s Radio 1, has dedicated stages at electronic music festivals across Europe and has started making an inroads into popular culture here in the U.S.—various pop acts are incorporating it into their songs.

The genre’s most vocal spokesperson—and the woman behind its presence on the BBC and at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona— just touched down to begin her debut U.S. tour, bringing this distinctly British sound to the American masses. Mary Anne Hobbs has been involved with dubstep practically since day one. Speaking prior to the show, she recalled its early days when audiences would consist of her, the DJs and the DJ’s girlfriends. And that’s it. Now at the many regular London dubstep nights, fans will queue up down the block to get a taste of the bass. While the hype is not that large here in the U.S., the Midwest’s receptive DJ culture has given it legs here. This proved to be true at Smart Bar last night. The club wasn’t packed to the gills, but there was a respectable turnout and everyone was hyped for some low-end madness.

Those on the dance floor were front-and-center for Hobb’s set. Hands were in the air. MC Zulu’s job as hype man was a breeze with everyone already primed for fits of excitement with each new cut. So much so that the night even included not one, not two, but three rewinds—a technique that isn’t seen too much in U.S. club culture outside of hip-hop and reggae, but is a very regular part of the scene across the Atlantic. As each record wheeled backward with a sonic screech, the energy level in the place jumped exponentially and Hobbs would strike her signature pose, hair thrown back, hands in the air sporting double funk signs for the crowd.

If there had to be one criticism of the night, it wouldn’t be aimed at Hobbs, but at the crowd, who—while amped and well engaged in her set—wasn’t willing to be as adventurous as it should have been. At one point, one reveler commented to a friend over a particularly forward-thinking selection that she “thought this was supposed to be a dubstep night.” A sure sign for the imminent demise of a genre, it would seem that a certain cross section of the crowd couldn’t get down with the sounds unless they followed the dubstep framework verbatim: gritty half-time break + wonky bassline = dubstep. Ugh. Must it be so? Haven’t they learned that the reason drum ‘n’ bass parties are predominately filled with aggro males and devoid of soul (and ladies!) is because of its over-bearing, dark repetitiveness? Hobbs challenged those conventions at many points throughout her hour-and-a-half set to the overwhelming joy of the rest of us. She sampled from various movements in the sound from the West Coast abstract hip-hop fare to upbeat funky sounds that borrow from two-step. Sometimes it’s all about baby steps, and these were all steps in the right direction.

BBC | Mary Anne Hobbs

Myspace | Mary Anne Hobbs

Album Review: Joakim | Milky Ways

Originally published in Time Out Chicago: TOC | Joakim



!k7Versatile Records

in•die \in-dê\adj + dis•co \dis-ko \ n + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n

The opening seconds of “Back to Wilderness,” the lead track from French techno provocateur Joakim’s third album, initially sound like circus music on nitrous. A gaseous haze of background noise—from animals to muted voices to horn sections—fills the air before it finally congeals around grumbling guitar and heavy, distinctly rock drumming. You’d never know this was supposed to be an electronic record. Regardless, Joakim makes one hell of an entrance.

Psych-rock freak-outs aside, the multifaceted artist we’re familiar with eventually surfaces as the punky disco bounce of “Ad Me” takes over. With its poppy piano chords and punchy bass, it bears a more striking resemblance to his past releases on eclectic Parisian techno label Versatile (licensed stateside by electronic label !K7).

His latest single, “Spiders,” meets somewhere in the middle of his varied sensibilities, sprinkling Italo discolike keyboard work over beefy 4/4 drums, epic strings and a hint of undulating acid bass work before—at three minutes in—everything fades away, leaving a lone guitar and an indie-esque vocal choir that would make Broken Social Scene proud.

For Joakim, there’s no such thing as formulaic, and this all-encompassing record is no exception. Rock, techno, acid, disco, pop, downbeat and psychedelia collide in one big bang that leaves in its wake a beauteous aural universe where conformity in dance music is irrelevant—even passé— and complexity becomes infinitely listenable.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Article: Chrissy Murderbot | Let's Push Things Forward

From disco to dubstep, Chrissy Murderbot does it all.
by Joshua P. Ferguson
originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine: 9/3/09

“Here’s a story for you,” says DJ-producer Chrissy “Murderbot” Shively as we settle in at Old Oak Tap’s patio to talk about his new album,Chrissy Murderbot Volume Two. “I was at a record shop in Kansas City the day Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’ came in. The guy running the store puts it on and he’s like, ‘This is going to refashion the way everybody thinks about house music.’” With a chuckle, Shively continues, “And my exact words were, ‘It’s not like this is gonna be on MTV or anything.’”

While the anecdote proves his gross miscalculation about one of Daft Punk’s biggest singles, it also illustrates how Shively—a dance-music obsessive since the age of 11—has always marched to the beat of his own drummer, or drum machine.

The 27-year-old Kansas City native was introduced to rave-music culture by a sister ten years his senior. “It was ’91 or ’92,” Shively recalls. “That was when poppy rave, like Crystal Waters and Utah Saints, was popular. You know, when it really seemed like electronic dance music was going to blow up.” Shively then laughs at his own remark: Those years were, in fact, some of the most popular for dance music stateside.