Whoa. I’ve neglected my duties here at Fist HQ. Lots going on at the moment on the adulting front. Where to start… let see this past weekend was EXILE – Mike McConnell filled in for Will. It was a bit dead until Musicfest let out then we got hit late like 1am with a rush of folks. So it turns out that folks have a way through the back. Skipping the $5 cover. Kind of shitty if you ask me however it’s to be expected. Especially with Memphis folks. They will pay 50 or more to go to a festival but bitch about $5 when its not something they consider worthy. Although this was a fringe group, it’s something I’ll have to keep an eye on now which makes doing events at Canvas a headache. For the love of the music, right?
Speaking of Mike, he and I will be at BBQFest on the river starting Wednesday next week (#TeamUsualSaucepects), each night putting some work on the decks making sure the hottest party on the river stays the champion it is. R-67 is our booth and its just a few booths down from where we were last year so… you should be able to find us! BBQFest, if you don’t know is a week long reason for the country in all of us to let loose, drink beer and eat PIG (every form of it)
Then, the following Friday, i’ll be back at Canvas for Michelle Kristen’s bday event which should be crazy and then again the following Saturday for the next EXILE. Make sure to stop by for EXILE if you cant make it to the party. Not sure if we will have an out-of-town guest dj or not – Detroit will have just ended and i’m sure Will has plenty of deck time he wants to use for new releases and such. (BooHoo – i’ll be unable to go this year). I’ll be interested to hear all about it though. Mecca, I will return soon, . . .
Last minute events can be lots of fun – lots of work too but worth it when you get to spend the time with fellow djs that you have known for years. Case in point – “Impromptu! dance party with Justin Hand & Guests”. Saturday, Ficus Tree label owner Jeff Gonzalez aka Service was in Memphis (for unfortunate circumstances) and we roped him in to come throw down with us, myself and “Soul in the City” front man Brian Hamilton, aka Dj Irie, at Canvas. Lorin Vincent (DJ Saturna) was also supposed to join us but her son Dash woke up with a 103 fever – family first right? We made the best of it though even though she was missed!
Dj Irie getting it started!
We managed to work it out schedule wise. it was loads of fun and honestly extremely nice not having to watch a door and take money. Although counting it at the end of the night isn’t so bad, the freedom of not having to care made all the difference. It was a great turn out and loads of faces to hear us get down on some house. Even I hung up the techno badge for a little soul and vocals. As it turns out there were other things going on that night but it didn’t deter us from doing the damn thang. If you missed it, well… maybe next time. As a tribute to those that support, I think a quarterly popup freebie might be in order! We’ll have to see, wont we.
Next month… March 4th at EXILE – i’ll be celebrating my bday – plan to party.
Well, as it goes sometimes, the money is the major factor and it seems that the new location wasn’t as BLNDR as BLENDER, if you catch my drift. I think there were a few factors that might have prohibited a quick spark of interest such as the need to refrain from mass promotion as well as trying to keep low key for various reasons. I think the main issue though was not enough of a draw to generate enough money to justify the dj. Boooooo. Especially when you play basically for chump change in terms of what they get. I will give props to my buddy David for giving it a fair try and having enough vision to see when something good needs a place to grow. It’s with great regret I have to say BLNDR/BLENDER is over until further notice… if there is such notice.
Chill atmosphere and swank vibes (? did I just say vibes?) is what this town needs, more than it knows. Over saturation of dirty south hip-hop, and edm/top 40 has just about killed my creativity and eaten away at my soul. No shame in those who fair well in this environment and love to play it but a techno brutha needs room to breathe and needs folks who are in to a little more sophistication than your average jukebox/Pandora background music when it comes to such atmospheres and events like BLNDR. I will say though, I haven’t had a Thursday night off in forever and this morning was nice not waking up with a hangover. Who knows… I said I would never do another weekly, then 3 and half years of Blender happened, maybe it’s for real this time.
Big ups to everyone that came out for our JAN edition of EXILE @ Canvas with guest Saint Thomas LeDoux. After a surprising technical glitch, we got things rolling. Shout out to Thomas for putting up with the issues. Great set btw if you missed out, your loss. This Saturday is our next installment of EXILE, our monthly techno excursion hosted and performed by Will Azada, myself and special monthly guests. This month we will take a break from the guests and have extended sets from Will and I for your listening enjoyment. Of course the plans are still the same – cover is $5, start at 10 and party til dawn! (um, no – 3am is it folks). It’s what we like to think of as dawn these days. It’s always nice to spread our wings a bit between guest outings so I promise it will be a great show for sure. In the spirit of the weekend warrior, I’m borrowing a saying from a good friend of mine and making it my own: TECHNO WILL EAT YOU. See you on sat.
Next month however…. um yeah. EXILE falls on my day of birth. Celebration is in order so we’ll have to plan something proper!!! I cant say what or how but rest assured, I am definitely not getting any younger so we’ll make sure to do it right! Stay tuned for that but in the meantime, prepare to do the techno.
Fellow BangTech12 dj and mix meister extraordinaire Christopher Gillyard, aka G-Major, will be this weeks host on the BT12 weekly show on Electropic Radio at 8pm entitled CIRCUIT. He will be showcasing several mixes including one from yours truly that I put together for Eno’s show, 1701. Other mixes will be from Annix TM, Taylor Norris and Mike Shadow. The show will be banging for sure so make sure to pour your self a drink and get comfy because the ride will be sweet! You can tune in HERE at 8pm for the broadcast. Big thanks to G-Major for putting my mix on and we hope to see back in the D soon! Much love to all my BT12 brothas from otha muthas!
Have you ever just sat around and thought to yourself where we are… I mean from a time perspective. Take “Back to the Future” for example. According to them we should have had flying cars in mass production two years ago, shoes that tie themselves and hover boards for little children. I suppose progress is a slow arduous process but damn, at least a hover board would be nice. I remember when I was a kid thinking how crazy it would be when I turned 20 and what year it would be, 30, then 40, and so on. I’m sitting here contemplating that i’ll be turning 42 in a couple of months and much like my metabolism, I feel a little like progress seems to have slowed down from where it was in the 90’s. Of course with things in the world seeming more and more like “Idiocracy” on a daily basis I could see why. Maybe I should be grateful that we have slowed down the progress of technology, or at least the release of it to the public seeing as we were moving rapidly closer to the singularity or maybe that’s how it happens… whoa.
Ok.. I’ll stop thinking about that now. There is already plenty of scary shit out there we’ll be dealing with for the next few years. No need to add to it. I think along with trying to eat better and get in shape, i’ll add working more on music as a new year resolution. My gear has been collecting dust for far too long. Now that I think about it, I have an entire Komplete set of plugins that I purchased and haven’t installed along with gear that isn’t even hooked up. Ok, now I feel really lazy. Well, I now know what i’ll be doing this weekend. STUDIO REPAIR and PREP. Hold up… I’m getting ahead of myself here, might have to postpone that seeing as i’ll be busy with EXILE @ Canvas on Sat. Our guest Saint Thomas Ledoux will be here and i’ll need to get ready to get down with him and my partner in crime, mr. technoPants himself, Will Azada. Hoping for a good turn out even though its going to be rather cold, we plan to heat things up. See you there!
Going from a new weekly to adding on a new monthly, it seems. We put on the first EXILE at Canvas and it went rather well. Lots of new faces along with a nice turn out. We have decided to tack on another show for the DEC 3rd (first Saturday of the month). Still working out the details but hopefully ALEX FALK from Knoxville (same guys to bring me to Birdhouse) will be able to guest spot. The space is small so the sound works nicely and there is a small but adequate space to dance along with plenty of bar space, lounging *couch included as well as a patio for smoking and social shenanigans.
Will doing his thing at EXILE (Nov5th)
The spot hosts plenty of artwork from local aspiring as well as accomplished artist from the mid-south area. Pretty swank little place. The first edition on the 5th was Will and I’s first official joint venture. We worked well together anyways but this worked out nicely because we switched off each hour then got to tag towards the end, also allowed enough space to give Kuntzman some deck time. The DDJ-RR worked out ok and the setup was slightly awkward due to the folks walking on behind us and having an “oh wait…” moment. All in all, i think with some tweaking on setup, it could be a slide in and bang it out type gig which are hard to come by. Here is a small pic of sometime at the event. (*note to self: take more pics). They do have screen that I think are hooked to a video system so maybe we can work a dvd screener of the event and maybe some cool graphics to rotate during the show…who knows?!?!? The best part of all this is that Canvas is in midtown (practically across from where the Full Moon used to be) Right where we like it.
Brian Hamilton and company do the third Sat (Soul in the City) there with plenty of house to please so we alternate as the techno group two weeks out. Hopefully you’ll check us out on the 3rd – If you came by and love the music, let us know in the comments and feel free to check out the event page on facebook and by all means, share.
BLNDR (formerly Blender) is now at its new location – ALCHEMY.
Our first Thursday date will be November 3rd. I will say this is going to be a slight shift to the way we did Mollie’s. Alchemy has a bit more flair and it’s in the Cooper/Young area. That means a lot more foot traffic and more clientele so this could be the start of something great I hope. The fam at Mollies will be missed however. Doug, Austin, Frenchie and Guido… I’ve been working with these peeps for so long its tough parting ways, sort of. Well, as they say, when one door closes, another opens. If you are reading this then come down to Alchemy on Thursdays and get mixed!
BLNDR is every Thursday starting November 3rd from 10-1AM (*21 and up // NO COVER)
It’s hard out there for a techno pimp especially in Memphis. There are the tried and true tech fans but mostly blues, folk and dirty south rap rule these lands. Memphis is a magical place full of history and culture just not for techno. They say techno is not understood by most and even less pursue it yet its pseudo-forms can be heard here late night at a dark warehouse or impromptu house party when djs of different paths dip into at the outer reaches of it’s sound. That’s all great and fine… exposure is key and such… Yet, its the heart of techno that is rarely heard, experienced or even acknowledged. For me… it takes a trip to Hart Plaza in May, a flight to Belgium or the seldom party playing fellow techno brethren to really get that feeling. By many, it is often not recognized for what it is nor given it’s due. It’s a feeling, its a sound but more than that, its fuel for a flame that burns deep inside. If you get lucky enough to feel the fever, it can change your life.
Being a dj who plays techno in a city that is fickle at best, only embracing techno for the occasional cheap late night thrill then tossing it to the side like old tattered rags, can make for a lonely trip down my personal music lane. It can wear down the soul.But as most true techno djs do, we press on. I raise my glass to all those techno guys out there – fighting the good fight. It’s in our nature and the music we play, the fusion of technology and soul, its what carries us through and keeps us doing what we do, playing what we play. So, it’s this point that brings me to the current post. Here is my latest mix. A journey into the mind, heart and soul of a techno dj as I take you down the road less traveled.
Enjoy and if you like, please share.