For the San Diego stop of the 2002 Braindance tour, Bogdan, Cylob, DMX Krew, and Ovuca put on an excellent show at the Casbah, which is a great club that lies within the flight path of the San Diego Airport. The show, which was co-produced by San Diego's one and only imputor?, was attended by more than 60 IDM/electro heads.
When I arrived, I was instantly greeted by Portland (local electronic artist) and the Snodgrass (local electronic artist/producer) who were hanging out in patio area of the Casbah. Snodgrass is one of the minds behind Imputor? and the producer of this show.
Portland dragged me off towards the 2nd room of the club to locate AEM (LA electronic artist) who was chilling out with a game of Berzerk. AEM was down from LA where he lives and had caught the previous night's show. I unfortunately caught the last moments of AEM's last life in Berzerk... "Intruder Alert!"
Feeling the need to get a look around the club, I left Portland and AEM in the game corner and made my way about the Casbah.
I picked up a pint of beer at the bar and returned to the patio area to see if any other local artists had shown up. San Diego seems to be a quiet bubbling well of electronic talent. There are dozens of great producers in town, yet there never seems to be enough people to get a solid scene happening. San Diego simply has a hard time being anything other than a 'tourism dripped Navy clogged alt-rock conservative' town - aka "America's Finest City." While having a 'catch-up' conversation with Cody, a local SciFi author and electronic artist, Cylob hit the decks... Broken beats bounced about an empty room where a few dozen sat along edges... doin' the Braindance.
If you haven't heard, "Braindance" is the new way to say IDM according to Rephlex, a much better term than the ever-so-confusing "IDM." Some will argue that Rephlex IS Braindance, so it isn't possible for anyone else to churn out Braindance... but if that is your gig, then you're in too deep. The IDM world is a strange one, and I love it. In general, it's a chaotic explosion of intellectual sound wank bent on glitches and addicted rapid fire rhythmic stutters. It's the byproduct of an overexposed low-attention spanned media hungry generation fueled by technological advancements in computing power. It's the folk music of the Information Age.
In the 2nd room a local cat named Scott, performing as "Wank Chops," was laying down an old school set that was very mellow. Pulling his live set out of a TB303, TR606, Korg MS20 (used as an effects send with his mixer allowing him to run anything through the warm filter on the MS20), and some other Korg keyboard (maybe an M1).
And yes, he does sport a pair of massive lamb chop side burns. The portion of his set that I caught, was filled with lots of filter tweakage ontop of a steady 606 beat that ran into a sputtery LFO peak.
While hanging out in the patio area, I was handed a mini-cdr from Algernon (local electronic artist) - on the outside it read, "fool your friends! tell them it works" - with an arrow pointing at the cdr in the case. The next day, while at home, I tried his cdr in both my computer and stereo - and have come to the conclusion that he may have been handing out blank Cdrs... now that's IDM. :)
I went back to the main room to checkout more of Cylob's set when all of a sudden he drops this hilarious version of an old classic sailor chant, "What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor." I wasn't aware of Cylob's catalog, and in a conversation with him later that night, he had informed me that it was a 'B-side' of another track. I asked him why he selected that piece of music to cover, explaining to him that I used to sing this very song in Choir back in high school. He stated that a friend of his suggest it because it was like some relentless dance or pop song. Unfortunately, the Braindancing fans were still glued to their seats so Cylob wasn't treated to much physical dancing.
Next up, a man who seemed to control his laptop and music with facial expressions... Bogdan Raczynski. When Bogdan started it up, the floor was already getting crowded and moving, it seemed San Diego must have come out to see this sound terrorizer. His frantic beats flew around the Casbah causing some to wiggle to the distorted and broken movements in sound. At times his tracks were showered with 8bit video game melodies, all the while his face continually contorted to the breaks.
After a rocking set by Bogdan, A long haired DMX Krew plugged in his laptop, and launched into a crowd pleasing set of solid electro blipped out bass grooves.
On his first track, Ed DMX came forward with the Mic, dropping some vocoded verses over his electro beats. It didn't take more than a few minutes for the crowd to fall into a floor of physical Rephlexian Braindancers - wiggling about in syncopated moves. From what I could see, and from what I was told, Ed DMX was running Logic and FruityLoops on his PC this night.
At the changing of the guards, Ovuca took control of the 1/8in Stereo out that brought the laptop rockers to life and booted his white MAC ibook into a nice groove that seemed be be built from a cutup of the 'think' break.
Before this night, I wasn't familiar with his tracks, and upon this first listening, I found them to be great. His set flowed into a mellower mood and the floor spread out until it became a sparse field containing only a few wobbling Braindancers.
Wait... no... scratch that, Ovuca took it into high gear... but it seemed like half of the audience left for home.
As I was finishing up my last pint, I watched one of the Casbah's employees escort a fairly drunk Algernon out the side door. Something must have gone down in the back room because that guy had him held pretty tight and Algernon was doing the backward shuffle all the way. It kinda looked like a cartoon in a strange way - it reminded me of the scene in "Heavy Metal" when Harry Canyon walks into the police station and this googly alien is being taken away, "no no, I'm not an illegal alien..."
Next thing I know, the security guard is shining a light from the patio up toward the top of the building. As I look up, I see this little head peek out and disappear. Algernon? Sure enough, Algernon had climbed up onto the roof of the Casbah and was either just having fun, or was going to find a way to drop back in on the party.
I saw AEM and Portland over at the other end of the patio and informed them of the current situation, next thing I know, the two of them are off to get him down from the roof.
Realizing that it was 'about that time,' I looked around, smiled, and made my exit, leaving behind a stack of ElectronicScene stickers at the door.