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5 Reasons You Should Go To III Points Festival 2017

 5 Reasons You Should Go To III Points Festival 2017

III Points Music, Art & Technology Festival promises to delivers amazing music and art over the course of three days. Here is why you must attend III Points 2017.

[Interview] Zoogma Shares Their Spirit with ATL

By Clara GracePhotos by Kathryn Lasso

As I walk into the venue, Turbo Suit has already begun their show. To say the house was rocking out would be an understatement. With totally danceable beats and funky sax sounds, the trio creates a diverse and eclectic combination of electronic effects mixed with jam band energy and passion. Dark alien sound effects underlie beautiful minor sax melody that move seamlessly into a hip hop break, layered with a female rap vocals. Throughout their set, Turbo Suit sampled “What I Got” by Sublime as well as rap singles and EDM hits.

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An older man walks up to me all smiles and high fives me, nodding toward the stage. Laughing and bouncing on his toes to the music, “How awesome is this?” he says enthusiastically gesturing at the band. I grin in return. This enthusiasm is the vibe of the evening and is shared by everyone in the audience. There are all types here - hippy punk chicks, guys in button downs and slacks. Two women in Rasta colors receive a shout out by the band for their dance moves. Turbo Suit’s set draws to a close, among cheers from the crowd and as they walk off the set one of the band members upends the bottle he’s been drinking from all night inducing laughter. As I walk between the two rooms, I am struck again by how incredibly happy this crowd is. I don’t think there was a point during the whole evening where people weren’t smiling.

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Zoogma takes the stage and the crowd immediately fills the room again, restless with excitement. They are not disappointed. Zoogma’s performance is flawless from their zydeco influenced opening piece to their soulful blues finale. In the interview before the show, the band members spoke about their musical diversity as a group.

You just released a brand new EP. Tell me about the work that went into it.

Matt: We started work on it probably like a year ago and condensed it all over the fall of 2015. That’s when we spent the most time recording it and writing it.

Brock: {We} took a lot of the stuff that was going on and compiled it down. There’s four songs out of like a couple tracks we had. They all fit together conceptually.

Justin: It was a long process. We have a studio effort since our last record which is called “Anthems for Androids” which was {released} in August of 2013. What we do is a lot of live electronic stuff. So we do a lot of stuff remixed which we did over the last couple of years. Like he said, we started on it about a year or two ago. We had a couple of songs that we liked and we started building on that. It was a lot of work, just being like as an underground sort of artist and trying to make original music. That’s different and also appealing. It’s a lot of work, obviously.

Matt: This is the first record we did that was 100% independent without any outside source. We recorded, engineered and produced all of it on our own.

https://soundcloud.com/zoogma/sets/new-era-ep

Your album art is absolutely stunning, in a digital age this is becoming rare. What was the inspiration behind the art?

Brock: I actually found that guy, he’s a French graphic designer. I liked his stuff on DeviantArt for a long time. I reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in doing something. So that was cool - collaborating with someone halfway across the world to do album art for us.

Talk to me about your origins. How did the four of you come together to form Zoogma? What is the meaning behind the name?

Matt: We formed in college. Justin and I played in another band together and then we split off from that and formed Zoogma. We had two to three other members that were part of the original lineup. The first year it was a fun thing in college to do. Then Brock and Ryan came along and that’s been the lineup ever since.

Justin: The phone just keeps ringing, so I guess we just take this more seriously. The name actually was - I had this English teacher that I couldn’t stand in college but there was this one day where I remember going to class and he handed out a worksheet and it had the word Zoogma at the top. But it was in Greek. It was an old English literature class. We had just started playing and we’re trying to figured out band names and I saw that. We just took out the E U because it was spelled like “ZEUGMA”. Instead of the Greek spelling, we added O’s instead and went with that. Basically it means “to join.”

Your music has been called “refreshingly original.” Tell me what makes your sound so unique.

Justin: I think the biggest thing, honestly, is that we all come from very different backgrounds musically. A lot of times that can be a really good thing or a really bad thing. And obviously a lot of people, bands, probably break up a lot. Different creative inputs, you know, everybody’s kind of pulling different ways. It works with us for whatever reason.

Brock: {We} find stuff we like, and just try to make music that we like.

Matt: We’re taking old genres of music and mixing it with something new and then creating something new altogether.

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Tell me about your musical progression across the years. Did you always know the sound you were trying to create?

Brock: I think we knew how we wanted it to sound, but we didn’t know how to get there.

Justin: It took a long time. There’s not a destination.

Matt: There wasn’t anything we were taking super seriously. We knew we wanted to do an experimental electronic project but we didn’t know exactly where that would take us, or how to do it. Figured a lot of it out as we went. We’re still learning a lot. Our music is always evolving because it’s four people and we’re all always pulling in influences from what we listen to or are listening to. Trying to keep it within the relevance of our sound. It’s always evolving. Always has. It will continue to.

“Anthems 4 Androids” seemed to have some political tones with titles like “War and Other Natural Disasters” and “Classified." Are there specific ideas you are trying to get across with you music?

Matt: Like for “War and Other Natural Disasters” that one was kind of like we were writing it like it was a very kind of epic sounding song. It had these different vibes to it that just seemed fitting for it. It seemed like a battle song. Like someone picking themselves up by the bootstraps and going into battle. Like it’s kind of dark, then has like a happy epic ending. But yeah, I felt like a lot of the songs were kind of that way. In a lot of instrumentals the title kind of caters to the vibe of the song.

https://soundcloud.com/zoogma/sets/zoogma-anthems-4-androids

What do you think the future holds for you as a band?

Matt: With the industry changing so much, just how people are really seeing music and stuff. Now it’s to the point where you need to be doing more than one full length album in a year. I think what people can expect from us is, this was our second EP that we’ve done, and I think that just in the immediacy that people want new music now. We’re going to stick with the EP things and remixes and singles a lot more, and then do big albums once a year or maybe once every two years. It’s just much easier to get music out and have it sound cohesive when there’s only four or five songs. We just released “New Era” and we’re going to release a new EP some time over the summer. We’ll probably do a couple of remixes and then another EP in the fall and a full length album in 2017.

Justin: You can expect too, that a lot of the stuff that you heard on the “New Era” EP, a lot of that vibe continuing. Plus, we’ve also been working with some guest vocalists experimenting with lyrical content, original lyrical content. As well as another thing we’ve been experimenting with lately, being from the south, the Mississippi and Memphis area, experimenting with the blues influence. Taking that and incorporating it into our sound. You can expect to hear some of that coming soon.

Matt: I would also just say never expect to hear the same thing twice.

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The band uses experimental electronic with heavy rock and blues influences to create an energy that is full of passion and guitar riffs that have the crowd screaming for more. There is plenty of old school funky sound, but with a new interpretation. At one point, they sampled Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” playing their own sound over the classic hit.

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They play “Molasses” off of their new EP “New Era,” and the crowd loves it. It is heavier and has a more traditionally electronic sound while still maintaining a full bodied melody. Their sound reminds you of the infinite power of good music. My heart swells as I realize the musical revolution that is happening around us. Collaboration and creativity to an extent which was impossible before. They demonstrate the ability to reach across the globe in a millisecond and draw influence from every culture and generation that has come before us. Their energy makes your belly tickle and your heart laugh. You can’t help but feel the outpouring of passion not only for music, but for life.

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Zoogma’s closing piece (before the encore) is a culmination of the incredible energy that has been rising throughout the evening. A shout out to Mississippi, which is where the band originated, and is full of dirty delta blues riffs that drive the tiredness from your feet and the demons from your soul. Zoogma, and their opening act Turbo Suit, left me with such a profound feeling that I am certain it will have a lasting impact on how I listen to music. Thank you Zoogma for sharing your spirit with us. You are always welcome here.

[Interview] Felix da Housecat Returns to Atlanta

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By Frank Duke

Photos by Teddy Williams

Felix da Housecat is a mastermind of house music and its development from the very beginning. He joined us in Atlanta to show us what he is all about.

I walk in the EQ nightclub and see they have made some changes for the evening. Afro Acid and Horrible Children teamed up for this night and brought in two projectors. They showed a Valentine’s Day themed visual loop on a big sheet with tears on the bottom creating a cool effect to the screen. The visual loop was provocative and sexual, which I didn’t mind at all. I thought it was an interesting, off the wall, and respectable approach.

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The music playing had a tonality of disco, funk, electro, and house. Comstock and Lunashift warmed the crowd up and had us all dancing, laughing, and socializing. With these two imprints working together, the mix of people was very unique. Everyone was representing themselves and their love for house music. Special shout out to the speedo boy, he was doing his own thing without a care in the world.

As the night progressed, more people arrived and everyone was nice and cozy with one another. Felix makes his way to the booth and starts off building anticipation with a dark and ambient opening statement. The grooves followed with long tailed kick drums, pianos, and open hats that were threaded together with a bit of funk. People were blown away with his tracks. Crowd favorites were when he played an edit of Michael Jackson's “Thriller” and an edit of “In the Beginning (Jacks House)”.

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His range was vast. He played everything from deep house, to techno, and even a bit of progressive house. He was joined by DJ Pierre in the booth throughout most of his set. They were socializing and catching up since it had been a while since they have seen each other. At the end of the set, Felix did something that I thought was very special. He got on his headphones and reversed the polarity of the magnets so that they could be a microphone. He stopped the music, and spoke to the crowd. He started off by thanking everyone for such a good evening. He spoke about how DJ Pierre “Put [him] on”, and about how Pierre truly gave him an avenue for his music. Pierre also talked about how "Felix is like [his] little brother” and about how proud he is of him and everything he is doing.

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Felix then spoke about Pierre’s track “Acid Tracks” and how it changed him holistically. He wrapped up speaking to the crowd a bit about how Felix the Housecat came to be via DJ Pierre. We all conglomerated around the booth and talked for a bit and took pictures with the man of the hour. Once most people made their way home or walked over to Odyssey, Felix and I stepped outside for a bit of an interesting fireside chat.

As we were walking out, Felix said to me, “This is so underground. I love it."

I knew that he was just getting back from Holy Ship, and when I brought it up, he immediately jumped and said, “Holy Ship! Man, Holy Ship changed my life. I met a lot of industry people, they said I was an influencer, and got an intimate experience with my fans. Lots of people from Ohio had some love for Felix the Housecat.”

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Then he changed gears and talked about how he spent some time with producer Dallas Austin here in Atlanta. “I used to live in Atlanta for about six years. Dallas convinced me to move here while I worked on my album. So I came to Atlanta, got on this little rocket ship, Dallas and Bee’s {takes a pause} let me give a shout out to Bee’s! They really helped me rework my life. Then I went to England from here, then Montreal after that, met my girl in Montreal, and now I'm back in the ATL."

I wanted to get a bit more insight into how him and DJ Pierre met, and he was more than happy to oblige. “When I was a freshman in high school, my mama bought me a drum machine. So I would walk around high school telling people ‘I’m the Housecat’. And I made a track called ‘House Beat’. No one knows this story. I gave it to a guy named Jeff and Emit. And they said ‘Yo, I know this guy named DJ Pierre and he made this track called ‘Acid Tracks’. Then Pierre listened to it, and gave me a call, and asked me if I wanted to get together in the studio.”

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He then walked over to Pierre’s car to bring him into the conversation. Pierre tells us, “You know, there’s a lot of people out there with talent. But this kid took it and ran with it. I put them in a place where he could flourish and some people do and some people don’t. You just really got to have the talent, and you have to be an artist. Felix had it.”

We stood around and talked a bit more about their early days in the industry and about all the people helped curate Acid House. You can tell these guys are full with pride of the work that they’ve done and are extremely excited to share it with the world.

 
 

[Interview] Time Traveling with Clarian at Alley Cat

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By Kristin Gray

Photos by Sara Vogt

I return to Alley Cat after a stint of time, and the changes this venue has made in those few weeks are completely transformative. The DJ booth now sports their feline logo, giving it a legitimate, tasteful look. Ramzi opens up the night, his set begins with a transcendent mixture of desert vibes and instrumental tracks that set a beautiful scene for us early birds. As the set transitions, we begin to hear nice bassy notes that get our heads bobbing and feet tapping. The beat picks up, the bass drops. The enthusiastic little crowd swells, enjoying this wonderful beginning to such a fine night.

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Tocayo steps up to the decks, ready to keep the party going strong. He keeps up a steady beat and the crowd remains pumped. As the venue packs out, I escape the crowd for a bit to have a chat with Clarian, our headliner for the night. His intelligence, desire to find the deeper meaning in things, and love for sci-fi make this conversation a special experience.

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Welcome back to Atlanta! How do you tend to handle the cold winters of snowy Montreal versus your summer getaway city of Berlin?

I think I handle it pretty well (laughs). I’m actually going next week to Berlin. It depends on shows. I try to travel as much as I can to play shows. The world is a big place out there, so it’s hard to jump around all over the place randomly so you try to organize it a bit. But generally speaking, you’re right. I spend most of my summers in Berlin. I like the cold winters though, getting to wear my snow suits.

As a lover of sci-fi, would you say this is a big influence in your music, or is it the other way around?

I like that question. Techno music is like this future dystopian thought of machines, and the sounds of industrialization. I think that they’re intrinsically locked together. I’m really interested in finding the link between the future of sound communication that electronic music seems to have as a platform. Other forms don’t really have as much liberty or freedom to explore future sounds. In my view, and from my experiments, from what’s exciting me in finding the music that I’m finding, a musical sequence can actually open up a portal into another gateway that can create space travel. And as ridiculous and absurd as it sounds, looking for patterns of unlocking the universe, maybe there are connections that we haven't even discovered between music and sound. I like to think about stuff like that.

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What first got you into producing your own music, and how did that effect your life at the time?

I started producing music when I was a teenager. My brother had a studio and I used to steal myself into it when he wasn't around. He had a mixer and guitars, I grew up on instruments. I was just trying to figure it out, and I loved recording so I tried to write songs on the guitar and piano and then take it to the studio. Without formal training, I intuitively would notice that if I took a vocal take, and then I doubled it, and took another one, then I played with the timing, I could create interesting phasing. I was doing all these things not knowing that the hell that I was doing. That whole world of producing is its own universe. That’s generally where I'm most happy, when I'm in the studio.

There is an interesting story to your EP Mission to Bars involving an Astronaut, his voyages, and his longing for whiskey. Can you tell us what inspired it?

I was in South Korea for a week, I was touring in Asia. I was by myself and I was pretty broke. I couldn't afford whiskey at one point at this bar and I was trying to write, I write sci-fi stories as a hobby. I was writing this story and then I got into this idea about this space man, and he was in his space suit. He could be on some strange planet but he could also be a delusional regular schizophrenic dude walking around downtown with a space helmet on, you don’t know. But the whole thing with this character is, he's an alcoholic obviously, and he wants to have a whiskey but he can’t have it. He orders it but he can’t drink it, so he doesn't know what to do with it. He can’t take his helmet off because that’s what is keeping him alive in his mind. So he just pours whiskey over his helmet in this sad attempt. It was so ridiculous and pathetic and amazing. I was laughing about it to myself like an idiot in this bar in Korea. Since then, I have been writing more stories about this space man. I have another story I finished recently where he's in a hydrogen depository, or that could all be in his mind, he could just be at a gas station. He's thinking about whiskey and meanwhile holding up the line. He's just pissing off all these strange creatures because he's so lost. The tracks that go with it are very dreamy and trippy. It’s called Ankh.

 
 

You gifted us with a special mix, NOCTURAMA, a few months back. What was it like bringing to the surface unreleased productions and collaborations from the past eight years?

Oh yes. It was good (laughs). It’s like digging through your journals or diaries, going through old essays from school. I have tons of that stuff in hard drives and disks, on recorded tapes, on floppy disks. Weird recordings and experiments that I try my best to keep track of because I travel so much and things get lost. I think most producers have tons of music that are these gems but for whatever reason the pieces get lost. Maybe they resurface years later or people find the outtakes, or even the demos but the demos are so good that they become hits. So you're always treasure hunting and I was putting all these together to make a mix. It was kind of cool for me, it tells a story, like sketches. If someone wants to see where my heads at and what I’ve been up to and trying different things and ideas. The last track on there I wrote eight years ago, it’s a ballad I made on a synth in this studio. It was the first track I wrote after Utopia. Each track signifies a point in time, they’re like the shadows of my music.

 
 

Your music seeks to explore the edges of space and time in an imaginative way. What have been your biggest challenges and joy with this exploration?

I’m trying to find connections with music as I get older. You know you get into all these scenes when your younger to find yourself, when you have the liberty and freedom to exist in these communities that don't ask to invade upon who you are. That’s what I think is beautiful about electronic music, about the culture of it. This movement that we do, that we've created. It’s a revolution in itself. At my point now as I'm getting a bit older I'm wondering where I'm going with my whole life. If I want to try to keep doing music and traveling, which I like and am so thankful for. Either I have to take some time off and try to make more of a contribution to the world beyond just the fun stuff, or find a way to do something a bit more original that I can provide to this community. It’s a hard question, but it’s a fun question. It’s the shit. I love coming here!

What can we expect from you for 2016?

I made another synth pop album, it’s very spacey. It’s more of a celebration of the style of music that I've been very obsessed with over the past ten years. I've realized it’s kind of like NOCTURAMA. The sound kind of evolves in my mind so when I did this album I did it last summer in Berlin. It’s a lot of Footprintz stuff that I've been doing and it has a lot of newer sounds that I've been patching and working on and creating. It’s very celebratory. Like an ending. Hopefully, I can get it out in a presentable way. That’s what I've been working on to find the right label and find the right way to put it out and make it special. That hasn't been easy yet but hopefully that will come together. Then I have the other Ankh EPs and Tiga’s album, which drops in March. I had the honor and privilege to work for such an amazing legend. That was maybe the most challenging and rewarding experience in the past few years. Working with people on that level. It’s awesome to work with guys like him. His album is called No Fantasy Required and it’s really sick. It’s really amazing.

And as a fellow sci-fi lover, I have to ask - what is your favorite show or movie?

Recently I've been really into the Expanse. I particularly love it because the character’s name is James Holden. I also love Logan’s Run. I love the old classic ones.

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We return to the foray and Clarian takes his place behind the booth setting up his Mac and prepping. Tocayo finishes out his set and welcomes our guest of the night. As Clarian begins, the crowd pauses unsure at first what to do. This music is dark and heavy, a complete mind trip in all the good ways. The dancing becomes vigorous, the crowd is humming with energy - bouncing together in a frenzied wave of movement.

Clarian’s music sends us on a galactic journey through the darkest folds of space, time seems to stop. The sound from his deep notes and other worldly synth create a frenzy in the patrons as we seek to entrance ourselves in this exploration. For a moment I completely forget about the world outside. This is a type of music not often heard in Atlanta and I look around to smiling faces of glee and disbelief that music can have such a guttural affect.

This set was as much of a physical experience as it was a mind experience and we relished in it. Though more of an experimental sound. I witnessed tonight that Atlanta is more than ready for this addition of musical pleasure.

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[Interview] Randall M on producing, vinyl and his family.

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By Clara Goode

Photos by Sara Vogt

My initial impression of the Alley Cat Music Club was one of trepidation. It shares a well-lit street corner with several boarded up buildings and what appears to be a convenience store. I cross paths with a group of young people who are laughing and chatting animatedly and I follow them through the doors. An underlit bar with a green flow immediately to my right, while an open path to my left leads to an outdoor patio.

I walk straight back toward the main room I am struck by how cozy the space is. The room is filled with dry ice which envelopes everyone in a glowing haze and, at times, obscures the DJs themselves completely. There is no stage, which sets the tone for a more intimate show, decreasing the distance between the performer and their fans. The club is still under construction, the hall to the restrooms glows with an eerie red light that highlights the broken concrete and dingy bathrooms, but somehow the grunginess of the exposed beams and unpainted walls adds to the allure of tonight’s show.

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The crowd here is different than what I have previously experienced. The majority of conversations taking place around me are in Spanish and people are more interested in interacting with their companions than they are getting lost in the music. The openers are setting the scene however, with simple, catchy rhythms and people are definitely feeling the music.

There is a very strong sense of community among the patrons of this club. At other shows the crowd has consisted of numerous small groups who seem to isolate themselves and rarely interact through the course of the evening except to fumble past each other as they make their way around the venue. Tonight the place is filled with large groups of people who seem to interact freely and comfortably, even with complete strangers. Each person seems entirely at ease both with the crowd and with the artists playing.

I sat down with Randall M. before his set. A polite young man, very easy to talk to.

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You were classically trained in piano and violin. Was there one instrument you preferred over the other?

I took lessons (as a child), but was not classically trained. Probably piano. I stopped violin lessons when I was four. Really, I prefer drums over anything.

What kind of influence does that training have over the music you produce?

It definitely helps with my ear, mixing things in key and choosing certain songs to go with others, I think it all comes back to that.

Is your family proud of you and your accomplishments?

They’re very supportive of it. I’ve been DJing for twelve years. It’s really all I’ve done and in the beginning they were very supportive. Actually, they’ve been supportive the whole time. There came a point where, you know, they were kind of questioning if I was going to be able to make a sustainable career out of it, but the last three or four years I’ve been able to do that and they’re very proud and supportive of it. I feel really lucky about that.

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Your love for your pups on your IG page is pretty apparent. Tell us about your fur babies.

I have three dogs, two are ten and eleven that I’ve had since the beginning of college. They live with my ex-girlfriend, but I still see them when I come back home and stuff. Then I have like, not a puppy anymore cause she just turned two, but a Cocker Spaniel as well. I’ve always loved dogs. I’ve love animals. I grew up with a Labrador and I just really love dogs. I wish I could have at home in Berlin but with the touring schedule and stuff it's just not practical. But someday I would like to have a little farm and have like five or six dogs on it.

What are some of your favorite albums you own on vinyl?

Well I have to say it’s not an album, but my favorite records, one of my favorite tracks from The Rolling Stones “Miss You” they did like a disco extended edit. It’s quite rare and my dad had it growing up and he bought me a copy a few years ago. So that one is pretty special to me. It’s all pink, it’s like 12 minutes long, and it’s amazing. Then my original hip hop stuff like Tupac’s On Death Row, Outkast, stuff like that. I love my techno records but the others just stick out for me. Also, I guess I’d have to say Efdemin, Chicago as well, one of my favorites.

What are some upcoming projects you have planned for 2016?

I have my own vinyl label called Thirteen. It’s coming out, the first release is in March and it’s something I’ve been working on for about over a year now and it’s like my baby you know? It’s basically my way to really showcase the music I love from people who I’ve come in contact with. Not only making good music, but cool people. It’s kind of like a friend group and we all share music and now I’m finally releasing some.

 
 

As the evening progresses, more and more people are distracted from their socializing and make their way to the dance floor and as Randall takes the stage the main room is packed to overflowing. Randall M uses deep, syncopated rhythms to keep them bouncing then adds a softer, melodic overtone. His lifelong experience with music is made evident by the diversity of sound, multiple instruments can be heard dancing through the layers of percussion in patterns highlighted with timed silences. His underlying rhythm is at a constant tone, not too low to be uncomfortable and not too high to be harsh. The perfect sound for continuous listening.

The ease with which the crowd interacts is evidenced through their relationship with Randall. He is not simply leading them as many DJs do, they are openly connecting with him. Chants spring up during certain sequences, people sing along with repeating melodies, there is a constant interplay between artist and audience. This is an appreciated contrast to many shows in which the DJ seems very separate from the crowd, manipulating them, sometimes in an aggressive way, to feel what they want them to feel.

 
 

 

The number of people on the floor changes constantly. Even with fewer people on the dance floor the ones that are dancing are fully committed. Many stand to the sides, nodding to the music and chatting, but it is not out of boredom. None are eager to leave or disappointed, there is simply an equal desire to socialize as well as dance. He keeps their attention to the very end of the show.

Toward the end of the night, I venture out onto the patio. The air smells sweet with cigars and lighter flames flicker between the faces of those gathered for a cigarette break and small talk. The music is still loud and one must speak loudly to be heard over it. Tomorrow our voices will rasp, and our clothes will smell of smoke and sweat, and we will accept these as fond tokens of an excellent experience.

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[Interview] Carlo Lio talks upcoming releases, kitties and his new label.

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By Frank Duke

Photos by Teddy Williams

Anticipation, hunger, timelessness, power, and restraint. Carlo Lio is known to shred dance floors and bring heat to any city. I have been waiting for this unforgettable moment ever since his last appearance in Atlanta.

I walk down the wooden staircase of The Music Room. Christian Chotro is bringing a warm driving groove that pumps through the speakers. In Atlanta, there is no question that the community of underground electronic music has any unfamiliar faces. We are family. As the crowd socializes, Christian opens up the atmosphere. Showcasing the vastness that is capable for the evening with lush melodics accompanied by ethnic percussions.

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The music evolves into a dense texture. Laughter fills that air. The crowd begins to adhere into one another. Bobi ready’s himself to warm up the room for Carlo. I sense an endearment of passion, culture, and an understanding of the crowd from Bobi. He keeps the groove flowing through the speakers. He begins to warp the tonality and the atmosphere of the music. The bass-lines become more aggressive, the melodies are not so tangible, and the breaks have a strong structure of movement.

The night progresses, the crowd prepares themselves for the man of the hour. Feet are tapping, heads are bobbing, bodies are moving, the music has engulfed the dance floor. Carlo arrives and the crowd awakens with even more excitement. This man carries himself with a humble and sincere demeanor. They start cheering and clapping for him as he sets up. Carlo Lio is no stranger to techno fans from all over the world. He has played some of the most prolific venues, and frequents festivals to the likes of OFFSonar, Lovefest, BPM, Get Wet, and ADE.

I spoke with Carlo Lio briefly before his set. When he arrived to the venue, I greeted him outside with some friends of mine. We walked to an undisclosed location and start talking a bit about his career, music, travels, and personal life.

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How has everything been with the New Year, recent travels, new releases, and with you?

The New Year's been great, I've had a bit of time off. I always take some time off after BPM because it’s just ten days of madness. For the New Year, I just had the release on Suara which is Coyu’s label. I also have an EP release on This and That, which is Davide Squillace's label. Then later, around March, I’ll have an EP on Art Department’s label, No.19. And yeah, that’s it for now.

 
 

How is it living in Toronto during the winter and in Barcelona during the summer? What’s the best part about it, and the not so good stuff about it?

I mean, I kind of get best of both worlds. I love my city. I’m going to live and die there. People always ask why it’s not the opposite. Obviously, in Europe the parties are always in the summer, so I need to be there. But I travel so much that I kind of boycott the winter. During the winters in Toronto is when I do South America, so that way I get to escape it.

How do you balance making music throughout your touring?

When I first started touring, I used to never make music on the road, I had to be in the studio. Lately as its been getting more busy, I had no choice but to figure out how to feel comfortable on a laptop and headphones, and now the tables are turned. It’s kind of hard for me to get comfortable in the studio now that I’m used to the laptop. It’s good, because you get some inspiration, and then you’re instantly banging out some beats. I like it.

You’re known to have a soft spot for kitties. Tell us a bit about your cats and the part they play in your life.

My first pet was a cat. My parents wouldn’t ever let us have pets. When we first got a cat, it was something very special. I found a huge love for them. Now with all the traveling I do; having cats is very convenient. I have two cats. One is named Treble and the other one is Clefy. Treble is the oldest one, and he's kind of psycho, a bit of a Jykell and Hyde personality. The other one, Celfy, is just the nicest cat in the world.

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You started Rawthentic Music back in 2005, last year was your ten year anniversary! How was the journey of building up the imprint, what does the future hold for it?

Rawthentic has been a staple in my life. It actually wasn’t started by me. It was started by Nathan Barato. We’re best friends and we were a DJ duo at one point. He started it in 2005 and I jumped on board in 2006. Rawthentic is now kind of on the back burner. It’s been ten years and I feel like it's kind of ran its course. I have started a new label called On Edge Society. It's only four releases in, and it’s catered to more stripped down, chunky techno. It was vinyl only and then we moved into digital four or five months later after launching. Check it out when you get a chance.

 
 

Can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to make music, and what steps you took to get to where you are now?

It all stemmed from the Toronto rave scene. I was just a partier. Toronto raves were so big and in a blink of an eye they just shut down. DJing and production were just my way to fill that void. I started messing around with them both at the same time. Playing around with vinyl and messing around with any music software I could find. I kept doing that and I wasn’t really releasing anything. I was just making tracks. My friends were telling me “Oh this is good! You should do something with this." If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have thought to send it out. I was super nervous, and in my head it wasn't good enough. It definitely worked out.

So you like sneakers a lot. What are some of your favorite brands? How many pairs do you have?

I stick to Jordan’s. I’m a Jordan guy. I would probably say I have about 100 pairs of shoes. In terms of other brands, I like what Adidas has recently been putting out. They are on point and have turned a new leaf. But I stick to the Jordans mostly.

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions for yourself and career? What can we expect from you in 2016?

This year I have all those releases that I told you that I have coming up. I want to show another side. In this industry. You’re put into a box very fast, there is more to me than just techno. I love all styles of electronic music. I’m planning to show that with certain labels that I’m releasing on, venture into new styles, and keep attacking new labels that I haven’t been on.

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Carlo begins his journey and I make myself comfortable on the dance floor. I am ready to be swept away. I quickly become lost in the finest driving techno known to man. The room sounds pristine and powerful, a perfect match for Carlo’s style. He begins to elaborate on the dark, tech house vibe filling the air. He showcases Latin percussion elements, pounding basslines and saturated techno elements.

His set pays tribute to the theories of first wave techno with a new age flair. Sequenced melodies with atonal qualities that are contrasted with a vibrant low-end. The crowd is filled with joy as his unique and fresh style takes over. I watch his technique from a far as he utilizes Traktor and corresponding controllers. He has such an original use of effects, mixing, and track manipulation. You rarely see his hands stop moving. He is always working to bring in new track elements, while simultaneously using effects in a subtle but prominent fashion.

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As the night begins to close, the crowd stays strong, soaking up as much music as they can. Carlo closes out his final statement and thanks the crowd for such a great time. We all cheer and shout for giving us an indescribable and timeless evening. After his set I thanked him for everything. He replied, “Frank, this city is really starting to catch on.” I couldn’t agree more with him more. Atlanta is my home, and watching it become on the international map for underground electronic music makes me damn proud.

Matador Slays the Concrete Jungle

By Clara Goode

Photos by Teddy Williams

The crowd that gathered at The Jungle on Saturday night was diverse, as is the case at most underground events. True to form, all types came out to enjoy the deep, intense rhythms of Dublin native Gavin Lynch, known to his avid fans as Matador. The opening set, played by Luis Valencia, set the groundwork for a night full of energy. When I arrived people were already gathering on the dance floor to bounce to Valencia’s consistently upbeat and catchy tunes.

As the night progressed, more and more people filled the club. Jeans and button down shirts mixed with people wearing more eccentric dress, such as the young woman dancing in a black and white version of Alice In Wonderland and the man wearing a tweed suit and a bowler hat. Behind the crowd a dancer plays with LED gloves, accentuating the rhythms in the music with a light show all his own.

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By the time Matador takes the stage, the side conversations and socializing have all but stopped completely in anticipation of his immersive music. Spilled drinks create patterns of light and dark on the floor that reflect the colored lights that move over the crowd. People are now packed onto the dance floor and they cheer as the strobe lights go off in rhythm to his opening bass. There are over 200 people in the club and the lights make silhouettes of the dancing crowd.

Matador’s music is entrancing, a pervasive bass sounds out a deep underbelly and blends with constantly building layers of treble and unique sound effects that varied throughout the evening to include everything from the haunting melodies of an old music box to more exotic sounds such as hand drums, sirens and jungle noises.

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The hammering rhythms make it impossible to be still, and people have come to dance. With each new layer of music, he commands the attention of the crowd. Some people are moving as if they are trying to forget the world they left outside the doors, dancing almost frantically to a deep bass they can feel to their core. While others simply stand, eyes closed basking in the bright lights and nodding in time as if in a trance.

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Matador himself stands on the stage over them, dragging on a cigarette and watching his followers with an air of playful nonchalance. He appears comfortable as he observes them, calm, clapping and smiling when they cheer a particularly good effect. It is easy to see the power he holds over the crowd, though he gives off no air of arrogance as he manipulates their movements with the touch of a button.

The girl in front of me is wearing a hat that says “Live for the Music,” and that is the sentiment shared by artist and audience alike. Matador has used his talent and expression to give the crowd exactly what it wants, a break from day to day monotony and they show him their gratitude by responding with an unrelenting and contagious energy of their own.

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Deep Jesus: Round 2

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By Autumn Coleman

I was excited before I even walked into the party. As a two-time burner who knows the Desert Hearts crew from the Burning Man community, I knew I was walking into nothing but positive vibes and hugs. I spotted my friend, Shayna, wearing her sparkly sequin kimono and looking every bit like the Desert Heart friend that she is. Appropriate attire for a night dancing with Deep Jesus!

The dance floor was already warmed up with the Project B team, Christian Chotro and Bobi, curating the tone for the night. Ryan Orey, aka Deep Jesus, gets behind the decks at 6pm. The room is dark and intimate; full but not too crowded. Everyone is taking in the moment and moving to sexy deep house tunes. I can sense that Deep Jesus felt the love from the Atlanta underground scene and said as much to the crowd. In the middle of his B2B set with Bobi he says, “You guys in Atlanta have really surprised me with your warm welcome and love. You are the best city that I’ve visited on this tour!” It’s clear there was a bond created with Project B and the Atlanta underground music scene. The Atlanta scene has heart and passion for the music. Deep Jesus experienced who we are and embraced our vibe and culture.

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We danced non-stop for several hours. No one wanted the intimate Sunday party to stop. 9 p.m. came and went and finally Studio No. 7 shut the music down around 10 p.m. It was a magical night of hugs and family. I met new people on the dance floor, too. Our scene is growing as more and more people are embracing the music scene and starting to understand the love that comes from it.

We left the night buzzed on good vibes and love. I knew that we’d made a new friend in Ryan Orey. When Ryan left Atlanta to travel home to kick-off the New Year at the Maya Hearts festival in Tulum, Mexico, he posted this in his departure from Atlanta post:

Wow... my heart is so full... as an artist it's very intimidating going into a new market. It's a hope for the best plan for the worse kind of situation... Coming to Atlanta I had absolutely no idea what to expect... but the second I was picked up I was more welcomed and loved then anywhere else I've ever been. I was instantly comfortable, instantly knew that I was with good people who share very similar desires. Once I showed up for my first gig I knew I was in for an amazing experience... everyone I met and connected with was so loving, kind, generous, and true die hards to the underground vibe... I can whole heartedly say that I now have a family here... thank you Bobi Steve for bringing me out and exposing me to your movement and community... absolutely top notch... can not wait to be back! CHEERS ATLANTA!

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Atlanta underground friends, let me say how proud I am of the community that we have built. We’re doing it right. I wish everyone a happy new year filled with magical dance floor moments!

TomorrowWorld Leaves Thousands Stranded

TomorrowWorld, a three day festival 30 miles south of Atlanta, left thousands stranded on the side of the road last night. After the shows were over, the festival canceled shuttles and would not allow Uber driver to pick up attendees. People were left cold and wet sleeping on the side of the road. Others walked miles until they were able to find a ride willing them to take them back to the city for a price of around $200. In addition, TomorrowWorld is not allowing anyone to attend today who is not currently on site.

Festival attendee, Claudio Silva, sent this message to me personally.

"I showed up on Thursday morning set up and all of my shit flooded before it hit 10:30pm.  I dislocated my knee from slipping in mud around 3amFriday morning. I ended up having to book a flight home and while in the medical tent we asked if we could get a gold cart to take us to the exit of the park or take us as far as we can possibly go so it could minimize my walking. Mind you it was pouring down rain. The guy in the medical tent told me that everyone is being very greedy about the golf carts and there was nothing he could do. I had at least a five mile hike with a very fucked up leg. Finally, some dude picked me up in a golf cart and took me to a shuttle pickup. The shuttle never came. So this guy who worked for the park luckily took me to the uber pick up which the only reason I was able to be helped. All in all I spent maybe $1000 and I was gone before Friday." (Sent to my e-mail)

Added 9/28 from an e-mail sent to me personally by festival attendee, Matt DeLeo.

"I'm compelled to tell my story because TomorrowWorld through their social media posts and official statements has done nothing to address the true events of what transpired Saturday night.  The event organizers continuously lay blame on the weather for a situation that had very little to do with the weather and it's unfortunate that thousands of paying customers had to suffer while many others are being led to believe that the extent of their mismanagement was not being able to accommodate non-camping attendees on Sunday.

Let me preface my account by stating that I was 100% sober throughout the day.  I do not drink alcohol (for medical reasons) and this was my third year attending TW.  My fiancee and I had parked at the new off-site parking venue on Virlyn B Smith Rd earlier in the day.  Upon the conclusion of Get Real's set, we made our way to the exit and walked back to the area we had been dropped off at earlier by our shuttle driver.  However, we were instructed by no less than three TW staffers to continue walking up the hill.  There, stanchions were set up to funnel shuttle riders into the appropriate area.  This is where the problems began to arise.  TW staffers were not on the same page and could not give a unified answer as to which line was which.  Additionally, the stanchion on the right side was soon overrun and the one staffer there pleading with people to stay in line was ignored.  Finally, more staff was directed to this area to offer some measure of crowd control but they made a drastic mistake.  One group claimed to live just a mile down the road and asked to be let through to escape the crowd.  Upon allowing this group, other people grew increasingly inpatient and rushed the stanchions, effectively cutting thousands of people who were waiting in line for their shuttles.

This was truly the root of the chaos.  The lines started progressing forward at a decent clip so we figured "OK, cool.  Now at least they have it figured out."  Wrong.  What was really happening was all of the people who cut the line started boarding buses and TW did not have adequate staff in place to direct the crowds.  There were no crowd control measures taken beyond that one area.  No stanchions. no ropes, no signs directing riders to the appropriate waiting area, no more than 4 visible staff members (some were not even uniformed), and one police officer who did nothing in the time he was there but stand near his cruiser and yell at people to step away from his vehicle.  Some buses had signs stating their destination, others did not, and even some of these signs were not the correct location.  We resorted to following the crowd down the long row of buses hoping to find the shuttle to the Renaissance Festival lot but nearly every bus was full and others were ignoring riders knocking on their doors.  One festival goer commented that one bus driver with an empty shuttle told him he was not taking anyone because "His shift was over."

Finally, maybe two or three staff members then began directing people to back up onto the grass to allow buses to pass.  But all of the staffers there lacked any semblance of communication and allowed thousands of people who cut to board buses while everyone else waited.  We were packed in like sardines along the side of the road and some (highly intoxicated) individuals shouted that we should riot.  It was a very dangerous situation and not once did a staff member speak up to tell them how horrible an idea that would be.  After two hours of waiting and being told additional shuttles were on their way, a TW staffer stood up on a rock and informed everyone that shuttles service had ended and that if we all walked "1.5 miles" down the road, there was a parking lot where Uber and taxis would be available to take us wherever we needed to go and that "TomorrowWorld will reimburse you for your fare."

So my fiancee and I began our walk down the road knowing the walk to the Renaissance Festival was nearly 10 miles.  We did not have any cash because TW told everyone there was no need for it.  So both Uber and taxis were out of the question for us and even if we had the cash, we were hearing stories of the few Ubers in the area giving rides to the highest bidder (sometimes in the HUNDREDS of dollars).  The road everyone was forced by TomorrowWorld to walk down was entirely unlit and visibly challenging even with a flashlight.  This is where patrons began taking residence on lawns and at roadside as physical and mental exhaustion would not permit them to continue.  My feet were in rough shape at this point and began to throb so badly from being wet and raw that I could barely keep the pace with my fiancee.  We reached the lot where Uber rides had been promised only to be turned even further down the road by TW staff with word that more shuttles would pick us up at another location.  Finally, after approximately a 4 mile walk from the shuttle area (which was 1.5 from the concert venue), we reached an area police had blocked off and the remaining patrons were waiting at.  The weather conditions had worsened at this point- a steady stream of mist fell and temperatures began dropping to the point that people began shivering in the clothing they had sweat into all day.

There were people passed out on police cruisers, on the grass, propped against stone walls, basically any available real estate was home to an exhausted TW customer trying to rest while awaiting further instruction.  I spoke to a police officer to ask what was being done to fix the situation.  He replied that he had personally placed several calls to festival organizers and that he genuinely did not know if they had a plan in place and if they did, they were not communicating it to him.  Some TW security workers showed at this point and handed out maybe 100 water bottles as dehydration loomed precariously close for some individuals.  At nearly

7 am, two shuttles arrived and my fiancee and I had to physically force our way onto the bus.  These shuttles were packed so tight with people trying to get back to their cars that the bus driver could not see out the back window and at one point had to rely on the riders to reverse her course.  While we drove to the off-site parking location, you could still see people passed out on the side of the road waiting for transportation.

TomorrowWorld failed these people.  They abandoned paying customers, exposing them to a dangerous walk and to the elements when they were not adequately prepared.  Promises were made and broken.  No attention was paid to the safety of their patrons and for TomorrowWorld to suggest this is their number one priority while refusing to acknowledge what transpired Saturday night/Sunday morning is a slap in the face to everyone that was FORCED to endure it due to the lack of contingency planning on the part of TW organizers.  Blaming the weather for their missteps is pathetic and insulting and their continued misleading of the public needs to stop.  People need not to bury their anger and frustration but put both to good use- put your experiences into words, let anyone who will give you a platform hear your story, and do not be discouraged.  SFX and its partners need to be held accountable for their actions (or lack thereof) on early Sunday morning and they need to know just how many of their customers they lost."

Rosalie Azzato's story was also picked up by local news station 11 Alive.

More horror stories and photos from Facebook:

Added on 9/28 from a Creative Loafing Facebook Post:

Despite all of the bad news, you have to admire this guy for his bright outlook.

If you'd like to share your story, TomorrowWorldNightmare.com is compiling a list of them here

Top 5 Underground DJs at TomorrowWorld

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At TomorrowWorld, you create your own destiny. There are three forces at work to generate an unimaginable festival experience. 1) The vibes of your crew, 2) energy of the crowd, and 3) uncommonly skilled artists.  If you're not looking to spend your weekend at main stage these are the underground shows you don't want to miss.

1. jackLNDN

When you follow jackLNDN on Instagram it's obvious he is one of the most humble dudes in the scene. Although, he has a lot to brag about considering he warmed up Red Rocks for Bassnectar back in May. If you think disco is dead jackLNDN is here to revive your doubts.

Sunday, 27 September

2:30PM-3:30PM

Mythical Frames

2. Shiba San

Music maestro. Get ready for Dirtybird Records' own deep/ghetto house golden child. Shiba San's set is assured to make dat booty pop. Be prepared for some heavy bass and funky, hip hop infused tunes.

Saturday, 26 September

4:15PM-5:45PM

Mythical Frames

3. Alan Fitzpatrick

It's official, the techno crown has been claimed. Producer/DJ Alan Fiztpatrick keeps proving he's unstoppable by releasing tracks on Hotflush Recordings, Drumcode and Figure this past year. If you're looking to get weird, this is the place to do it.

Friday, 25 September

6:30PM-8:00PM

Drumcode

4. Patrick Topping

Hailing from the UK, Patrick Topping is known for his rise to the top under the wing of Hot Creations head honcho Jamie Jones. Miami, New York and San Francisco are just a few of the cities who've recently had the pleasure of hosting one of the most sought after names in dance music. His set will be a cherry on the top of your weekend.

Sunday, 27 September

3:00PM-5:00PM

Paradise

5. Claptone

Hidden under the golden mask stands a true artist eager to captivate audiences. Claptone is an accomplished producer with a recent No.1 remix on Beatport. Dance your worries away with carefree electronic and deep house jams.

Sunday, 27 September

4:30PM-6:00PM

Mythical Frames

Honorable Mention: Bakermat

One reason. This track is the shit.

Sunday, 27 September

7:00PM-8:30PM

Terminal West LIVE