Boulder local Dirt Monkey, is no stranger to playing large shows for his dedicated followers. As a native to the Colorado EDM Scene, Patrick Megeath has exploded not only in the Denver community but across the country. Megeath has seen huge expansion in the EDM community since 2018 with releases on Liquid Stranger’s label Wakkan. He fuses wonky wobbles with high-energy beats in order to create sets that keep crowds entertained and on their feet for the entire show.
Starting out the night Shank Aaron and Kumarion, set the mood for the night with some drum and bass and heavier sets. Further, Ravenscoon came out with an electrifying and wonky set with visuals that mesmerized the crowd. However, the energy completely changed when G-Space took over the stage. He started out dark and quickly moved into wobbles to match the vibes of his visuals. Each drop was deeper and filthier and sucked the audience into his set.
But, the stand out set of the openers was by far G-Rex. The Detroit native is one who fuses a mixture of trap beats with dark wobbles. With a myriad of releases on Wakkan, he is no stranger to taking audiences deep and wobbly. The visuals mixed with his signature dark horse sound to distinguish his songs kept the audience screaming after each filthy drop.
Finally, the man of the evening Dirt Monkey, came out with colorful visuals and wobbles to keep the energy of the crowd high. No drop was similar and his mixing was flawless and effortless, it was hard to tell when one song ended and another one began. From his more popular songs like “Shut Up” with rap giant Tech N9ne to his more obscure remix of his and Protohype’s “Bop Bop,” each drop kept the audience dancing. Also, he played a lot of unreleased songs and gave previews of many new music that will soon be being dropped. Almost everyone in the crowd stayed until the end and through his encore because of the high-energy and vibes of the sets.
Overall, this set at Mission Ballroom was one that those in the Denver EDM community will not likely forget. The energy and vibes of the night where unmatched and each artist brought their own unique flavor to the evening. The mixture of each individual artists sets with the energy of the crowd was one that will remain a personal favorite at shows I’ve seen at Mission, and by far my favorite Dirt Monkey set to date.
There are few artists in today’s electronic scene which host the talent and musical ability to fuse genres and sounds together seamlessly, but one has managed to do just that. Rising to the top of the dance music charts in only a few short years, 29 year-old Hayden “Kayzo” Capuozzo brings a far-from-ordinary set each time. From hardstyle-infused bass to some of the heaviest, grittiest trap and dubstep you’ll ever hear, Kayzo is far more than a DJ, but an experience. You really never know what he’ll play next. Denver’s very own Mission Ballroom will be the home to Kayzo’s first set in Denver since before quarantine times, and when we say we can’t wait, that’s an understatement!
Kayzo will be joined with an insane opening lineup of artists Friday night.Marauda, Calcium, and Reaper will be starting the night off heavy – and we are so excited for what is bound to be the show of the year! Party Guru Productions has the exclusive hook-up and were able to ask a few questions with Hayden before the show.
Party Guru Press:So it’s your first time at Mission Ballroom, AEG’s newest Denver music venue. How ready for tonight are you?
Yea first time! Man, when I walked into soundcheck earlier I was COMPLETELY blown away by the venue. The way its set up makes it feel like a little arena. Every bit of it is beautiful. From the green rooms to the stage. It’s my first real headline in Denver since like 2017, so I’m MORE than ready.
Party Guru Press:You’ve got a pretty heavy support lineup for your set this weekend. How do you think your openers are going to set you up for an awesome show tonight?
Yea, I’m really stoked on the entire lineup tonight. I’ve been a big Reaper supporter for a while now, so I’m glad to have him in Denver tonight to bring some dnb to the show. Calcium has been killing it for a while and his sound is super unique for bass music. Marauda, what can I say, the dude is an animal. Some of the heaviest bass music is coming from him right now. I think the crowd is going to be raging from doors to close.
Party Guru Press:Any advice you might have for emerging electronic artists in today’s scene? I know there are a lot of Colorado producers that would love to hear a little more about your journey from at Icon LA, and how you are where you are today. How much did your music education influence you?
Yea, Icon was super important for me. I had no prior musical knowledge with production before going. I went in 2012 and basically just dedicated my 9 months at icon and first year in LA to being in the studio for 15+ hours a day to my craft and foundation as an artist.
Party Guru Press: Tacos or burritos?
Tough one, but for now I think I’d have to go with tacos!
Thank you so much to the entire Kayzoteam and to Hayden for quickly chatting with us at Party Guru Productions this weekend! The show was an incredible performance and setup from start to finish – watching artists grow and succeed over the years is truly one of the most special feelings! We’re looking forward to the next time he hits Denver!
The Black Box has worked to become a staple venue for underground electronic music ever since it opened its doors to the Denver area back in 2016. Local music lovers use it as a hub for finding new and interesting artists not just locally but from around the country. This week, The Black Box welcomed mysterious Detroit based duo, DEEPFAKE. The Enigmatic DJ/VJ pair promised fans an immersive experience which blurred the lines between what is real and what is fake. Before talking about that, let’s discuss the local support for the evening.
Alana English warms up the crowd with an engaging house mix
Though raised in Pittsburgh, Alana English currently resides in Denver. She is a DJ working with local company 128 Productions. Alana English was able to read the crowd well as she got them warmed up for the evening with an engaging house mix. To hear what she can do, you can check out Alana English on Soundcloud. She has a handful of mixes put together each running over an hour long. She also happens to stream on Twitch for those more interested in seeing her performance live.
Nothing Bad About Bad Little King
Up next to provide support was local DJ and Producer Bad Little King. His set was a deep, dark and groovy ride through Techno. If interested, you can hear his style of mixing for yourself. He has been busy putting out quite a few mixes on Soundcloud. There, you can find his mix series titled “Into the darkness” which is currently on volume 8. When it comes to mixing a good set, there’s nothing bad about Bad Little King.
DEEPFAKE: The Mysterious Duo From Detroit
Mystery Duo, DEEPFAKE, take the stage and prepare to perform a 2 hour Audio/Visual set. The Black Box crowd waits quietly as the room goes black. Suddenly, a deep robotic voice can be heard saying “We are DEEPFAKE” before the stage lights up and the duo appear. The crowd cheers as they begin to embark on the radical audio visual experience. DEEPFAKE is a DJ/VJ team whose audio and visuals are created to be enjoyed in unison. The enigmatic pair recently released a three track EP titled “The Fakeside” which does well to encapsulate their sound. Fans inside The Black Box really reacted when DEEPFAKE played their new track titled “Quake.”
The Black Box has stayed true to its original mission of introducing underground electronic music to the Denver scene. At this venue, it isn’t just about the top dollar talent. It’s about raw sound and what can be done to produce a unique listening experience for the people. The talent buyers of The Black Box do well to keep a mix of musical genres coming through the doors. by doing this it ensuring a good listening experience no matter how many times you show up. By providing everything from locals on the rise to Veterans finding their true sound, The Black Box is sure to be on the map for some time.
Exploding onto the dance music scene in 2016 with his hit, electro-funk infused single Thief, dance music legend Abraham “Ookay” Laguna remains an unstoppable force of electronic nature, and a Denver favorite. The Chula Vista-raised artist stopped by Temple Nightclub this Friday for his debut performance at the venue, and left fans speechless with an insanely well-crafted set.
Ookay’s performances feel different than most DJ sets. The multifaceted musician is incredibly gifted, and his musical knowledge shines throughout the music he plays. The 29 year-old producer uses a variety of instruments in his own works, including drums, trombone, piano, bass, and guitar, and of course, his own vocals. His sets typically combine bubbly pop synths with the more traditional elements of electronic music, and everything in between. Because of this, Ookay has become a household name in any electronic music lover’s home – and touches outside of the realm of electronic, too. Ookay’s musical knowledge is evident in everything he plays throughout his sets, and this weekend was no different. His set at Temple this past weekend left the crowd demanding and encore – and wishing the night would never end.
Party Guru Productions had the chance to chat with Ookay before the event and learned a bit about his new hit single with Flux Pavilion and Elohim, how his Temple debut tonight will stack up against the rest, and more.
Party Guru Press: It’s your Temple nightclub debut tonight! What do you have to say about Denver, and are you ready for your DJ set tonight?
Gotta love this city! Bass capital aint it? Best not dissapoint!
Party Guru Press: How does it feel to be touring again?
Well, after a year of not touring, I can only say I’ve missed it dearly.
Excited to play what I’ve been working on all quarantine.
Party Guru Press: What is one thing going through 2020 has taught you as an individual? And as an artistin the music industry?
As an individual? Nothing really. I was chillin. As a music artist? I’ve trained my ear a lot while mixing and have picked up some amazing tools to use in the studio!
Party Guru Press: How would you say “Ookay” both as a brand and as a project musically has changed over the years?
I mean, it’s definitely grown in a way I never really saw to begin with. I didn’t expect to be singing, playing keytar and having dancers. That’s not what I had in mind when I made trap music in the clubs with a bandana mask and Ookay hat 4-5 years ago. I’m only happy with the turnout honestly.
Party Guru Press: You posted last month, ‘After a year of change and discomfort, the world can use a song about hope” – in reference to your new song “Be Ok” with Flux Pavilion & Elohim. Amazing song, by the way. How would you say this song reflects your journey as an artist the past few years?
Life can suck sometimes and you lose hope. I think that’s a normal human experience. One that I have experienced as well as most others. This song is about not giving up even when it gets tough out there. Life got hands.
Party Guru Press: On that note, how was working with Flux Pavilion and Elohim?
They’re so talented it’s crazy. An absolute pleasure. I’ve learned a lot of the process of creating this song.
Party Guru Press: You’ve spoken on the topic of mental health before. How important would you say mental health is being in your position, in someone in the music industry but – also just as a human?
Oh, it’s the most important! I’ve seen too many suicides, overdoses and accidents happen because of poor mental health. I’ve lost friends, people have lost loved ones and family members and it’s all just the worst. Learn to check in and tell those you love, that you love them.
Party Guru Press: What do you want people to leave your set feeling or thinking tonight?
“I’m glad I came, even though i had to get ready and shower and not smell bad”
Who knows, you might meet the love of your life…it’s happened before.
A huge shoutout to Abraham for taking the time to chat with us tonight at Party Guru Productions. From fun and bouncy sounding electronic synths all the way to his older, trap-heavy originals, Ookay brings a unique musical experience every time and proves himself to be one of those can’t-miss artists. His performance this past weekend at Temple was nothing short of incredible, and the whole city of Denver will be eagerly awaiting his return.
Mission ballroom was looking to bring a solid variety this weekend with a well balanced line up. Though each artist played very different styles of music, the choice of talent was well received by the crowd in attendance. Fans were treated to jaw dropping mixes one after the next and even a few surprise guests. Each set was filled with individuality and a truly unforgettable display of sounds including throwbacks and live drumming from Megan Hamilton, The unique, bass heavy rap style of Wreckno and who could forget that beautiful sound of a saxophone played by SoDown himself.
In ten days, thousands of festival goers will fill Three Sisters Park in Chillacothe, Illinois for the 20th annual Summer Camp Music Festival. This massive annual event features tons of performances, activities, and truly memorable experiences year after year. Summer Camp historically takes place over Memorial Day weekend. Due to the pandemic, the event was rescheduled for August 19 – August 22.
One of the best features of Summer Camp is the diverse array of genres gracing the lineup each year. You can find bluegrass, funk, indie, hip hop, many flavors of EDM, and everything in between. Umphrey’s McGee and Moe are always the major headliners of Summer Camp and almost always, both play every day of the festival. Also on this year’s lineup is Ween, Billy Strings, Tipper, STS9, Griz, and Dirty Heads.
Below is some info to help you get the most out of this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival!
Get To Know The Festival Grounds
Summer Camp’s home is Three Sisters Park, a 400-acre outdoor venue and recreation area located off Highway 29 outside of Peoria. Summer Camp has a great festival layout established with multiple camping areas and stages. Because the venue is so massive, it can helpful to keep a copy of the map to help you get around – you never know when you’re going to need the first aid station or to find a porta-pottie.
Another tip: be prepared to walk a lot unless you scored an RV camping pass or have VIP. There is no GA car camping area, so anyone in GA camping will need to haul their stuff in on foot at least a mile – unless you score one of the coveted camping spots in the woods. Bring a wagon or a sled to help drag your gear, and consider packing light. If you want to avoid the hike, Summer Camp offers a $50 festy-cab option to help you and your crew get around the vast festival grounds all weekend.
Make The Most Of The Line
No matter what day you come in, you will probably have to wait in line for a long time. This applies to both the line just to park and the line to get inside the festival grounds. However, don’t fret – the line is a party in itself! So grab your chair, some snacks and drinks, and be prepared to be patient and chill. Plus, you’ll probably even make some new friends during the wait to get into the festival grounds.
Get A Ticket For The Thursday Pre-Party
Did you know Summer Camp is actually a 4-night festival? Attendees who purchase the Pre-Party pass can start lining up on Wednesday night to be a part of Thursday shenanigans. Being one of the first through the initial gates can help you land great spots for parking and camping.
First, staying hydrated is the number one key to any successful festival experience, so bring a water bladder if you have one. Leaving that killer set and trekking to the water station because you’re dying of thirst is a major bummer. Second, don’t forget to fuel your body with good food. Finding a great bite to eat at Summer Camp is almost too easy. You’ll be able to find everything from BBQ to Chinese to Gyros, and vegetarian options too. Finally, don’t forget there are showers available at Summer Camp. Sometimes a nice shower after a night (or three) of raging hard makes all the difference – showers are available to those with VIP passes, or you can pay a fee if you have GA.
Learn Something New
Summer Camp features a ton of activities and opportunities to learn something new. You can take a workshop in glass-making or juggling. Want to get the day started off right? Head to a morning yoga session. Interested in learning more about the Native American culture in the area? Participate in a drum circle. There’s even a scavenger hunt and a field day you can participate in! Check out the app for a full schedule of activities.
Check Out The Late Night Events
Summer Camp goes hard, with music going all night long. Most notable of the late night events are definitely the ultra-special performances in the Red Barn. This year, we are especially excited for Saturday’s B2B with CloZee, LSDDream and special guest Maddy O’Neal. The Red Barn is a small space and an exclusive experience, so you need to purchase additional tickets for these shows if you have a General Admission ticket. VIP upgrade tickets include one Red Barn ticket and exclusive late-night performances in the VIP Lounge. You can also check out other late night performances for free at the Campfire Stage, Starshine Stage, and the Soulshine Tent.
As with any festival, your Summer Camp experience is absolutely whatever you make it to be. We couldn’t cover all the bases here so be sure to check out the official Summer Camp website, Facebook page, and the Subreddit for more valuable tips and insider info. Tickets are still available, so snag one if you haven’t yet!
If you have ever wanted to know what an EDM show is like, picture a seashore on a stormy day. The deep rumbling of the beat is like a rolling thunder punctuated by the sharp lightning claps of the drop as the lights flash and strike the attendees. The crowd is a rolling sea of bodies and energy all coming together to form a maelstrom that breaks against the stage barriers like waves upon rocks. Flowing. Tumbling. Boiling. Energy, sound, and motion in one perfect storm and the producer is Poseidon conducting their orchestra.
Starting The Night Off
As a newcomer to large EDM shows I was unprepared for the ferocious energy these shows deliver. Green Matter was the first to offer up her constructs to the gods of sound and energy. With her signature green lighting she unleashed a torrent of rhythms that pulled those first to arrive into the center of the whirlpool the show would become. Next up, Hairitage sparked the storm with his electrifying set which fed those in attendance with more energy. Fans drew energy from him as he moved around the stage ushering them into a near frenzy at the climax of every song.
What is better than an OG? An OG versus a Ninja! OG Nixin called out a fan in ninja garb during his set at Mission Ballroom. In response, the ninja gave a bow before inciting a large rowdy mosh pit in the center of the arena. Bodies crashed into bodies in a torrent of sweat and flesh. The lights from onlooker’s cameras as they filmed the scene shown brightly in the dimly lit room. Taking inspiration from this, OG Nixin called for everyone to light up the arena using only the lights on their phones. The atmosphere became surreal as the lights tried to penetrate the heavy fog that filled the area. At times, the lights were so bright and the shadows so deep that one couldn’t even make out the owners of the phones leaving a spectacular but eerie spectacle of disembodied lights as the only things in attendance.
Terror And A B2B
Each artist tends to feed into the performance of the next artist in the lineup. A no more evident example of this is how the spirit lights from OG Nixin fed into the nightmarish themes of the B2B between Downlink and Figure. Grotesque images and horrific elements possessed the screen behind Downlink and Figure as they performed. Fans were treated to beats that complimented the images that flashed on the screen as lights in red, blue and green bathed the venue in hellish light. Those dark elements had no effect on the radiant energy coming from the crowd.
Bear Bones Mask
After a brief respite from the storm that had engulfed the Mission Ballroom, the master of chaos himself came to the spotlight. Sporting a new mask resembling the hellish bones of a demon spawn bear, Bear Grillz brought an eruptive conclusion to the night’s events. Expertly weaving between originals, mixes and remixes, collaborations, and showcasing the talent of new artists that signed to Bear Grillz personally founded label, Rude Service; all a part of the masterful culmination of the evening’s events. The burgeoning artists that have been signed to the Rude Service family are Carried Away, Stryer, and Lodis. Each artist was given the opportunity to perform an original with Bear Grillz in front of the packed Mission Ballroom.
With a looming threat of the pandemic, anybody can have their plans cancelled in just a moment’s notice. In the afternoon before the show, Malaa shared a tweet explaining that he was unable to make it into the country due to certain restrictions that were out of his control. Although concert goers were told at the door that Malaa would not be able to appear for a back to back set with DJ Snake as planned, that didn’t stop the venue from filling up with thousands of people who were starving for house music. A hunger that would soon be satiated over the next four and a half hours.
Live music is back and a three-night run in Colorado is an outstanding start for five-piece livetronica band Sound Tribe Sector 9’s return to live performance. The Sky World tour – rescheduled from last year – is the second part of their 2019 Push The Sky tour. Traditionally, STS9 plays a multi-night run at Red Rocks Amphitheater over Labor Day weekend. However due to the pandemic, the band had not played for well over a year until now. Having the opportunity to witness Tribe kick off this special tour at one of the best venues in the world and a place I call home was an outstanding live music experience. Tribe delivered a true night to remember.
Red Rocks is operating at full capacity again. So, it wasn’t long before both Friday and Saturday’s STS9 shows were sold out. I attended the first night this past Friday, July 23rd. The show consisted of three sets. One of the three sets was Classic Tribe hits, that included some lesser-known songs, and new content alike intertwined in a magical, funky, and at times a spooky musical journey. Exemplifying the true jamtronica sound, STS9 carried songs into the next, seamlessly blending sound.
Starting The Night Off
The show kicked off with a smoky horizon and a low-hanging early evening sun. A melodic voice rang out. The song “Sky World” by Theresa Bear Fox of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation played, a song of remembrance for those who have passed on. Screams of excitement emerge in a wave from the crowd of nine thousand and some attendees. The illustrious Red Rocks stage was graced with keyboardist and synth master David Phipps, percussionists Jeffree Lerner and Zach Velmer, guitarist Hunter Brown, and badass bass playin’ babe Alana Rocklin.
Tribe played some of their best bangers in the first set, including “Better Day”, “Breathe In”, “Poseidon”, and “Ramone & Eglio”. Also Tribe played “When the Dust Settles”, which transformed into their rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair”. The second set included “Out of this World”, “Strange Games”, and “Lift You Up”. A blanket of light on the rocks from Friday’s full moon blended with the ambient colorful beams of STS9’s top-notch lighting production. Which painted a perfect backdrop for the final set – my personal favorite of the night. “World Go Round” metamorphosed into “Dusk”, “Monkey Music” into the soul-churning “Golden Gate”, and “Arigato” mutated into “Orbital”.
One of the most notable experiences of seeing an STS9 performance is witnessing the raw love and passion these musicians have for their art. An undeniable look of pure hypnotic bliss possesses Rocklin’s face as she crafts the basslines. David Phipp’s serene expression as his fingers effortlessly glide across the keyboard. The sweaty, beaming focus on Jeffree and Zach’s faces as they hammer and thump the drums. Hunter biting his lip, somehow grimacing and smiling at the same time, when he masterfully takes over the song for a moment with his guitar. And the crowd – the fan base of Tribe – is so special in itself. “This is my 150th tribe show”, said one of the guys standing next to me. His eyes tear up a bit as the song Golden Gate creeps into fruition.
Tribe encored Friday with the song “We’ll Meet In Our Dreams”. A final pulse of energy exploded from the stage in the ending drum solo. Then came the typical moments of a Red Rocks show after the encore is over – “back to life, back to reality”, we heard. A bittersweet sadness ascended on the crowd as the realization set in that the show was really over for the night. Although, it only felt as though so little time had passed since the journey began. I reluctantly pulled myself off the side planter box, following the herd down the stairs in a pure joyous haze.
Overall, I highly recommend experiencing an STS9 performance at least once to those who haven’t yet. After more than two decades of making music, Tribe is an expert at producing a truly original sound and presenting live music in a way that offers so much substance to fans of electronica and rock music alike. Upcoming performances for STS9 include Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois August 20th – August 2021, and three additional October shows in Lake Perris and Napa, California.
Doctor P and Funtcase, dubstep heavyweights based out of the U.K, brought an absolute heater of a show this past weekend at the annual Global Dance Festival in Denver, Colorado. Shaun “Doctor P” Brockhurst and James “Funtcase” Hazell have been some of most popular names in the dubstep scene for over a decade now, bringing nothing short of heavy-hitting filth to the Bass Capital every time. Their styles wonderfully infuse the gritty, beloved UK dubstep sound with more modern riddim-based synths which has their fans rightfully positioning them as some of the best and biggest names in dubstep today. The two sat down for an exclusive interview with Party Guru Productions right before their set on Day 1 of Global Dance Festival. We got all the details, some never-before heard facts, and stories from the artists you won’t find anywhere else – keep reading below to check it out!
Getting Into It : Let’s Chat!
Maddi: We are so excited over here at Party Guru to be able to sit down and learn a little bit more about you guys! So – Global Dance Festival is Colorado’s largest dance music festival – Shaun (Doctor P) you were here in 2018 with your b2b with Flux [Pavilion] and James [Funtcase], here in 2017. So you’re both been here before, you’re both super familiar with the Denver territory and this venue in particular. What’s memorable about this city that you’re excited to see tonight? What do you remember about Denver that you’re ready for tonight?
Shaun: Denver, ever since the first time I’ve ever came here has just been like, the biggest shows every time without fail. I think the first show I ever played in Denver was about 5,000 people…and I’d never played a show like that before – ever. It was like my first big show basically, ever was in Denver so- there’s some cities where i ‘m questioning if it’s gonna be good, I don’t know? With Denver, I just always know it’s going to be good – I don’t even give it a second thought – it’s going to be good. (laughs)
James: I agree, it’s like – Denver is just one of those places where it’s just like, the crowd pretty much eats up everything you play. It’s a very unique situation. They call themselves like, the Bass Capital – and it’s for a good reason. Usually, I think Montreal is starting to catch up but Denver, it’s just one of those places where you just know whatever you drop is just gonna go off.
Shuan: The pressure is on though because they are so in tune with the music, you can’t turn up and play a bunch of boring old songs.
Maddi: Right, like we expect it.
Shaun: Right, you’ve got to come here to impress.
Maddi: Love that. Well, we’re so ready for tonight, so that’s a good answer. Alright, so you both are some of the earliest earliest artists to have been on Circus Records, Shaun obviously being the co-founder of the label, Funtcase you joined in 2010. How would you say Circus Records has changed over the years musically and as a label?
Shaun: Ehm, it’s been quite a strange journey because obviously in the early days we started the label with mo expectations, we just wanted a platform to release our music. And then we had loads of really early successes – like with Flux [Pavilion] ‘s releases, and then mine, and then everyone else coming on and it just came much bigger than we could have ever imagined. But then, the dubsteps scene just kept on getting bigger and NeverSayDie got huge and disciple got huge, and all these other labels came along. So it’s been quite strange like, trying to eh – trying to figure out our place in all of it, so em, it’s been strange – I feel like we’ve found quite a nice niche now, where we kind of know what Circus is now…music, not all dubstep. We basically just have a set of parameters, and if the song fits it – we’ll release it.
James: Yeah. The thing was when Circus first started it was literally a platform to put out what we made, we didn’t aim for styles anything – I was just making stuff. I wasn’t aiming for anger or anything like that…it was literally just, here’s the track I made and Circus went, let’s put it out and that’s literally how it started. But it’s kind of honed itself into its own little beast now where it’s like, doing a lot more musical styles – and I think that’s really reflecting on a lot of the artists inside…I’m writing a lot more musical stuff now.
Shaun: It’s nice to have a platform where you can kind of release what you want – like, Circus is such a non-specific style now.
Maddi: Right, super diverse.
Shaun: Yeah, as long as we dont come with like a death metal track or something…(looks at James)
James: I’ll try.
Maddi: Right, I mean it’s questionable…so we’ll see where that goes. Alright, who would you say are your biggest influences in music right now? More of an open-ended question.
Shuan: I have been really enjoying all of the like melodic riddim as they’ve been calling it , like – all of the stuff Chime has been doing and like, SkyBreaks, Ace Aura…just all of that melodic stuff..it feels like everything I really liked about early dubstep, just done really well.
James : I think for me, the word inspired is almost like a platform to explain like, how you shaped your style in a way to sound like. If you like an artist, you go, “I like what they’re doing, I’ll do my version of that.” For me, there’s so much new amazing new talent around hence DPMO, uh – t’s just inspiring to be able to find so much talent and be able to play it out and represent it rather than have that shape my music in a way. So for me that end of it…that’s exciting stuff…in terms of other dubstep – I think Spaces Laces, that’s an obvious mention. Leotrix is doing some really cool stuff. Maurada is doing some really cool stuff, so you know – just the usual names I think, really.
Maddi: Alright, before you became DJ’s for a living.. what were your original career or sort of life plans before becoming full-time artists?
Shaun: Well, I was an ice cream man.
James: Were you really? I did not know that!
Shaun: Yes, well…it wasn’t like, a career plan. I wanted to be a graphic designer, that was always my thing – I was still doing my own artwork and stuff. So, yeah.
Maddi: Were you still making music when you were an “ice cream man”?
Shaun: Yeah, yeah. I started making music when I was like 12, so I was kind of always doing that – but it just didn’t seem realistic, being like a “rock star”. So, I never thought it would actually work out. So yeah, if this hasn’t worked out…I’d probably have been a graphic designer right now.
James: I worked two jobs before Funtcase – I was working in an office folding papers and answering the phones and every other crap administrative job you can think of. And I was also looking after the elderly in my other job – I was working 69 hour weeks and in between not sleeping, I was writing drum and bass on a tiny laptop. It was a great/miserable time to be alive. But before that I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. I think music was just something i enjoyed, I never aimed it to be a career. I was always in bands before that- and I’d produced, just for fun/hobby sort of stuff…what I used to do when I was younger was game design, but i never pursued it, obviously.
Maddi: Nice, that’s awesome. We’ll do the last group question here then we’ll move to individuals. So, if you were to have an alter ego musically, what genre or type of music would it be?
Shaun: So I’ve just started an alter ego – I’ve started a new act called Freaks and Geeks which is drum and bass – just very, very English sounding drum and bass. It’s kind of what I started doing before I did dubstep, I was always on the drum and bass side. I’ve kind of like, reached a point now where it’s like, I’ve always wanted to be a drum and bass DJ and I thought, now I need to actually do it.
Shaun: So yeah, ehm. It’s me and Phil from RockSonics, we started it aout 2 years ago and we’ve been putting out music for about 9 months now. So that’s my alter ego.
Maddi: Nice. And what about you (James)?
James: Hmm, I’ve done alter egos already, like I said I started drum and bass and I moved to dubstep…I’ve also got a secret house alias which I don’t tell anyone about. (laughs)
Maddi: Secrets, secrets…
James: Yeah, but I mean – if someone said you’re banned from doing dubstep, I think I’d go be in a band. I don’t think I’d stay a DJ.
James: Yeah, I think it would drive me crazy to have to go all the way back to square one and have to build something up again…
Funtcase: The Man Behind the Mask
Maddi: Cool, alright. So, we’re going to move to individual questions, we’re gonna start with James here. So, your record [label] DPMO has been growing significantly in recent years, I know we touched on that a little earlier. Tell us a little bit about how DPMO came to be and where you see the label going in the near future.
James: DPMO was originally all ideas I had years ago and has just never executed, and so I just decided to execute it. So at first, it was only supposed to be like, a clothing label, which I originally called Ghosts — (explaining to Shaun) well, the reason it’s called that is because DPMO is after my track Don’t Piss Me Off, so I was trying to name my brand after a track that was what’s popular, so at the time, Ghosts was popular…but Ghosts…the name, it was so cheesy, and with the label, you couldn’t really do much.
Shaun: Yeah, DPMO sounds like a cooler name.
James: Yeah, exactly – but [DPMO] kind of started off as a clothing label and then, we ended up doing a compilation with Circus. There’s this thing in Drum and Bass called “Andy C’s Nightlife”, where Andy C literally just finds all of this amazing music and puts it in a compilation. We didn’t have that in dubstep, so I kind of thought – why don’t we be the “Nightlife” of that? So this is what DPMO has been doing…and then, we just decided to turn it into a record label.
Maddi: Very cool. Okay, so your style is often described as “hyper-aggressive” (laughs) or “extremely aggressive” – what is something you wish people knew about you that most people don’t see behind the mask?
James: I don’t write dubstep. LIke if it wasn’t my job, I wouldn’t write it I don’t think. LIke, I write such a mixed bag of music that no one hears and only every now and again I’ll be like “oh, yeah, that track” and put it on Twitter, just to show people, but like…for instance, when I’m not on tour, I don’t listen to dubstep whatsoever when i’m just like, being me. I’ll listen to it like, I was listening to the first Coldplay album on the plane. I’m a big fan of someone like, Ed Sheeran, for instance. I like, my styles and tastes and what I write is so vastly different. But then I can go from like, Ed Sheeran to like, Deftones to like, Cannibal Corpse in the same day…I kind of switch between music styles, honestly.
The Doctor Is In: Sitting Down With Doctor P
Maddi: Yes! That’s awesome. Alright, Shaun, we’ll bust through these last couple of questions for you. What would you say your biggest accomplishment in your DJ career thus far has been?
Shaun: Ehm, making a track with MethodMan has probably been the pinnacle for me. He was like, the number one artist I wanted to work with and when we made it happen, I was like ah – I just did it quite quickly. It was amazing, I think everything just came together just really by chance, and we managed to make it happen. I think it was just the right timing. Yeah, that was definitely my biggest sort of like, bucket list thing.
Maddi: Very cool. Alrighty, and to finish it up, one last question – what is one short-term goal of yours as an artist, and one more long-term one?
Shaun: I really want to do a proper full album. I did like a sort of album last year, but it was more of like an extended EP than an album. So yeah, i want tto at least once I want to release an album, and an album I’m proud of, as well. I feel like a lot of dance artist when they release an album, it’s just 12 random tunes, content. They just make 12 songs…so I really want to make an album that sort of encompasses everything that I do. And I’ve been working on it. (draws quotations in the air)
Maddi: Air quotations?
Shaun: At some point, it will be done!
James: The thing about albums is that, albums should be a place where you can spread your wings and do whatever you want to do…It should showcase your skill and what you’re about as a whole, rather than like, here’s 11 club bangers which a lot of artist do because they go oh, here’s a lot of tracks, album content!
Shaun: Yeah, exactly.
James: We’re not calling anyone out, they can do what they want – I just feel like an album is more of an expression than just content.
Shaun: Yeah, I want it to be a meaningful sort of thing, something that’s worth people’s attention’s sort-of-thing. But yeah, my manager was like, let’s get that done, do it this year, and I was like, hold on! It’s gonna take me a while, yeah. (laughs)
Wrapping Everything Up
Thanks for tuning in to the exclusive Party Guru Productions interview, readers! What an incredible experience it was to sit down with two of the best. Global Dance Festival is always such a treat for Denver, so we are hoping to see the return of these two dubstep heavy hitters in more future lineups to come!