The culmination of a relationship forged at Your Mom’s House (YMH) in Denver came full circle there on Friday, November 3rd. The duo of Boogie Lights (real name Mark Henrichs) and Rix (real name Ricky Feria) met at YMH and have collaborated consistently over the past year.
As Henrichs began incorporating live musicians into his drum and DJ sets, initially the Boogie Bunch was born. Working on a song that became the lead track on The Boogie Bunch EP, he and guitarist-producer Feria hit it off creatively.
“Funk Decision” was the first Rix & Boogie effort. It proved a crowd favorite at Friday’s show.
Throwing A (Your Mom’s) House Party
Before their epic, Boiler Room-style debut performance, I sat down with Henrichs and Feria for insight into their fruitful partnership. Henrichs revealed that the idea for their immersive stage setup originated when he attended a July performance at YMH. With a smaller dock between the illuminated, raised dance floor and the venue stage, that ‘in-the-round’ format was on full display.
Henrichs immediately loved the idea, especially in the intimate setting. “It was just a vibe of having everyone on the stage right behind a couple of people on the little mini stage, and just everyone around seeing everything that you’re doing right there, interacting,” he said.
The next day, the two hashed out ideas on a hike. Henrichs recounted, “I was like, that’s where we’re gonna do it because everyone can see Ricky just absolutely rip it on the guitar, see the little drums right there, and it’ll just be energy times a thousand.”
“I think it also really fits the vibe of the project too,” Feria added. “A lot of the tracks we’re doing, we’re including a lot of homies, and that gives it more of a family vibe rather than just us performing. I like that aspect of it.”
That familial spirit was on display throughout the night. An integral part of the show, saxophonist Ty Martinez jazzed up the set with his soulful sounds. As he’s a founding member of the Boogie Bunch, Feria stressed Martinez’s clutch role with Rix & Boogie: “He’s gotta carry more solos, ’cause I gotta do the mixing.”
As for his own role, Feria intimated differences from a Boogie Bunch show, where he’s focused on guitar in a band setting. With Rix & Boogie, he’s “more involved in set selection and putting the whole set together.”
Funky Fresh Boogie Beats
A precursor to Friday’s premiere, the three played together in December of 2022 at Larimer Lounge — a kind of “Boogie Bunch Trio,” if you will. No relation to the electro-swamp-rockers BOOGIE T.RIO, we joked.
Henrichs confessed he wasn’t aware of Boogie T when choosing his moniker years prior. That also led to him teasing an upcoming December Rix & Boogie show in Dillon, where a bunch of boogieing is about to go down. The Colorado mountain berg is becoming a hotbed of jam and electronic music in winter. Henrichs mentioned his love of the area, which allows him to go snowboarding during the daytime and play shows at night. Keep your eyes peeled for that announcement!
The tandem also promised new music coming soon. A track called “Sunshine Feel” is headed our way on November 24th. They gave fans a taste of that banger and a sneak peek at blueprints of other upcoming numbers on Friday. Feria mentioned that “a lot of the tracks that will be coming out, we’re playing, or at least playing versions of them tonight.”
With a Little Help From Their Friends
I asked if there were songs or production elements the pair were extra excited about during the initial Rix & Boogie concert. They mentioned that debuting new songs would be a highlight, including a ditty called “Get Your Head Up.”
It features Bunch contributor Mandy Haupt on vocals. Henrichs mused over the track’s origins: “I wrote lyrics, and it’s an old coworker of mine that sang on a song called ‘Show Me Your Love.’ So, I reached out to her like, ‘Hey, I have this song that would sound exactly perfect with your voice.’ I brought her over, and yeah, it just kind of fit. We had two different sessions, and we crushed it. We are so stoked ’cause she has an amazing voice.”
Bringing his flow, flair, and faux fur styling to the mix, lyricist Deezy le Phunk (real name Andrew Leerson) added hip-hop-inclined vocals to several tunes. Leerson featured on The Boogie Bunch EP track “We Want Le Phunk.” His energetic stage presence hyped the crowd up, and he embodied a sense of musical unity as he touted the headliners’ skills while flexing his own.
There were also live, onstage dance and flow lights performances mixed into the set. Henrichs and Feria alternated between jamming on the lower platform and jumping up to join the performers at the front of the main stage. The crowd danced with vigor all around them. The electrifying interactions of Henrichs drumming, deejaying, and dancing partnered perfectly with Feria rocking the guitar and decks. Add in Martinez’s sexy brass notes, and you got a crowd-pleasing combination.
Who are Rix & Boogie?
Asked what the keys to their musical synergy could be, Feria responded first. “There are both similarities and differences in our backgrounds,” he said. “We both came from playing in a band. He was a drummer, and I’ve always been a guitar player, but we come from similar playing backgrounds, gigging-wise. He’s a little bit more rhythmic, I’m a little bit more, like—”
Right on cue, demonstrating their synergy, Henrichs finished Feria’s thought: “Music theory wise.” Feria continued, “Yeah, more like harmonically inclined. I think that compliments really well.”
Henrichs added, “Specifically, us doing our own thing with the band and then venturing off and realizing, ‘Alright, we still wanna do this, still have a vision.’ Recording that first couple songs, finding that balance of flow, of songwriting, and just that yin and yang. You’ve got those ideas, I’ve got these ideas, and we’ve got a good way of communicating.”
Wrapping up what makes the Rix & Boogie partnership so dynamic, Feria added: “Though we’ve both played a lot of live music with bands and as producers, we’ve had a lot of different backgrounds. I produce a lot more live stuff, more lo-fi, a little bit more chill music, and he produces a little bit more high-energy house music. That mix, I think, is a nice synergy.”
If you’re ready for a booty-shaking good time, check out their recordings and head to a Rix & Boogie show. Grab your crew or your boo, and get on out to see what the buzz is all about! What the funk are you waiting for?!