Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jump Around was Cray, PBR is Today!

Thank you to all the crazy folks who made it out to the Cardinal Bar for the latest edition of Jump Around just last night.  While a little light on attendance, the night was heavy on energy.    Foundation opened the night and it was very nice to see him on the decks at the Bird again.   A good set from the man behind MadElectro led into a stormer from the Filthy Poptart and the Dirty Noodle.   The pair got down on all genres before 507 took a turn on the decks.   From Deadmau5 to moombahton, 507 had the crowd moving to be sure.   Finally, original member of Clearly Good Music, DieGnostic, closed out the night with some strong, hard moombahcore and just a touch of music we can't even name yet.  Can you dig it?  For the record, Wyatt and I had a blast and look forward to recreating last night's vibe but with just a few more folks :)

And if you want some more from Cleary Good Music, you only have to wait a matter of hours!  Tonight is Poor Boy's Rave at Segredo and the theme tonight is "Siren's Song", an all female DJ showcase.   Urbane, Brianna Klein, Aubreezy, and CGM's Speak EZ (aka Jenna Freeman) will all be on the bill and in the house.  Quick thought about tonight.....Urbane is a lot like Wyatt in that she is old school but has stayed active and relevant while many of their contemporaries did not.  Let's hear it for longevity.  Legendary :P

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WMC, High Contrast, and the History of Bass Music (PPF1)

Before we get to the heart of the matter, I would like to take a few moments to discuss this blog, it's intentions and what the heck PPF is :)  Wyatt Agard and Christian Rokk founded Clearly Good Music and performed as Vodka Rox back in 2008 and although neither of us were rookies, we were having lots of fun.  The fun we were having came from a blend of old and new party themes being woven together with a soundtrack that was  as much classic Chicago house as it was trailblazing electro.  That idea and spark lives on at Tipsy Tuesdays, Jump Around and PBR and it also lives in each and everyone of you who come to Wyatt's events.  We also want to host that vibe here at!

2012 can seem unfamiliar to two guys who have been raving for over 35 years combined.  Mixes have become transitions, turntables are disappearing and vinyl is a gimmick.  However, deep in our hearts we know though that this is still the SAME super FUN party.  It has never stopped.  So throughout the Past, Present and Future series (there is the whole PPF thing if I still have your attention), old times will be discussed positively and at length.  However, the past has nothing on the present and future.  They are one and the same.  It's all jokes when it comes to nightlife.  But during the day, Clearly Good Music can help you learn about the past and see why it's so freakin' relevant to today's freaky little party scene we have in Madison.  So without further's article.

So many people tuned in to the Ultra Music Festival Live Stream on Youtube which was featuring various live performances on the UMF stages at this year's Winter Music Conference in Miami.  Slick production value, decent performances, live chat and Twitter feed and sheer numbers made it feel like you were there even if the 60,000 average live viewers definitely weren't.    There was not a lot of people in the crowds who looked like they could compose a coherent Tweet. LOL.  And one morning in particular featured a killer back to back DJ duo, Netsky and High Contrast.  Drum and bass fans will recognize those names but perhaps not realize that High Contrast was first signed to his CURRENT label in the year 2000.  Got roots?

Back then Lincoln Barrett was an unknown demo pusher who happened to catch a big break on the strength of his production work.   By infusing disco and house sounds into his progressive drum and bass beat structures, he was able to set dancefloors and bedrooms alike on FIRE!  His songs "Return of Forever" and "Make It Tonight" on Hospital Records are modern classics,  released in 2002, they will still smash 2012. The timelessness of the sound is what makes him so popular and why he related so well to Progressive and Dutch House loving crowds.  His modern disco sound works everywhere, regardless of the beat backing it.  Past, present, future!

Drum and bass is said to have been born from the Hardcore and Breakbeat Hardcore scene in London, in particular the records that had a ragga styling, eventually leading to the sound known as Jungle Music.  Many people objected to the connotation of the word "jungle" and suggested racism.  Thus, it's offered that perhaps drum and bass was called that because jungle fell out of favor.  I think that may be true but there are STILL kids wearing "Junglist Movement" T Shirts so that can't really be it.  What's more likely in my mind is that Garage and Soul sounds are simply more accessible and had a historical context that worked very well on dancefloors and made sense to include them in this "new" breakbeat sound.  So, Roni Size, Fabio, et al, worked those sounds into their jungle music which really now needed a new name.  High Contrast is the epitomy of drum and bass (the thing jungle was now more accurately called) and embodies the fusion of hard breakbeats with soul music which has been winning over hearts and minds since circa 1996.

So once again flash forward to Ultra.  Here is High Contrast getting down with the rather youngish Netsky and playing huge basslines with amazing vocal cuts and overlays.  As the vocals come down and the crowd  chants "The Sun is Shining Everyday" along with the record, it was truly sunny and beautiful and I felt like I was witnessing people fall in love with a sound I've fallen in love with twice a year for about the last fifteen years.  Thirty make ups and break ups with drum and bass? Why? Because there is so much more to love in Electronic Dance Music.  Sometimes we are house, sometimes techno, sometimes dubstep.  We are all family.


High Contrast's Hospital Records Artist Profile
One of my favorite High Contrast tracks coming down the pipe :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Music From Blu! Techno! Christian Rokk Live at Jolly Bob's

So the title says it all.......

Blu is an amazing DJ/producer/promoter from Mexico that has done so much for the electronic dance music scene.  He's a 24 year old openly gay dance music phenomenon who is part of my Deadly Viper Recordings group and just a damn fine human.  Plan B?  But I digress.....I love his moombahton.  My  friends love the music he makes as Boy Toy, an evil and twisted dubstep alter ego.  I mean come on, what can't this guy do?  I am letting Madison know that if you play four on the floor, moombah or dub than this is your guy.  Soundkill3r is another guy like this.  They are coming old skool. You can't keep the kids down.

Fresh Techno from Blu!
Fresh Moombahton from Deadly Viper Recordings and Moomba+ Courtesy of Blu
Fresh Dubstep guessed it :)

His vocals are on this dubstep track and he does my dj intros and drops!  Hit him up on Facebook.

And now.....Tipsy Tuesday went off last night and I want to do some thank yous.  First, thanks to Jolly Bob's for being so consistently available to us on Tuesdays.  It isn't easy to commit your space every week to an event for as long as Jolly Bob's has to Clearly Good Music.  Our sincerest thanks. Secondly, I want to thank Gnarizard and his friend for awesome performances across genres.  I thought the mixing was done at a high level and I know we are a house night but I was disappointed about some grumblings I heard toward drumstep etc...WE are a sound forward community in Madison and we can celebrate the past while looking towards the musical future. Lastly, thanks to Wyatt for giving us all the deck time he did.  So I ripped up the shack with some moombahton and got the video to prove it. Go.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Deadly Viper Recordings in Madison, WI

Wyatt Agard, Christian Rokk, DieGnostic, speakEZ, Nexah, BeauXpeep, Gnarizard, Justin Pissoff, Teknicolor, Red's Life and so many more......

What do these names all have in common? All of them are involved in the new moombahton label called Deadly Viper Recordings and it's run by CGM'ers, DieGnostic and Christian Rokk.  You wouldn't have seen us on the decks all that often as of late but that's because moombahton is the first genre to belong to the internet and not a city.  But DVR does belong to Madison so if you can support our Soundcloud and generally keep up with us it would be appreciated.  Specifics to follow but I thought you should know. 

You can catch Wyatt Agard this Tuesday at Jolly Bob's, at Segredo on Thursday and on Friday, he's at the Majestic for the massive Electrolust 3 party we mentioned in our previous article.   Christian Rokk performs early tonight at Jolly Bob's and on internet radio this Saturday alongside DieGnostic.   Those two will also be performing at SXSW as well as Juarez and select cities in the Southwest in a little more than a week.  And I thought Vipers hibernated in the winter?????

Hush Up! Cosmic's playing!!!

I would like to introduce myself to the readers at Clearly Good Music, and thank Wyatt and Christian Rokk for allowing me to provide content on what is a Clearly Good Thing. My name is HUSH, but that’s asecret, so you can’t tell anyone. I am originally from Milwaukee and was co-founder of LocalUnderground Vibe (LUV Productions). I have played alongside the likes of Keoki, Juno Reactor, Doormouse, Nigel Richards, and Tommie Sunshine.

As an 80’s child I listened to everything from the Moody Blues to the Sex Pistols to Pavarotti, Domingo,and Carreras (The Three Tenors – Opera). As the late eighties hit, I moved into techno/industrial groups like Skinny Puppy, Ministry, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, and The Crystal Method. This diversity and love for all forms of music made me want to be more than a spectator in this whole thing. I started Djingin 1998 using CD players. At that time if you did not spin vinyl, you were not a real Dj. Now I am very capable in whatever format you hand me, technology only expands the limits of possibilities. My first few gigs were at house parties, with every Dj in the room hovering over watching what I was doing with my CDs. I eventually gained respect from the vinyl Djs by being highly diverse in musical styles. I called myself a genre-less Dj, because I would spin house, breaks, trance, techno, Drum and Bass, and anything else I could dig up. I figured out how to make everything work together.

I gradually molded my HUSH persona into an actual character, known for wearing costumes and custom clown faces. This is not a gimmick, but it represents what I feel about the club scene. We are all just characters trying to fit in somewhere, I choose to leave my personal life behind and the inhibitions it can bring when I am behind the decks. It allows me to get out of my skin for the evening and give the crowd everything I got.

But enough about me, I would like to speak about a Young man I witnessed at Segredo last night, DJ COSMIC. This kid right here is my age, well minus 29 years. I was trying to think back to what I was doing at his age. I was listening to the early beginnings of hip hop, wearing flight pants, doing back
spins, and the worm. Scratching and juggling breaks on turntables was something they were doing in a
city far away. The thought of being on a stage 8 feet in the air, behind the best wall of sound in the city was just not even in my mind. I was trying not to get caught throwing rocks at the house. Ohhh and
there was noooo!! Internet. OMG

I made sure I was there early, because I wanted to see what this hype was all about. As I walkedin, I heard the familiar ooontz ooontz ooontz. As I got closer I realized this kid is playing some nice
underground Electro-house. I came around the corner and there he was, larger than life, behind that wall of speakers dancing away. I think that was the first thing that caught me, he was dancing. Veteran DJs tend to forget, this is dance music, and there is no reason we should not be dancing ourselves. His moves reflected what he was playing and I could tell he was truly feeling the music and not just hitting buttons. Of course, the next test is mixing skills. I went to a show a while back and heard some of the worst attempts at beat matching, and they have supposedly been at this game a while. I am thinking maybe we should have them sit with DJ Cosmic to show ‘em what’s up. Throughout the set his mixes were nearly flawless, and he showed a true understanding of the structure of the music, the phasing of the tracks, and the harmonies. Even when he seemed to struggle with a mix or two, he held is composure and pulled them off with grace and style. Something tells me, as his teacher, we can give Wyatt a lot of credit for this. All in all, it was refreshing to see such a young man have a true love of the craft. We know this will only grow with time and experience. He can still count the amount of gigs he’s played on one hand, but he seemed very comfortable and confident. His music selection was mainly electro-house, but he kept it underground with a flash here and there of something more popular. He held a steady rise throughout the set, and ended it with a bang. The crowd cheered with much deserved approval.

I spoke with DJ Cosmic for a short bit, and found him to be personable and a smart kid. He said he has been playing with Ableton a bit to start producing, but it’s pretty complicated. At is age he has plenty of time work it out. We should all keep an eye on this one. I have no doubt we are going to see some big things from this one. With the unbridled support of his family and a phenomenal teacher he is beyond
this new breed of laptop button pushers. He is a DJ at heart. The only question I had for his Dad was,

Check out his opening set on March 9th at the Majestic Theatre for ELECTROLUST 2