Fall is in full swing here in Denver. The month of October means a few things for Coloradans; changing Aspen leaves, ski season preparation and some amazing music coming to the city to entertain every kind of listener.
One event this month stands alone as being an underground extravaganza of techno talent from all over the globe. The 5th annual Great American Techno Festival is hitting Denver for one final time on October 8th through the 11th with an unbelievably stacked lineup on stages all over the city.
Founder and festival director John Templeton has created something special with this festival. For the past 5 years he's been an indelible force in making the Denver techno scene what it is today. The great thing that sets this apart from other festivals is that you can buy a pass for all four days or buy tickets at the door to each show. You can literally see all the shows or just one. Its up to you but, of course, I would recommend seeing the entire showcase!
Thursday night the four day party begins at Milk Bar and this show is free to the public for everyone 21 and up, whether you have a festival wristband or not! Thats an awesome deal considering the lineup of Altstadt Echo, Denver local Bones, Feathericci and five other DJs that night alone. Altstadt has been on a terror after forming his own label called Modern Cathedrals last year and pushes the envelope of sound with his unique take on Detroit techno. Bones has been a well respected figure in the Denver scene for over 15 years and always gets the dance floor bumping with a great mixture of techno and house with a downtempo flow to his sets. Feathericci hails from Santa Fe, NM but is no stranger to the Denver techno scene. He was a regular at the 8 year-running Communikey sound and arts showcase held in Boulder and his multifaceted sound is the reason he is so revered in Denver.
Friday night the real fun begins with 4 different parties happening at 4 different locations. The first is at TAXI, a space located in the Rino district of Denver, and is sponsored by Beatport Live. A nice 3 hour event from 5PM- 8PM, curated by DJ's Andrew S and Corbin Davis to get you in the mood to go all night. The main event will be held in Englewood just around the corner from the Gothic Theatre at EKO HOUSE from 9PM-2AM. EKO HOUSE is a unique space in a basement that was once part of a bank and has chainlink throughout making it a truly underground experience. Jeff Derringer and Sassmouth are 2 DJ’s who both have residencies at the famous Smart Bar in Chicago and are set to share the stage with Shawn Rudiman for what is sure to be a sweaty dance party. The supporting party of Friday night will be held in the Lounge at Beta Nightclub in downtown Denver from 9PM-2AM and features Grey People alongside Alex Falk, Chris Mitchell, and Will Azada. Finally, the official after-hours party presented by Deep Club is going down at Dryer Plug Studios and goes until 6AM. Alex Whittier, DJ Skurge, and two Denver-based DJ’s, Lone Dancer and Ponyrok will be rocking the party until the sun comes up and its time for techno breakfast.
I hope you get some sleep because the party starts up on Saturday at 4PM back at EKO HOUSE with some experimental sounds courtesy of Clay Wilson, Raica, and Talker. This afternoon showcase is a small taste of whats to come that night and you better be ready because this is the one techno party of the year that you cannot miss. The main event for Saturday is an 8 hour non stop rave of epic proportions held at Apex Movement, a parkour training facility. Heavy hitters Antenes, Function, Headless Horseman, and Nihal Ramchandani are poised to make this one of the best techno events of the year. Antenes comes to Denver by way of Brooklyn, bringing with her a strikingly abstract sound formed by homemade analog sequencers and synths. Highly percussive elements blend with spaced out soundscapes to create a totally unique listening experience, Function is a man that needs no introduction in the techno world, having worked alongside Regis, Silent Servant, and others to form the Sandwell District collective. He is a true underground pioneer of current techno sounds, using pulsing club beats layered under complex string-led melodies to build powerful, writhing tracks. Headless Horseman is one of the most shadowy figures in todays techno world, covering his face during shows and going so far as to not let anyone in the room during sound checks! What isn’t mysterious about him is the raw talent exuding from the sounds he/she? makes. As I said before, if there is only one show you see during the Great American Techno Festival, this is the one.
Closing out the festival on Sunday is the Dirty Epic party at Battery621 with Carlos Souffront going B2B with Patrick Russell with support from Israel Vines for the last six hours of what has been an amazing 5 year run for the Great American Techno Festival. Both Carlos and Patrick are from the Interdimensional Transmissions label and have an amazing wealth of musical knowledge between the two of them. This show will be a fantastic way to wind down after the whirlwind weekend that you just went through!
The 5th annual Great American Techno Festival is going to be a bittersweet celebration of what the techno scene has become here in Denver. Im sad to know that his is the last year of the festival, but so happy to see how much techno has grown in this city because of it. Here is a preview mix curated by the festival’s creator John Templeton to get you ready for this incredible weekend. Thanks for reading and, as always, Ill see you on the dance floor!