For most people in the states, the day after Thanksgiving is all about getting up at the crack of dawn to stand in line for Black Friday deals, eating pie for breakfast, and enjoying time with family. For others, it’s about dancing off all those calories to some awesome music and being around friends you cherish the most. This past Friday I had the pleasure of hanging out with great people while listening to great breaks and drum and bass sounds courtesy of the one and only Machinedrum.
It's been almost two years to date since Machinedrum, real name Travis Stewart, was last in Denver and I was lucky enough to catch him back then while he was touring the country promoting his newly released album, Vapor City. I didn’t quite know what to expect at the time and was absolutely blown away by his production and high energy on stage, not to mention the stunning visuals he brought along with him. I had very high expectations about his return to the Mile High City and he did not disappoint.
The event was held at a newly opened spot in the basement of the Church Nightclub in the SoCo district of Denver. Aptly nicknamed "The Rave Cave", the all brick basement has been updated with a brand new Funktion One sound system and a full wall LED display behind the decks.
It had been snowing for most of the day, but I braved the streets early to catch the two openers Mosis and Wabberjockey and see what they had to offer. Mosis warmed things up in the basement with his own style of hip hop, breaks and house all blended to perfection. He has been opening for the likes of Alison Wonderland, Two Fresh, and Bob Moses this year in Denver and has the ability to curate his sound to the different crowds, which is sometimes hard to find in a good opening act. Wabberjocky brought the tempo of the party up to full gear with high paced juke and footwork beats interlaced with heavy trap drops. The crowd grew to near capacity as midnight approached and anticipation for Machinedrum grew.
Armed with a percussion controller, Machinedrum took to the decks and went in from the moment the first breakcore beat dropped. Remixes of DJ Rashad and Braille Sounds interwoven with fast paced drum and bass and break beats got the rave cave absolutely rocking. What really got me grinning was the subtle musical elements that Machinedrum expertly put into his mix. A vocal sample here and a small piano or guitar riff there really made for a completely enveloping experience all around. To top it all off, he really knew his way around the drum machine(pun intended) he was using and added even more percussive flair to his already rocking set. It was definitely on of the best breakcore/breakbeat sets I’ve seen in a long time and left me wanting more when he ended around 2 in the morning.