By Noah Hubbell
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In a city where the sound of oonsa oonsa oonsa has dominated dance floors for decades, the subterranean subwoofer frequencies of dubstep (wobble wobble boom clack clack!) stand out emphatically.
For the past three years, the Denver residents of Sub.Mission — Budros Gali, ServOne, RumbleJunkie, Dayquill, Zeno and Subliminal — have made it their mission to introduce Denver to the underground sounds and artists that have been percolating in the warehouses and permeating dance floors from London to San Francisco for some time. "It's all about moving people through sound, not hype," they contend.
Sub.Mission proprietor Nicole Cacciavillano says the intent isn't simply to showcase the sound to a new audience, but to allow listeners to experience this style of music differently, by providing the best sound systems possible so that people can actually feel the sub frequencies.
To that end, Sub.Mission started booking shows at Kazmos Lounge three years ago before moving on to Vinyl and then eventually to Beta, where the crew had the opportunity to experiment with sound on a one-of-a-kind Funktion-One sound system, whose sub-sonic frequencies took dubstep sound to another level, literally. Unfortunately, a clash of the crowds sent Sub.Mission in search of a new home base. Last year, the crew set up shop at Cervantes', and the events have grown from attracting 70 to 100 people to between 800 and 1,000.
With the numbers Sub.-Mission has been gaining in recent months, the promoter — which just earned a Best of Denver nod — is poised to blow up the dubstep scene similar to the way promoters like 2Gether & Fat Tuesdays did for the dance scene in the early '90s.
And Sub.Mission continues in earnest this year. Having teamed up with the Surefire Agency with the intent of bringing its roster of artists to Denver more frequently, Cacciavillano and company will only be adding to an already stacked lineup of artists. Joker, a young and talented producer, is making his Denver debut this Thursday, April 8, with Zeno & Subliminal, while Sub.Mission's official third-anniversary show, happening on Saturday, April 17, features first-time headliners Datsik and MRK1, as well as Distance, a breakout pioneer of early dubstep, and Roomate and Dopelabs.
But the Missionaries have not limited their efforts of spreading the gospel strictly to the club: An Internet radio program called Dank Dealz hosted by Sub.Mission resident ServOne takes place every Saturday at, fittingly, 4:20 p.m., and other residents such as Rumblejunkie have been producing tracks for the Sub.Mission label (www.subdotmission.com).
"Where it will take us, who knows?" muses Cacciavillano. "That's the beauty of the underground sound: You never know what's next."