The 12 best EDM shows in Denver this March
Fans at the Griz and Gramatik show last fall. Griz is back March 10 at Belly Up Aspen
When Andy Roberts moved to Colorado a few years ago, he immediately recognized the scene here as something he wanted to be a part of, which ultimately birthed the idea for the Denver Winter Showcase. Now in its sophomore year as a techno/house-music party, the festival is totally geared to the city's techno-heads. For this year's version, Roberts is bringing a gang of talent to NORAD and Bar Standard, as well as announcing the location of the after-hours party.
As co-founders of Denver-based Night Supply Records, Matt Friedman and Ross Kiser are making quite a name for themselves as house duo Need & Necessity, going from playing house parties at CU Boulder, where they went to school, to curating shows alongside the Hundred founder Brennen Bryarly. In their world of production, though, the East Coast natives are creating sounds similar to those coming out of the U.K., namely house music and derivatives of the genre. With roots in hip-hop and funk, Need & Necessity is part of the latest wave of house-music producers helping to make Colorado the go-to spot for the best dance music in the world. (with Kevin Saunderson and Dantiez Saunderson) - Britt Chester
This electronic trio has live-looping vocals that are actually sung live, mixed smooth and clean and then blended perfectly into synth-heavy tracks. Their last live set in town was energetic, and the blooming flower that is the M Machine will most certainly grow into a force to be reckoned with as the group matures in the electronic dance music scene.
Adam Deitch's Break Science project is easily one of the best breakout acts in the dance-music scene. We named the act's latest release, Seven Bridges, the best EDM album of 2013, and rightfully so: Collaborating with RedMan, Lettuce and Sonya Kitchell, to name a few, the album shows how dance music is evolving and merging with other genres to really take over the world. Don't miss Break Science alongside Bass Physics and ExMag at the Ogden Theatre.
Songs like "Getting Live" -- which opens Rebel Era and drips with funky guitars and gritty bass lines before reaching a crescendo of futuristic sounds and robust beats -- notwithstanding, it's clear that GRiZ (aka Grant Kwiecinski) is much more interested in letting the album tell a story with emotion and soul than he is consumed with drops and bass. "Too Young for Tragedy Part II," a followup from the opener on his previous album, and "DTW to DIA (The Travels of Mr. B)" are two tracks that show monumental growth in both song structure and audio production, and "How It Ends" rounds out the collection nicely with help from Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic. All in all, Rebel Era is a clean effort that proves GRiZ is exploring his sounds under a microscope and tweaking each instrument to satisfy his thirst for the perfect blend. This is organic funk wearing a mask of modern technology.
3LAU is one of the prodigy producers who seemingly came out of nowhere with orbiting momentum that keeps him constantly touring and sharing his house beats with the world. Gaining recognition through a couple remixes in 2011, he has kept the ball rolling by always being where you want him: directly behind the decks with headphones on and a smile on his face. This guy treats each set like it's his last, and that energy reverberates through the crowd as he brings the heat. Catch 3LAU on Beta's massive sound system with Denver's Ecotek and Jontron.
My dubstep has a first name, and it's D-O-C-T-O-R-P. Having established himself as one of the originators in bringing dubstep to the masses, Doctor P's early hits still get regular play in the biggest sets. To boot, his Circus Records imprint is constantly releasing new bangers, and that means the now-tired "Sweet Shop" can get a little break from constant plays. Alongside Cookie Monsta, it's safe to say that both of these acts will destroy the Funktion-Ones, and the ears of everyone throwing down on the main floor of Beta.
Fedde Le Grand was in our "Ten best EDM songs of 2013" list thanks to the success of "Rockin and Rollin." Here's what we had to say about it: "This monster of a track comes straight from the Sensation phenomenon Fedde Le Grand. It's made for big rooms with big crowds getting loud as fuck, and the "rockin... n rollin" distorted vocal draws you in. Then, you have the gradual buildup up rolling keys into the crescendo: An anthem of epic proportions. The crashing drums two-thirds of the way through the song start the insanity over, and then, as predicted, the hard bass comes in and you lose your mind." So you can imagine what his show will be like when he takes over the decks at Beta.
Kill Paris just recently moved to Colorado, and with that came his epic production skills being added to the roster that makes up the best dance music scene in the world. With sounds bordering on the banging dubstep side of things, Kill Paris brings various influences into his sounds, almost to the point that his musical language speaks to the world. Catch Kill Paris alongside CandyLand and Conspirator at the Ogden Theatre.
A merger of EDM and hip-hop was inevitable, and K Theory has bridged the two quite well with dance heavy tracks that feature fluid lyricism. Malcolm Anthony, the vocalist of the San Francisco-based trio, serves up a smooth lyrical flow, as opposed to the status quo of most modern dance music which simply relies on catchy hooks. The act injects a Bay Area hyphy sound into its music, offering a welcome addition to this convergence of styles, bringing rattling high hats, deep bass drops and crisp rhyming to the dance world. Dylan Lewman and Dustin Musser fulfill the EDM side of the equation with song structures that leave room for crowd-commanding vocals, while also providing just the right amount of instrumental flair to keep the dance party's momentum going. (With Krooked Drivers and Marvel Years) - Britt Chester
Bluetech is not your typical EDM, that is to say he does not cull a set from the top ten list on Beatport. Instead, he uses his original sounds to create an environment that could easily emulate a rave if you were partying on the newest club on Mars. Seriously, you won't hear anything like Bluetech because he seems to create sounds from another world, and that is a world you want to be apart of when he lays a set on the Fox Theatre alongside Denver's own Project Aspect (who just recently rounded out a national tour with fellow MHSM-founder Unlimited Gravity.)
FRI | PENGUIN PRISON @ BAR STANDARD | 3/14
Chris Glover plays under the moniker Penguin Prison, and with that moniker comes live production at its finest. Remixing, mashing, and live vocals all infuse a set that leaves dance floors sweaty and thirsting for more. This is the second time Denver Disco has brought the artist, and it certainly won't be the last given how hard he throws down in Denver. Disco is easily coming back with a vengeance, and this new mask it is wearing seems to be really catching on. See Penguin Prison alongside Pruitt and SightLow.
FRI | MARK FARINA @ BAR STANDARD | 3/21
Mark Farina plays mushroom jazz, and that's just the way it is. Seamlessly fusing funk, soul, jazz, and hip-hop into a fluid soundtrack, Farina has grown into a household name at Bar Standard where he regularly plays sets in what could be called his home away from home. Denver Disco prides itself on bringing nu-disco to the masses, but when Mark Farina gets behind the decks. disco-goes-rogue and turns into a nostalgic funk fest where nothing is safe from the remixing skills of one of the best in the game.
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