Before We Go Forward Into 2020, Let Us Look Back At 2019
2019 for Nashville Resistance Went By... QuicklyWritten by Taylor Matson, boss of Nashville Resistance
Author's NotesTo begin my review of 2019, I just wanna first say thank you to everyone who helped us do bigger and better things throughout the year. This includes promoters, DJ's, artists, creatives, and all of our friends who supported and helped us.
Special thanks to Tina G. for hooking us up with the Movement Press corp, Paulo Ventura for helping with everything at our Bonnaroo Renegade Dome, and Make Nashville for giving us our first home to throw events at.
Razor, Rave for Fundraising2019 went by really quick for us. Like extremely quick. We started the year by throwing a fundraising event we called Razor, to benefit Make Nashville while celebrating the birthday of Nashville's very own Curtis Jennette (aka DJ Seizure). We hosted the event at Make Nashville, at its old location on Woodland Street. Because the neighboring business left the complex, Make Nashville was able to sublease some of what they had. It was a medium sized warehouse space attached to Make Nashville that we had thrown a few previous events in before.
The reason why this is important to bring up though is that we were originally planning the event at a huge warehouse at 911 Cherokee in East Nashville. On the day of the the event, we were told by the owner that we were not allowed to throw the show as the sublessee who was letting us use the space had not paid his rent or had the owners permission, something we never expected as our communication with the sublessee indicated all boxes checked.
So our real challenge for that event was to get permission from the board at Make Nashville to host this fundraiser. This whole situation literally started only hours before our event was supposed to start. We then had to start marketing the new location and make Make Nashville into safe dance environment by using tarps and caution tape to control movement in the space while preventing Maker projects from being damaged.
Although day one of the event had a weak turn out, day two was packed and going off. Tons of our friends shared the stage and brought their own friends to the event. It was a big deal as this was our first two day event and our third event we had ever thrown. We appreciate the Demon Herd for supporting us with their banging sound and our visual artists Cynthia Cárdenas and Metanoia Art for their beautiful projection mapped animations. Thank you Curtis for being a co-producer and there from the start.
For a while I had wanted to attempt my version of what Cercle had been doing with the filming of DJ's and live electronic musicians at unique spaces that don't necessarily have access to electricity. My personal goal was to showcase environments that Nashville has to offer while presenting what DJ's and electronic musicians we have to offer.
I now own all of gear that makes it all possible: an inverter with boat batteries, XDJ's and DJM 900 Nexus, speakers, and a mixer that I could bring anywhere and put on a show. After successfully filming myself in October of 2018, I went on to capture Bryan Talbot at the Parthenon and DVWSIN at the walking bridge next to Two Rivers park. Plans for the next Off-Grid event are on hold right now.
Noncompliant's Movement Pre-Party in Louisville, KY
Movement is a festival unlike any other. The fact that there was a pre-party for the festival that was so close to home meant that I could get closer to the music and it's keepers. The parties promoters were Trevor Lamont and Aaron Leitner, who both run their own events in Louisville under different names (Derby City Soul and Derby City Bad Kids). It was special getting to hear Noncompliant while getting to know the Louisville locals.
Noncompliant brought a blistering and unprecedented Techno set to Louisville. She kept our feet stomping and bodies moving the whole night. She brought out a sense of Techno pride from all of the attendees. None of us in the South get to hear that Techno sound as much as we need to. I am extremely thankful for Trevor, Aaron, and Noncompliant for giving me the opportunity to film and broadcast the show. It was a truly unique experience I won't forget. Thank you Tina and Sheldon for making the trip up with me as well!
Movement Festival 2019
Movement this year was unlike any year before. Being that this event was our first time doing press at a festival, I was a little bit nervous but mostly motivated to capture the music that changed my life a few years ago. We have to thank the Paxahau team for trusting us to cover this really important Techno tradition! To me, filming Techno pioneers is a sense of obligation. I have a burning passion to see this music captured and shared with the world.
The most amazing moment for myself at this years Movement was holding up the tarp over Stephan Bodzin's head with only one hand. It was pouring rain on me, my camera and gimbal (being held up by the other hand) and everyone else trying to hold up the tarp. I was extremely grateful that the stage manager let me film that special moment as I knew it was going to be an important memory from this event.
As for most of the event, I stayed in the underground. When I first came to Movement in 2016, I found my love for Techno in the underground. The underground stage is the least pop sounding of all the stages in general. The underground stage caters to hard, dark, industrial, and loose your f**king mind kind of Techno. We captured several performances at the underground stage including Noncompliant, Volvox, Nobu (who unfortunately we can not publish the film for), Sterac, LSD, FJAAK, and Brian Kage. Definitely all of which were notable performances.
At the other stages, we captured Amelie Lens, Carl Craig, Dubfire B3B Nicole Moudaber B3B Paco Osuna, Disclosure and Orbital. Carl Craig surprised me with that glowing white suit and hat with gold jewelry. He was looking classy as f**k. If you have not been to Movement before, you should know that it can be a life changing experience, especially if you go by yourself without having any expectations. Hit us up if you decide to come. We will be there!
Renegade Dome at Bonnaroo
2019 was also our first year hosting a renegade stage at a major festival. Paulo Ventura and myself were contracted with a team of creative individuals to build out and decorate several areas of the festival including VIP, Platinum, and artist hospitality. At the same time, we were organizing our renegade dome.
Setting up the Renegade Dome by the entrance of Bonnaroo was truly the best decision I made for all of Bonnaroo. We had hundreds of people flood in just from people walking to the main entrance. Literally every couple minutes at least a hundred people walked past us it was so dense. The entire experience was extremely chaotic at times but thanks to Paulo for spinning for the majority of the time, we had a steady crowd.
While there were many unforeseen circumstances and times of extreme anguish and petty bureaucracy, we were able to pull off something surprisingly amazing. A special thanks is well deserved to MadDawgz Entertainment for supplying the sound, lights, and generators, plus EdgeDomes for supplying the dome that we put together. Even though it was something truly unique, I wouldn't do it again unless it was my focus. Having to work so much more for the festival than what we agreed to in our contract really put a burden on us and the whole project.
Embrace the Machine with FBK in St. Louis
Embrace the Machine with FBK in St. Louis
I started following Anode Records this year after I discovered that Owen Nye, a producer who I follow from the south, was getting a track released on their label. I was also at the time looking for labels and scenes near me that I could travel to. I noticed that they were planning an event featuring FBK Live. It peaked my interest because I knew FBK has been a producer for a long time now. Since it is rare to see Techno producers perform live with their instruments and computers instead of DJing gear, I figured that I couldn't miss this event.
Thankfully the St. Louis scene is really tight. Anode Records and Trust have the Techno events covered well. They got a kick out of my Techno license plate and were wholeheartedly welcoming to me in their city. Being able to film for them and have dinner with their crew and FBK was definitely a treat. The show itself was very intimate and I very much enjoyed the live performances that we not only got from FBK, but from Christ Shen and Anode Records label boss Ron S. as well. The venue was this bar/restaurant space called Taha'a Twisted Tiki, a regular spot for events like this. Thankfully the internet there held strong as I broadcasted the entire show without a hiccup.
In April of 2019, my friend Guy Cherkesky and I conceived a new brand that we would call Alchemy. We wanted to use the best of both of our abilities to create something new. We launched the new brand under Nashville Resistance with its goal to build a branch off of Nashville Resistance that is much more exclusive and is focused on quality per event than quantity of events. This means that the experience of being an attendee is heightened much more than a regular Nashville Resistance event. Perks include free food, exclusive views, and themed lounging and performance areas that are unexpected and unique.
We hosted our first event June 30th at one of Guy's houses where we had an overlook of the city while having a condo that we could decorate out and have refreshments for our guests. We had a great time and were very thankful for all of the DJ's who came. We also had a marker board asking everyone there what Nashville needed. Since then we have put the brand on pause as myself and Guy have both been tirelessly busy with school. We plan to host our next event by Summer of 2020.
Union, at Soulace Nashville
This event was about bring people across the scene together to form a diverse group of DJ's that ranged from Ambient and House to Hard Techno and Psytrance. As Paulo Ventura and Znat Aliya were the promoters, they came to me to fill the gap between the slower tempo of house and the faster tempo of Psytrance. Union was the first event where I truly got to spin my signature sound of Hard Techno that I listen to all the time. It was also an introduction into Psytrance that would make me a fan. I was also in admiration of all of of the tapestry and glowing decorations that were put in place. There was even an altar with candles and sacred objects placed in front of the DJ booth that acted as the perfect final touch.
Even Furthur 2019 in High Bridge, WI
My journey with Even Furthur actually began at Movement this year. It was right after filming Stephan Bodzin that the rush for everyone to leave Hart Plaza began. It was pouring rain still and I was in a rush to get the magic I had captured onto the internet. Because I was on stage, I ended up being behind most people leaving the festival. I decided to check one more time if lost and found ever did find my camera bag with all my batteries in it. Unfortunately no but when I did finally get to the exit of Hart Plaza, I was given this elaborate and funky flyer that the perfectly contrasting colors of orange and blue, with typography inspired by the 70's it seemed like.
After doing some more research when I got home (and discovering that even one of my friends from Nashville had even been to Drop Bass before), I decided that I should go. I reached out to Kurt Eckes, the owner of the brand, and showed him what I had done at Movement. He loved what he saw so he gave me a press pass. I ended up flying to Duluth where my dad lives so that I could catch up with him and car pool with some soon to be friends to the festival. I ended up making friends with David Kelvie, Cornelia Elsaesser and Michael Slater as they were kind enough to let me carpool with them. They themselves were already passing through, coming from Minneapolis.
The festival itself was not something I expected. It turned out to be much more elaborate than I had envisioned. The grounds mainly comprised in a forest with roads and hills dividing up the stages and campgrounds. At night you could walk the roads and see the lasers from the Land of Sunshine shine across the tree canopies. Next year, I will have to get a golf cart though as walking between stages over and over again was a difficult task. Kurt, Steven Centrific and the rest of the crew there were very welcoming.
Even Furthur was the first time I had ever heard banging Hardcore, Techno, and DNB fill up an entire festival for the entire length of its run. There were nine stages in total with eight being built and operated by different promoters across the midwest including Intellephunk, Iowa Techno, Syndikate, Psychosis, AME, The Headspace Collective, Form Entertainment, Urban Agenda, Soul Fuel, Mad Scientists Presents, MELT, Speaker Kreatures, Sub:Culture, SubSequential, Decibel DNB, and others. All in all, there were more than enough friends to be made as everyone there was very friendly and easy rave with. The best stage production I have to say though was Psychosis by far. The VOID system that Marc Woodbury had on deck was absolutely incredible. It was so good in fact that Ray Keith decided to spin a second set the following day in it while in the process, blowing everyone's mind.
Being on stage with legends like DVS1, SYNC (Hyperactive and DJ ESP), DJ Deeon, The Moover (Marc Acardipane) Ray Keith, T. Linder of DTM, USUK (Mark EG and Chad Stegall) from over the pond, and several others was incredible. My highlights have to be Ray Keith, Volvox, Erika, Marc Acardipane, Nigel Richards, and DVS1. DVS1 was a different beast altogether though. His performance at the main stage and then having the whole festival move over to the land of sunshine to play until sunrise was something I had never seen before. It was a surreal experience. Something to note as well, Ray Keith makes me want to convert to DNB. His DNB sound can be so dark and menacing in a way that I had never heard DNB before. I wish I could hear more of that liquid sound. There were several DJ's that stood out that we had never heard of prior to Even Furthur as well including Sari Postol, Jerome Baker, Lester Fitzpatrick, Collin Cook, Sloth Brigade, and so many more. Even Furthur is an experience you need if you want to envelope yourself in American Rave history.
BarnYard Boogie 18
In a last second decision, I decided to go to BarnYard Boogie 18. Tennessee DJ Papa Bear was scheduled to play along with several of my new midwest DJ friends. He and our friends Jesseka Taylor and John Madrigal were looking for a fourth person to carpool up to Illinois with and I figured why not. Christian Wayne, the ToyMaker Music owner, was kind enough to grant me a VIP/Press pass at the last moment.
Being at BarnYard Boogie 18 was truly special. The stages their were all so close together. It was really not a big deal to move between stages to see all of my friends play. Thankfully, the sound was fairly isolated well even though the stages were all so close together. Some sets that stood out to me were Tommie Sunshine, Lars161, Rhapsodic, Sloth Brigade B2B Fingerprint, DJ Lucky Rabbit, and Villains Wear Black B2B Unicorn Apocalypse.
Tommie Sunshine really surprised me with that Acid Techno and House set. His set took us down the roads of acid in an unprecedented way. Although the bass wasn't blowing the roof off the tent, it was easy to lose yourself to his mix. The Villains Wear Black B2B Unicorn Apocalypse set really brought out my love for Hardstyle again. One of the reasons I went from Hardstyle to Techno was that Hardstyle in my opinion has way to many pop and mainstream elements in it. Thankfully Villains Wear Black and Unicorn Apocalypse were able to keep it hard, dark, and menacing. I was also surprised to spin myself! There was a VIP stage with a roster for DJ's. I signed up and had my turn but no one came to replace me, I kept on going after I found out the entire festival pretty much got shut down because of noise complaints apparently! In the end I got to spin a couple hours, make new friends and have fun with some old ones.
Richie Hawtin in Atlanta
I missed Richie Hawtin in Detroit this year. I can give my excuses but all I can do is hope I catch him at the next festival we do press at. I figured I could make up for it by going to see him in Atlanta. It turns out that I was not only able to make the trip, but also bring a group of friends from Tennessee down there. Like, a whole freaking lot of people. In total there were around 15 of us that went down there. Eight of us even stayed together in our own AirBnb house. I was thankful for being able to bring together all of Techno loving friends for an adventure that we could be all on together.
Unfortunately, the opening DJ was making me fall asleep. Once Richie got on though, it was foot stomping and head banging for two hours straight. The venue Ravine was also quite incredible. The sound system was damn good. I just wish their drinks weren't so overpriced. I was happy to see a Techno legend like Richie pack the venue out. I can only imagine how much crazier Carl Cox will be in the new year. Getting my friends to mingle with the locals down in ATL with people like Zain Jafari and Christian Moreno was also a treat.
Once the show was over, our groups split up into two. Half of us went to Christians underground spot where Zain, a few others, and myself could spin while the other half went to a deep house after party to network with more locals. I wouldn't get back to the bnb till 7:30AM the following day. All of us had a great night down there and we are prepared to do it again. Eventually though, we will need to bring artists like Richie Hawtin to Nashville.