DJ ESP's 'Bassgasm' party to feature Derrick Carter, Dieselboy & more
Just look at that flyer -- it looks like something you might have picked off the sidewalk back in downtown Minneapolis in 1996. The Twin Cities' homegrown techno godfather, DJ ESP Woody McBride, clearly has an itch for the good ol' days and we're all about to benefit from it. Sure, it kind of sucks this huge eight-hour dance party can't start at 1 a.m. in some condemned warehouse in the North Loop, but we'll gladly take the alternative: An all-headliners-all-night EDM extravaganza at First Avenue, the place that helped birth ESP's career back in the days of Radio Depth Probe with Kevin Cole.
We expect the vibe (you can't talk rave without it, sorry) will be something like Sunday Night Dance Party or System 33 back in the late '90s but with one or two major differences: First, the main attractions are worldwide dance music superstars (Derrick Carter from Chicago and Dieselboy from Philly) and secondly, you probably won't be able to clearly see the person next to you due to the massive vibration from bass that will have everyone bouncing like wind-up toys. Sound like a fun time? We thought so, but wanted to know more, so here's the 411 from ESP himself...
Denis Jeong Plaster for City Pages
Gimme Noise: What are you hoping this party will accomplish?
Woody McBride: This is an eight hour DJ and dance marathon. All headliners all night in five areas - a wonderful opportunity for everyone involved. This party is all about fun and excitement and good dance music of all shapes, sizes and styles. I am a techno DJ but I love and respect all styles of EDM and so should YOU! This is an early until late event. I want people to come out and dance all night at this ritual of fun, meditation, soul searching, and getting crazy! I have been very blessed with having to get to play my music all over the world. Part of giving back to my roots and continuum of fine dance music here in the TC is to share some of the special energy I have been exposed to. It will be great.
GN: How did you decide on the headliners?
Derrick Carter and Dieselboy are the best at what they do in America - maybe in the world - and it is an honor for us to share in their art form. And it goes deeper than that: Minneapolis, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, is home to several of the finest techno producers - The Attack People aka Dustin Zahn and Ian Lehman as well as James Patrick of Time Fog. And I suppose yours truly. Why look further when you have top shelf talent here? As this has become a techno city, I had to bring in some special surprises - Ciaglia from Indianapolis is one of America's next female DJ Stars - a master at DJing spacey minimal and tribal dance music that seems to flutter in from Never Never Land. From Detroit, there are is a collective of people that capture the spririt of the American underground - Detroit Techno Militia.And then there is the TC's biggest DJ, Soviet Panda, that is often overlooked by the scene per se but his draw and mixing style speaks for itself - he rocks every Saturday. The Midwest is also home to the nation's finest psytrance, so I brought the whole Mindoutpsyde crew up from Iowa with their DJs, their deco and their PLUR. Last but not least. Minneapolis is home to America's biggest happy hardcore deejay, DJ Spree, and his MC from Omaha - they light it up like any great performer ever. And DJ Vaski is a dub step phenomenon DJ/producer who is exploding here and everywhere - his music is something else, comparable to Bassnectar but with no fluff. I could keep going... all night all headliners. Down the rabbit hole we go.
GN: Tell us about a favorite memory you have with one of the headliners.
Whew... Derrick Carter showing up with the Superstars of Love to one of my parties looking like a cast from a '70s disco movie. His three deck layering of Prince records over the top of Chicago Jack records over the top of deep soul was boggling. As for Dieselboy, he launched an archetypal dance music historical moment in the Shawnee Cave in Southern illinois for 3,000 superfans years ago, taking five minutes to build up what was the most tension I have ever felt before. The beat and the bass dropped on a pretty good sized wall of speakers as a Superbowl-sized lazerbeam sliced through the air. My hair is still on end.
GN: Why First Avenue?
The people that work there are my friends and love my style of honest, affordable, rugged and loud dance music events. I love them back. I got my start at First Avenue and we are having ton's of fun. First Ave. supports some great independent dance music promoters in the TC and this show is the first time we have joined forces to create a super-club environment like they do in Europe and elsewhere. You can enjoy multiple styles of music, hang out with your friends, eat, drink and have fun all for one price. It is how it should be - the human experience is complex with a full spectrum of emotions and there is a style of EDM that will enhance, heal or harmonize with that feeling.
GN: Tell us about the sound system.
It will be one of the best walls we have ever done for a number of reasons: the technology of sound equipment has improved, and the technology of DJ equipment has improved. Less noise, more ooomph. It will be big and clean and magical. All the rooms will have fortified sound systems and the music that is programmed is bass-oriented music.
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