Terry Mullan and Tommie Sunshine: Meet your Bassgasm DJs, Vol. 4 (MP3s)
Minnesota's own self-proclaimed "genius of fun," ESP Woody McBride has long been one of the Midwest's techno sages and is again channeling the elusive old rave spirit with part deux of the Bassgasm saga tonight. As he did with Bassgasm 1, the second will lure old heads (who have grown up, started families and begrudgingly took real jobs) with his Wall Of Bass system, something ravers from here to Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and back again remember with intense clarity: A ridiculous rig of speakers so shockingly loud it could settle wars. We've experienced this big bassy bully that barely lets anyone within earshot gulp down a beer, the real phenomena being that electronic music fans actually live for this stuff. We aren't happy unless we're hurling at light speed toward deafness.
That said, all the good boys and girls best take cover, because the rest of us are boarding the crazy train tonight for nine full hours of dancing at First Avenue like the world's on it's way out -- and after this party, it might as well be. First, though, let's hear from the night's two major headliners (out of some 70 odd DJs), Chicago's acid house legend (and we do mean legend) Terry Mullan and indie-rock's favorite longhair behind the decks, Brooklyn's Tommie Sunshine.
Let the man jack / Denis Jeong Plaster for City Pages
Getting to know ... TERRY MULLAN
Downloadable mix: May 2010 (HQ)
Gimme Noise: What are your current creative projects?
Terry Mullan: I'm starting a new digital label called Coin Slot and am finally getting back in the studio to finish some slower bpm acid trax and other club stuff.
Why do you think you were booked to play BG2?
Aside from being the Tila Tequila of dance music, hopefully at this point in time my name equals great music.
Ha! Touche. So what's your favorite memory of Minneapolis? You've been playing here for like 15 years.
Wow, kinda hard at this point to remember one MPLS show that super stands out as they all had great vibes. All I think of when I do think of MPLS is ridiculously powerful, quality LOUD sound -- and no-one does it like Woody. I'm super stoked to be coming back and can't wait to put it down on the booming system.
Girls on bins via Bassgasm #1 / Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster
What kind of vibe are you playing this summer?
Full-on face melting party bangers, same as it ever was, really.
What artists are you currently into?
Recently I've really been into Flying Lotus, Figure, Gaslamp Killer, Excision, Reso, Subfocus, Janelle Monae, and Jared Wilson, to name a few.
What's one thing that you've noticed has really changed in the EDM scene over the years?
It seems to me that DJs get by now more on image and not on content or actual skills. I know we're living in the world of reality TV, but come on. I always fought hard against the notion that dance music was vacuous but now it seems to be semi-true.
Are you inspired by any artists from the Twin Cities?
Besides the obvious answer, I've always dug Morris Day & The Time, Information Society, Atmosphere & Husker Du.
Are you aware of First Avenue's legend?
Absasmurfly, Purple Rain say what?
How do you feel about the industry going digital?
Man, it's a complete trade-off. I love how clean everything sounds being digital and I don't have to worry about handling and storing my CD's like I would with vinyl. I also get a lot of music sent to me before it comes out which is cool for me BUT I absolutely miss record shopping. Now, anyone with a pulse and an Internet connection can download till their heart's content and the scene is inundated with poseur DJs.
With all this technology now at our disposal, styles get thrown in the blender and then the crock pot. Dubstep basslines existed in drum & bass forever, maybe they're more accessible now with a slower tempo and all the more flexed upon with our understanding of things circa 2010. I personally don't get trance and it's appeal which out-draws all the other genres put together. I guess Ecstacy is to blame as I can't understand it otherwise.
Give us a quote from someone inspiring.
"People will forget what you said and they will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" ~Maya Angelou
What's your all-time favorite party memory?
My craziest/best memory is from the festival Trans Musicales in Rennes, France. I had just started to travel overseas and there were 15,000 people in my arena going the eff off! I was and still am beyond thankful that a Midwest kid from the suburbs can make it that far. I had my own trailer to hang out in and played after Daft Punk Live and before DJ Sneak. Carl Cox and Laurent Garnier also played that night and if I could do the Groundhog Day thing and have that day go on forever it would probably be then.
Tommie Sunshine's hair will DJ Friday night
Getting to know ... TOMMIE SUNSHINE
Downloadable Mix: Swing Into Spring 1
How is 2010 treating you?
Much better than its treating the Gulf Of Mexico.
What are the skills that you have that you think got you booked at BG2?
My unique take on modern music that is unlike the rest of my peers.
What is your best memory of Minneapolis?
I was at some of the first rave parties thrown in Minneapolis. My first ever DJ gig was at one of Woody's parties in Minneapolis. The parties there were always great but the two standout sets for me was Jeff Mills in '94 and a pre-Plastikman set from Richie Hawtin. I used to get scabs on my nose from dancing so close to the speakers all night long until the morning. The wall was as tall as the room would allow and it was as loud as it could get without making everyone hurl.
What kind of vibe are you playing this summer?
With dance music exploding in America, I am playing a tour through the best of what got us to this place. Not classics per se' but the styles brought up to date by modern production.
What artists and productions besides your own are you really excited about currently?
I think that the availability of home studio software has leveled the playing field and opened up the door for almost anyone to make revolutionary music. Afrojack has changed house music for the better and I feel like the artists I signed to my new imprint, Brooklyn Fire, all have long careers ahead of them: Figure, Dan Aux, RipTidE, Jon Kennedy, Pola-Riot and Hidden Cat are all ones to watch.
What is your next production release?
A video and part two of the "5AM (A Girl Like You)" remixes are about to drop with mixes by Space Cowboy, Will Bailey, Strip Steve & DJ Sega as well as a new single I wrote with Shinichi Osawa called "Love Will Guide You".
You have been a headlining DJ for some time now, what are two notable changes in the past decade with regards the way events and clubs are featuring EDM?
I feel like they finally get what the rig should always be and maybe because there is so much money in it now they seem to be treating it with a lot more respect.
Are there any 80's, 90's or 00's rock, funk, rap, EDM or pop artists from the Twin Cities who influenced you?
The label history of (Woody McBride's) Communiqué, Twin Tone and Amphetamine Reptile as well as, to name a few, The Trashmen, Prince, ESP Woody McBride, The Replacements, Lipps Inc., Halo of Flies, Information Society, The Suburbs, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Hüsker Dü, The Jets, The Wallets, Soul Asylum, Run Westy Run, Cows and Babes In Toyland. There is no limit to how much the music of Minneapolis influenced my own music.
How are you feeling about DJing now that the industry has gone digital for the most part?
Do you miss record shopping? I ran a record store for 5 years, so YES I sure do. There will always be a divide between DJs that can actually play music with passion and tell a story and ones who are just going from record to record. Listen and your heart tells you who is who.
Give us a favorite famous quote from someone inspiring.
"It doesn't matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said." - Jackson Pollock
When you look at the Bassgasm line up, what do it say to you?
Terry Mullan is and will always be the star of the show.
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