High Country Hi-jinks Jan. 22
In Boone, electronic music faces somewhat of a
Area musician Justin Butler feels the expansive genre is not well-represented in the High Country, and he's out to make a change.
The keyboardist for reggae-plus band Hope Massive, Butler also frontlines his own electronic music outfit, Boom One Sound, one of several acts to perform Friday, Jan. 22, at Koncepts Hookah Lounge in Boone. The show is called High Country Hi-jinks, and Butler promises it'll be as fun as it sounds.
"I'm bringing in different electronic groups and DJs to the Boone area, because I've always seen this as a genre that's lacking here, unfortunately," he said.
This includes area acts Boom One Sound, Tons O' Guns and DJ Fyah Babylon, as well as regional performers Quetzatl, Selector Cleofus and GalaxC Girl from the Asheville-based electronic music collective, the Wondrous Temple of Boom.
Butler also hopes to shatter some misconceptions.
"One of the big misconceptions is that electronic music is house music," Butler said. "There's definitely a strong-rooted history in that, but it's not limited to that by any means - I don't enjoy that particular music myself."
Another misconception is simply misperception.
"Take Thievery Corporation, for example," Butler said. "I know a lot of people who listen to them and don't realize they're not a live band, but two producers. When I explain it, let them listen to it, it's really musical and musically acceptable. There's just a lot of misconceptions about electronic music in general that draw people away, but I think they're getting pushed to the wayside."
Like so, Butler's glad to see more and more people embracing the music, either through attending shows or performing themselves.
"Lately, I've seen more and more people from Boone doing this kind of thing, but as far as regional and national artists coming to town, it's pretty slim," he said. "You really don't get a chance to see the underground stuff like you would if you were wanting to see a rock band."
With High Country Hi-jinks and other shows, Butler and the Temple of Boom are offering the High Country that chance. Butler intends to host monthly events, a plan that was temporarily derailed last month by the winter onslaught and vacationing students. He hosted a similar event in November and was impressed - and surprised - by the turnout.
"It went really well, with probably 150 (attendees) in there, five different groups and sets of sound systems, and a good light show," he said. "I was kind of skeptical, not knowing what to expect, but the turnout completely surprised me."
The goal, weather permitting, is to make this a monthly happening. "The response was so great with the first one I've already heard a lot of people talking about it, and I think the response is going to be very good on this one, as well," he said.
As a local performer, Butler has grown well-acquainted with DJ Fyah Babylon, who has already established a following, and Tons O' Guns, who he met through Babylon. Butler met Selector Cleofus years ago in Asheville, when first considering performing electronically. "He actually gave me a couple gigs in Asheville to help me develop my sound, because creating music for the car stereo is completely different than creating music for a PA system," Butler said.
As a member of the Wondrous Temple of Boom, Butler also became friends with Quetzatl and GalaxC Girl, who also VJs and will bring her light show to Koncepts.
"I've seen her do lots of big shows in Asheville," he said. "She'll bring several projects and lights, and it's pretty cool, really psychedelic."
Butler's led Boom One Sound for half a year, though he's been making electronic music for nearly a decade, having started off with simple drum machines and a four-track. "With the advancement of technology in the past five years alone, really, I'm able to produce full sounding electronic music in any drama I feel like working with," he said, mentioning remixes of soul and Motown tracks, along with dub reggae, dub step and hip hop.
"It seems the whole electronic music movement is the next progression in music. It's becoming really popular, has a real stronghold in a lot of things, and now seems like a really good time for it."
High Country Hi-jinks takes place Friday, Jan. 22, with doors opening at 8 p.m. DJ Fyah Babylon performs from 9 to 10:30 p.m., Selector Cleofus from 10:30 to10:55 p.m., Boom One Sound from 10:55 to 11:40 p.m., Cleofus from 11:40 p.m. to 12:05 a.m., GalaxC Girl from 12:05 to 1:05 a.m., Quetzatl from 1:05 to 2 a.m., and Tons O' Guns from 2 to 3 a.m.
Koncepts Hookah Lounge is located at 809 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 265-9477.
For more information on the Wondrous Temple of Boom, visit http://www.myspace.com/wondroustempleofboom.