Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The other day I went to a local Atlanta electronic music event. Nathalie brought to my attention this ad in a local newspaper for a monday night "Laptop Battle". She mentioned "you should go! check out the scene". I jumped on the occasion to officially party on a monday night and second to really see what people were using as hardware and software combinations for music production.
So I went there. It was a sketchy part of downtown, a bar called "Lenny's" but it was reasonably packed, for a monday night that is. I have always like weekdays to go out and party. People who actually make the effort to go out on a Monday night are usually pretty deep into both the music and the scene.
The event was sponsored by Ableton, the maker of the popular production/DJ software called "Live". This was basically a meeting of the Atlanta Ableton User Group. It kind of feels like a Java User Group except the girls are very good looking.
So that settled the software part, it was all Live. The hardware was mostly shiny Mac laptops. The format was 2 guys (a few gals), 2 laptops, and they just play their stuff for 2 minutes each . As such it was more targeted towards producers than DJs. The stuff that came out of the speakers was actually pretty freaking good.
Some went long on the presentation which added to the show. One guy came with an acoustic guitar, played a tune for 20 second and then proceeded to build on it with house loops on top for what I thought was a pretty wicked result. He was unfortunately eliminated rapidly.
One overweight guy, think "numa-numa dance", came disguised as a wrestler from the WWF and had retrofitted a Commodore 64 to trigger MIDI segments of music in Ableton with its keys. He really sucked pretty bad, but since he had the balls to get up there and do it, most of the crowd went along with it and cheered him on anyway.
I really liked a guy called "Mr Green" or something, he might have been 240 pounds, sweating profusely, but was intensely focused. He was really passionate about the music he was playing and had actual talent for techno.
One of the funnier moments was when a guy that looked exactly like Rod Johnson, but actually looked cool, came on stage. I am not kidding you, I chuckled to myself. Instead of mixing tracks for 2 minutes what he did was put a single track and then proceeded to strip down to his shorts for the full 2 minutes. He was clearly having a blast. That cracked me up. The crowd loved it.
I split at about midnight with the battles and the crowd still going strong. I was really pleased to see such a geeky scene rocking its socks off on a monday night.
I will definitely go next year,