Unsound Festival New York at The Bunker with Petre Inspirescu, Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir, Mike Huckaby, DJ Qu, Barbara Preisinger, and Eric Cloutier at Public Assembly
Unsound Festival New York at The Bunker with Petre Inspirescu, Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir, Mike Huckaby, DJ Qu, Barbara Preisinger, and Eric Cloutier at Public Assembly 70 North 6th Street 21+, 10p-6a
Over the last few years, its been almost impossible to go anywhere and not hear someone mention the A:rpia:r group from Romania. Championed by Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano as some of the best DJ's around, the group has taken over dancefloors all around the globe, presenting people with their tasteful take on house music and showing even the masters of the game how its done. One of the groups most talented faces, Petre Inspirescu, more commonly referred to as Pedro, is making his first ever North American appearance at Unsound, and we're quite sure he's going to show us a thing or two on how to move a crowd. His DJ sets are as sonically baffling as they are irresistibly groovy; as a producer his tracks are as unhinged as they are methodical. Musical connoisseurs take note - there is, without question, the distinct possibility that in one sitting you'll be privy to rare classics, hidden gems and unheard secret weapons from Pedro himself during his set, so make sure you're paying close attention to one of house music's most talented new faces.
Detroit producer Anthony "Shake" Shakir is one of the more under recognized, underappreciated names in American techno. A producer since 1981, Shake had an important role in helping shape the early Motor City sound associated with artists such as Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, and in fact belongs to the first wave of producers. Unlike the famous Belleville three, Shake has remained elusive - a secret within a scene known at that time for multiple alias'. Shake was a very active part of the first two crucial generations of Detroit techno producers - recording some of his first tracks in Kevin Saunderson's studio, working with Derrick May on remixes, and dropping cuts for Juan Atkins Metroplex label were he also got his first taste of label management and A&R. His first solo material appeared on Virgin's seminal "Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit" compilation. As well as being tied to that first wave of producers Shake is perhaps stylistically closer to second wave artists such as "Mad Mike" Banks, Carl Craig (whose first track he edited), the Kinchen brothers and his close associates Dan Bell and Claude Young. Shake is one of the few that can tell you the full history of Detroit Techno from a Detroiters first hand perspective - he's seen it all from Cybotron to The Music Institute to the first DEMF and today's new generation of producers Shake was there. Shake is known for using diverse range of musical approaches from hard, stripped-down tracks to more experimental fare that owes equally to electro, hip-hop, jazz and funk. His music is always at the cutting edge and often unpredictable. In 2000, Shake was diagnosed with MS but his production work did not slow down. Instead he continued to release music consistently. This year, Shake has made a big comeback on the underground with two very highly rated 12"s, and in 2010 he will finally release a three disc compilation of his tracks on Rush Hour for those who have yet to discover his genius.
The main thing you need to know about Mike Huckaby is that he has impeccable taste and the ability to see past petty genre divisions to bring together amazing sets that may cover everything from the deepest house and the darkest techno to classic tracks from 20 years ago that you didn't even realize existed. These skills have landed him endless gigs worldwide at huge clubs, and make him an ideal DJ for the Unsound dancefloor. Although his talents as a DJ are well documented, do not forget that he is also a very accomplished producer of dub techno and deep house, with tracks on his own Deep Transportation and S Y N T H labels, as well as the Berlin-based Cache imprint.
Patience is a virtue, and quiet tastemaker DJ Qu has been on steady rise for many years. As founder and resident of the historic Dance Music Conference party that takes place in NYC every month, Qu garnered himself a reputation of subtle persistence, impeccable taste and technical mastery behind the turntables. Years of house music appreciation shine brilliantly within his talent, and he quickly found his way as part of the Underground Quality crew, headed up by another notable peer, DJ Jus-Ed. Deciding to turn towards production, DJ Qu created his own label, Strength Music, as a creative outlet for his compositions, and before long he was making his way to Fabric, Tape-Club and other illustrious venues around the world, preaching his house music gospel he'd so carefully been perfecting for so long. His careful track selection and deft touch behind the decks clearly are a perfect fit for Unsound.
One of the unsung heroes of Berlin is a talented lady by the name of Barbara Preisinger. One of the founders of the seminal ~Scape label alongside fellow Unsound performer Pole, Barbara initially made a name for herself DJing the lush and abstract sounds the label itself was known for, but it wasn't long before the call of the dancefloor was upon her and she made a switch towards the 4/4 side of things. It wasn't long before her talents and tastes being noticed, and being in Berlin, she was quickly cited as a remarkably gifted up-and-comer. After making the acquaintance of Daniel Bell, however, the two formed a smash-hit monthly, Deeper Still, at the always debaucherous but notoriously popular Club Der Visionaire, and Preisinger rapidly became a household name to the locals itching for a mature, well curated selection of house and techno to accompany their summer afternoons.
If you appreciate house and techno music with depth and sophistication played with tight technical skill and genuine feeling, Eric Cloutier should be on your radar. His recent sets around town have become an attraction for dedicated heads seeking a deeper shade of techno than your average weekend warrior. Aside from a few very memorable sets at The Bunker this year, Eric traveled to Japan to play at the Labyrinth Festival, and appeared in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Memphis, Vancouver, Boston, and Washington, DC. He put out several well received podcasts in 2009, and is working on a few new ones and delving into the studio for some original productions.