The Bunker presents Function, Silent Servant, Grave Lady, A Made Up Sound, Literon, Steve Summers, and Bethany Benzur at Public Assembly
The Bunker presents Function, Silent Servant, Grave Lady, A Made Up Sound, Literon, Steve Summers, and Bethany Benzur at Public Assembly 70 North 6th Street 21+, 10p-6a
Function, aka Dave Sumner, should be a familiar name to anyone who's been paying attention to techno in New York City for the past 15 years. Heavily influence by the early New York rave scene (Limelight, NASA, Storm, etc), Dave dove into production with a few releases on Damon Wild's seminal Synewave label in the mid-90s. From the late 90s to the early 00s, Function put out many productions on his own label, Infrastructure. He also made an undisclosed number of the incredibly popular, anonymous User techno 12"s. He probably made a ton of other anonymous records too, but we'll never know for sure. In the process he made a strong artistic connection with Female and Regis from the UK, and formed Portion Reform with Regis, releasing a handful of 12"s on Downwards. This connection remains strong to this day. In 2008, Dave moved to Berlin and began to strongly focus on the Sandwell District label, which was undoubtedly one of the breakout labels that year. The label was launched in 2002, and has only put out 15 releases since then, each one well worth owning. In 2010, the techno spotlight is shining brightly on Sumner. He has a quarterly residency at Berghain, and appears regularly at other huge clubs around Europe, and has played legendary sets two years in a row at Labyrinth Festival in Japan. Function's past two sets at The Bunker completely brought the house down, and we expect nothing less tonight.
We first became aware of John Mendez in 1998 when a series of amazing records on a new label called Cytrax began appearing in NYC. Mendez founded the label, and recorded for it under his Jasper alias. The label produced tons of amazing records, mostly from new (at the time) west coast techno producers like Kit Clayton, Sutehk, Safety Scissors, and Twerk, all with a very unique and strangely psychedelic take on the sounds coming out of Detroit and Berlin. We cannot underestimate how important this label was in eventually steering us in the direction of founding The Bunker. Jasper also mixed the "Rauschen 15" CD for Force Inc, which made him into a successful international touring techno DJ for a few years. From 2002 to 2006, we heard no new music from Mendez, and thought he had given up on production. Then, in 2006, he started releasing under a new alias, Silent Servant, for the red-hot Sandwell District label. He has also taken on the duties of creating a visual identity for the label, which you can check out on their Where Next blog. So now Mendez finds himself once again an extremely well recognized and respected DJ and producer. It's been almost two years since we had him play at The Bunker, so his return is long overdue.
We don't know a lot about Grave Lady. She is one half of the Tropic of Cancer duo with Silent Servant, who released a stunning limited edition 10" on Regis' Downwards imprint last year. Shortly before this Halloween, she released the fascinating "Black Moods" mix on The Ladies and Gents Auxiliary blog. Tonight she will be playing the opening set, which will include a lot of the early music that influences Sandwell District, as well as premiering some new tracks.
Clone Records of The Netherlands has become a legendary organization in the electronic dance music world over the past 15 years. Clone was founded in Rotterdam as a record store in the mid-90s after Hotmix closed, and today is on the caliber of Hard Wax and Rub-A-Dub, but infused with it's own unique musical view that allows for thicker and sometimes warmer soulful sounds to come to the fore. Shortly before it was a record store, Clone was also a record label with the simple goal of entertaining themselves with the music they released. Clone began releasing freaky new music from then unknown Dutch artists, and eventually released Adult.'s iconic "Hand to Phone" picture disc and Drexciya's final album, amongst many other highlights. In early 2009, many music lovers' hearts sunk when we heard the news that the Clone label was shutting it's doors for good. However, a few months later, we were elated with the announcement that there were going to be at least seven Clone sub-labels popping up to pick up the slack. Since then, the quality and love put into both reissues and new material really outshines everyone else in techno, ranging from Dopplereffekt to Larry Heard to Italo Disco gems. Whatever trends come and go, you know that Clone is always finding startlingly good music that constantly reveals new things about the true sources of electronic dance music. In addition to it's already amazing online vinyl emporium, Clone has recently launched the Clone Digital download shop. Tonight we celebrate the Clone Basement Series sub-label, with appearances from label artists A Made Up Sound and Literon.
Producer Dave Huismans is A Made Up Sound (aka 2562). With early releases as A Made Up Sound on Shed's Subsolo imprint and as 2562 on Pinch's Tectonic, he quickly caught the attention of both the techno and dubstep cognoscenti. His strength is not necessarily that he merges these two genres, but more that he's crating his own sonic thumbprint with a sound that isn't easily classifiable into any known genre. His appearance as part of the Clone Showcase tonight is in recogntion of the amazing A Made Up Sound 12" he released as part of the Clone Basement Series last year. Dave's extended closing set at the Bass Mutations event at Unsound Festival New York in February completely won over the room.
Jason Letkiewicz is a Brooklyn based producer who has released as Steve Summers, Malvoeaux, and Two Dogs in a House. Tonight the focus is on his Steve Summers guise, under which he has released two EPs of raw classic Chicago House for Clone's Jack for Daze sub-label. HIs live, all hardware set is not to be missed.
Bethany Benzur is Kiss & Tell's resident disco encyclopedia and vinyl purist from Georgia. Recently relocated to Brooklyn, Bethany has been ruling the dancefloor at Kiss & Tell parties with her Southern charm. The DJ nerds are regularly awed by her selections of raunchy electro, glamorous dark disco, and soulful street funk. Bethany did an incredible job opening up the Clone Showcase at The Bunker in September, so inviting her back was a no-brainer.