The Bunker presents Optimo, Brian Kage, Luke Hess, Christina Chatfield, and Seth Yender at Public Assembly
February 3, 2012
Although they have many accomplishments, JD Twitch and JG Wilkes, aka Optimo, are best know for their weekly Sunday party at Sub Club in Glasgow. The event started in 1997 and ended in April 2010. Over 12+ years, the Optimo DJs stuck to an extremely diverse playlist while introducing an incredibly wide variety of guest artists. If there is anything Optimo are known for, it's taking chances. We've been fans for a long time, but it was after tuning into the live seven hour stream from Optimogeddon, their final night at Sub Club, that we knew they would be the perfect DJs to play an extended set at The Bunker. We invited them to play an eight hour set in the front room for The Bunker 8 Year Anniversary, and they delivered one of the sets of the year, finishing with the room still absolutely packed at 7am!
We have been fans of Detroit's Berreta Music imprint for a very long time. Soul Over Hype, is a guiding mantra of Beretta Music, the label that Brian Kage co-founded in 2002, and it has played a very important role in helping to shape the self-fulfilling prophecies for each internationally respected artist on its impressive roster. Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Jesse Somfay, Luke Hess, and Alex Israel – many of whose talents were first recognized and developed by Brian at their side in the studio to produce key tracks that defined them as artists and unlocked the first doors to the paths of their noteworthy music careers. The newest generation of staggeringly talented up-and-coming Beretta producers that Kage is helping to develop include Arthur Oskan, Christina Chatfield, Joshua Harrison, Seth Yender, and Charley Ten. We have been meaning to do a proper Beretta showcase at The Bunker for a while now, but it was over Memorial Day weekend in Detroit last year that it became obvious this had to happen sooner rather than later. On Friday night, the upstairs room at TV Bar was the place to be, with every Beretta artist delivering confident, blinding sets. Later that weekend, Brian Kage and Luke Hess performing as Reference played what was possibly the best main stage set of the weekend at the Movement Festival.
Shrouded in the shadows and history of a city that has seen the rise and fall of so many innovative musical careers before his, Brian Kage is still on his way upward in search of the perfect place to shine in the sun. Fueling his gradual and twisting assent, Kage’s intimate connection with the place where the first electronic dance music experiments gave birth to a genre that grew to consume the entire world, combined with an impressive cache of extremely technical production expertise culled from nearly a decade of running a techno record label, producing live events, hunting down and capturing historically significant analog gear, and working as a senior studio engineer for a Platinum selling recording group – all contributes to his ability to continue successfully nurturing the tenuous community of musicians committed to keeping the torch lit in Detroit. Kage notably holds down one half of the techno duo Reference alongside collaborator Luke Hess. Their combined soulful efforts have been recognized with the accolades of releasing a string of excellent EP’s on Carl Craig’s legendary taste-making Detroit label, Planet E; as well as noteworthy headlining appearances of their dynamic liveset performances at Detroit Electronic Music Festival and Fresh Weekend in Barcelona. Born in 1980 and raised in the Detroit area, Luke Hess has harnessed a deep appreciation for electronic music and the expression of the underground movement. His background in mathematics and engineering has given him a scientific approach to the dance floor, using frequencies, tones, and soundscapes to transform surroundings and mood. His music quickly caught the ear of Omar S, who released two of his EPs on his own FXHE imprint. His debut album was released in early May 2009 by Denmark based label Echocord. With ten years of DJ experience, he is regarded as a perfectionist in his live sets and behind the decks, layering his tracks in a very detailed and hypnotic manner. Luke has played at notable venues and events such as Culture Box, Panorama Bar, Fabric, Unit, and DEMF. In 2010, Luke launched his own label (DeepLabs), and released an EP as Reference (with Brian Kage) on Carl Craig's Planet-e. Luke appeared at The Bunker as 1/2 of Reference in 2008, and again for a solo show at Unsound Festival New York in 2010.
San Francisco based Christina Chatfield is a techno and house producer whose live shows have been garnering attention on the West Coast. Working under her own name and the pseudonym Antiserk, she has released music on Detroit label Beretta Grey, Klectik Records and Racecar Productions. She made her New York City debut at Unsound Festival in April 2011, appearing alongside techno legends Octave One, Atom Heart, and Tobias. She played an amazing set, but due to the extremely stacked lineup, she did not get the chance that she will on this night, to play to the prime time audience she deserves.
Seth Yender may have taken his time getting here, but that, in a world of increasingly disposable music and instant djs, is a good thing. Growing up around Detroit, cutting his teeth on the legendary dj heroes such as Richie Hawtin, Moodyman, Carl Craig, and Stacey Pullen and clubs such as Motor, he watched, listened and honed his craft. Now, after studying musical theory, production and a host of genres, he's ready to unleash his own sound, which can best be described as organic, eclectic, obviously inspired by the history of Detroit and, most importantly, made for the long haul. With his forthcoming debut EP on Beretta Grey, Yender excavates the deepest parts of his soul to craft two huge melodic late night jams that will definitely continue to be played for decades to come.