The evolution of Denver EDM has an extensive and diverse history. The popularity of today's genres like dubstep, riddim, juke and trap all share a similar bloodline which was spawned from a singular point in history. Thus, if you were a part of the revolution that launched back in the 90's, you probably remember those low key warehouse parties that boomed techno, jungle, and house into the waning hours of the night. Although breaks, garage, and jungle had already taken hold across the globe, heads in Colorado were slightly behind the curve. Keep in mind, this was at the pinnacle of the popularity of bass-infused music like g-funk, rap, neo-soul, and hip-hop as well. Nevertheless, as with any evolution, a break in the lifeline began to form and the genetics of Denver EDM began to coalesce into what we now refer to as bass music.
As breaks shot to popularity in the early 2000's a void was created in the scene where demand was beginning to overwhelm supply. Some of us probably remember losing our minds on the dance floor to a breaks set just to have the vibe thrown off kilter as trance or progressive started to pound out of the speakers. Plenty of area promoters were keen to the movement but mostly still focused on multi-genre events that appealed to the masses. Enter Sounds Of Bass. Launching in 2004, the breaks community welcomed the new endeavor with open arms. The love affair with breaks flourished and Colorado was blessed with events like Rize, Future Sound of Breaks, and Woodwork.
The foundation that S.O.B. helped lay for Denver bass music is still alive and well today. Over the years, they've blessed us with some legends in the game like Krafty Kuts, Reid Speed, DJ Icey, Martin Flex, The Freestylers, Deekline, and Stanton Warriors. Although the breaks scene is much more underground now, like the Denver techno scene it has definitely benefited from Denver's warehouse renaissance. Similarly, partnerships with local venues such as The Black Box, Lincoln Station and Thee Haus Ov Where?, have helped to keep it alive.
S.O.B.'s most recent events corroborate the notion that breaks are once again on the rise. Their Stanton Warriors + Krafty Kuts and Jackal & Hyde events each brought bassheads out of the woodwork to pack the house. As expected, Bass'd Out DNVR was on the job and in the house to chronicle both occasions.
Stanton Warriors + Krafty Kuts & Afterparty
The Black Box hosted a raucous affair when Stanton Warriors and Krafty Kuts came to town. Anyone who's anyone in bass music has graced the decks at this place and know the energy that their custom Funktion 1 array can bring. The Sub.Mission crew has put copious amounts of work into transforming the former blues club into the perfect bass music alcove. Surreal Laser complimented the ambiance nicely too as their popular visuals rig kept the vibe and the hysteria flowing constantly. The venue is nestled deep in the heart of downtown Denver which makes it the perfect location for bassheads to flock to when in search of the heart-pounding release the dance floor can bring. With this, it's easy to see why the Box has become the symbol of elite bass music in the Bass Capital. On top of that, its location makes it the perfect jump off point when it's time to blast off to the after party and continue the festivities.
Obviously, any time you have one legendary headliner in the house, the party will be too hype. But with two of the genre's finest on deck, the party shot to euphoric heights. Krafty Kuts got the party started right with his unique blend of breaks and turntablism that has garnered him the title of one of the 'best in the game.' Thus, his reputation for controlling the decks is one that supersedes his notoriety within any genre. Getting to see him lace track after track with filthy cuts was a sight to behold. Along with flawless mixing, the genre bending track-list of his set kept the energy pumping throughout the building for 90 minutes straight. No doubt he set the tone for what Stanton Warriors were ready to bring.
Krafty Kuts (left) and Stanton Warriors [photos by Kinetic Foto]
The Waaarrrrriiiooorrrrsss definitely came out to play! S.O.B. made the right move investing in the 90-minute set with them, as well. From this, Denver was blessed with a three-hour block of speaker blowing breaks which at that moment was easily the best in the nation. Stanton's got a long history of amazing original mixes and re-rubs that have long since become anthems. Just seeing them drop those gems live is plenty. However, having them shuffle those in with fresh remixes that you can only hear live is mind bending. Not many DJ's have what it takes to follow Krafty Kuts but these two definitely held it down.
Additionally, the dance floor was packed from the moment the doors popped until the crowd's final pleas for an encore. Sounds Of Bass boasted an elite, bass-heavy supporting lineup which included: Breakbeat Mafia, D.O.H., JDouble, Beats Me, Seraiah, Raptor, Miss Jaedha, Queen Beats, Jason Scott, Vertigo, Slim_R_I and Relyt. Despite providing two separate stages for the night's revelers, it was every man for himself when looking for a vacant spot to unwind on the dance floor. The breakdance cypher that bubbled all night long made sure of that. Furthermore, the artist roster was a clear expression of the diverse and deep pool of talent Denver has to offer. Whatever your flavor of bass music, D-town has exactly what you need.
The After Party
S.O.B.'s after-party for this event was absolutely the place to be. Aside from all the amazing local talent which included: Breakbeat Mafia, Meraki, Hartshorn, Vertigo, Tony Knight, and Shua; Stanton Warriors were in the house too! Relyt and Slim_R_l gallantly commandeered emcee duties. With the stunning backdrop of Spectra Art Space, all of the performers came together to create a memorable experience which kept the bass flowing until six in the morning. If you weren't there you definitely missed out.
Jackal And Hyde Warehouse Event
First of all, following up Krafty Kuts and Stanton Warriors was going to be a tough outing but Sounds Of Bass definitely came through. Secondly, joining forces with Freebass to host the event was an excellent idea as well. They are definitely one of the more respected bass music crews in the Denver bass music scene. S.O.B. enlisted a monster lineup to deliver the bass supplies for this rager too. DOH, Teknikol, Dirty Rotten, Breakbeat Mafia, GhOsT, Domina, Hartshorn b2b Pepperjack, Steve Gonzo, John Autobahn, Benny Young, Fuse, Relyt, Slim_R_l, R.D.P., Miami, and J-Zen all brought the ruckus.
Everyone murdered the decks and kept the crowd full of energy before and after the Jackal And Hyde set. That's likely the reason the party never diminished. Last but not least, Jackal And Hyde put on a memorable show! The unconventionality of their sets are something not many have seen. Thanks to the Sounds Of Bass team, Denver got to witness their mastery firsthand. It was a truly raw breaks set with beats, old and new, remixed on the fly. Only leaders of the old school possess skills like that. All of these things are perfect examples of what we've come to expect from S.O.B. events.
It seems like Thee Haus Ov Where? is hosting one fire event after another. The Jackal And Hyde Warehouse Event was no exception. More than anything, the vibe they create seems to bring the best out of the DJ's of the the underground. Plus, they were able to transform their beloved gallery into a two-stage bass factory (including an outdoor stage) which vibrated walls for miles around the Santa Fe Art District.
Stanton Warriors + Krafty Kuts / Jackal And Hyde [photos by Kinetic Foto]
With these last two installments of bass, S.O.B. has solidified it's place in the history of Denver bass music. The statement that they've made has never been more clear than it is now. Since their first event in 2004, they've been single-handedly keeping breaks alive in Colorado. Nevertheless, if you love breaks or just bass music in general, now is the time to join the movement. Be sure to stay tuned as they release more info on their upcoming events. Breakbeats are alive and kicking in Denver and S.O.B. well never let that change.