"Bass! How low can you go?!" Drop the Lime (AKA Luca Venezia) spends much time pondering the answer to Public Enemy's trenchant question. DTL runs the madly popular Trouble & Bass night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where hipsters of all persuasions gather to lose their shit.
Over several releases with Tigerbeat6 and other labels, DTL orchestrates collisions among hardcore jungle, grime, breakcore, and IDM. His music makes you feel as if your bones have been replaced with sticks of dynamite. DTL's approach is fruitfully nonpurist and multidimensional.
"Taking one best element from each genre and combining it into something new sparks a unique sound," Venezia says, "and naturally, that's what I find myself doing these days."
Judging from the progression of DTL releases, his music is becoming increasingly more accessible. Provoking dancing and fun seems to be his priority now.
"Shot Shot Hearts and We Never Sleep are both themed projects," Venezia explains, "where I constructed each song to balance the other. This Means Forever was more of a compilation of tunes, an experimentation with music and sound. I have always DJ'd techno and house and related styles, but... felt that I needed to fuck up sound in order to inspire and move an audience. I was so wrong. After touring for two years playing breakcore raves and festivals, I got headaches from the 250-bpm splatter breaks. I would drop techno into a [live] set and realized I had more room to improvise with a slower 130/140-bpm tempo versus the drilled-up 'Amen' breaks.... I want people to dance, and by dancing you allow people to feel free."
For his live sets, DTL improvises and genre-hops with impunity. "B-more, grime, techno, house.... Nothing is structured, so every set is fresh and exclusive to the night. I also incorporate my own vocals, sampling myself chopping it up. The live sets are about getting down and having a good time with the crowd."
Returning to Trouble & Bass, does Venezia have any theories why humans dig the low end so?
"Yes. I'm reading a book by Daniel J. Levitin called This Is Your Brain on Music, and it dips into the reason why music has such a strong effect on us. Music is just the vibration of molecules, and in our brain we have 100 billion neurons that are waiting to be excited by different vibrations. Bass, especially sub bass below hearing level (30hz to 20hz), gives us a feeling of nervous excitement, causing the musical experience to be physical, like a rollercoaster. Experiencing music without bass isn't as stimulating as with loud, pumping bass in a club, and people are less likely to dance. It's amazing what a couple subwoofers can do to a crowd."
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 10
The Googly is 21-year-old Silverdale resident Adrian Rowe. He's in the military, which makes him an oddity in our DJ scene. Maybe it was there that he learned the discipline necessary to excel behind the decks. He also has outstanding taste in minimal techno, house, and electro, and says that his first Seattle gig will end with Donnacha Costello's "OK, That's Great, Start Over." Nice. Kris Moon—I keep waiting for an enterprising label to sign him so the rest of the world can hear what this versatile techno-dub wizard can do. He should be touring the world, so that non-Northwesterners can witness the wickedness of his DJing and laptopping. Why isn't this happening? With Kristina Childs, Seattle's high priestess of techno. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873, 10 pm—2 am, $5, 21+.
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13
THE SATURDAY KNIGHTS
The Saturday Knights, newly signed to Light in the Attic, hold court in the renovated Bad Juju tonight as part of the Capitol Hill Artwalk. SK's DJ Suspence says it'll go down like this: "It's free admission, free drinks, free food, etc. We're showing off some photos Adam Weintraub took of our ugly asses, playing some party joints and just cold gettin' dumb. I'll be rocking an all new jack swing DJ set and maybe some slow songs for dudes to slow dance to (it is the day before Valentine's Day so...), Brian Weber will be probably be rockin' some rare soul/funk/disco/party shit, and DJ Fucking in the Streets will probably be rocking his brand of party shit. Just some hedonistic debauchery shit courtesy of the Saturday Knights." Hard to refuse that. Bad Juju Lounge, 1425 10th Ave E, 709-9442, 6 pm—9 pm, free, 21+.
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 14
For 12 years, this tireless American drum 'n' bass don has been bringing cutting-edge sensibilities to the touring circuit and vinyl bins. Dara's style is hard, fast, smart, and mind-bending. He'll give Chop Suey's improved sound system a vigorous testing. With the Dowlz, Dash, Aquasion. Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm—2 am, $8 adv, all ages.