DJs get downtown for electronic music festival
Don’t request “The Chicken Dance” at this show.
Although some disc jockeys play the crowd-pleasing — or floor-clearing — song, none of the eight local DJs spinning at an upcoming electronic show is one of those guys.
In fact, Ryan Stringfellow jokes that he wants a T-shirt that says, “Does Not Take Requests.”
The no request policy along with a love of music are ways the eight local DJs are similar, but the personalities behind how that love sounds are pretty different.
Take Stringfellow, for example.
He is the executive director of KAFM Radio and has experience as a radio DJ, but that has nothing to do with his alter ego, DJ Strangefellow, a name that resulted from repeatedly meeting a man who “always told me my music was strange, and I was a strange fellow,” said Stringfellow, 33.
In terms of his DJ schtick, Stringfellow likes mashups, which is when a DJ blends two or more songs into one. His favorite mashup is Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and the Beatles’ “Come Together.”
Plenty of mashups, along with the beat produced by a number of different DJs will create “Inferno: Western Slope Summer Electronic Music Festival” on Saturday, July 24, at Mesa Theater and Club, 538 Main St. The DJs start mixing at 9 p.m., and the music and dancing will go until 2 a.m. Sunday, July 25. The cover charge for those 18–20 is $10. It is $5 for those 21 and older.
In addition to DJ Strangefellow, the following names are in the lineup: DJ Chris Epic, DJ Funk 10, DJ Puppet Master, DJ Blu Kaos, DJ Daytona, DJ Hyph-E, DJ Warrior One.
While many of the DJs have been spinning upward of a decade, there have been few opportunities for them to do a local show together. “Inferno” will be that chance, said Christian Herrera, one of the show’s organizers.
His other reason for working to stage this show was pretty simple: He likes electronic music.
Herrera has been to raves in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver. He wanted to bring some all-night theatrical dance party flair to Grand Junction.
An artificial smoke machine and lasers will be part of the shows on two separate stages at Mesa Theater. Dancers from Flawless Dancers, Kandicult Express and Illumicirque will create even more atmosphere, Herrera said.
Each DJ will be up for 60–90 minutes, and not everything coming out of Mesa Theater’s speakers will be as recognizable as Nine Inch Nails and the Beatles.
Chris Lawrence — 30-year-old DJ Chris Epic — will spin a blend of house, techno and progressive music.
DJ Puppet Master plans to put on Dr. Kucho’s “Groover’s Delight” and Hatiras’ “Something About You.”
“The first thing that got me hooked on the dance scene was the music,” said DJ Puppet Master, whose real name is Rex Barbour.
“It didn’t take long to realize that the driving force behind an amazing night was the music. The DJ is the shaman of the night and has complete control over his or her crowd,” said Barbour, 29.
That control is part of how Barbour, who works in the oil and gas industry, developed his DJ name, equating dancers to puppets and himself to music master.
“I have complete control over the feel, the mood and the energy of the people,” Barbour said. “I can manipulate it and take the people on any kind of journey I wish. It just made sense to call myself the Puppet Master.”
Not forcing that energy is key to everything, said DJ Warrior One, aka Dr. Christopher Lepisto, 38, a practicing naturopathic doctor who took his DJ name from one of his favorite yoga poses.
“If I do my part well, what happens from one moment to the next is completely spontaneous,” he said.
Lepisto promises to play an overdub bootleg of Radiohead and Dave Brubek, a jazz pianist, and a mashup of the Chemical Brothers and The Clash.
“The dance scene is about a group of people of all different ages, all different ethnicity and all different lifestyles coming together and having a good time,” Barbour said. “Through good music and good energy, these different people put aside the differences and have fun together.”