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  INCEPTDATE FEATURING DJ MASEVO and some other folks  
  The Echo Lounge  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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A music scene is often thought to be a solid thing: the same people in the same clubs seeing the same musicians day after day, week after week, year after year. And yet, if you really are part of a scene, you will notice the people fade in and out of existence. You might see the really pale, red-haired girl at every show for a month, and then not see her again for a month or so. So where do these people go? What else do they do with their lives?

Maybe, just maybe, they get into electronica and leave the Indie Rock World. At least, that is my new theory after going to the Lifeform.Project Night at The Echo. I saw all sorts of people who i had thought moved away from Atlanta: ex-Indie Rockers and Scenesters, here gathered to talk and drink and listen the beat beat beat of the laptops. Who knew?

So there is this whole other "scene" in Atlanta -- the underground electronic scene. And this was my introduction to it i suppose. Before i describe the music i heard, i have a few "meta" comments on the whole thing.

Firstly: i never had any idea who was performing. According to The Echo, the following artists were performing: Anomaly, Knamiproko, Inceptdate (featuring DJ Masevo) and DJ Nemo. I saw 5 separate acts perform, and i know that the last artist i saw was Inceptdate featuring DJ Masevo. (And i only know this because Inceptdate is the project of a guy who i used to work with, as a wage slave in an office. He's a graphic artist by day, underground electro-rocker by night.) That, together with the fact that i left shortly before 1 leaves me questioning who the heck i saw. Which is frustrating to me: if i see any of these names listed at a show again, how will i know if i liked the artist enough to head back to hear them again?

I know that in electronica it's not about the performer: and yet, the DJ still controls the music, and i am still there to listen. I suppose it is a bit too much to ask them to introduce themselves to the crowd, but maybe they could wear nametags.... Actually, what would be great is if the club used placards to tell you who was on stage at any given time. I am thinking of something like the old signs that used to be on stage during vaudeville shows. (Not that i know vaudeville per se, but rather, this is what they would do in old Warner Brothers cartoons featuring vaudeville.) Anyway, i think that would really help. Something needs to be done to tell me, the schmoe in the audience, who is making the music at any given time. I suppose that i could have asked somebody. But it just never occurred to me. I mean, rockers tend to make a point of letting you know who they are. These people, on the other hand, played, then left, without a word.

Which brings me to my second comment: the whole thing seemed voyeuristic. The artists were in their own little worlds, spining records and listening to headphones or fiddling with a laptop. Considering that they almost never make eye contact with the crowd, i felt like i was watching somebody just play around with music gear, unaware i was in the room. It was kinda creepy, really.

Which is why everyone else came there with a group of folks, and these people stood around talking in small clusters. None of the other Minions would have put up with this, so that option wasn't there for me. At any rate, i found it somewhat strange that, for long periods of time, no one would be watching the performer. Strange. I mean, weren't the various DJs the whole reason that people were there?

Well, all of that confused me. But the music -- on the whole i liked it. As i said before, i got to see 5 separate artists perform. Since i have no idea who they were, i will just describe them in the order they took the stage(s).

Starting out in the main room of The Echo, there were 2 guys setting up gear. One of them left, and the other started to play some vaguely hip-hopy, kinda glitchy stuff. It was decent, but people in the crowd really seemed to be getting into it. Specifically, there were these 2 girls with hula hoops who were dancing and hula hooping away. I had never realized before how scary it is to have a whizzing tube of plastic come within 3 inches of the beer glass i was taking a sip out of! A few inches the wrong way that that plastic would have knocked thick glass into my teeth! Needless to say, i moved back in the crowd some, to give the girls some room.

Anyway, this DJ's stuff was nice enough, but there was a sameness to it that wore on me after a while. So i went to the back lounge, to see what was going on there. In the far corner of the back lounge there was a small table with 3 powerbooks set up. One "computer nerd" type guy was busy at work at one of them (playing solitaire i bet) while it cranked out some mellow ambient music. Me and my non-spilled beer found a seat away from hula girls and just sat and listened. It was very pleasant ambient, not the best i have heard, but pretty good. However, well, i normally listen to that kind of stuff while writing or reading. And usually there is a cat on my lap. I found that i missed these things from my normal "ambient music experience", and that the difference of being in a public place did not compensate. What i am saying here is that i would rather have been listening to this stuff at home. But oh well....

After a bit the DJ swapped out with another powerbook user. This new DJ created some nice, head-bopping electronica in the vien of Boards of Canada or Miles Tilmann or Casino vs. Japan. It was all lush keyboard loops and funky beats. I found this to be very enjoyable, and was getting into the groove of the tunes when suddenly applause occurred in the main room.

Applause at an IDM show? That never happens! So i went out front to see what the fuss was.

It turns out that the applause signalled a change in the DJ out front. The other guy who had been setting up gear at the beginning of the show took over. On the whole, well, i thought his music was very similar to the first artist in the front room: glitch with hip-hop beats. However, it had gotten a little more crowded at this point, and people were gettting into the music. I stood and listened for a while, then decided i would be better off with the stuff in the back room.

After a while there was more applause, and then a noticeable silence out front. It was about midnight at this point. I wandered back to the now crowded main room in time to see Inceptdate and DJ Masevo setting up. There was a ton of gear to be wired in, and Inceptdate also had a guitar.

They were ready kind of quickly considering the amount of stuff they had, and they starting playing without any fuss or word to the crowd. Basically, DJ Masevo spun records and laid down a beat, while Inceptdate played guitar and keyboards into a sampler. This was about the first 5 to 10 minutes of their performance. Then Inceptdate spent the rest of the show playing with the gear to manipulate the sounds he just put into the sampler. In all honesty, i have never seen anything like that before.

Musically, DJ Masevo's beats were very hip-hop, while Incpetdate's guitar and keyboards were kind of shoegazer/indie rock. It made for a really neat mixture, and i enjoyed it.

But at 1 AM on a work night, this Minion turns into a pumpkin. So about 1 hour into the set, i headed for home. I wonder if anyone else was playing afterwards?

So on the whole, a pretty decent night.

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