Sunday, December 09, 2007

BT @ Fur

One of my favorite DJs (nay, laptop symphony conductor) has evaded me for 5 years. The closest I came to seeing a live set was Starscape 2006, where he performed for 12 minutes before the stage shorted out.

Luck be a lady, I saw an ad card at Buzz the night before. Despite two Christmas parties the same evening, I managed to show up at 1:00am in time to catch his set.

BT performed live at Fur for Turn the Tables, a National Wildlife Federation event aimed at education toward reducing carbon footprint.

DC's own On Tap Magazine ran this story just prior:

“What we really are trying to do with Turn the Tables is engage a certain demographic between 18 and 30 to confront global warming,” NWF event coordinator Alterra Robinson said. “We’re trying to mobilize urban Americans to pressure Congress and tap into the next generation of American voters.”

Turn the Tables at Fur Nightclub marks the inaugural event of what will hopefully become a series of nationwide electronic music events continuing into 2008. Although Robinson said they hope to recruit international DJs for future events, they decided to homebrew the first party with BT at the helm for the evening.

“I love supporting causes that are important, and music is a great voice to do that,” BT wrote.

I talked to a couple people just before the show, and I kept emphasizing the fact that BT, though an amazing musician, seems to have lost his fucking mind. I can't say in 1,000 words what this 8 minute video can convey:

This Binary Universe == 7 short films + 7 musical compositions + 1 frosty-topped whackadoo.

At first I was terrified: the handoff was spent hooking his NerdBook Pro up to the soundboard and several long minutes trying to get the levels right. When things were finally straight, he mixed a 1960's anti-war Black gospel (whose name I still haven't been able to find) into a house track, then sang along.

A few minutes after that track, he started laying down some beats (I assume live based on some of the rearrangement and mismatch when he started, which was far cooler than just spinning something out of the can) and ended up weaving together some amazing trance. I really appeciate a live show where an act (DJ, Band, Kazoo Soloist) can give you an experience you'll never have again: you're hearing something you'll never quite get outside of that room at that moment. The majority of BT's set was like that.

I'd try and reconstruct the set list, but I've got no shot here. I will tell you that near the end, BT spun up Somnambulist and sang the vocals live, then closed with Force of Gravity.

Worth the wait, worth the price, glad I got to go.

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