Every now and then Dallas gets a string of shows that make you forget that we live in a Southwest region that often gets passed over by underground artists. The month of August will feature plenty such reminders, with the new few weeks bringing some cornerstones of underground DJ culture through the area from a variety of genres, although especially in drum and bass.
Doc Scott at It''ll Do Club, August 8
Doc Scott has been a dominant force in drum and bass since its earliest days. His 1991 breakthrough track "Speed" was an early rave staple, and with its glaring 808 state sample also early evidence of how much drum and bass and techno were related in their infancy.
In the DJ world there are producers that become DJs and DJs that also produce. Doc Scott is the latter, which works to his advantage on the dance floor thanks to his top-notch track selections and renowned mixing skills. Scott released key tracks all throughout the '90s on legendary labels such as Metalheadz. His recorded output has been minimal since then, but he has remained a force to be reckoned with on the drum and bass circuit.
Roy Davis Jr. at It'll Do Club, August 9
As an early keyboardist of Phuture (the originators of acid house), Roy Davis Jr. is one of the pioneers of the Chicago house scene. Davis was also an early key player for legendary New York house label Strictly Rhythm and an accidental early influence on U.K. garage with his seminal "Gabriel" single on XL recordings. More recently he has even collaborated with bass music producer Zed Bias for the taste-making future bass label Swamp 81.
Throughout his many flirtations with different dance music styles Davis has always held true to the fundamentals of Chicago house. On his latest album Destroy and Rebuild, he bypasses the modern computer approach to writing dance tracks in favor of an old-school, all-hardware approach to keep in touch with his drum machine house roots. That same devotion to the classic sound is also reflected by his always consistent DJ sets.
Marcus Intalex at Green Elephant, August 15
Marcus Intalex has been a cornerstone of innovative drum and bass since the early 2000s with his groundbreaking M.I.S.T. project. His drum and bass label Soul:r and influential future bass label Revolv:r have boutique status among collectors of forward thinking bass music. Intalex has had releases on some of the most noteworthy drum and bass labels like Metalheadz and Hospital. Over the past three years Intalex has also made big waves in the techno world under his Trevino alias.
Intalex's sets are deep, soulful and relentless. He keeps a very minimal and experimental atmosphere with unexpected twists and turns that pull from every corner of the drum and bass spectrum. He'ss a true innovator amongst his drum and bass peers.
Kevin Saunderson at It'll Do, August 16
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As part of Detroit's Belleville Three (along with Derrick May and Juan Atkins), legendary techno innovator Kevin Saunderson helped create the genre we know as techno, or more specifically Detroit techno. Fusing the funk of Funkadelic with the robot worship of Kraftwerk, the Belleville Three set the foundation that most modern dance music has been built on.
Although Saunderson has been in the game since the '80s, his modern day sets are as far from retro as it gets. He mixes up new versions of old techno staples from his massive discography amongst the latest and greatest in innovative modern techno. Saunderson is as dark, soulful and futuristic as it gets. Be prepared to move your feet and sweat hard as you witness a masterclass in techno mixing as performed by one of the best (and first) in the scene.
DJ SS at Wit's End, August 21
Continuing a streak of historically significant drum and bass DJ's swinging through Dallas this month is another old school staple, DJ SS. Originally cutting his teeth as a scratch DJ in the breakdance era as Scratchenstein, he shortened his moniker to SS and found his stride during the original U.K. jungle explosion. In the early '90s he started his Formation Records imprint, where he released his own music as well as big tunes from such drum and bass luminaries as Roni Size, Grooverider, Shy FX, Frost, Carl Cox, Krust, John B. and Mickey Finn.