In 1994 my older sister gave me my first "techno" CD, which was a "Hardcore" compilation from Los Angeles ('ardcore breakbeat music was the precursor to jungle). This was my first intro to electronic music. I followed up by buying Deee-Lite albums and listening to The Orb.
In 1996 I saw Daft Punk's "Around the World" video on MTV's electronic AMP show while under the influence...
In 1997 I fell in love with jungle, which was still figuring out if it was called drum & bass or not. I spent the next 7 years making 2 albums worth of of dark, techno-inspired drum and bass music. I learned to DJ, built a little record collection (CDJs were barely coming into vogue), cut my own dubplates and immersed myself in what was once the underground sound.
Around 2000 I was going to Denver's weekly drum & bass night just about every week. I was too broke to get in (and not exactly of-age), but one of the tattooed bartenders liked me and got me in almost every week to see international acts like Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company and Cause4Concern.
In 2002 I grew tired of the increasingly homogenized sound and became aware of artists like Machinedrum, Prefuse73, Telefon Tel Aviv and other hip hop-inspired "IDM" artists. I released my drum and bass album and spent the next 5 years digging deep into experimental electronic music territory, actively searching for sounds that had little precedence.
In 2005 I learned about grime, what was to become dubstep, and the new wave of underground UK electronic music. I opened for Dizzee Rascal in 2005 when he came to Denver for the first time, playing for 150 people. Also that year, edIT (later of the Glitch Mob) came to Denver for the first time to play my CD release party for about 100 people.
In 2007 the dubstep scene in Denver had its pivotal moment when Skream and Benga came to play for the first couple hundred people in the city to know what was happening. Dubstep was still in its experimental but maturing phase. I played 32 shows that year in Colorado and Boston, playing almost exclusively my own music.
In 2007 and 2008 I went on a solo pilgrimage to Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the Mutek festival to get inspired by the world's most cutting edge experimental electronic musicians. This is also where I learned to love modern, minimal techno. I previously thought 4/4 music was dumb. I chanced upon a group of about 15 Coloradans who made up the Communikey collective, and made an amazing group of very special friends.
In 2008 I released my "dubstep" EP, though it didn't fit neatly into the (again) quickly homogenizing umbrella of a genre. I was fortunate to have @ninja-tune's Machinedrum and Starkey do remixes for the EP, and worked with Brer Rabbit (emcee of the Flobots) for the first time.
Later in 2008 I was sent to Berlin for a couple of weeks for my day job, to help build a web site for a major car company. I danced to techno at Berghain/Panorama Bar and Watergate, and found my way into a dark, nondescript warehouse on the east side of town to listen to some local dubstep DJs.
In 2009 I opened for Rusko in Boulder to a sold-out crowd of sweaty, shirtless 18-year-old college dudes. This was the end of my interest in the genre. I spent the next few years focused on a couple of very different side project bands, and started DJing the latest in "future bass" or whatever you want to call the diverse, leftfield sounds that spawned from the post-dubstep UK underground.
In 2010 I took another solo pilgrimage for my 30th birthday. Most of the electronic music that I fancy has come from the UK, so this was the destination. I saw Untold at Fabric in London, went to a @ninja-tune 20-year party in Bristol (a remarkable hotbed of forward-thinking electronic music), danced to Magda and Marc Houle at 5am on a Monday morning at Club Rex in Paris, and saw a slew of West coast American hip hop acts in Amsterdam. The United States has some cultural catch-up to do in many ways.
In 2014 I found myself much more interested in algorithmic, experiential and visual creative output and far less in tune with the current state of the music scene. When I started down my musical path, it was exciting because very few people were doing it. Now that everybody seems to be a DJ and the production tools are so accessible, it's just not as interesting or motivating to me anymore.
From a historical perspective however, there's so much incredible and important music that's been lost to time and trends, especially given the deluge of media that the Streaming Age has provided. With this in mind, and the circumstance around a recent show that I played, I spent some time researching early new wave, cold wave and neue deutsche welle from 1980-1985 and came up with a mix that explains a lot about the lineage of my favorite sounds. This is the set that I played live, and you can stream it over at Soundcloud. It's pronounced "noy-uh vayve", in a terrible German/English mashup.
Are there any esoteric sounds that speak to you?