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Interview: Drew Pompa (Blank Artists, Detroit)

I saw the Blank Artists tour back in August at the Hexagon. You can read about it here.

Blanks Artists is at the vanguard of Detroit’s underground electronic music scene. Forget the bloated Richie Hawtin Contakt parties, or the overpriced Underground Resistance nights, these guys take techno back to the way it was–raw, DIY, and uncompromising.

Drew Pompa’s set anchored that night back in August. He’s a fun DJ to watch–he gets lost in the groove just like the audience. Fortunately Baltimore feels like home for Drew (I guess all post-industrial, crime ridden cities are the same), and he’ll be making the rounds again this Friday, the 17th, for the October edition of Baltimore’s own More or Less party at the Hexagon.

Between spinning, and running a label, Drew is a busy man, so I shot him a couple question via email. Read the rest…

My Heart Still Beats in 4/4: Virgin Festival Dance Tent & Blank Artists Review

Electronic Dance Music was not the first music I fell in love with. My first aural affair began at an early age with the music I was playing on the piano and cello–classical (my favorite composer was Bach). As I grew older my taste diversified, though I still maintained a love of art music. However, I just wasn’t as into punk as all my friends were. In fact, I just wasn’t into the whole live band experience.

A bunch of factors led me to EDM, mainly the fact that it could still be heard on WHFS at the time. My taste matured from the near-rock of Prodigy, to drum and bass, and finally to that purity of sound of techno (mainly the Detroit, acid, and minimal kind). I began frequenting parties, club nights, “raves,” anything with beats coming out of a sound system. I began DJing with kids at school, then organizing our own nights in high school and college (though they where never heavily attended).

Techno was one of the passions of my life. I read, and re-read Techno Rebels: Renegades of Electric Funk. I spent way to much money on vinyl, and mixed instead of doing work. But slowly, I lost interest in that music.

My tastes became more inline with that of the indie trends. This is most likely due to the death of the EDM scene around these parts, and the astounding emergence and quality of Baltimore’s indie scene. The new indie electronic acts, though technically electronic, didn’t fit into the old paradigm. Dan Deacon is electronic, and he does make dance music, but not in the same way that Jeff Mills does.

The end of an era came for me when I packed away my second turntable, because I wasn’t using it, and it was taking up space. I sold much of my vinyl on ebay.

However, the electronic music I have experienced live over the past few weeks has re-invigorated my interest in the music that was once the sole pursuit of my life. Read the rest…