RETURNING TO THE UNDERGROUND
Chicago electronic music fans should consider themselves blessed. As fans in many other cities experience a proper live DJ set so infrequently that it requires a calendar entry, I can not recall the last weekend in Chicago that didn\’t have at least one performance that caught my eye. In fact, more often than not, fans here are presented with an abundance of top tier performances that can often lead to some difficult decisions. While seemingly proper for the city that house music calls home, this wouldn\’t be possible without the club owners\’ focus on booking the right talent, whether international artists or the highlights from our local community. It isn\’t just the club scene that we should be thankful for, however. Chicago is also home to an incredibly profound underground scene that satisfies even the most demanding music fanatics. From the regular weekend spots presenting some of our favorite locals to the larger-specialty events hosting artists from around the world, Chicago will rarely leave you with a reason to be home by 7am (Don\’t worry, you can sleep during the day!).
Last weekend was no exception. As the club scene hosted an array of talented artists, from Felix da Housecat performing as Aphrohead at Spybar to a live PA performance by Henry Saiz at Primary, Chicago music fans were in for a treat no matter which option they chose. For the music fans that were left with an appetite for more, Reverse Events stood up to the plate and served them with a proper taste of Chicago\’s underground by hosting Tech(no.4), the fourth installment of their Tech(no) event series. The Tech(no) series is a fairly new entrant to Chicago\’s underground scene, but it\’s age shouldn\’t dissuade you. The fresh approach taken by Reverse Events, coupled with high end production and Chicago-based talent, equates to quite a successful night.
If you are familiar with Chicago talent, then the artists involved should be enough to detail what a great night Tech(No.4) was for music. The line up (Pictured above in order from left to right) included late night favorites NO:SL33P, Meister (A Reverse Events Partner), Twitchin Skratch, Xonic, Derek Specs, and Bucky Fargo. The Tech(no) series invites artist that can not only provide a proper techno set, but asks them to push beyond the comfort zone of the genre, allowing them full freedom of expression and experimentation that can bring out the true inner artist. Not a single member of the line up didn\’t live up to that request; from groove focused minimal to chest-pounding techno, there wasn\’t a moment where the music wasn\’t on point. This wasn\’t a show for the casual \’EDM\’ fans: This was a show for the city\’s techno heads, by fellow techno heads.
While all of the artist\’s sets delivered non-stop quality, it was the unplanned back to back performance between Twitchin Skratch and Derek Specs that stood out for me. There is always an interesting new dynamic that a back to back set between two independent DJs can present. While at times this can be less than favorable if the artists are not stylistically compatible, I found that Derek and Twitchin Skratch, both well known for being techno-heads themselves, found their groove instantly and kept the warehouse\’s crowd enthusiastically moving through the entirety of their set. When you attend enough sets, you begin to notice the underlying characteristics that contribute to performance quality. For the back to back between Derek and Twitch, it is the passion they both share for the music that allowed the set to stand out. While their performance left the strongest impression upon me, that is not to undersell the other artists. There wasn\’t a moment in the night that the dance floor wasn\’t moving or the music didn\’t engage the crowd. The line up included 6 experienced and talented selectors who used the opportunity to show the late night tech(no) crowd how they represent our city.
A DETROIT SURPISE
The back to back between Derek Specs and Twitchin Skratch was not the only surprise of the night. If I had one disappointment that night going into the night, it was that the unfortunate overlap with a Golf Clap performance at Primary. I have caught Golf Clap a few times previously, from sets at Primary to a prior surprise appearance from one of the members at an downtown after hours. If you haven\’t become acquainted with the duo from Detroit (pictured above on each side of Miester), I highly recommend you check them out. Their unique style, referred to by the group as \’peak hour deep house\’ is always a dance floor pleaser. They were a welcomed addition to the line up, and proof that anything can happen when music fans gather for an underground event.
PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENT
The line up was certainly not the only assurance of quality presented by Reverse. The event, hosted in a west side warehouse that attendees of the prior tech(no) events would find familiar, was managed extremely well. From the very tightly run security that made sure the event ran as smoothly as planned, to the layout of the party area, it is apparent that the promoters went the extra distance to ensure it would be an enjoyable experience for all. Along the outer walls the space was outfitted with plenty of seats and couches to provide rest when needed, and the dance floor was large enough that everyone could enjoy themselves without feeling overly crowded.
On top of the accommodation quality was a production set up that proved that underground events don\’t have to feel low budget. From a DJ booth surrounded by flat panel TVs, featuring music driven visuals, to the lasers and lights illuminating the dance floor, it seems not an expense was spared to ensure the environment matched the talent on stage. The production quality of Tech(No.4) showed a substantial improvement from the first tech(no) event I attended, and considering that I as impressed with the first event, demonstrated Reverse Events\’ commitment to providing a unique experience with everyone of their shows.
Overall, Reverse Events found success in hosting a music-focused night that delivers on all promises. From the top-quality local talent to the visually appealing production, they proved to be contenders in the underground party scene with an appetite for growth. I look forward to attending their next event. Be sure to follow Reverse Events on Facebook and stay up to date on their next event. Rumor has it that Tech(no) will be making another appearance in late November.