BE-EVOLUTION featuring DR. DRAW, MORG and CRYOGENETIC with DJs THE DUKES, KISEKA, CHRISTIAN SKJODT and SALDEBUS at Art System (327 Spadina), Saturday (September 14), 9 pm. $10. firstname.lastname@example.org
You'd think that with the new accessibility of video editing software and audio programs, there'd be more multimedia events popping up around town.
True, the word "multimedia" may have lost through overuse any appeal it once had, but the creative possibilities of working with various senses simultaneously ought to be too tempting to resist inside the dance music world.
A number of DJs, performers and video artists have teamed up to put on Be-evolution, a fundraiser for CANFAR (Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research), and give new meaning to the tired term.
Deliberately positioning themselves outside the commercial dance club world has allowed them to juxtapose genres that wouldn't normally easily co-exist, like DJ Kiseka's deep, percussion-fuelled house and the Dukes' electro-infused funky techno.
The video artists were given access to tracks by the performers to use as soundtracks for their work. Some decided instead to make installations, and came up with pieces that will run continuously during the event. Some of the organizers might have been jarred by deviations from the original idea, but as this is a collective, everyone contributes in the way he or she sees fit.
Over pints on a Queen West patio, organizer Morg admits the collectivist, non-profit concept that Be-evolution now embodies wasn't part of the original plan.
"The concept originally came from Christian Skjodt, a really refreshing idealist, for a room he was putting together for the Wintergalactic party. I can't say I was a big fan of what they wanted to do with Wintergalactic in general -- we need another huge rave like a hole in the head -- but we had a good concept worked out for our little room.
"Of course, the event fell apart for various reasons -- money and so on. Sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
"The short version of the rest is that through that event I met some people who really rubbed me the right way, and I thought, 'Why don't we still do this?'"
Skjodt faded more into the background at this point because of day- job obligations, and Morg brought local promoter Diliana Alexander of Fifth Element on board to lend a bit of experience, help recruit more DJs and widen the musical perspective.
"What really impressed me when Morg told me about the event," Diliana explains, "was that the visuals and the music were intended to work together in a true 50/50 collaboration, instead of having music with video as a kind of moving wallpaper."
One of her contributions was the addition of rising local electro talent Cryogenetic, whom some will know from the Electric Workers parties (celebrating their one-year anniversary September 20 at the Mockingbird). Unlike most of the other collaborators, he'll be performing live at the same time as the video interpretation, which will be mixed and deconstructed live.
Dr. Draw, the crazed Russian-born electric violinist who regularly plays over top of DJs in some of the world's top clubs, should also be an interesting part of the event. He was responsible for connecting the party to CANFAR, as he also plays classical violin for much more upscale events.
Morg himself will perform live as well, singing and working the drum machine and synths. Unlike his speaking voice, he sings in a deep baritone, making good use of a vocoder to add subtle angelic harmonies without giving in to any of the Cher and Daft Punk clichés.