One Sky (Brooklyn, NY); issue no.14 Fall 1994
Profile - Drop Bass Network
by Heather Heart
Who is the Drop Bass Network?
Myself Kurt Eckes aka jethrox doing a lot of the work & partner
Patrick Spencer aka Jedidiah the Messiah; plus about a dozen squad
support people who faithfully help at events & our terror unit DJ
DBN was originally created to organize parties, tell me about the
DBN parties were at first a mixture of house, breaks & hard core.
After a long winter in 92 we decided to make our events represent
our tastes - hard core & acid. Since then Drop Bass is synonymous
with meaning hard as fuck music, walls of sound & out of the ordinary
venues (since warehouses are taboo in Milwaukee). Usually the events
leave you beat to a pulp, but some times things don't turn out as
planned & then we have to redeem ourselves. Our following is very
loyal to what we do. The people here are very into the scene & appreciate
what goes on.
Who inspired you guys?
The first inspiration was Adam X at GROOVE YEAR & FAZE in Chicago.
His music was fast & busy and it made people go crazy. The last
STORM RAVE was the turning point. For once I saw you could do an
all hard core party. Some people say we "spoon fed" the scene &
now people know nothing but gabber & hard core - but this is Milwaukee
(beer, brats & bowling) so it's only natural.
music. Hard pulsing acid from Germany, gabber from Holland & rough
tracks from NYC. We are DJs ourselves & keep up on releases weekly
(averaging 20 new records a week.)
Tell us about the Midwest scene?
The Midwest scene is tops. Currently there are over a dozen
zines coming out regularly. Many people own turntables & are buying
records. There is a growing female involvement in the scene. People
act & react to the scene & it evolves. Controversy abounds (as any
where else) break beat vs. hard core, house vs. hard core, arguments
about sexism, racism, satanism, the house nation, you name it, they
have an opinion on it. There is always some thing going on. Those
of you with computers try "MW-RAVES@CSD4.CSD.UWM.EDU" (note: now
it is firstname.lastname@example.org) to see what we mean. There are lots
of different styles at parties too, house, trance, tribal, old acid,
breakbeats. Some get busted, some don't. Clubs in the Midwest are
pretty bad so those who want the real deal can find it. The cities
are Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St Louis, Chicago & Madison. Each has
it's own style with Milwaukee being the hardest & St Louis the softest.
Each city can draw 1000-1500 people on any Saturday night provided
the event is reputable. The Milwaukee police hate raves so our scene
here exists 10-30 minutes outside the city. Currently free parties
are happening every Friday night in Milwaukee or Chicago - very
under ground in nature. Last year sucked with bad promoters & nitrous
wars. Now both are gone & things are busting loose again.
What led the DBN to become label managers?
DBN became a label when ESP talked us into it. There are a number
of DJs that make
tracks here & are as good or better than anyone else. It was all
part of trying to incorporate a stronger Midwest hard corps scene
& to make the rest of the US take notice. Because we are small &
under ground it is easy for us to put a record out from start to
finish in about a month. This way there is no big delay in getting
music out & that makes that artist happy.
Even wise, we are doing a series of very hard events (3.19 Milwaukee
-4.2 Chicago & 4.9 Minneapolis). All are mainly to promote & announce
details for our first mega event which is a 3 day out door party
(4.29 Mayday) called FURTHUR. The whole concept is to go beyond
rave & to become friend & family while dancing, camping, communicating
etc. Everyone is invited!
Will you be working with any other labels?
We originally wanted to stay with Midwest talent. However we bring
in a lot of no local DJs & everyone has been excited about the label
& agreed to do tracks. Repete did a gabber EP, XCRASH is working
on some tracks & LENNY DEE will do some evil. All of our early releases
were ESP, now we have a bunch of different people working. We are
also doing a DJ ESP compilation CD.
How has the response to the label been?
Response has been great! We've gotten nice reviews from UK acid
purists & great feed back in Germany. The 3rd release BAD ACID,
was recorded of the month (for Feb.) in Germany's Front Page Magazine.
We're always willing to give consideration to new artists. We've
been surprised at how many people are out there making music.
Plans for the rest of 1994?
1994 will see bigger events allowing us to bring a more diverse
crowd to the scene. Communication is so important and this will
be reflected in the parties. A culture is at birth in this country
and the Midwest is no exception. We will be here to push it upward.
It will also be nice to make it to my first Dead show & Rainbow
Gathering to be part of scenes that have a lot in common with ours.
Favorite DJs & Labels?
Overdrive, Labworks, Force Inc, Harthouse, Monotone -Structure,
PCP, Mokum, SS, Industrial Strength, Djax, Diatomic & Generator.
Storm DJs (Frankie, Adam, Jimmy & Lenny), Jeff Mills, Ritchie Hawtin,
ESP, EFEX, Deadly Budda, DJ Hell & Tanith.