What do real, passionate music lovers do when faced with a scene marred by commercial interests and that no longer caters to their discerning tastes? They pool their resources, say "fuck this industry," and take matters into their own hands!
"We're doing it because we're really passionate about this music," said Gaurav "G" Khanna, one of five old-school bass heads who manage the monthly TOO//FUTURE parties. T//F aims to bring foundational dub sounds to those who seek a deeper, darker, more mysterious side of the dance-music scene.
The party has succeeded for about a year and a half at downtown Fort Lauderdale's Fat Cats. Now, it's making the move to a full-on, underground warehouse this Saturday, with a lineup that can't be experienced anywhere else in the Southern U.S.
Back in the '90s, G and his buddies were part of the thriving underground rave scene. They preferred the dark, rhythmic sounds of drum 'n' bass and found themselves attracted to the "clandestine" nature of the scene.
"In our opinion, and I've always held to this, there is a certain mystery to it," he said. "It was secretive, underground, not everyone knows about it. The idea of a day festival with everyone dressed in neon is sort of the exact opposite of what intrigued my buddies about this kind of music in the past."
After the RAVE Law crackdown, G and his crew got serious about responsibility and took on day jobs, and they were happy with that. But when they ventured back into the party scene around 2007, at the behest of old friends, they fell in love with a new sound: dubstep.
But it wasn't the brash, college-ready sound most young crowds find familiar. It was deeper, darker, slow in tempo, and low in register.
"It was really futuristic and deep, grass-roots music," G said. "As it progressed, the commercial influence came in, and then it exploded. All the weeklies and monthlies, they stopped being so cutting edge and more just served what everyone wanted to hear. It kind of alienated us, and we figured the only way we would hear the artists we wanted to hear was to bring them ourselves."
And thus, TOO//FUTURE was born. Completely funded by the crew's day jobs, the free monthly parties at Fat Cats sought to test the waters and see if there was a scene hungry for the deeper side of dub. To their happy surprise, there was, and the place was packing the house on the regular -- a rather insane fact for a Monday.
Fueled by the success, the guys are taking their next step and moving the party to a proper warehouse. Here, they can capture some of the gritty vibe that so attracted them as 20-somethings, keeping the lighting sparse, the beer free, and the bass heavy into the night.
"EDM has become sort of pop music; there's not much innovation," G said. "People are just excited that there's an alternative to this supercommercial, real young crowd. This is a lot more heady. People aren't here because it's the thing to do. They're there because they're passionate."
For their big warehouse debut, TOO//FUTURE is proud to announce headliners Author, a Leeds-based duo who bring expert musicianship and engineering to their down-low register sound, and V.I.V.E.K., an artist who helped found the U.K. dubstep movement with a blend of d'n'b, jungle, and dub-influenced noise sure to please the progressively minded listener. Local favorite Juan Basshead and Washington, D.C.,'s Encryption round out the list of players. And yes, free beer all night will keep partiers satisfied.
"We want to change people's perception," G said, hopeful to see where Saturday's new venture will take them. "It will prove that there is a vast underground community that exists for music. It's not only what blogs or these big media companies determine. People have sought out and found artists that we are bringing that have not played here before.
"If we can get close to breaking even, we will continue indefinitely," he continued. "We don't want to make money. We just want a scene to thrive."
TOO//FUTURE with Author, V.I.V.E.K., Juan Basshead and Encryption. Saturday, November 23, at Unity 88, 4028 NE Sixth Ave., Oakland Park. The party starts at 10 p.m., and cover is $25 at the door. Ages 18 and up. Free keg beer all night long for those 21 and up. Visit TOO//FUTURE on facebook.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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