Groovebox Symphony @ Studio A
You may (or very well may not) remember those glow stick lit nights in the late 90s at Malibu Grand Prix, where the air smelled of Vics and organic electronic mixes begged the body to groove. For many of these Full Moon ravers, candy or casual, the house and techno being played back then was so pure it seemed to summon the morning sun from the horizon. Yet after the mp3 boom and the rising affordability of laptops, it seems that when it comes to live electronic music, audiences have been spoon-fed one too many samples.
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Miami resident, Marty Petza aka Mickey Nightrain, bites the hand that’s been feeding you these processed pre-recordings by daring to “unplug the plug-ins.” In his new live p.a. set entitled Groovebox Symphony, DAT and vinyls -- l ike in every other aspect of American pop culture – literally become relics of the past. “I guess what drove me to do my own live p.a. was the plateau I hit with spinning records,” admits Nightrain, “making people dance to my own tracks while I perform them live is a huge rush.”
Nightrain can still distinctly remembers his first underground rave in his native Baltimore City in 1994, largely in part to the fact that he was completely sober. “The people were scary and the venue looked like a warehouse that hadn't been in use since the early 1900s, but the music and vibe was so intense that it forever changed me,” recalls Nightrain. His sobriety during this initial experience also enabled the novice to fully aboard the mixes that shifted “from gritty techno to more angelic trance sounds. I decided then that I wanted to be the DJ and share with others my own definition of electronic music.”
Nightrain’s career as a DJ was soon deflowered at Baltimore’s mythical after-hours Club 1722, where he’d perform under his darker alter ego Maximus--a sound Nightrain describes as an “eerie mix of post-industrial and techno.” Soon there after, due to his parents’ choice of retirement locale, Nightrain hauled on over to Nashville, Tenn., where he scored a 5 year residency at Club Excess/Orbit. In Nashville Nightrain learned how to “keep a crowd on the floor,” gaining industry buzz by getting some of his funky yet soul-elevating tracks to appear on Frankie Bones’ (the grand-daddy of the American rave scene) labels. In 2006 Nightrain relocated to his label’s headquarters, Miami, Fla. and quickly got to work on his first EP “The Path” which was released in May and included the popular track “Revolver”.
Nightrain’s electro-sound, inspired by 80s, 90s, and nu-school break beats, is encompassed by his song "Meno Mosso" (www.myspace.com/djmickeynightrain) which spawns solely from instruments such as keyboards and drum machines. Still not impressed by 29-year-old’s musical ability? Check him polish off a final mix live on his hardware synthesizers at Mickey Nightrain’s first stop on his Groovebox Symphony on July 21/22 at Studio A (Show starts at 2 am. No cover 21+ / $10 Cover 18+). -- Elyse Wanshel