GET REAL - CLAUDE VONSTROKE & GREEN VELVET at The Fountain Ballroom at The Detroit Masonic Temple

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 28, 2016
doors at 8PM (18+ w/ ID)
tickets: $40 (buy tickets)

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The Crofoot, Elektricity, Paxahau and React Present GET REAL - CLAUDE VONSTROKE and GREEN VELVET at Fountain Ballroom at The Detroit Masonic Temple





GET REAL



Green Velvet: Change has been a constant theme throughout the successful career of Green Velvet, but as he has crossed genres, explored themes from the comedic to the serious and changed monikers, the common thread running through the music he has made for nearly two decades is its roots in and dedication to the Chicago House sound.

His first transformation came when he left master’s degree studies in chemical engineering at UC-Berkeley to turn a hobby into a career making music, influenced by the sounds he had been exposed to as a science-fiction-loving, video-game-playing kid whose father was a part-time Chicago DJ.

As Cajmere, he released his inaugural Underground Goodies EP in 1991 on his Cajual label, keeping true to the early House sound. He quickly followed it up the next year with the smash hit “Coffeepot (It’s Time for the Percolator).” Not one to rest on his success, he soon changed things up, teaming with vocalist Dajae for “Brighter Days,” a more mellow House tune, this one released by Emotive. That pairing would be his last with a female vocalist until his recent partnership with rapper Kid Sister for “Everybody Wants.”

The 17 years in between those two projects witnessed an incredible array of electronic music emanating from this prolific artist, as well as a second label under his direction, Relief.

Adopting the persona Green Velvet (not to mention a Day-Glo shock wig) for his techno-oriented pieces and DJ appearances, he became the champion of new wave Chicago beats through the ’90s-known best for hits such as “Preacher Man,” “Flash” (a No. 1 U.S. dance hit in 1995), and 1997’s laugh-inducing “Answering Machine.” The decade ended with his first album, Constant Chaos in 1999. The new century brought a compilation album, Green Velvet, during a brief signing with Warner Bros. Records’ short-lived F-111 imprint, and a production album, Whatever, on Relief. The punk-inspired Whatever explored darker themes than his previous work, including racism (“When?”), drug use (“Genedefekt” and “La La Land”), alienation (“Sleepwalking”) and bending to authority (“Gat”).

“La La Land” went on to become by far the biggest selling track of his career. His live act expanded as he began playing a keytar, with two other musicians-Nazuk and Spaceboy-backing him, playing heavily distorted synths.

The last decade also saw Green Velvet become a fan favorite across Europe, playing to huge crowds at festivals in addition to live radio appearances and club gigs. Numerous side projects and remixes under various names also added to his seemingly nonstop musical output.

In 2005, Green Velvet released his third album, Walk In Love, which stayed true to the House sound, with a few pop- and punk-oriented tracks for good measure, including “Come Back” and “Pin-Up Girl,” both of which featured a live guitarist.

The ongoing evolution in the music, career and life of the artist born Curtis Alan Jones in Chicago has been and will continue to be fascinating to watch and experience for his many followers.

Claude VonStroke: In this day and age of music cross-pollination, Claude VonStroke sits at the forefront of all that is good, proper and most importantly, fun. He is just the same at home remixing Kenny Larkin or London Grammar as he is dropping multiple underground hits. DJ wise, his relentless touring of every major city, festival and basement after-party around the world has only enriched this unique perspective on music. Raised in Detroit and now based in Venice Beach, Barclay Crenshaw created the quirky alias “Claude VonStroke” in 2005 and went on to become one of the most well respected label owners and DJs in dance music. His first release, ‘Deep Throat’ was a hit putting his imprint on the decks of DJs around the globe. But the real breakthrough came with double-header ‘The Whistler/Who’s Afraid of Detroit?.’ The 12” cemented Claude’s reputation as a producer to be reckoned with, crossing borders, genres and musical ears and is now known as one of the classic dance releases of the decade.

Since then, VonStroke has released three original artist albums, a remix album and several high profile mix compilations. Highlights include a collaboration with the legendary P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins as well as a few number #1 & #2 hits on Beatport. Most importantly, VonStroke has kept it original, fun and funky.

As the owner of the record label, DIRTYBIRD, VonStroke also built an impeccable A&R roster signing (and even naming some) acts like Justin Martin, Julio Bashmore, Catz n Dogz, Riva Starr, Tim Green, Breach, Eats Everything, Justin Jay & Shiba San well before they broke out of their hometown scenes. Today, the DIRTYBIRD label continues to surprise and innovate in the underground dance scene, releasing an enigmatic combination of house, funk, dirty-bass and electronica. Staying true to Crenshaw’s Detroit heritage, DIRTYBIRD donates 10% of its profits to a children’s music school in Detroit.

A lot of the success of DIRTYBIRD and VonStroke can be attributed to a good attitude. Claude VonStroke does not scowl and look mean while he DJs. He does not pretend to know everything and he truly loves his fans. He is grateful to be doing music for a living and he knows that the reason people go to parties is to shake their ass and have fun. Catch him play at numerous festivals, clubs or even better at his legendary DIRTYBIRD BBQ series of outdoor events.

 

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