Elliot Seng: Assembly of production
Steamboat Springs — Having been a mildly enthused EDM (electronic dance music) fan growing up, the move to Colorado has brought on a new set of ears. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and open to more sounds, or simply because I’m now living in a state that fosters the explosion echoed from all other parts of our world that is EDM — or techno as some of you old-heads might call it.
When town dies down, we rely on Steamboat’s humble, widespread music scene — all thanks to the live DJs and producers who have been mainstays in the Yampa Valley for some time. This week I was fortunate enough to sit down and meet a few of them to discuss the current temperature of Steamboat’s electronic dance music scene, plus Colorado’s as a whole and what’s next in their own careers.
DJ Also Starring, Brian Alpart, was the first person I thought of before getting after this piece. Living in the Yampa Valley for 15 years, he is widely known as a staple in the local scene. He’s seen a lot go down around here.
Remember the Ziggy Marley Concert this summer? He opened up the night in grandiose fashion, pumping up the crowd.
“It was an honor and a privilege,” Alpart said about the experience. “The local crowd and fan base in Steamboat remains at a consistent level year round. We’re not doing too shabby for a mountain town.”
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The rest of Also Starring’s summer will include multiple performances. He’ll perform at the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada… whoa. Following the burn, he’s back playing Denver’s premier club, Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, with fellow cohort and producer Phillabusta on Sept. 30.
Also sitting in on the conversation was Michael Lambert, aka Dra-La. Leaving a music production degree behind, he found himself enrolled at Colorado Mountain College and pursuing music on his own. With a background playing guitar with his formidable metal band “Here, here!”, his understanding for music runs deep. He was once lucky enough to meet Sonny John Moore, better known by his stage name Skrillex when Moore was touring with the punk band “From First to Last.”
“EDM filled the void for me,” Lambert said about down time when on tour with the band.
Since 2010, Dra-La has developed a style pulling from jungle beat to trance-core.
“I’ve grown a lot in this town,” Lambert said. “Things are good in Steamboat. We may not be Denver, but maybe that’s what makes this place unique.”
The third sync in the convo came from Reson8, Nate McPhee, a proud ColoRADan from Estes Park living in Steamboat for the past three years and coming up big.
Closing the show down for night riding/skiing on the mountain at the end of ski season, Reson8 brought us Bass at the Base. Although McPhee has been quiet this summer, a strong winter lineup is in the making as he continues to revamp and create more music.
“Colorado likes it ghetto,” McPhee said. “We hold it down just fine, for Steamboat and our state.”
Collaborating together on Sept. 18 will be none other than Reson8 and Dra-La at the Tap House as Steezy Nicks. Check these guys out, if you haven’t already.
Elliot Seng can tell a few stories. Especially the type where music takes the stage. His story started in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania back in 1987. At 27 years old, and residing in Steamboat Springs for the past five years, his dedication to music is more alive than ever. Whether at home in a robe harmonizing to a favorite vocalist or standing next to you at the weekend’s top gig dancing like a ninny, he cannot be ignored. In his short time on earth he’s a proven music junkie, and totally broke from it.
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Prost! The popular OktoberWest festival will return to Steamboat Springs on Saturday for its 12th year, this time in a new location at Wildhorse Marketplace.