BOMB THE BASS
Detroit electro-purists Aux 88 celebrated the release of the group's new full-length Xeo-Genetic on Direct Beat Records with a rare live appearance at Hamtramck's Motor Lounge Friday night. Aux main man Tom Hamilton, flanked by cut-and-scratch specialist DJ Dijital and bewigged flygirl dancers/female electro group X-ile, performed a surprisingly live set, replete with choreography and matching Day-Glo green fatigue suits. Motor resident DJ Godfather, set to release his own "Player Haters In Dis House" on his Databass label later this month, took a break from the tables in the lounge to check out Aux's set, while Brian Gillespie hosted German electro artist -- and recent signee to his Twilight 76 label -- Maas 2000, in the states and Detroit for the first time, and clearly in awe that his visit coincided with Aux's club debut gig. Also in the crowd, Chuck "Perception" Gibson of Underground Resistance and Analogue Systems promoter Gabe Zakal, who announced plans for an all-electro New Year's Eve party already in the works. Show highlights: an extended jam of Xeo-Genetic's title track, with Hamilton taking a nice analogue synth solo, while "Play It Loud," with its chorus borrowed from Model 500's "No UFO's" of a decade ago, came off with mad energy thanks to Dijital's scratching and Hamilton repeating the synth-bass-popping hook for an extra last chorus. While Aux admirably and bravely took it to the stage in a genre usually confined to studio production and anonymous 12"s, their show, a sort of ad hoc combination of 2 Live Crew and Kraftwerk, had pacing problems. Despite being mix show staples, they haven't figured out how to keep the energy up during the extended between-song breaks Hamilton needs to set up his sequences and drum programs for the next song. As for renditions of songs such as "Electro Techno," Hamilton's vocals could have used more vocoder effects, while tracks like the new "Rise of the Phoenix," performed without vocals and with no stage lighting, would be better left off the set list. But to two hundred or so mostly white ravers and college kids getting their first taste of bass, Aux put a face to the bass and proved just how too live this music can get. Xeo-Genetic is out now on Direct Beat. For more info, go to Submerge Records at www.submerge.com and seek the Direct Beat page.
KICKIN' FLAVOR IN ANOTHER EAR
Listeners to WJLB's "Rap Blast" Saturday nights may have noticed things have slowed down a bit, because, literally, they have. Longtime pitched-up mix jock Gary Chandler hasn't been on the last few weeks, which explains the lack of hard, scratch-happy mixing and Chandler-trademark forays into jungle and other upper-register BPM explorations. Rumor has it that between WJLB being bought by a budget-slashing parent company and Chandler having a little run-in with the law in front of the Warehouse a few weeks back while leaving the club, he may be parting ways with the station and be headed for the Saturday night Legends gig. Meanwhile, spin doctor Kim James mans the decks at Warehouse Saturdays.
IT TAKES A CITY OF MILLIONS TO HOLD HIM BACK
Proof that the original Detroit techno aritst's idea to bring technology and futuristic music to the inner city wasn't just a marketing ploy to get them over in Europe is Detroit DJ Twonz (pictured). Looking more like a member of Bell Biv Devoe than a rave kid, Twonz is one of that new generation of Detroiters who actually keyed into the hard sound of early Underground Resistance and Jeff Mills records and actually liked the harder sound the more Teutonic their beats became. A member of a new jack dance troupe that used to perform on Channel 62 (!) and a drummer in his mother's church choir band (!!), the 27-year-old Twonz is proof that hard techno isn't just the domain of tweaked out Plastikman fans. A ten year veteran of deejaying, Twonz has stepped up to the producer realm with his Terrorist EP 12-inch on his own Hijacked Records. Deejaying around town is admittedly tough, with sporadic gigs at St. Andrew's, and coming up Oct. 17 at Motor. Call 313-369-0080