Clockin’ in at 27 minutes, this mix is one of the shorter ones featured in this series. Yet, that means very little, because what is featured here is straight fire. There is no fluff, just one uninterrupted mutating rhythm that slides you through an ever evolving soundscape. FBK himself uses the word hypnotica to describe his works. I think thats incredibly fitting because no genre classification could really capture what he tries to do with his production or DJ work. Instead, I feel FBK’s work is much more akin to the genre blasting & bending that is very common in the witch house/ chillwave/ whateveryouwanttocallit scene. He is melding the best elements of ambient/acid house/ house/ tech house/ techno to express his sonic vision to us. This blend is nothing more than a new genre of FBK’s own creation that is simply hypnotic and entrancing.
For this reason, classification labels are useless. Yet, there is one quality that unites all of FBK’s work: Rhythm. Yes, that may seem like a simplistic statement, but it is an essential quality that any dance music artist must possess. Rhythm was so important to seminal artists like Robert Hood, that he created his own expression of techno in the early 1990’s to fully explore Rhythm free from other musical elements. FBK not only possesses rhythm, but has the power to harnesses and shapes it for his own purposes. Listen to this mix and try to tell me that their is no rhythm. I DARE YOU. It oozes out of every second of the mix, and it is even present in the silent moments in transitions between tracks. Yet, FBK’s manipulation of rhythm is not the only shining point coming out in this mix.
Composed of all original materials created by FBK himself, the Road Hypnosis Mix is a testament to the dualistic nature of DJ’ing & production, and how embodying both these roles allows one to become a storyteller. Often, the tracks a producer creates can play an integral role in the stories the DJ wants to tell his audience. This is surely the case for FBK, as all the tracks he creates play an integral role in allowing him to be a sonic story-teller while at the helms of the decks. Yet, this isn’t FBK’s first rodeo. Thats what I find so special about this mix, as it shows how a seasoned artist melds together the act of production & DJ’ing to tell stories that resonate with him at some level. The story FBK tells in the Road Hypnosis isn’t closed to interpretation to him alone though. Rather, Its open for us to find our own meaning and moments. Explore this mix and see where it takes you.
These reasons and numerous others make it hard for me to pass up FBK’s work. He is a cat that has stayed in Columbus and continued to follow his musical dreams. Like so many of us, he longs to express himself through DJ’ing and performing. It is this expression of who we are in so many artistic forms that connects us all together. Though ideas of success, fame, age, gender, race, religion and numerous other distinctions threaten to separate us, the fact that we all find meaning in dance music and want to hold down OUR Scene and OUR city provides us the tools to unite and build a community that rivals any scene in the country.
To me, building a strong scene is not about numbers or getting the latest greatest superstar DJs. Those are all great perks of a strong scene, but its more about how we push and help each other develop as human beings and artists. My hope is that we continue to collaborate on the production of grassroots events, mixes, & originals to build up the community around us. Its an old, overused adage, but remains true to this age; Together We are Strong, But Alone We are Nothing. In the absence of large nightlife industries, Super-clubs, and large swaths of capital backing dance music events, all we have is each other. All we have is our guerilla marketing, our devotion to artistic development, and the ability to come together at events and show that our scene matters. We are not New York, Las Vegas, London, or Ibiza. We are COLUMBUS, OH and that is something to be proud of. We are the underdog. We always have been, but don’t always have to be. Its just important to always remember who we are as a scene and privilege OUR artists and OUR events first before any event featuring some random superstar DJ who has no idea who any of us are. It is only then that other scenes will be jealous of us and emulate us, because we will be one COMMUNITY devoted to the betterment of everyone around us.
Make sure you check out my exclusive interview with FBK this friday where he discusses how the merging of younger and older generations of Columbus Dance music artists could provide another way to strengthen our scene even more to the radically inclusive community we all seek. If we are serious about such ideas, my hope is that we produce more events like What Next Ohio that feature artists of all different generations & styles to show where we have been and where we are going. This certainly means allowing artists like FBK & his compatriot Plural to spin alongside the younger generation. The fruit of such a collaboration will only bring us closer together and allow us to utilize the talents and connections of all people in our scene to provide more enriching artistic experiences.