Track That Started it All

                                                           (Photo by Ed Luna)

The Quality crew, which includes and is not limited to Jason Lyman, Michael Poe, Jeff Pons, Travis Owens, Doug Black, & Xavier Mathais, has really pushed the deep house and techno sound in a time in Columbus when bass and electro house have really dominated. This is not to say that the popularity of these contemporary genres is at all bad. Such judgements are really not useful, as these contemporary sounds are vital to the emergence of a whole new generation of dance music fans. Despite this, I think the success of their Groove and Quality parties is a testament to the expansion of our scene to include many different sounds. Such sonic expansion is vital to the overall health of our scene, as it allows for the cross pollination of the old and new, as well as the the fresh and the timeless. No doubt, Jason, along with his fellow associates like Jeff Pons, Scott Litch, Doug Black, have really pushed forward our understanding of what parties can be successful as well by carving out a special niche for the “low key lounge party” where people can dance to solid grooves in an arty, trendy atmosphere.

This week is devoted to Jason Lyman’s work in our scene with this track that started it all and an exclusive in-depth interview that gives us key insights into understanding the 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the trajectory we are on now. For the time being though, check out Jason’s story of the track that started it all:

“You know, honestly when I think back, there isn’t really one TRACK that I would say started it all for me. But there WAS a mix tape that I had gotten a hold of through a friend that just hooked me. It was Terry Mullen–new School Fusion Vol 1. I listened to that thing non-stop. Over and Over and Over. It was in my walkman or my car for a period of 6 months to a year. On one side the mix was just a feel good funky Chicago house joy ride full of some classics. (Listen to that side of the mix HERE) The flip side was all classic Chicago acid house tracks (Listen to that side of the mix HERE). I can remember walking across campus all of the time listening to this mixtape. When it broke, I got another copy. That mix just signified everything I loved about the music and the scene. After listening to that tape, I knew that I wanted my contribution to the scene to be as a dj. I loved it.”

If you want to experience a Quality party first hand then you are in luck. Jason Lyman, Jeff Pons, & Michael Poe are all spinning this saturday at Basil starting at 9:30 pm. Event details can be found HERE. You know I will be there tearing up the dance floor to some deep grooves! Also, make sure to check back here on Friday for Lyman’s full exclusive interview.

This week is devoted to another cat trying to hold down the Columbus Techno tradition and push it in exciting new directions. Plural is a guy that doesn’t get a lot of attention in our scene, but has been quietly destroying release after release since he started producing in 2000. I just picked up his 2011 EP Emotional Conflict from UK label Audio Textures Recordings and it was absolutely bonkers. It was straight-laced, rhythm centered techno that hits his core sound, which descends from his love of the exploratory work that came out of detroit over the last three decades. The fact Plural was released on Audio Texture Recordings, run by Kevin Collier and his distribution group, says a lot since this label has been putting out techno recordings since 1999 and has had the reputation of only releasing the finest in techno releases from around the world.

In addition to this releases, Plural was also given the privilege of releasing a vinyl only ep on German label Separate Skills called “In Darkness”, which you can hear streams of on the labels website HERE. I mean these tracks are amazing. They have a subtle gentleness to them that just floats over the top of you until that beat hits and drives you insane. This is characteristic of Plural releases, as he loves to play with the atmospheres behind his rhythms. It gives his releases an otherworldly feel.

What’s funny is that most people would be happy with the release of two eps of all original material within a year. Not Plural. The dude doesn’t know when to stop. He is a tireless producer that is always trying to take his game to the next level. If you have any doubts to this just check out his soundcloud HERE. He has put up FOUR HUGE tracks within the past month alone. Yet, this is no surprise, because prolific productivity has always been a bedrock of value of Columbus Techno artists. Whether it was Todd Sine, Archtype aka Charles Noel, or Titonton aka Titonton Duvante, or other artists from Columbus’ ele_mental group, new material was always being shared, played, and created in Columbus. Artists like Plural and another Local Autonomy favorite FBK carry on that tradition for Columbus and keep this spirit of competition and creativity alive and well. I don’t think its a coincidence that both have been posting a lot of tracks over the past few months. These two are definitely in a long artistic conversation both individually and in their new musical collaboration called The Fallen. Its special that we get to witness this first hand through soundcloud, as they both flaunt their unique styles.

We begin Plural’s week on Local Autonomy with his story of the track that started it all. Though short, this story places Plurals artistic origin squarely within the detroit tradition of techno that has influenced him so strongly throughout his life. In particular, the work of legendary artist claude young really stands out to Plural, but I will let him tell you himself:

“I heard the track that started it all for me at a party in Dayton held by the foundational group the Illuminators. I walked into this room and I was looking around wondering why isn’t anyone dancing? Why is everyone crowed up by the DJ booth? This guy was killing doubles of this track
by DBX called Losing Control.

DBX “Losing Control”

I was like that track is the sh**. I asked someone,”who is this guy rocking it like that?”. He says to me Claude Young! That track became a main reason I started to love electronic music, and Claude of course became an instant idol to me. He still is my idol to this day. Loosing Control is Timeless!”

Guess what? Plural has an exclusive mix coming out for Local Autonomy on Wednesday for the OUR SCENE | OUR CITY | OUR SOUND Mix Series so you can dabble in his talents. You best not sleep on this, as he is a SEASONED DJ that brings serious talents to the decks. If that wasn’t enough he also has an EP called “Lost In Thought” coming out on upstart UK label Orange82 on January 26th, which I will be discussing more on Wednesday. In the mean time though, here is a little taste of what that EP is gonna bring you with a track from the release called “The Way”:

For those of you who intently check this site, you know I have been delving into the deepest recesses of our scene to highlight ALL the sounds coming out of our city. This entails not privileging any specific genre as the “RIGHT” or “BEST” electronic sound. Rather, I am opening myself up to the diverse forms of expression that come from electronically produced music in our scene & city. Interestingly, anyone in Columbus who is interested in finding and cataloguing our sound will be instantly rewarded with a wellspring of sonic diversity. We have artists in Columbus and the surrounding cities devoted to so many genres that at times it is hard to stay updated.

This week I want to highlight the hypnotic sounds of FBK. This artist has been DJ’in in and around Columbus since the early 1990’s and has been creating music that is gaurenteed to make you sweat on the dancefloor. FBK is not that interested in pigeon-holding himself to one genre. Instead, he draws from all strands of music relevant to his his mission of creating dark, hard driving, & hypnotic music that will get your feet moving. This DJ/producer has had a prolific pruduction output for over 10 years,  started his own record label called Absoloop, & is still dedicated to throwing down a huge set to hold down our city.  He even has time for to produce with another Columbus Based producer/DJ Plural on a side project that have called The Fallen. (Check out all their tracks on their Soundcloud HERE). Yet, I feel few people in our scene aren’t aware of this cat.

The funny thing is that FBK isn’t just some local guy producing in obscurity either. He has been held down by some of the legends in the techno with support from Claude Young & Marcel Dettman both in live sets around the world and in compilation mixes. He also has been releasing his originals for some time on record labels all over the world. Its kinda ironic that we haven’t seen him spin more in our scene when he is respected by some of the biggest cats in techno in Europe and has played all over the country. Thus, I am to reintroduce him to all ya’ll as an important artist to know. I know I am proud to call him one of our own, as much as I am proud to rep all the rest of OUR people.

This week of coverage on FBK begins today with his story of the Track(s) that Started it all. It continues on wednesday with a mix of original productions w/ commentary from me. This week ends with an amazing exclusive interview where FBK discusses his history, how he got into DJ’in & production, the history of our scene, & his views about where we are going. Without further adieu, FBK’s track that started it all feature:

“Hm…for many of us, we remember having that ‘aha!’ moment where it became clear as to what we wanted to do. I’ve been trying to pinpoint what it was that I heard that made me really start….Was it “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock (with grandmaster DXT)?

Was it hearing “Planet Rock” while watching breakdancers at the Salesian Boys Club?

Was it hearing “Egypt Egypt” by Greg ‘the egyptian lover’ Broussard?

Well…yes..yes, and yes. However, the earliest memories I had as a child was hearing disco records played by my mother, who was a sometimes clubgoer…she was also a former singer, piano player and loves music to this day (my late father was also a singer and dancer). I remember feeling the power of music-it scared me, then enticed me. Throughout my life I’ve always loved music with energy to make you feel-whether that’s been ELP’s “Jerusalem” or the Smiths “I know it’s over.” I remember hearing ‘clear’ by Cybotron, and loving it. Then many years later, hearing LFO’s track “LFO” (which was just remastered by Warp)…and thinking “That’s it!”


If I had to say that there was a track, one track…that got me into DJing and producing…I would have to say it was “Peter Piper” by Run DMC.I had that same Bob James record (the opening track of the album ‘two’) and hearing Jam Master Jay do relays with it over an 808 beat made me want to do what he was doing. So there…an fifty dollar answer to a very short question!”

Run DMC “Peter Piper”

Bob James “Take Me to Mardi Gras”

You want more FBK? Make sure you Follow him on Soundcloud and on Facebook.

Dunjinz Week continues with his story of the Tracks That Started it All. I couldn’t do this story justice with my own words, but let him tell you himself:
“I believe that variety is the spice of life, so I cannot truly name one specific track that started it all, but rather a group of them that have shaped me as a listener and a producer. My first love was hip hop. Everything from Black Star or Slum Village to Ma$e or Notorious B.I.G. Was what I was blasting in my early years. Slum Village’s track, Fall in Love, was a simple but very well produced track by the, now legendary, Jay Dee (RIP) who was 1/3 of the group.The snare was what caught my ear and I became interested in how he got it to sound that way. So I picked up fruity loops and began learning how to produce.
Slum Village “Fall in Love”
My tastes quickly expanded to Drum ‘N’ Bass and I picked up a record by A Guy Called Gerald,  Essence. The title track from that record was stuck on repeat in my room for months!!! It has deep bass and classic drum samples that echo back to hip hop production, but the tempo was what really grabbed me. It was so chill, but so fast paced. Incredible stuff.I immersed myself in Drum ‘ N ‘ Bass from that point on and picked up Dieselboy’s  The Sixth Session CD. Invid (E-Sassin VIP) shifted my attention to raw power and chaos. It was that song that got me to be heavily interested in IDM artists like Aphex Twin & Squarepusher, and other DNB artists like Photek & Reid Speed (Before she went Dubstep).
Dieselboy “Invid”(E-Sassin VIP)
It was at this point that I started understanding quality song structure and pop sensibility and the 2 records that probably most define me as a producer dropped in the same year.
Daft Punk – Discovery & Basement Jaxx – Rooty. These albums remain my top 2 electronic music albums of all time & I doubt will ever move. From beginning to end, both albums are perfectly produced and I never get tired of them. I couldn’t even choose a favorite track from them, but the most played tracks from each are probably Something About Us and Do Your Thing, respectively. I always reference the aforementioned tracks while producing.”
Daft Punk “Something About Us”

Basement Jaxx “Do Your Thing”

Kingpin is no stranger to Local Autonomy. I have been covering him for some time. Guy knows how to get a floor movin’, and his track selection is second to none. Yet, this is the first time we get an in depth look into the music journey that brought kingpin to the place he is in our scene today. Kingpin is the third installment of the Track that Started it All feature. Here is his story in his own words.

“For the purpose of this post, I have to really adamantly share 3 different songs.

First the song that got me into electronic music in general. I was very heavily into indie/emo rock throughout most of my high school days. But I was lucky enjoy to get some exposure into electronic music during this time as well. When I was 16, a friend gave me a copy of Aphex Twins first album “Selected Ambient Works 85-92.” This is considered one of the ground breaking works in the whole “ambient music” genre. Regardless, it was basically really good chill music to me. And it was a little weird, which at that point in my life anything a little weird I was into a bit. This album has pretty strong techno feel to me as I go back and listen to it as more knowledgeable member of the EDM genre. My favorite song on the album was and still is “Ageispolis”

I don’t really think I ever understood ambient music, even today after listening to it a lot. It’s just kind of weird music, but always been very enjoyable as “background/chill music for me.”

Secondly, I am going to share with you the song that got me interested in djing. I am frankly a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I became interested in DJing right at the time that mashups were starting to blow up on the internet circa 2006-2008 and Girl Talk was really huge. I remember being amazed the first time I listened to his mix album “The Night Ripper.” As it basically was taking every song I know from the radio growing up, throwing it into a blender, and turning out into a great big party. At this point in my life, I had started college and it was only in college I realized that I was waaaaaay more into music than most people were and I usually picked out the music to play at parties. After Girl Talk, I realized I really liked music that made people dance and I picked up djing shortly there after.”Bounce That” is probably my favorite “song” from Night Ripper. So peep that here.

And finally, the song that really sold me on EDM. Probably unlikely for some people, but not for me given my musical background. I grew up with hip hop via my older brother. I remember my friend Garrett telling me I needed to check out a “group” called MSTRKRFT. I did and I was immediately amazed with the high energy dance music paired up with some of my favorite rappers rapping over the beats. Beats that were much faster than traditional hip hop beats. 

“Bounce” was probably the biggest song on the album and the most catchy of them all. It was “Bounce” which really made me fall in love with electro music and thus EDM as as whole. I I luckily found out that MSTRKRFT was coming to Columbus a few months after getting into them, and to this day that show was one of the best music experiences of my life. I spent the rest of the summer after that show learning how to be a proper DJ who mixes tracks. And the rest was history.

You gotta be excited now to see or listen to Kingpin. You’re in luck. Kingpin is holding down a slot at the one year anniversary party on January 21st for one of our scenes most visible monthlies.: LeBOOM!.  For event details click the picture below:

And make sure to check out his soundcloud. One of my most recent favorite tracks of his was his Juke edit of Le Grand Zombi. Check that below:

For more stories, music, and reviews from OUR scene “like” Local Autonomy HERE on Facebook

Its fitting that the Matt Cremean and Bryan Keller, the two masterminds behind networkEDM, are the first members of our community to partake in the Track That Started It All. They both have intricate historical narratives that led them to start spinnin’ tracks and promote our scene. Yet, like many of us, it all started with a single track. Let them tell you in their own words:

Matt Cremean

“I can go back all the way to the 80’s and tell you that Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence and KLF – 3am Eternal were probably the ground-breakers. I’m sure there were others, but those are the two that really stand out. If we move in to the 90’s, I enjoyed The Prodigy, Crystal Method; still wasn’t quite at fanatic-status as of yet.

It wasn’t until a friend of mine let me burn a copy of Paul Oakenfold – Tranceport that I became hooked. I had never heard anything quite like it, and I just couldn’t stop listening to it. The first night I had the CD, I drove around in my car for a solid half hour, aimlessly. I just wanted to listen to this music, loud and alone. And I did. I was, literally, in a trance. I finally took a break and met up with all my friends. I remember being completely relaxed, somber, perhaps even a bit disconnected from everyone. They asked me if I was high. I said, “No. It’s this music. It’s crazy…”

This is when the bug sunk it’s mandibles into my brain and stayed latched on. This was it; the jump off. I had always had a thing for electronic music, but this was a new level of awesome.

From then on, anything I could find that had Oakenfold’s name on it, I bought. I even followed up in the Tranceport series: Dave Ralph’s 2 disc set, Sandra Collins’ Tranceport 3, Max Graham’s Transport 4 (remember not liking it that much).

Looking back on it today, and now being able to more or less genre classify this music instead of just calling it “Techno” like n00bs of my generation did, Oakey introduced me to not just Trance, but Drum N Bass, House, Breaks… None of that was relevant at the time, I just knew I liked it. He was certainly a very integral part of molding my obsession.

Now, the track that started it all: I can remember even after moving on to other mix comps, I would still pop Tranceport in and skip right to track 10. My favorite track on the CD, and the one that started it all” 

Lost Tribe – Gamemaster:

Bryan Keller

“My track that started it all as far back as I can remember is most certainly Sin by Nine Inch Nails.  I started with this sort of industrial dance music and quickly discovered other forms of dance music of which included. Prodigy, Orbital, Oakenfold, Roni Size, Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method, etc.”

“My Sunday nights became consumed with staying up late to watch MTV’s electronic music show AMPED.  Ever since then, I’ve never put it down.  Electronic music has only taken a stronger hold on my life.  Once I met Matt Cremean, we started spending many nights in the Detroit clubs seeing all sorts of DJs we had been listening too for a while. We decided we were done watching from the sidelines and we were ready to show people our tastes in music. We both started putting together mixes and through that collaboration Network EDM was born.  I look forward to teaching my newborn twin sons about EDM and seeing where their tastes take them.”

If this doesn’t get you excited to go out and watch network spin then I don’t know what else would. These guys have been throwing down of late. This halloween mix up on their soundcloud shows the heat they bring readily:

If you want more of these insatiable grooves then make sure to check them out on December 27th at the Ohio Classic III in Dayton, OH at Therapy Cafe: (Facebook Details HERE)

or if you refuse to leave Columbus or just can’t get enough of these guys then make sure to attend the special New Years Eve Party at Circus with networkEDM, Carma & Attak, Burgle & Fabyan its sure to be a must-see show.

For more updates on features, show reviews, and miscellaneous nonsense pertaining to the Columbus EDM scene “Like” local Autonomy on facebook (HERE)

So we all have that song that plunged us head deep into the depths of electronic music. Over the next few months I will be asking various DJ’s, VJs, photographers, Videographers, writers, and dancers from our Columbus scene to share with us what their first track was when they got it and they couldn’t stop listening to these sounds. Maybe there will be interesting overlaps. Maybe we will find foundational stories of the role electronic music plays in peoples lives. Who Know. The Possibilities are endless. I will Start it off with my track that Started it all. I was hooked the minute I heard Orbital’s track “Halcyon”. I was 14 years old and was watching the cult classic movie “Hackers”. The track hit as the main Character looked to restart his life in New York after moving away from his childhood homw. I was immediately taken by the beauty of the song, but had no other frame of reference for the track. It spoke to me of experiences of transition that we all experience growing up. Yet, I had little in the way of knowing what the song was.

I searched everywhere for it. The internet was slow in those days, as the dial up connections were common. When I finally found it, I played it over and over again. I just let the beautiful trancey rhythm wash over me. Yet, I had no where to find more current electronic music and had no scene anywhere close to me. It wasn’t until over ten years later when I moved to Columbus that I was actually able to join a scene and realize the power of electronic music live. I haven’t looked back. 

What’s Your Story? Let’s open the conversation up. Email me your track that started it all and your story at and I will try and include you in later iterations of this feature. Or you can hit our facebook and post it right to our wall. Let’s Build our Scene together and create a Unified Story. 

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