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After an amazing year in 2011, the release of FBK’s Absoloop 002 – Abandonmental EP today finds the Columbus based artist reaching new heights of creativity in his production work. 2011 was a monumental year for FBK. With the inclusion of his track “Nanomal” in Marcel Dettmann’s highly acclaimed mix Conducted, a string of successful for EP releases like his The Moment Before I Snap EP, and the starting of his Absoloop record label, FBK reinforced his reputation as a top flight producer devoted to pushing the boundaries of dance music. Building off this success, FBK stomps into 2012 with the release of the Absoloop 002 – Abandonmental EP. Not only does this new EP highlight FBK’s characteristic aggressive, hypnotic sound, but also finds FBK reaching new heights in creative expression. Each track highlights FBK’s ability to find different pathways to crafting an infectious, undeniable rhythm, while exploring new realms of sonic innovation. Few artists are able to couple rhythm and sonic innovation in such a sonically pleasing manner as FBK has done in this release. No doubt, this marks another monumental step forward in FBK’s artistic development, and sets the artist up for another very successful year. Yet, there are numerous other points to this release, which reveal the road ahead for FBK. Don’t believe me? Check this video FBK himself created for his track “An End and Beginning” off the AB 002 release:

The cohesiveness of FBK’s Abandonmental EP reveals key clues as why FBK’s artistic work will be so exciting in the next year. This release isn’t just composed of four separate tracks put together randomly. FBK carefully curated the Abandonmental EP to express his take on the various soundscapes that exist on the edges of society. Though each track diverges in its individual expression, they all are united by a common theme of articulating the sounds characteristic of long abandoned locales or mindsets. I can just hear each one of these tracks telling the story of a different lost idea or factory from our past industrial age. This type of conceptualization shows the mark of a fully matured artistic force that only has amazing things ahead of him as he continues to release unique works of art into 2012.

Beyond these reasons, FBK has deep roots in the midwest techno music scene and understands the need to make and release music that stands the test of time. FBK has been a foundational force in Columbus and Midwest dance music since the 1990’s. Growing up in the heyday of dance music in the Midwest, FBK was a member of the foundational Columbus based ele_mental crew and has gained support from the likes of the legendary Claude Young. From these experiences, FBK has learned to create his own artistic voice and release music he believes will endure well beyond the fades of the moment. This motivation to create and release the timeless drives FBK’s production work on the Abandonmental EP and the music he releases on his record label Absoloop. For this reason, its important to not just pass up what FBK is doing with this release or any of the music he intends on releasing in the future. This is the year FBK & Absoloop put Columbus techno back on the map, as one of the strongest scenes in the U.S.

Make sure to stay up to date on all the happenings with FBK and Absoloop records by liking FBK on his facebook page and following him on soundcloud. Did you know FBK’s first release on his record label Absoloop 001: Adventures into the Loop was just as epic as this most recent installment? Well, pick it up at his bandcamp site HERE. The Abandonmental EP will be followed up very briskly by the third installment of the Absoloop series within the next few months, so keep your ears open for updates on release info.

Buy the Abandonmental EP today on any of these fine outlets. Its a Monster. You will not be dissappointed.

Juno

itunes

7digital

Amazon

You know the drill. FBK ran down his track that started it all and gave us a hot mix to get at.  He must still be in the Holiday spirit, because now he is dropping an exclusive track for Local Autonomy for free for all of us.

FBK “Face Defeat”

Now that we got that hot new track we get to delve deep into the stories and insights of a man who has been DJ’in in Columbus since 1988. He is uniquely positioned to help us understand the ebs and flows of our scene historically and point out new ways of thinking about DJ’in, production, and our future as a scene.

Interview:

LA: Few people in our community know who you are FBK, despite the fact that you have been spinnin’ here since 1988. Hell, I had to go find you on the internet to get a hold of you. For those people who don’t know you, Who are you FBK?

FBK: My ‘real name’ is Kevin Kennedy, I have been known as Powerhouse, the Sleep Engineer, and “that fat guy,” “hey you…” and also “oh god…him again…” which to many I’m still known by that last one 😉

LA: How did you get into EDM music and our scene?

FBK: Good question…first off I prefer the term “Dance Music.”  EDM seems to be an ‘industry’ term used to categorize music that isn’t rock n’ roll…popular dance music is considered EDM.  I got into Dance Music by being a child of the 70s and hearing disco (as my mother was a clubgoer at times)…and by hearing all of the music coming out in the 1980s…like Cybotron’s Clear, Herbie Hancock’s Rockit…and all of the hip hop coming out of New York…and also getting mixtapes from Chicago’s WBMX in the mid-late 80s…

LA: You have been DJ’ing in Columbus and around the country since 1988. What is it about the music and spinning that keeps you coming back? What does the act of DJ’in mean to you? How does it make you feel?

FBK: I guess it’s that aspect of performing that has kept me playing records for all this time…I love to perform!  There is an exhilaration and a release that can only be understood by stage performers that may be one of the most addictive substances known to man…The act of Djing for me is like being a drummer-everyone in the audience is dancing to whatever beat you’re putting out…the sense of controlling a crowd, moving people, and creating FEELING-which seems to be lost on many these days-is a form of joy and power that I cannot really describe in words.  Cathartic maybe?

LA: How did you get your start DJ’in?

FBK: I started in the late 80s…collecting records, playing sounds I liked on my home turntable…and then learning how to creatively make collages with cassettes…I then moved on to learning about the art of Djing while watching guys breakdance at the Salesian Boys Club downtown in Columbus.  I got to learn a little bit…began watching a bunch of DMC competition videos…flash forward to 1990, I began to work with my longtime friend Eric Weaver, who had turntables in his basement…I started learning more and more, Kennon Hughes (the incredible Mean Skeme) also played a GIANT role in my development as a DJ-I wanted to be a hip-hop DJ (or a DMC champion)…but that never happened…

LA: Do you remember the first set you ever spun? What was it like?

FBK: Honestly?  I don’t.  I remember the first time I played records at a house party…it was an ele mental crew New Years Eve gig…I played experimental electronic music at the time…not really wanting to play dance stuff (artistic academic bullshitter that I was;)…I remember Mark Gunderson playing after me…and I remember he told me “great stuff…love the sounds…”  I was stoked…and that may have been my downfall!  (laughs)

La: When did you start working on the production end? How did you start building tracks?

FBK: My first production studio was actually a failed attempt at a hip-hop recording facility.  I had all the wrong equipment to make hip-hop at the time-no sampler, no drum machine…okay I had an alesis sr-16 (this is 1994 we’re talking about)…I had very little and no earthly idea what I was doing…so I just made sounds and sounds and sounds…recording things to a tube reel-to-reel (which I had rebuilt while in High School).  I was working in my studio 8 hours a day, 16 hours a day when I wasn’t working…and I made a track or two each day.  I pushed myself the same way I was pushed while in Poets Of Heresy (the hip-hop group I was a part of from 90-96)…and then started meeting people like DAC Crowell, Paul Johnson…and Detroit’s Anthony Shakir(aka Shake) and Dan Bell (aka DBX).  They took either interest or pity in a kid who was all enthusiasm…and showed me the ropes…

LA: You have been putting out tracks at a prolific rate. What is it about producing that you love? How do you keep innovating and pumping out new tracks?

FBK: I record because it’s my escape.  I work because sitting on my hands leads to other problems, like doing nothing and being passed by…or not being ready when someone asks me for a demo…I love to make music to play in my own sets…and making music that sounds great on a loud soundsystem that NO OTHER DJ HAS IN THEIR COLLECTION makes me stand out from the pack a little.  If I was to share every other track I create…well, I think I’d need more space on the web..and people would think I don’t have a real job-which by the way…I do:)

LA: You obviously love Techno music, as it is the genre you have been so immersed in for so long. What is is about techno you love so much?

FBK: I love techno because it is the most broad genre of them all.  House can be techno…minimalistic funk is considered techno…I have no clue what the hell I’m making but people call it techno.  I like to call my music HYPNOTICA…for its looping, hypnosis-inducing power.  I’ve really given up on genrefication…mainly because it pigeon-holes a musician or a group…kind of like what the first settlers did to the Native Americans when they came to this land-put everyone in a box, take away the individuality and attempt to paint a picture with one broad stroke.  But in dance music, genre is sometimes important-except when you are trying to attract a crowd.   I have said and proven several times that if you never tell anyone what they are going to hear…they start dancing and then ask “what is this? Where can I get more???”

LA: Who are your biggest artistic influences?

FBK: Let’s see:  Andreas Segovia, Ludwig Von Beethoven, John Adams, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Can, Terry Riley, Phillip Glass, DJ Premier, Akufen, Sonny Stitt, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis…The Buzzcocks, Sonic Youth, Claude Young, Etta James, Billie Holliday, The Bar-Kays, Bad Brains, Howlin’ Wolf, Led Zepplin, Motorhead, Slayer…anything that I have listened to that’s been polarizing, powerful, or just interesting…has probably influenced my work more than I’ll ever know….

LA: You spoke to me about how important other genres of EDM and other styles of music are to your creative process DJ’in and producing. What do all these different styles of music do for you creatively?

FBK: Having a classical background gave me a language to speak…most good dance music deals with first order counterpoint.  Styles of music that people don’t hear by devoting full attention to dance music gives a lesser frame of reference in my opinion…just because you grew up listening to bluegrass, as an example…doesn’t make you an expert on country, does it?  Learning to appreciate all that is available to you that isn’t garbage, mass-produced pop music gives one a perspective and honestly-something to compare emotions to, compare feelings…and maybe contrast or find similar ideas in divergent forms of music.

LA: You just started a record label Absoloop. What has that been like? Are there challenges you didn’t forsee?

FBK: I am now probably more busy than I have ever been…and I have some clue as to what the heck is going on…but I cannot even look at it!  The challenges I seem to face now, are how to NOT be a spammer, yet get the word out…my good friend Daleford Chad has assisted in this manner…

LA: You have gotten a lot of positive feedback from European labels and artists. What has it been like for people across the pond like Marcel Dettmann to hold you down?

FBK: Hold me down?  I think they’re holding me up;)  I’m really overwhelmed with the attention to be honest.  In my day-to-day life, I can look at some of my accomplishments, conversations, and experiences I’ve had JUST IN THE LAST YEAR and really smile..I’m really blessed.  I’ve been working on my sound and my music (as well as my personal self) for 18+ years now…and it’s humbling to be noticed.  Talking to Marcel, emailing him back and forth, and realizing that there are many who wished they could have 5 minutes of his time or get him to listen to just ONE of their tracks-Marcel’s playing some of mine, and then telling me that Ben Klock’s asking him what it is?  Are you kidding me?  That is wonderful!  I thank Paul Mac and Arne Weinberg for giving me a platform when nobody else would at the time…and Anthony Shakir who really started my worldwide exposure.

LA: You have been collaborating with Plural on a new project called The Fallen. What has it been like to collaborate with someone you have known for over 15 years?

FBK: Funny story and fact:  James and I played several events together, knew each others work quite well, but probably said 7 words to each other throughout the 90s.  We talked about this after a session once, and we agreed that it was probably because we saw the other as a ‘rival’…both of us were gunslinger-types…the kind of guys that would play on the undercard of a party-and try to upstage the main act…just to get proper’s from the performers we respected….hell it worked!  James and I both got the attention of people like Shake, Claude Young, Dan Bell, Alan Oldham, Cari Lekebusch and many, many others.  What has it been like to work with him?  Dangerous!  James and I probably work better together than any one person I can mention-it reminds me of all the work that I did with one of my very first mentors, DAC Crowell of the Aerodyne Works (who really gave me some of the best lessons in audio engineering and sound design I’ve ever had).  There will be at some point a live show…where there will be very little preplanning…and about 7 words or less spoken during the entire set…we don’t talk once the music starts…we just get it right and then record it live…it’s powerful.

LA: You are uniquely situated to help us understand how the Columbus EDM community has changed over time. How has our community changed from when you got involved to today?

FBK: When I began to become a clubgoer in 1991-92, I was way young…was already semi-well known on OSU’s campus for my role in Poets of Heresy, and was interested in learning about EVERYTHING.  I learned from people like Charles Noel (Cro2, Archetyp), who was playing in a seminal Columbus group called Body Release.  He and I had met through a mutual friend, and our bands played some shows together…I got into this music for the music itself….hearing things like the ‘days of our lives’ remixes on Reinforced, Enforcers, and even hearing Gabber played.  Most of the people in the scene were not only friendly, but information was passed along and shared with those just learning.  Kids weren’t shooed away-they were encouraged to join in.  During the 90s, there was a period of great excitement-Rock bands were being signed to major labels and getting national exposure, there was a big hip-hop scene, and during that time, I was really involved with all of these scenes in one way or another…either as participant or observer.  I was getting a first-hand education by people who loved the music more than anything else…and then…

    That education process stopped when many of my contemporaries either graduated from college, left the city or got a family and a ‘real life.’  The people that were left in the scene at the time were the younger kids, who didn’t get the message to pass on the history and customs, and the drug dealers (who had the money and the connections to throw events) were left to tell the stories to the uninitiated.  The reality is (and this is my opinion having been there) that the generation that I came up in basically gave it up for dead-and the drug dealers just marketed to these newbies like they were selling them Pepsi or Adidas sneakers-The dealers were taking the risk using their money to throw parties, so they’d book who they wanted, and their friends who were djs.  And if you were on the outside of that game…you had a hard road to get in, if you could at all.  There was a shift that happened, people stopped going to parties to dance and enjoy the music.  Not saying there were no drugs and dealers early on, mind you…but you could say it was maybe 80/20 favoring the music.  The shift happened when Raves started getting busted, when Columbus police (who we used to have as security at our parties, mainly for noise complaints) were no longer allowed to work events, and when many of the south campus bars disappeared (Mean Mr. Mustards, Maxwell’s, The Pit) so that the South Campus Gateway could be built.

At one time, the promoter and the drug dealer were two separate entities.  When money became an issue, and the promoters wanted to bring bigger acts to town, the drug dealers had the money and sometimes would help-since they were around the scene-for them it was an investment…then the drug dealers realized that they didn’t need the promoters to launder their money.  The dealers begin to throw parties by themselves-with the assistance of some of their friends…who were also into the drugs but kinda liked the music.  So now, you had a situation where the drugs became more important than the talent.  You could throw a huge party with a local line-up and make money…the music wasn’t the product they were most interested in selling the people though.  This type of merger/takeover changed the dynamic and the look of parties and shows…artists who were playing all over the world were tired of being jerked by the shady promoters, so it became harder to do anything right…people who loved the music still couldn’t make their money back on shows for various reasons…sometimes because the other in-town promoters were throwing rival parties…it became less community and more cacophony.  The spirit of Peace Love Unity and Rave (PLUR) got destroyed by Cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy.  I moved in 1998, while running a successful weekly at Maxwell’s, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and gave my night to Jason Lyman (which I believe was his first residency in Columbus). 

     The people who couldn’t get in the game who were watching all this whole time, learned part of the game from the dealers-and whether they did drugs or not, inherited that same sketchy vibe that permeated the late 90s-early 00s scene in Columbus (and elsewhere as well) is in existence today.  Some may not like my view of it, but look at any party or club night from the last 6 years here, and tell me how many names you see once, and how many names you see on nearly every event?  Are those the only people in this town who play music?  No…but they hustle.  No disrespect…but part of the hustle is to keep the hustle going…and inviting new players into a game you’re running can ruin that level of control.

LA: How is it that you have such little visibility in our scene today? Where has the techno music gone in our scene?

FBK: First of all, I work nearly 60 hours a week.  My free time is quite limited, and I don’t have set hours.  I have a lovely home life, a woman who I love dearly, and I have music to make.  I have a label to promote.  When I stopped getting invited to play, I had to do something for myself-so I record and send music out to the rest of the world.  The promoters in town know who I am, at least I think they do, since many saw me playing in the 90s when we began to build this scene together.  Where has the techno gone?  It’s gone to other styles of music.  Some have said that it cannot be done, that like Eminem said: “nobody listens to techno…”  He’s right-nobody listens to it…they DANCE TO IT!!!!  However, when you tell someone “you’re going to hear TECHNO…” it begins a connotation of what that means-techno is bad, house is good, black hat, white hat…good versus evil?  It’s all in marketing.  The easiest way to get someone to listen to new music, or good music, or realize that they should go to an event is by simply expressing that it will be a FUN NIGHT OUT, not telling someone it’s going to be a techno show, a dubstep show or what have you.  You can write a bio and description of what I do and never mention my ‘style of music’ except to maybe say ‘easily danceable, hypnotic, funk-laden bass heavy grooves.’  Allow people to have prejudice, and they will.  Bank on your reputation of bringing great events, and book great Djs…and let them decide whether or not it’s a good time (once they’re in the door:)…less sideshow bob and more P.T. Barnum!  I am however VERY glad that there is still a scene for dance music, and that it has not been erased through time….it’s wonderful that there are young people that still find something in this music I/we love-the future isn’t me-the future is the people who love the music getting others involved for the sake of the music itself!

LA: What would you deem the ideal future for the Columbus EDM community? What role do you wanna play in bringing about that future?

FBK: The ideal future?  I see it in a re-emerging scene like Pittsburgh.  Aaron Clark and VIA are doing some great promotion and throwing great parties that are well-attended, and a blast to be at.  What has been done there is to get the people who have international recognition (Shawn Rudiman for one) to get involved, and bring people in who know Shawn (like my good friend Claude Young, who currently lives in Japan) to play together.  You get three things- a great show,  a bit of respect for your hometown people who do it RIGHT, and top-flight international talent in your backyard.  Ideally, Columbus can do this again-there’s enough attention on Djs here in town and enough great talent here that we can get back to what made this scene so respected in the 90s…because seriously, Pittsburgh’s current situation is rinsing Columbus’-and I want to see that change!  There are a few of us who were not playing locally and just working on sending out our music overseas, creating new friendships and relationships with labels, performing elsewhere…yet staying here in the city for our own reasons.  Respect to those who keep the scene in Columbus going-those people are necessary-I just want to let the city know that indeed there are people who live in town who are known worldwide…and would love to play here…and bring our friends that we’ve met along the way:)

LA: In our discussion, you proposed to me the importance of community, but also healthy competitiveness for the artistic expansion of our scene. what role do you think a healthy amount of competitiveness could play in the future development of our scene?

FBK: Yet another reason to bring in talent from elsewhere.  When I came up, you had to fight to get heard-we used to say ‘sets are short…play hard.’  Everyone was a dj at that time-and all of us were in competition to be on the next lineup, the next club night…the next resident at a bar on south campus…only so that we could have a bigger stake in our own future…or even just a steady gig to play to supplement our record buying habit (me).  Community is important-you get to know who is who and build a social base…but competition makes hungry Djs continue to develop, and young Djs pay a price for not being skilled enough to play out yet.  We have accepted ‘good enough’ for far too long that ‘good enough’ means you have some equipment and the right connectors for the house system.  Everyone now seems to be content with being tied for third in a race.  Djing is a marathon, not a sprint-and yes, in a marathon there’s a lead pack usually, where the leaders trade off from time to time to save energy.  When the final mile comes?  It’s every man or woman for themselves-an out-and-out battle.  None of these guys will try to upstage each other-it’s not in their makeup anymore…it’s like playing out is good enough.  You bring in someone from elsewhere and let them raise the bar for the crowd-and then you, the local DJ, try to either raise it further or at least rise close to it.  Competition is the first casualty of our ‘safer society.’  Children need to know that there are winners and losers, just like in life.  Losing doesn’t make you a bad person or less worthy to be alive-learn from it, and find a way to become a winner.  Ancients like myself believe in this.  Fair is something you go to in the summertime.  A challenge is everyday life.  Survival is real.  Failure is an option-but if you never try to be more than what you are, you’ve failed yourself…and as a performer?  You fail the audience.  This scene was built on people who were REACHING-trying to do something that couldn’t be done or had not been done before.  Now, the only people who take risks are those who have drive.

LA: You also talked to me about the importance of education and the role of the older generation teaching the new generation history and technique. What are some ways that you think we could facilitate this education today?

FBK: Education has really been taken out of the hands of the DJ and the producer…and in many ways, the promoter has taken it out of their own hands by letting their audience tell them what is cool.  Cool is merely a disease…not something you buy, or something you listen to.  The internet, Digital Download sites, and mass marketing tend to educate the new generation, as they are the first to really not have magazines and physical media like we grew up with.  The best way to educate the ‘newbies’ may be to give them what they think they want…and surprise them with something that isn’t what they ‘know’ but something that they can feel, hear, interact with-stop letting them know what’s coming…and give them what they SHOULD hear.  The role of the dj is not to be a jukebox, it’s (in my opinion) to be an arbiter of taste.  Don’t tell-SHOW people what they should listen to, what they should like…maybe that helps, maybe that polarizes…however, it gives a response that’s deeper than “me too.”

LA: Why is this education important to you?

FBK: It’s importance is in the fact that all of us behind the decks and behind the scenes have a responsibility to make the scene stronger.  You can do that by giving energy to people-by going from just merely good to GREAT.

LA: You said Music has been a part of your life since you were 7 years old. What role has music played in your life?

FBK: Music is the only woman that has never left me.  It’s the only thing in my life that has been pure, that has loved me with no strings and no regrets.  It’s my lifeblood.  It is the only thing that I have in my life that isn’t a person that is always real to me.  I have devoted a life to music, and it has rewarded me by allowing me to put my thoughts in a language few understand.  Music has been the one thing besides my faith in God that has stood by me in the darkest hours of my life…from homelessness to depression, to loss, to fears, hopes, desires.  How could I turn away from something like that?

LA: what impact has the switch from vinyl to computers had on DJ’in, Production, and how music is listened to today?

FK: This is a loaded question, and I will answer carefully:  Computers are some of the most wonderful things ever to be created by man on this earth.  It allows me to talk to my business partner, Daleford Chad, who is in the UK (who has seen me play in the US, yet I’ve never met him)…has it made it easier?  Absolutely.  Everything comes at a price and has a tradeoff.  The nice thing is that you don’t have to carry around 3 crates of vinyl now to play a 2 hour set.  You don’t have to carry much at all anymore.  It has allowed people who were never shown the dark art of playing a record-and didn’t grow up with records in their home a chance to be a DJ.  It’s easier to be a dj in some respects than to be a guitarist-you need other people to form a band…all you need is music and a way to mix it to be a dj now.  Does it take ‘artistry’ out of it?  Sure…maybe.  But artistry and the ability to rock a party don’t come from the delivery medium (either physical or virtual)-Showmanship, crowd controlling, and skill come from the performers themselves.  I have played on nearly every style or type of setup you can imagine, and some you’ll never see again. I was one of the first people (according to Fanon Flowers and a few others) to use a computer for sequencing in my live shows, I was an early adopter of Final Scratch (one of the original digital vinyl systems and precursor to Serato) and Traktor, and I used it so that I could play my own recordings.  I love my vinyl, but I love playing my own music more…so I play how best I can deliver it to a crowd-whatever I use, I am going to rock the place…and leave a lasting impression.  Why even leave the house if you don’t feel that way?

 In closing, I want to deliver a message to the scene-THE SCENE IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE WEAKEST PERSON YOU ALLOW TO KNOW NOTHING.  The participants (Djs, party-goers, promoters, club owners) are only as powerful as we allow.  To those who keep this scene running-Thank you!  To those who want more-DEMAND IT. It’s your right-nobody should be allowed to dictate where you spend your time and your money…if you want more, and it is provided-please support it!  That’s how this scene moves forward!

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.

As always, if you want more FBK get at his Facebook & his Soundcloud.

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!”

LFO “LFO”

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.

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