a blog by wallace winfrey

Reflecting on “the scene” in 2006


Had a funny experience today. I got a call from a woman, Christy Harris, whom I once shared VJ duties with at a Communikey show. Well, she was VJing and I made visuals for the Freq Modif set. I’ve also borrowed a screen from her before. At any rate, she called up to ask if I had a video mixer and/or projector she could borrow for tonight. Unfortunately, my video mixer bit the dust a few months ago when it suddenly decided to stop working. I explained that my video mixer was on the blitz and that I no longer had a projector. She was also kind enough to ask if was doing video anywhere tonight. Of course, since it’s 10:00pm MST and I’m writing a blog entry, the answer was no, I’m not doing video anywhere tonight.
It was an interesting question that really brought 2006 into, if you’ll pardon the pun, “focus” for me. I put a not-insignificant amount of energy in 2005 trying to develop and build my skills as a visual artist. In addition to assembling the requisite hardware, I also began collecting clips like mad, spent money on VJ software and went out of my way to ask people to keep me in mind if they ever needed someone to do visuals.
In January, I saw the guys from Mother Earth Sound System at the last techno party I would attend in Boulder, and they mentioned that they would like for me to do visuals at the Full Moons the upcoming summer. It was the last time I talked to any of them. They never bothered to follow-up with an email or phone call. Not only did they not call or email, nobody, except for my good friend Erik, asked me to play or spin anywhere in all of 2006. I think this is the first year that something like that happened. It’s worth mentioning that when I did spin at Erik’s party, I DJed a set of ambient black metal, but that’s a different story.
I’m not really sure what happened, but it seemed like 2006 was the year I gave up on the scene, or it gave up on me, or maybe it was a mutual parting of the ways. Nobody seemed to really care if I was involved in their parties or not, nobody really thought I had anything to offer them.
I did stop going to Boulder functions. In fact, I can name on one hand the number of times I went out for music this year:
1. The fore-mentioned CommuniKey party in January.
2. Fanny, Xanopticon, Abelcain and Duran Duran Duran (along with CDatakill) in May.
3. Unearthly Trance in September.
4. Celtic Frost in November.
5. Doormouse & CDatakill in December.
I guess if you’re not going out, people don’t really remember you. 2005 would have likely been a bust too, but in 2005 I did several shows with N., and that got me out in the community. Unfortunately, I’m not friends with N. anymore, much less doing shows with him.
The fact is, seeing him with J. makes me sick. Seeing him alone and knowing he’s with J. makes me sick. I have never, in my entire life, been more disappointed and disgusted with a close friend as I was with N. The way he screwed over his long-time partner was just indefensible. The fact that he did it for J., one of Boulder’s most pretentious, selfish and more reprehensible wanna-be aging hipster flake-a-zoids, is the proverbial icing on the cake. Essentially, after I found out about their affair, I was very direct to him in emails until he finally told me he was writing me off completely, and never wanted to speak to me again. I’m OK with that. I spoke what I perceived to be truth to a boy who didn’t want to hear or think about the ugly, hurtful side of his actions, and he decided that rather than engage in dialogue, he’d rather just withdraw from our friendship. We did run across one another in McGuckin’s last summer, and he said something like “Hey. What’s Up.” I just rolled my eyes to the ceiling and kept walking. I wanted to scream at him that he was a fucking scumbag, but I had other things on my mind. He knows how I feel anyway.
I suppose it’s sad that the possibility of seeing an ex-best-friend out would deter me from going out, but in many ways, my relationship with N. was one of my few anchors in the scene. When I did shows with him, or went out, or talked about/played/made music with him, I felt connected. I felt like, here’s my good friend, and he totally understands what I see in music. I didn’t just lose a friend, I lost one of my main allies in the so-called scene.
Boulder’s scene is about as whack as it gets anyway. The powers-that-be are bringing out the same ole played-out bullshit minimal techno and IDMish techno that went in and out of vogue in 2003. Maybe if they were asking me to do visuals or spin or be involved, I’d be more generous in my assessment, but as is, I just see people with lots of attitude about something that’s the only thing they have going in their lives. I guess if my life was that monochromatic, I’d be protective of it too.
I’m grateful that my life is not monochromatic. I have an amazing family, and a new son, and wonderful companion animals, and one of the best jobs in the world. For me, electronic music isn’t just a scene, it’s a literal living. I make my living, enough to afford a nice house and nice things and take care of my family, in the electronic music industry. Not too many people involved in parties or producing or DJing can say that.
That being said, having gone an entire year and only being asked once to participate in something, well, I guess it hurts and makes me a little sad. I love this music and I love(d) this scene. It might surprise some people to know that I still DJ. Lately I’ve been spinning every day. It might surprise some people to know that I still collect music like a madman, and still work on producing my own music.
What’s really ironic is that I feel like I’m at the top of my game, yet I might as well as not exist as far as the Colorado “rave scene” is concerned. I know that part of it is that the scene itself is dwindling, but I imagine that the number of DJs, producers and VJs is not. I also know that most of my involvement with the so-called scene was me getting out there and doing stuff myself — producing my own shows, or with like-minded folks.
Honestly though, it mostly feels like nobody really gives two shits. Nobody thinks of enough of what I do as a producer, DJ or VJ to bother asking me to play at their parties (with above-noted exception). That, in isolation, makes me fairly sad. However, not living in a vacuum, I cannot allow myself to be too out of sorts over it. After all, I have a sweet life, even if I’m not being asked to help out or play at parties anymore.
I do hope that this situation changes in 2007.
Oh, and I have a million other things to write about, but this has been on my mind for a while. Hopefully I’ll get around to posting more about the other stuff later on. I know this post sucks, but I felt compelled to write one more thing before the end of the year. Colorado electronic music scene — thanks for nothing in 2006.
Happy New Year!

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