For the past several years the frequency and pervasiveness of corporate sponsor-laden events have been seeming to increase. Crowds and lines grow longer, security gets beefier, and raving starts becoming a tad laborious, at moments. Of course, this is a labor of love.
Unmarked Events, an “underground artist collective” out of the Tempe, Arizona area, is throwing parties which defy the conventional. These parties celebrate the pure, simple pleasures of seeing live electronic music.
Previously sporting two walls of speakers for Harvard Bass, they are now experimenting with not only sound, but also lighting, atmosphere, and DJs.
This past weekend, the team brought Dateless to play their warehouse party, pulling a handful of Dirtybird fans out to play. This made for a crowd that was fun, excited, and pleasantly hilarious.
Prior to Dateless’ set, I was able to catch local DJ Sean Solomon throw a gnarly House/Tech House set. He, quite literally, got the place heating up. Then came another desert-dwelling disc jockey by the name Axion. Axion offered up a change of pace while the crowd grew steadily larger.
Dateless dropped an EP titled The Slammer on SNOE label just this past Friday. This EP features three songs, taking the listener on a journey from feeling a twinge of existential dread, to wanting to funk, and finally – not having a care in the world.
Dateless played a selection of fellow Dirtybirds’ tracks while nodding to other rising stars in Tech house. The rhythm pounded on while waves of emotion rolled through the crowd. Satisfaction, bliss, surprise, and many other expressions lit up the faces around the room in time with the bass. Shufflers fluttered and slid across the back of the room. After enjoying two hours of Dateless my back and brain were ready for bed, and I made my departure. In the morning I woke to videos of Dateless playing an encore B2B2B. For how early in the morning that had to have taken place, people were going off!
At homegrown music events such as those thrown by Unmarked Events, one doesn’t feel as though they are being assaulted with advertising. In that relatively little warehouse, people were free from prejudices or worries. There, we got to experience the foundations of what looks to be a brightened future for Arizona underground dance music. Supporting local and startup event production companies make dreams come true. For your patronage, they can continue to bring amazing artists who may have otherwise not made it to your city. Faithful fans build strong communities of love, respect, and safety.
Beautiful things can be hiding just below your line of sight if you never look beyond the obvious. There are levels to how deep you can go into pretty much anything. Music is no exception.