Some people like to pretend that techno just began and is currently in its original movement. But back in the days of raves, if you couldn’t tell the difference between jungle, house and trance: then you just weren’t paying close enough attention.
My knowledge of techno went subdued for a short time after any of my friends who even claimed to be part of some type of rave scene stopped. Eminem even told us, “Nobody listens to techno.”
Techno has been around since the early 80’s, but my exposure leads me to feel like we are currently in the second coming of the genre. But thankfully, the current version of electronic music can take many forms and isn’t always confined to one artist on a stage.
Barriers have been broken down and bands like BoomBox are able to rock electronic shows with live guitar, turning it into an experience that can without a doubt be referred to as a performance.
BoomBox is the brainchild of Russ Randolph and Zion Godchauxm, who describe their music as an adaptation of electronic to rock and roll. The easygoing duo fall into the techno category as they should, yet show influence from jazz, blues and psychedelic rock.
Hailing from Muscle Shoals, Ala., the two met while working on a project for the Heart of Gold Band. Godchaux and Randolph had both attempted to form bands and had found the process exhausting. They realized they could strip the process down by using drum machines and electronic equipment, instead of other musicians.
“I just kind of started working with (Godchaux) and the drum machines, we basically just fell into it,” Randolph told The Untz earlier this year. “We really just kind of fell in, and all of the sudden one day it was like ‘oh wow… we can actually do this with just two people.’”
From the beginning, both members felt the same way about rhythm and how they wanted to layer it. They have won over fans all over the world with the vibe they create during their incredible shows.
Since they started out, they have been well received on the Colorado music circuit. They’ve played all over our valley and numerous times at the Belly Up, where BoomBox will be back to play again Thursday, Jan. 3.
In the days leading up to BoomBox, neither member was in tune with the electronic scene that existed. Godchaux, dedicated to the drum machine at this point, reintroduced electronic music to Randolph.
“(Godchaux) had been in the whole San Francisco house scene. He lived in it, but I had not actually experienced that so that was the whole reason he really drove me out to Burning Man that year,” says Randolph. “He was like this will be the quickest way to give you a refresher course and get you believing in electronic music.”
Randolph believes that’s all it took. After Burning Man he felt he understood what was going on with modern music.
Originally BoomBox used only a couple drum machines on stage and fought using technology. They didn’t want to but eventually gave in and brought a laptop on stage. They feared losing some type of rock and roll edge by bringing all types of electronics onto the stage but gave to avoid limitations.
When it comes to their performance, they want to stay away from boundaries and try to understand the relationship between themselves and the audience. They would like a BoomBox show to embody collaboration as opposed to a recreated performance.
Godchaux and Randolph are huge Deadheads with interest in blues and jazz. They remain fans of music made the old fashion way and don’t try to stay up to date on other electronic musicians.
They value the electronic movement because of what it has allowed them to do and who they have been able to reach, but BoomBox just wants to play rock and roll and they need some beats that blast house in order to do that.
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