Ages: 18+ (Note: there is a $5 surcharge at the door if under 21)
Tickets: $18 at Door
Conspirator returns to The Den as they continue to build on the buzz of their fall tour. If you haven’t seen these guys yet with their new drummer, Torch, make sure you come check them out, they are absolutely killin’ it!
Conspirator was originally conceived as an outlet for Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein and keyboardist Aron Magner to explore new developments in electronic music, in a way that felt pure and authentic. The project’s other missive was to involve a rotating cast of musicians who were looking to do the same.
“Around 2004, I had this desire to climb up the learning curve of electronic music,” says Magner, who was raised on a combination of jazz and the Grateful Dead before becoming one of the pioneers of the late ‘90s jamtronica scene. Magner met up with a producer by the name of DJ Omen and began commuting to Omen’s studio in Northern Jersey from his house in Philadelphia, multiple times a week, to learn electronic production techniques. “I quickly realized that I wanted to bring Marc Brownstein into the fold. We wrote four or five tracks, and that was the birth of Conspirator.”
At first, they brought in choice material from Magner and Brownstein’s other band, the Disco Biscuits, and converted the songs into electronic tracks. But as Conspirator evolved into a full-time force, complete with its own canon of originals, they understood that the project would have to solidify into a full-time band, with an exciting — but consistent — lineup. Enter guitarist Chris Michetti, formerly of the band RAQ. Despite sharing a similar background in improvisationally-based rock music, Michetti had been independently exploring electronic music production, making him ripe to become a Conspirator.
The lineup crystalized into its current form last year with the addition of a permanent drummer — Torch. “We found a drummer the way that you find new musicians these days,” says Magner. “You go on YouTube and you find that young drum phenom, and that’s what we found with Torch.”
Brownstein reflects that having Torch on the drum kit is indicative of a greater change that’s been happening within the band — the most exciting development since its initial formation. “In terms of Torch coming in, we’ve come full circle,” he says. “We were getting further and further away from the jam music that we came from, and digging deeper and deeper into the electronic side of things.” Of course, that was the initial point of the band to begin with. Ten years into it, the pendulum has begun to swing back the other way: “When we brought in Torch, we made a conscious decision to come back to the roots,” says Brownstein.
Through their high profile career with the Disco Biscuits, Magner and Brownstein became notorious for their ability to improvise as a unit, jamming out songs in ways that were radically different during each rendition. When Conspirator formed, almost as a reaction to that, the shows were unapologetically the same every night. Conspirator performed at all the important festivals, including Bonnaroo, Ultra, Nocturnal, North Coast, Electric Forest, Gathering of the Vibes, CounterPoint, Jam Cruise and the Hangout, bringing rehearsed and polished sets to concert fields and dance-floors nationally. But their show is no longer a set-in-stone affair.
“We’re now exploring the music in such depth that each and every performance has become completely unique,” says Brownstein. “Not only in terms of setlist, but even the content; and not only within the improvisational sections but even within the actual songs. We do so much weaving throughout the course of a show — we develop a theme and then weave that into all the different songs. We’ll hit upon something and then interlace it throughout the course of the show until it becomes what the show is about. And then the next night, the theme will be something completely different. It’s a very fun journey.”
Band Website: www.conspiratorband.com
Digital Dharma is a balance between structure and improvisation. An eclectic mix of live instruments and electronic soundscapes that brings an organic groove to the dance floor. dD blends several genres and influences which creates their very unique original sound. From Festivals, to basement bangers, and everything in between, Digital Dharma promises to tantalize and stimulate the senses, no matter the setting.
Band Website: www.digitaldharmalive.bandcamp.com