Though the Sacramento area is known for a substantial electronic music scene, the past few years have seen performers splitting or moving to different areas.
In the face of extinction, self-proclaimed music and Sacramento geek, Adam Saake is putting together a three-day electronic music festival, featuring acts that exemplify what the scene was and what it will soon evolve to become.
Today through Saturday, dozens of performers will gather at the Townhouse Lounge at 1517 21st St. in Sacramento for the Sacramento Electronica Music Festival. Tickets are $5 for a day pass and $10 for a three-day pass.
“The location is perfect for this event – it’s a two story venue,” Saake said. “There is a dance floor and bar upstairs, and when you go downstairs it’s the same thing. Two levels of equal strength, with live music and DJs in-between.”
In cooperation with Concerts4Charity, a non-profit organization catering to the arts, Saake has planned this festival so concertgoers will have the unique opportunity to hear an assorted array of artists. Performers vary from Command Collective, longtime residents of the Sacramento electronic scene, to the New Humans, who continue to revolutionize it.
With a big boost in the ’90s, the electronica scene has dwindled because many groups have broken up or are pursuing different projects.
“I would say that the artists that started here in Sacramento, like the Command Collective, have been influential in many ways,” Saake said. “Unfortunately, the scene has tapered if a little bit. Since the ’90s, the venues have changed and the scene has become fragmented. But now, the electronic music scene is evolving. They are bringing in new elements, like drums and keyboards.”
The SEMF will not only feature traditional electronic music, but many performers will also feature acoustic music as well as vivid visuals projected while during their sets.
“I hope that those who may not be as familiar with the genre and may be coming to see an individual artist will be exposed to different genre and medium,” said Clay Nutting, founding board member of Concerts4Charity. “Fifteen years ago if you wanted to put electronica music in your music you had to have a crazy rig, now it is more accessible.”
Ryan Lindow of CityState said he shares the same sentiments about discovering electronic music.
“I hope that people can hear different styles of music,” Lindow said. “A lot of times the weekly parties cater to people going out and dancing. [SEMF] will definitely be more about the music. It’ll be different in the fact that it won’t just be a soundtrack to a night out.”
CityState will not only do his usual routine of DJing but will also feature a live drummer. This, Lindow said, will turn out to be a lot more experimental because there will not be as many rules.
Paper Pistols, another featured electronic act, now incorporates a keyboard player, and the Command Collective will also have a drummer.
The event starts today with headliner MochiPet, a Bay Area native, who has had a steady stream of local and international buzz. Today will also feature Seventh Swami and DJ Whores, among others.
“I’m excited to see MochiPet. I don’t think he has ever played in Sacramento,” Lindow said, who also takes to the stage that same tonight.
Friday will remain Townhouse Lounge’s traditional “Fuck Friday,” with the New Humans, Melee Beats, Shaun Slaughter, John Droll and Roger Carpio spinning floor stomping rock and roll while upstairs will feature an array of house, electro and indie dance.
The festival will conclude on Saturday with Tycho, as well as Sacramento electronic forefathers Dusty Brown and Sister Crayon.
This is the first year that a festival will be dedicated to this music genre in the Sacramento area, but many hope that it will turn into an annual event.
“A lot of people like this kind of music,” Lindow said. “You don’t have to be like a party or club person to appreciate what this will be about.”
Lindow calls Sacramento a small, small town in which sustaining monthly shows is difficult.
“But we do have some good and recognizable artists,” he said. “So with an even like this, where you don’t have to deal with the typical club going out routine, I think it will be really great.”
To purchase tickets for SEMF, visit brownpapertickets.com.
ANASTASIA ZHURAVLEVA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.