By Brad Knutson
Once well known in the trip-hop community for his work in Terranova and the short-lived Ghost Cauldron project, Berlin-based DJ Kaos’ latest output could be described as anything but downtempo. His latest album, “Hello Stranger,” is an upbeat, funky Italo affair featuring the likes of Erlend Oye, Captain Comatose, Danny Wang and even Matt B. Safer from Brooklyn dance-punks The Rapture.
“‘Hello Stranger’ is a fun record…collaboration with my friends,” says Kaos, “The record mirrors what I do in clubs…[and is] inspired by disco, house, rock.” Listening to the album, there is also an unmistakable nod to the past, which Kaos says was by design. “Everything [in the dance scene] is so short-lived, so I tried to create something which is still listenable in a couple of years…no electro-clash bollocks, more classic!” Still inspired by such legends as Chicago house master Ron Hardy and genre-busting dance pioneer Larry Levan, Kaos recently joined forces with another electronic-music icon, Salvatore Principato from Liquid Liquid.
“Sal is a good friend…we worked on a track together called ‘Cerebral Tremolo’ and we were asked to do a mix CD for Rough Trade. It’s a mix of early dance music…cosmic, Afro, electronica and house.”
Dubbed “Collectors Series Pt. 2, Danse, Gravite Zero,” the mix is expected to hit stores in September and is only one of many forthcoming projects from Kaos. Look out for a new single with soul legend Bobby Womack, remixes of Roxy Music and Lo Fi Fnk and a brand new full-length LP. While work on the new album isn’t expected to officially begin until the end of summer, keen ears will glean a sneak preview of some of the tracks brewing up in the Kaos cache. Talking about what he likes about spinning live, Kaos says, “It’s cool…I can try and play some new tracks so I can see where I have to make changes…[it] gives me a lot of inspiration.”
Unfortunately, the Opaque Project and their promotion of Monday’s bill isn’t entirely musically inspired, but also draws fuel from a bit of monetary desperation. After losing their lease at the old Jerkstore/Texas Ballroom space in Bridgeport in March, the Opaque Project crew, led by noted Eurotrash-wannabe Johnny Love, relocated to a new building where they hoped to continue their debaucherous rave ordinance/entertainment license-defying ways under the new venue name, “The Western Front.” However, an ill-fated decision to promote the new space in a Chicago Reader column doomed TWF before the first kegs of PBR could be tapped. Tipped off by the article, Opaque’s old landlord contacted their new landlord, who promptly gave his new tenants two weeks to vacate the space. Defying an eviction notice that they felt was unwarranted and illegal since they had yet to do anything wrong, the Opaque Crew went ahead and threw an opening party for The Western Front. Undoubtedly coordinated with the help of their former and current landlords, the party was busted by a blitzkrieg of both uniformed and undercover cops and Opaque member Brendan Telzrow was arrested.
Still hoping to fight their case and fend off further legal action from their landlord, the Opaque Project is now looking to raise $1,750 (half their month’s rent) to pay a tenants’-rights lawyer. Last week, Funky Buddha hosted a fundraising event with proceeds from the night going toward raising money for the legal fees. The group continues on in their efforts to bring great music and parties to the city, while in the process hoping to take a little off the top to put back in the “defense fund piggy bank.” If you’ve ever partied at Jerkstore, Texas Ballroom or House of Love, be sure to stop by, have a few drinks, and slip a couple extra bucks in the jar.
Night Move$ will also feature Ian Hixx and Johnny Love at Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 West Grand, (312)666-1695 on July 24.