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Reveal: Robert Hood


realism. 3.14.1997

robert hood | daniel bell | jay denham | kyle tait | silicon | israel vines

It hasn't snowed much here in and around Detroit, but what little we've had took me back to a quiet wintry night in Lansing a few years ago.

Well, mostly quiet.

This night was host to Realism, one of the pivotal Lansing techno events that seemed to coalesce the talent and DJs around the MSU campus, as well as form a permanent bond to the Detroit mothership. Organizers Kit Geary and Israel Vines were behind the event, both of whom (along with Kyle Tait) have migrated to Chicago since. Matt MacQueen must have some magnetic power we don't know about ...
jay denham
Jay Denham doubles your pleasure [2.7mb .MOV]
Hood Mixes
Robert Hood's masterful mix [2.0mb .MOV]
The few who managed to brave the snowstorm blowing across 96 West and make it to Realism for the beginning were treated to the first (and last?) live set from Kyle Tait, performing as Unity Gain. Tait's set was a blend of the minimalist vogue of the day, with effective layering of strings and samples. Fellow Lansing-ite and VMAXer Heath Brunner (aka Silicon) turned in a vicious and challenging DJ set that energized the crowd for the rest of the event.
Robert Hood and Jay Denham were amazing to behold in such an intimate space--their technical and intuitive skills shined in the sparsely lit club (actually an old army/navy px warehouse in Lansing proper). By this time, anyone who was going to check out the event had skid or slid into the parking lot ... including Daniel Bell, who was the last to perform. Slimming his live set down to even fewer pieces of gear than he had in 1996, Bell was in top form. The live version of "Blip" was a gigantic hit (okay, that's a qualified statement with the low turnout), as were the bits of (still) unreleased material with which he graced us that night. Dan Bell Live
Daniel Bell's Classic Cut [2.2mb .MOV]
Lucky Crowd [1.3mb .MOV]
Jay puts an exclamation point on the evening [129K .MOV]
Despite the weather that night and subsequent small turnout, Realism was a win for Lansing and the concept of "Michigan Techno" (hey, John Tejada played there twice in 1999!). Looking back, Vines seems to agree: "We took a very minimal approach to promotion, decor, etc., and focused on showcasing the talent of underground performers and dj's--some of them already well known at that point, and others on their way. It was a pleasure to work with all of them, and everyone turned in a stellar performance."

CREDITS: Camerwork: Kyle Tait, Video Grabs/Compression: Reverb

For more on the growth of the Lansing Techno scene, check the archives section on Beatbox for some great DJ sets.

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