Big Joe Daddy
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Big Joe Daddy

Davis, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Davis, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band EDM Glitch


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Gimme A Crunk Beat"

The Luna Lounge was something of a legend in Davis, circa 2010.

Among area university students, it was a coveted Friday night destination—wild electronic music parties that people heard about, but no one really knew where it was. Rumors told of a free bar, fire spinners and a Burning Man vibe.

Joseph Wisgirda ran the speakeasy. The physical space was his garage. Small. Some lights. Nothing special, he says. But the music?

Experimental, interesting and generally excellent. The talent came from a group known as the Chillage People. It started out as a few students who wanted to learn how to produce electronic dance music—EDM for short—but had no idea how. They’d meet after class and mess around on their laptops. Naturally, it evolved. Wisgirda was a physics graduate student at the time and started an Introduction to Electronic Music production class at the Experimental College, a program at UC Davis where people can take or teach classes in alternative subjects. He met some of the Chillagers, and the group grew to about 14 producers. It became a weekly salon and listening club, with the Luna Lounge as its laboratory.

Due to a perpetually exploding toilet, however, the Luna Lounge closed down after a two-year run.

“I’m amazed I got away with it as long as I did,” says Wisgirda, a.k.a Big Joe Daddy.

But Chillage kept going. In 2012, the collective formed Chillage Records and re- leased its first compilation, Crunksauce Vol. 1. Then, Volume 2 came out in January this year, and it was met with rave reviews from underground EDM blogs, such as Bassadelic.

Now, Thursday, August 14, marks the release of Crunksauce Vol. 3, with the big party scheduled for Saturday, August 23, at Sidetrax in Midtown Sacramento.

Some original Chillagers, like Spoken Bird and Urple Eeple, have left for the Bay Area, finding success and playing big EDM festivals: Stilldream in Belden, Lucidity in Santa Barbara, Firefly Music Festival in Delaware.

But locally, EDM hasn’t quite taken off like it has in the Bay Area and other big metro areas. People know the genre is on the rise—electronic beats have been seeping their way into mainstream hits for years—and many of Sacramento’s nightclubs have designated EDM nights. Turnouts vary. For some, the very best EDM experiences will always have to happen underground, like at the Luna Lounge.

Shane Ynclan, a.k.a. Synclan, started toying around with beats at age 16. Ten years later, he’s admittedly jaded about Sacramento’s EDM scene. Hell, he says even the term EDM is “a bad word” in some circles. To serious electronic artists, EDM has been co-opted, instead referring strictly to party genres like house and big room. In other words, rave music with major drug connotations.

“We are making the most complicated, difficult-to-make music ever,” Ynclan says. “Until we shake that stigma—which may never happen—it’s not gonna be taken seriously as a genre.”

There’s a common misconception that making EDM is just pushing buttons. That it’s music made by computer nerds with no real talent.


“If you want to make mediocre EDM, it is very easy,” Wisgirda says. “If you want to craft something with some real meaning and some real depth, it’s going to take time and effort, and it helps to have some real music knowledge.”

Wisgirda has a background in jazz and classical music. He knows his theory. A lot of the more experimental electronic artists in Sacramento, too, have backgrounds in traditional music. Then they see some epic show—for Wisgirda, it happened at Burning Man—and are hooked.

Now, Wisgirda creates “circus glitch-hop show tunes.” He plays a digital trumpet—a wind controller—and uses his knowledge of traditional jazz and Dixieland to fuse with glitch.
Chillagers like keyboards, snacks and community.

Fellow Chillager Derrek Gass, a founding member who plays under the moniker Lazer Tooth, spends a lot of time capturing real-world sounds. Recently, he played with the Doppler effect of fire whizzing by a microphone.

“As it gets close, you can hear the gas trying to ignite,” Gass says. “Further away, the air and atmosphere smooths that frequency out.”

With the sounds of chopping vegetables, tapping the side of a pan of water, smacking a telephone on a table—as Wisgirda says, “this type of music is full of happy accidents.”

Still, a disconnect persists in Sacramento.

“I’ve been playing at a show, and someone will tap me, ’Do you have any Beyoncé?’” says Neil Douglas, a local producer under the name FunkAdvisor. “Happens all the time: Beyoncé, Rihanna, 2 Chainz.”
Sacramento’s 'splintered’ scene

Evan Schneider remembers the days

when he was one of two EDM producers in Sacramento. Things have certainly changed.

“When I started, it was a hard sell for anyone to give you an electronic-music night,” Schneider says.

Schneider goes by Tha Fruitbat, and he played his first gig in 1998. Back then, laptops weren’t so powerful, and most people didn’t have the advanced music software that’s widely available today. He performed with a ton of equipment—rack gear, synthesizers, keyboards. In 2001, he formed the Command Collective with Dusty Brown, Chachi Jones and Tycho—yes, that Tycho—with the goal of putting on shows and supporting one another in a tough environment. It only lasted a few years before Jones and Tycho moved to the Bay Area.

Newer EDM producers point to Grimey as what really got things going. Grimey was a twice-a-month dance party at the TownHouse Lounge that ran from 2010 until the venue closed in 2013. The dubstep, heavy-bass party then moved to The Press Club until its founder, DJ Whores, moved to Denmark in March.

At its peak, Grimey packed 400 people in TownHouse. On a Tuesday night.

At the time, dubstep was just starting to get big. Skrillex had yet to explode. Grimey was ahead of the trend. Now, enthusiasts say dubstep is out, stale. Hip hop-influenced trap is in, but probably not for long. Deep house is supposedly next.

Sure enough, the biggest weekly party in Sacramento right now is Trapacana at Badlands on Wednesday nights. But there are so many regular EDM nights at venues like Badlands, Press Club, Starlite Lounge, Midtown BarFly, Sidetrax and District 30 that it’s hard to keep track. Some only last a couple months before they’re replaced with a new effort.

Ynclan blames EDM itself.

“The genre’s so splintered to mini categories that it’s hard to draw,” he says.

That means folks looking to dance tend to make their choices by venue, which isn’t consistent, or production company. George Galea’s Head on High Productions started in 2012, focusing on less popular subgenres that are heavy on bass. He uses a team of about 15 local producers to put on underground shows twice a month, and then he brings in special guests, including Chillagers.

Requiem Events is another local company that started last year, already with 20 resident deejays. Its Midtown BarFly parties—the monthly Throwdown and weekly That Thing on Friday—bring out an 18-and-over crowd that dances uninhibited to house and big room. LED-lit hula hoops, poi balls and costumes are common sights.

But if casual EDM fans closely followed the artists, they’d know that Crescendo and Spire—producers who were also involved in Grimey—recently started Rhythm, a twice-a-month bass and techno night at Badlands. And maybe they’d know that Schneider spent last winter in Australia collaborating with Mr. Bill, a big name in EDM, and will likely go back later this year. And one of Ynclan’s songs has basically hit the mainstream already. He and Ryan Wade, a.k.a. Bit Crusher, produced a remix of Skrillex’s “Fire Away” under the moniker Zero Friendz. Now Skrillex has been spinning Zero Friendz at his own shows.

“I wish I could say it’s about the music, but at the end of the day, it’s just about a party,” Ynclan says. “Whoever has the best party wins.” - Sacramento News and Review


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...

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