From coast to coast and beyond, the electronic music spectrum has shifted radically to the low end, generating ribcage-rattling blasts from the underground on up. Tucked away in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Boulder-Denver-Ft.Collins triangle is the epicenter of this low-frequency onslaught, producing some of the
biggest names in the game. At the top of the heap is Aaron Holstein, a.k.a.VibeSquaD, a musical juggernaut and fearless vanguard in a flourishing scene.Circling the globe with his wholly original brand of bass exploration, VibeSquaD is
reaching wider and wider audiences with his studio tracks and out-of-control live shows.
The VibeSquaD sound is a sonic culmination of decades of experimentation, innovation, and a propensity for what’s next. Raised just outside of Chicago, Aaron Holstein was exposed to early house, techno, electro, and hip-hop, becoming a crate-digger at a young age. Breaking was an obsession for the youngster, who came
up on Sugar Hill Gang, Al-Naafish, and Art of Noise. Late-night parties at the YMCA later brought the underground dance music of the Second City into Holstein’s life—cementing his love for sweaty basements, jam-packed with heads ready to cut loose.
When Holstein discovered psychedelic music, and the scope of jam, jazz—and mostimportantly, funk—the guitar never left his hands, practicing upwards of 8 hours of a day. For all things funky, Holstein turned to the mighty Ohio River, for Parliament/Funkadelic bassist and Cincinnati’s favorite son Bootsy Collins, as well
as the Ohio Players. Frank Zappa became a fixation for the young guitarist. ‘One Size Fits All was a life changer,’ Holstein admits. To smooth out the rough edges of his funk and prog idols, he turned to six-string legends George Benson, Grant Green, and the man, himself: West Montgomery.
Incursions into the world of progressive, instrumental music put him under the tutelage of some of the finest musicians and professors on the East Coast, including the inimitable Yusef Lateef. Those strong technical and compositional fundamentals form the basis of his intricate productions—belying the ‘simplicity’ of his dance floor bangers. Relentless touring with groundbreaking acts put Aaron
smack dab in the middle of the world inhabited by progressive percussionists Michael Travis and Jamie Janover. The resulting collaboration, Zilla, would change the industry forever, fusing the jam and electronic scenes with the trio’s brand of live trance and breaks.
Perpetually on the prowl for that new sound, Holstein was far ahead of the curve, adding his signature sound to the bass-heavy style that was filtering over from the U.K. The 2006 inception of VibeSquaD at ymbiosis put Holstein at the forefront of the burgeoning bass craze. From his discombobulating beats and minimalist, gurgling bass on ‘Domepiece’ from 2007’s Return of the Pudding People, to the flexed out kicks and bombastic wobbles—replete with his own signature pitched up hip-hop
vocals—of ‘Flipping Acrobats’ on 2010’s The FIRE, VibeSquaD has maintained his position, poised on the cusp of the next big sound while staying true to his unique voice. Over time, Holstein has carved out a distinctive niche, which blends his love for all things bass music, with the funk obsession of his youth. This bouncy, glitched-up, and wobbled-out style is most apparent on his latest EP, Remix Mashers
Vol. 1, which opens with a rehashing of Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Family Affair.’ With four full-lengths, three EPs, and a slew of remixes out on forward-thinking labels Muti Music, Interchill, and Proboscis, Holstein is as prolific as he is a pioneer.
That being said, studio tracks can’t begin to prepare fans for VibeSquaD’s outrageous live performances. Bobbing up and down uncontrollably, arms raised with a permagrin plastered across his face, Holstein hits the stage full throttle, and doesn’t let up until every last spot on the floor is packed with bodies exhausted from a marathon dance session. 2011 has been a breakout year for Aaron, with
marquee performances at Sonic Bloom, Electric Forest, and Wakarusa, where he played a sunrise set for a massive crowd. ‘It was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever had playing live,’ Holstein said, ‘to see everyone dancing as the sun came up—it’s rare to see people in that context.’ VibeSquaD has supported huge acts like Pretty Lights, Bassnectar, EOTO, and Tipper, but with his recent addition to super-agent Hunter Williams’ Progressive Global Agency, the time has come for Aaron to step up and step out. Having reached the next level, expect to see the VibeSquaD circus
packing even bigger clubs, theaters, and festivals across the country, and around
the world. The VibeSquaD has arrived.Freddy Todd is a man a plan a canal panama. Mr. Palmer makes electronic music or dUbstep//GliTcH HoP//LazEr CrunK, if you wanna get fancy. When he was a lad, he grew up on the drum set and then moved to the piano/keys and guitar/bass. These combined skills offered his musical synergy to disperse in the elctronic scene. Making a genre of its own, Freddy Todd will go down in history as raunchy ba$$-beater and one of the most innovative of the internet music craze of the 2010’s. He has three cats and a dog named Buddy and Harrison’s pool. His EP’s include Ghost Dance Messiah (2009), Hallowz Eve (2009), and iLLegaL summer ‘stache (2010). Some are available for free download at http://freddytodd.bandcamp.com/
He also has two remix EP’s titled Space 5 Penthouse: A Remix EP (2010), Can’t Fathom This (2010).Griffin BOGL is a little bit of an anomaly. No matter what city you are in he might just be at the same party, right next to you. He states SF as his home base, but I’m pretty sure the BOGL spaceship is from parts unknown. After his sets last year, people were raving, literally! It was even likened to drunken Kung Fu, the way he bobbled around behind the decks seamlessly mixing the strangest tunes for what was to become some of the most diverse sets.
BOGL is a guy that can’t be pigeonholed. His sets and production always surprise and his sound is on the constant evolve tip. Don’t try and understand this man, just show up with open ears, ready to hear something fresh!