Ypsilanti-based music producers Oddcore Productions and Alibi Crew will be hosting the “Out of the Box” remix compilation release party Saturday, Sept. 15 at Crossroad’s Bar & Grill, 517 W. Cross St. in Ypsilanti, just south of Eastern Michigan University’s campus.
The event, Oddcore’s Alibi – Miah’s Birthday Party, will offer two rooms of music featuring live electronica, bassline, techno, drum and bass, dubstep, house and garage, with Alibi Crew handling one room and Oddcore Productions, along with Damn Panic Productions, taking over the other.
Oddcore is an electronic-based music group consisting of former EMU student Blare Brennan, aka Pup-B (pronounced “puppy”), and Miah Swain, aka Monk-E, who is originally from Ypsilanti and studied audio engineering at Washtenaw Community College. Swain’s birthday was actually Sept. 9, but is being celebrated in conjunction with the release party.
The compilation features remixes of Oddcore’s original track, “Out of the Box,” by a variety of international artists and is being released by Detroit’s Division X Records.
Brennan, 28, was born in San Francisco, Calif. and moved to Waimanalo, Hawaii around age six, but relocated to Michigan in 2002 when she was offered a tattoo apprenticeship in Royal Oak. She has been the creative director of Oddcore Productions since 2005 and currently resides in Ypsilanti.
In 2006, Brennan enrolled in EMU’s arts management entrepreneurship program and attended part-time while steadily working two jobs until 2010.
“I got engulfed in the music and I got opportunities and I didn’t have time to do both, so I chose to do music because school will always be there. I can always go back, but this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.
Brennan said she knows some people don’t come to a live show to watch a DJ behind a computer screen, so Oddcore tries to give the audience something more during performances.
“I like to try and hype up the crowd and go out front and dance. We like to put on a show as well as the music,” she said.
Brennan said dancing gives her peace and an escape from reality, but that music is her calling and it seems like she’s been doing it forever.
“It’s what I do. I’m always singing if I know the words, or even if I don’t I make them up. I think [music has] always been my saving grace. I mean it’s cheesy, but it’s been the love that’s never broken my heart. It’s been there for me through the worst of times,” Brennan said.
Alibi Crew, which will be handling the other half of the event, is a hybrid promotional team, record label and “family” of artists that is a melting pot for the musical genres of hip-hop and drum and bass, according to cofounder Steffen Gelletly.
Gelletly, 34, said he has known Swain for about 20 years and they met through their mutual involvement in the Ann Arbor drum and bass music scene, and they had too many friends in common for them not to have bumped into one another.
He said different musicians have varying views on what music is and how deeply it plays in their lives: There are serious musicians and there are day players, and there are people with massive egos and there are good people to work with.
“That’s one of the reasons why this is happening now between Alibi and Oddcore, because two independent groups that have run into each other so many times, supported each other so many times, and this project is finally complete and we’re here to back them up on it,” Gelletly said.
Gelletly, who was born and raised in Ypsilanti, said the event will showcase some of the dopest local DJs in the drum and bass genre, which for him is the best music from the “seven-dirty-four” area (a play on words referring to Michigan’s 734 area code).
“There hasn’t been an event like this in Ypsi for a long time, a long, long time. Especially [since] pretty much the entire showcase is local artists, and that to me is fucking exciting,” Gelletly said.
When asked to define the genre of drum and bass, Gelletly said it’s a “mixalogical music that is between 170 to 185 beats per minute.”
When he received a raised eyebrow and look of confusion he tried a different approach.
“It’s like double-timed hip-hop. It’s [a] U.K. based … style of music that I think is honestly one of the best kinds of music around, because it brings my two loves of hip-hop and electronic music … together in the best format possible,” Gelletly said.
Alibi Crew member Nate Dotz, aka Sleeptron, said he’ll be mostly spinning drum and bass records at the event.
“Unless I get bizarre requests, and I don’t mean people walking up and asking for Britney Spears,” Dotz said.
Brennan stepped in and said, “Yeah we don’t take requests.”
“Except for louder,” Dotz said.
Dotz said he’s been doing drum and bass for about 10 years, and sometimes gets up early on Sundays with his coffee to spin records for fun.
“I got so sick of trying to be a musician in the business that I’d much rather just do my own thing. I’m here to play this music because I like it and if no one else wants to listen well I’ll do it at my own house, because I don’t have to put on pants that way,” Dotz said.
Brennan said the event’s venue is close to EMU’s campus and was chosen because she and Gelletly have known Crossroad’s Bar & Grill manager, Jesse Thomason, since he was bartending at The Screamin’ Eagle, which closed down in May 2010 and oddly enough was located at the same address as Crossroad’s.
Gelletly said The Screamin’ Eagle is where Alibi Crew began.
“We started there. We ran a couple years there, so it’s good to be back home,” he said.
Thomason said Crossroad’s is excited to host the release party because of the combination of local artists it will feature.
“We have been working diligently to make this place better for performers and look forward to similar events,” Thomason said.
Brennan said Oddcore Production’s lineup for the event includes Oddcore; Ann Arbor artist Mod 8; Detroit-based, up-and-coming artist MAJIKCaPs; and DJ Fury vs. Dr.Unk, who will be performing a four-turntable tag team set.
“[DJ Fury and Dr.Unk are] actually going to have four turntables and they’re going to be mixing together, and this is something they have not done in public yet … I’m actually very excited to see them do the performance,” Brennan said.
Gelletly said the Alibi artists performing will include the newest member of the crew Tripdubz, Shipping & Handling, DJ Tailor Hawkins, Sleeptron and DIY, which stands for “Do It Yourself” and is Gelletly’s stage name when he’s deejaying drum and bass.
“They will be doing their traditional mic destruction. Oh God these dudes are the two best emcees hands down, freestyle, double time, everything. They are a sight to behold,” he said.
The show is open to ages 18 and up and doors will open at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover charge.