MaxxHaze is a Boston-based production company that has been pushing the envelope since the turn of the century. The company's initial mission was to bring live, improvised music to the electronic music scene as well as incorporate multi-media elements to live performances. Now entering its fifth year, shows are still true to this initial description but have greatly evolved.
The catalysts for this style were the emerging bands that crossed over into electronic-sounding jams; many of these bands could almost be mistaken for DJs at times.
The initial prototype show featured the New Deal and a house DJ at Lilli's, a brand new club in Somerville that was the new hot place for live music. The company was fortunate enough to get in touch with visual artist Toshi Hoo to bring in the multimedia aspect.
Eventually MaxxHaze got to the point of two or three shows a month, with DJs intertwining with up-and-coming live electronica bands. The idea worked, but ultimately most of the bands either broke up or changed directions. With the band-heavy lineups, the shows brought a good following but the electronic music scene hadn't totally bought into it.
Now that's changed: the electronic music scene makes up the predominant number of show-goers, and MaxxHaze has drifted over to organic-sounding DJs such as LTJ Bukem and DJ Krush. The live element is featured at every show but only the most electronic live acts are featured. The parties are dance-fests at this point, and every other aspect of MaxxHaze features have been advanced.
Nice venues have always been a priority. The current temple of choice is Axis Nightclub, a posh dance-venue situated behind Fenway Park. The sunken dance floor is a key feature--no one bumping into people with drinks, just 100% dancers. The bar area overlooking the dance floor gives a great view of the stage, and the club has an upstairs lounge with leather couches and another killer dance floor.
The next MaxxHaze event is the Vibe Oasis on Wednesday, August 4. The show features DJ Monk of Rabbit in the Moon, Moshi vs. Omen (featuring Aron Magner from the Disco Biscuits), and beatboxer Kenny Muhammad on the main stage. Upstairs is a collection of some of New England's best house and break DJs--Knowledge, DJ Drama, Christopher Pierce, and Caseroc.
The visuals are done once again by Toshi Hoo as well as Jeff Mission on dual six-foot screens on both sides of the stage. These artists promise some extremely psychedelic, musically interactive visuals. Extras such as face painters and masseuses will also be on hand.
Musically, this show will span several genres of electronica, and is as much a show as a dance event. For those unfamiliar to the names on this list, Rabbit in the Moon was arguably the biggest rave act in history and DJ Monk was the backbone, spinning breaks, techno, trance, drum 'n' bass--whatever got the heads rolling. Following up a beat-boxed introduction by a one-man band with no instruments, Moshi will expand our minds with Omen. The act features two laptops, turntables, CDJs, and Magner's epic keyboard setup. After Moshi and Omen mix classical arpeggios with techno, drum 'n' bass, house, and breaks, Monk will show us why he is one of the biggest party DJs in history as he takes the crowd into another world.
The main stage artists are all improvised acts.
The Vibe Oasis is 19+ (or 18+ with a college ID).
More info can be found at www.maxxhaze.com
The Vibe Oasis
The Real Deal Dance party
Wednesday, August 4
Axis (Both Rooms), Lansdowne St., Boston
10:00 p.m. Doors, 19+ (18+ w/college ID)
DJ Monk of Rabbit in the Moon
Moshi vs. DJ Omen
featuring Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits
Kenny Muhammad (The Human Orchestra)
DJ Christopher Pierce
Live, dual-screen visuals by Toshi Hoo & Jeff Mission
Tix are $23 advance/$26 DOS, available at Knowname Records or Biscotix. Knowname is at 234 Huntington St., Boston, (617) 236-0006. Biscotix is an online service, www.biscotix.com.
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