Favorite Music of 2011 - Part 3 - Local Events

While Chicago and Minneapolis had the volume to garner fantastic international talent from all over the world, there was plenty going on right down the street from where I live. The local scene has exploded over the last year, and we've actually been able to get some international talent as well thanks to the loyal scene in Madison.

Many events are pretty mainstream, but there are plenty of dudes in the area who have been DJing for more than 10 years, and know exactly where the music today comes from, and what makes the past so special, too.

Here are my favorite events I attended in town put on by some of the best talent in the Midwest.

1. Demetri Nocturnal, Psycotron, Scatter @ Poor Boy's Rave, Segredo // Dec 22nd


No event was more surprising, or amazing than the second to last Poor Boy's Rave of the year. It was a night of modern Psytrance that continued to be infused with classic Trance hits from the late 90s and 2000 until that beautiful classic sound took over completely.


After Wyatt's opening set, Scatter took the stage and set the mood was some groovy Psytrance beats.

I don't pay attention to this genre at all, but it was very different than the Hallucinogen and Infected Mushroom I was told were representative of this genre. Modern day Psytrance (at least according to these guys) was very similar to the classic sound of Trance I was in love with back in the day.

Scatter continued to hold that classic sound but with a harder edge. Pyscotron picked up exactly where Scatter left off, but his sound became more melodic and dreamy.

Demetri Nocturnal took the stage and played a set that was straight out of the year 2000. I haven't heard these songs in YEARS. It was like listening to Paul Oakenfold in his prime. This was exactly the sound I heard in clubs when I first started going out, and the sound that I had completely forgotten about. It was the reason I went out back in the day, and the reason I have such love for Electronic Dance Music these days.

I never thought I'd hear this again, and this is why it was the most amazing moment I had in Madison throughout the entire year.

2. The Gimp @ Jump Around, The Cardinal // July 27th


Likewise, one night in July, the Milwaukee Noise Collective was invited to spin at Wyatt's monthy event at The Cardinal, Jump Around. This was a week before Caleb's big summer party, and I was gearing up to DJ that party all night long.


A couple DJs started off the night, but when The Gimp, aka Brandon Standal, took over the decks the atmosphere completely changed. It was another set infused with classic DJ tracks that I hadn't heard since the year 2000, and it built a wonder sound. I was so happy to be with a bunch of my friends at the time. This was the sound I wanted to bring to Caleb's party.

Brandon built up the atmosphere with several tracks and then slammed us with Above & Beyond - On a Good Day. The original Club Mix, not the slightly harder Metropolis mashup. It was euphoria. A perfect blend of old and new.

3. The Horrorist @ Inferno // May 14th


This party was definitely the drunkest I had been all year. My friends and I somewhat pre-gamed at the Come Back Inn with some Boots. I slammed some Red Bulls, and we went off to Inferno shortly after. I was drinking Spotted Cow all night, one after the other. After the event ended, everyone went across the street to an after party on the second story of some supply store. And we continued partying for another 2 hours probably, I dunno, I don't remember. I probably got home around 5am?

All the opening DJs put an entertaining sets that really set the mood for the night. Some very hard tracks, mostly Electro House and Techno. As time progressed and the headliner loomed, the sound become very focused on Techno, and continue to bang pretty hard.

The Horrorist took the stage and started laying down tracks. He picked up the microphone and provided all the vocals himself. He yelled and screamed into the mic along with the beat, and the crowd went absolutely crazy to it. We yelled at the top of our lungs back at him. YEAHHH!

Aside from being drunk and manic due to beer and Red Bull, it was definitely the most energetic party I've ever been to in Madison. The crowd was completely in tune with his performance, and after Inferno closed, the vibe continued at the after party.

Despite how ridiculously drunk I was, I remember so much of that night. It's crazy how incredible and unique that night was that it shown through any attempts of memory blindness. Also, it was great to have company with me so we could piece the evening together at a later date. It was my favorite drunken night of the year :)

I think that funniest thing about this was that on Monday, I found out that they recorded the audio from the entire night. After listening to set performed by The Horrorist, it really didn't sound all that great. It was a fantastic night, but the majesty of it all was really in his stage presence and ridiculous amount energy pumping up the crowd. That kind of thing doesn't translate to audio so well. :/

It was a night that you truly had to be there to experience it all.

4. Alex Hall @ Wobble, Electric Earth // Halloween


Alex Hall is a member and featured artist of one of the music forums that I've frequented for quite a while now. Hybridized.org specialized in Progressive Trance, and Progressive Breaks mostly. The have huge acts such as Hybrid and Way Out West, but these days focuses a whole lot more on rising talent across the world.

Alex Hall became a member around the same time I found the forums, but I had no idea he lived in the midwest! I came across his name on this event, and made it my mission to be in attendance.

A lot of the Wobble crew threw down some groovy sets, but mixed in some occasion medicore tracks. One of the openers had some amazing classic Acid House tracks, but then mixed them into Skrillex, bleehhh. One of the other openers started off with some Drum 'n Bass, and Alex Hall yelled out from the back room, "Drum 'n Bass is for pussies!"


Alex Hall took the stage as Satan. This was the same night Wolfgang Gartner was at Segredo, and Alex's opening remarks were, "Who needs Wolfgang Gartner! Let's Party!".

He spun a modern techno set with plenty recent huge hits including Pryda - Moksha and Eric Prydz - Personal Jesus. It was great to hear such big name sound coming from a Wisconsin resident. He ended on Mike Koglin - Enjoy the Silence and absolutely blew my mind.

It was a remarkable Halloween night. Far better than what Wolfgang would've offered. :)

5. Wyatt Agard

@ The Cardinal (closing out a dead night)
@ Segredo (opening for Halo)

Through the year, Wyatt has put on a ridiculous amount of shows. He DJs at various gigs at least 3 or 4 times a week, and sometimes every single day of the week. He puts on special events at The Majestic, holds a monthly show at The Cardinal, and weekly shows at Jolly Bobs, and Segredo.

Wyatt's an amazing dude, and there were two moments throughout the year that really popped for me.


One late summer's eve at The Cardinal, the place was pretty much dead. There was a bunch of people there at one point, but never more than 30 people on the dance floor, and eventually they all left leaving me alone out there to groove along. Wyatt mixed in some of the amazing tracks throughout his set, and built a very progressive vibe. He played Booka Shade - Regenerate (Pan Pot Remix), Moby - Pale Horses (Gui Boratto Remix), and some mashed up remix of Xpander (or at least it sounded like it.)

These were all tracks I had been groovy to over the summer, and it was great to hear them live. :)

Later on, when opening up for Halo Varga, he spun another fantastic Prog set. And even managed to mix in an actual remix of Xpander, most likely the Funkagenda Remix.