Last night, monthly minimal synth and coldwave party Killing Spree got Wierd when DJ Pieter Schoolwerth and members of Xeno and Oaklander, Martial Canterel and Blacklist arrived to kickoff this weekend's Wierd Festival. Organized and promoted by Schoolwerth and Killing Spree promoter/DJ Sarah Cake, the event will mix up bands from the New York City-based label with its West Coast kin.
The collaboration is fitting considering that Sarah Cake launched the party with DJ Trouble666 after seeing Schoolwerth spin first at M/R/X-Wolfpak and later at the No Fun Festival.
"All the stuff that he was playing was so good that it made me excited about music," she says.
When Schoolwerth approached Sarah Cake about promoting a Xeno & Oaklander show, she worked on turning it into a two-day music event and found art/performance space Nomad.
"Clubs out here are so weird right now," she says. "I just don't feel like they're supporting good music right now. It's so about celebrity, or there's a hot chick in the band or a celebrity in the band and I wanted to do something that was really music-specific."
The kickoff party was certainly music-centric. Medusa Lounge, where Killing Spree regularly takes place, was bustling with this city's proponents of the underground. We ran into the M/R/X-Wolfpak crew, along with Andru Aesthetik, who runs Post-punk.com and played with Mark Burgess last summer, and Frank Alpine, the cassette-friendly electronic artist who will make his debut tonight.
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Schoolwerth's set was packed with obscurities, including vintage coldwave tracks and the new school of minimal synth that he champions through Wierd. When he busted out Blacklist's "Flight of the Demoiselles," the floor filled. Through the crowd, I noticed the members of Blacklist standing on the sidelines and wondered, is it strange to hear your own song at a club in another city and see it do well on the dance floor? Do musicians ever dance to their own music or do they start listening hypercritically?
Check out our interview with Blacklist here, where we didn't pose the questions above, but did question Josh Strawn about heavy metal and authenticity.