I am by no means an electronica person. If I think I’m enjoying dubstep, I’m probably moderately inebriated. These kids and their “womp-womp”, I just don’t get it.
But on Friday, local electronica duo Niftee played their first set at Club 156 and my toes were doing more than just tapping. With other local DJs Duck, Kief and Trent Begin, as well as Program Council’s new lighting system, Club 156 hosted one of the best dance parties I’ve been to since a few bizarre frat parties during my freshman year.
The opening acts were a little bit dub-heavy for my taste, but the nearly-full club didn’t mind. The dancing skills of most college-aged men seem to consist of standing and taking a grind. And dubstep works perfectly for this type of, ahem, “dancing”.
Kief did an excellent job encouraging the audience to grind up in each other’s business, simply by playing gritty and slow beats. If there was any other kind of dancing going on, it must have been hidden. His set made sure that people across the dance floor were getting action.
Kief still kept his set classy by wearing a T-shirt and tie combination. This outfit, though a confusing look for a DJ, worked well on Kief. His set featured dub remixes of popular songs, including Katy Perry’s “E.T.”, as well as songs produced by electronic artists like Skrillex and Nero. The audience seemed to enjoy the set. It was fun but not exceptional.
At the end of Kief’s set, the club quickly emptied. I was one of three people still on the floor. Word on the street was that Acacia was hosting an after-party following Kief’s set, and if you had a hand stamp from Program Council, you got in free. I couldn’t exactly blame the audience for leaving.
The 20 or so audience members that returned for Niftee’s set got an intimate show that changed this indie-girl’s perspective on a genre she never liked.
Niftee started their set with an upbeat song that made me actually want to dance, not just sway my hips back and forth like Kief’s set did. Niftee kept that upbeat rhythm throughout most of the set, but every so often, they threw in a slower dub mix to change up the atmosphere. This worked well and made me want to dance even more.
The beats were infectious and Niftee played some of their original songs, like GlowLikeYou. Most of their songs, however, were remixes, such as Savage’s “Swing”. No matter what they played, I was hooked.
By the end of the set, I found myself enjoying and actually appreciating dance music. I acknowledge that this stuff actually can be decent. Niftee made a believer out of me, and if only for one night, I was a bass-loving kid.
Niftee is CU international affairs students Brett Edgerly and Ethan Ames. They began their music collaboration five months ago, after Ames transferred to CU. They remix popular music as well as compose original songs. The duo says their best, most dance-y music comes from an unconventional producing process. In an interview after their Sept. 23 show, Edgerly laughed when he talked about the collaboration process with Ames.
“Our music comes from weird mistakes that we make and random chances that happen,” Edgerly said. “I do most of the composition, while Ethan does most of the arranging. He keeps my horrible ideas in check.”
The “horrible ideas” were nowhere to be heard on Friday, as their set ran smoothly. Ames said he thought their first live show was a success.
“Considering how new we are to DJing, I felt like it went well,” Ames said.
Both members said they hope to book more shows in the Boulder area in the coming months, and are currently working on an EP with Ooj of ThisSongIsSick.com. Check out Niftee’s remixes and original mixes at www.soundcloud.com/weareniftee.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Writer Avalon Jacka at Avalon.firstname.lastname@example.org.