Great American Techno Festival - Sept 29th - Oct 2nd, 2011 Denver

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 13/9/11 11:32

Great American Techno Festival - Sept 29 - Oct 2nd, 2011 DenverThe fallout that has come raining down from the spectacular disintegration of the conference formerly known as the WMC has been on the one hand, the elevation of lack talents like Skrillex in America's never ending need to turn non-rock artists in to the living avatar of Jimmy Morrison - everyone from Eminem to Patti Smith has suffered under than unnecessary weight. If the kids like it, let's put him/her in a monkey suit for all to gawk at like some disgusting freak show that even Tod Browning would be more than a little embarrassed by. But the fatal overdose of the Miami circus has also reminded many around this massive land that America is the birthplace of house and techno, not just another UK trending humping fetish zone aping strictly imports like dubstep, jungle, death rock (the list of Anglophilic genres here in the States is nearly endless). A new trend is perhaps starting to emerge helped along by a good dose of good ol' fashion American pragmatism and has found new voices springing up like toadstools after a long, dreary rain.

Some of those new voices include emerging underground festivals such as Movement and Decibel Fest in Seattle as the vanguard for a new way of looking at America's electronic music legacy. Spend a night in any Detroit area hotel these days and expect the concierge to speakwith great pride about techno's contribution to the arts and economy of the region and Decibel has almost single-handedly changed perceptions that the Pacific Northwest is the place we all left our flannels at once they became terminally unfashionable (about 5 minutes after Kurt Cobain's death). Earlier this year, Portland, the Oregon metropolis long known for their unrequited love of affected indie trifles such as Weezer and Pavement, hosted its own techno festival called the Closer Music Festival, and while the focus was mainly on local talent it was still a smashing success that planted seeds all over the West Coast. Later this year, San Francisco jumps back in the fray with their own version of Love Parade called Lovefest that returns after a one-year hiatus.

Great American Techno Festival - Sept 29 - Oct 2nd, 2011 DenverBut one of the more interesting recent regional developments that caught the attention of I. Voice has to be Denver's Great American Techno Festival. Taking its cue from the Great American Beer Festival, the nation's largest craft beer festival, the event seeks to fill the void that beer connaisseurs continually complain about - lack of quality musical entertainment to coinincide with the festival. Although I. Voice is a bit dubious of the connection between techno music and a fan base that is more interested in Phish and other dirt twirling delights, we are excited that the festival is squared up directly against the Decibel Fest, whose line-up this year makes it obvious they are no longer interested in raising up new voices but rather in becoming another wretched vehicle crafted around keeping this abominable industry afloat (note to all promoters, headliners that appear at every other festival are not exciting and Moby should never be anyone's go to guy for anything, period). One of the most telling quote thus far from the folks spearheading the GATF comes from founder John Templeton, "Only American artists, and we're not going after the Richie Hawtin and Kevin Saunderson -- big but not that big -- Tim Xavier, Tony Rohr, and people like Audio Injection, Jason Short."

Unfortunately, at press time, festival liason Nick Wilson couldn't offer us much in the way of headliners or anything else for that matter, preferring to remain tight lipped rather than promising things the festival could not deliver. While we do sympathize with them at I. Voice and for the sake of what is left of the underground in the States we wish them nothing but success, there is a sense at the two month mark that the Great American Techno Festival could be a quiet, low-key affair ala Closer in it's inaugural year or it could quickly slip under the waves in a perfect storm of poor planning and execution, it is always hard to tell with these thing but deep down, we're sincerely hoping this is the beginning of a new and wonderful trend - the regional techno festival.

First Annual Great American Techno Festival September 29th - October 2nd, 2011  Denver, CO

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