There’s nothing quite like hearing your favorite tracks rinsed out over a proper system, and feeling those frequencies vibrate throughout your body. It’s so important to show love to the culture they came from, and those who are keeping that culture alive while bringing the heat to areas across the states on their rigs. Many different systems travel all over, from Void’s, to Funktion-One’s, to Hennessey’s, and more.
The Milwaukee scene has been thriving (and has for a while) with those beloved sounds from the underground. There’s been one man at the forefront of that, gracing attendees with a killer system that’s really started to gain traction, Headway HiFi. The Midwest is truly blessed with shows, and even more so now with the Headway HiFi crew running things behind the scenes. Follow those socials to keep up to date with what they’re up to in Wisconsin
Pomegranate Sounds x DemDeya Sounds:
Denver knows all about that PomDeya power, the combined forces and masterminds behind the Pomegranate and DemDeya systems. Pomegranate is not just in Denver too, but they also have systems out in France and Hong Kong. Out here in Denver, though, they’ve both hosted all sorts of events at venues like River Art Bar and more. Bringing the history of the culture to gatherings of all sorts.
DemDeya brings the sounds and hosts all sorts of incredible events in Denver, representing the history of the culture and what it is now. They’ve run sound at Static Proof after parties, as well as the Soundpieces Denver event that happened last December. While Denver is known for bringing the bass and fat systems, DemDeya and Pomegranate make sure to keep the history of reggae dub, and where everything all started, alive.
Pomegranate Sounds is a sound system-centered, record label and event company. Paying homage to, and honoring, the genres that have made the sound system culture what it is today. Whether that be through the releases or the events they put on. Back in August of last year, they headed out to Minneapolis to host a stage at the WORLD.SOUND.POWER Festival, where a collection of rigs (including their own) from all over showcased their sound and the history of something so many of us love. What they represent and do for the community is indeed what the sound system culture is all about, going back to its roots and making sure it's never forgotten.
Smash those socials and keep up to date on all the things they’re up to:
While we all love hearing dirty dubstep tunes rinsed out on a fat stack of speakers, it’s also important to remember where it came from. Everyone mentioned here are ones to keep your eyes on and learn about the history of the culture, and how it’s grown into what it is now, all while enjoying an array of killer frequencies on their proper systems.
While there are countless promoters and collectives all over, this felt like the perfect time to shout out some newer names you may or may not have heard of yet. If you haven’t, let this be the opportunity to start.
Appalachian Sound Culture:
Most of the heads have probably heard of this crew by now, but why not give them a shoutout and show them some love for bringing the heat and sound to their respective area, and educating them all on the culture. Hailing from Morgantown, WV is Appalachian Sound Culture, run by a badass team of passionate, inspiring humans with incredible knowledge and love for the history of the sound system. Alongside the massive names they bring, they’ve got a killer crew (Northgate Labs) with a beautiful HSD rig to make the shows even sweeter. They’ve graced Yonderville together and more recently, threw an absurdly stacked lineup that featured the likes of Distinct Motive, Tunix, XL, and Joey Darker.
Make sure to keep up to date with their socials, especially if you live in the areas where Appalachian Sound is. It’s the perfect chance to be immersed in the history and culture of the genre we’ve grown to love. Also, don’t miss their next event on April 8th: Hebbe, Die By The Sword, Raychill, T.Boink.
Mountain High Collective
With an impressive year under its belt, Mountain High Collective is truly making a name for itself. Based in Michigan, the team has been bringing fire shows to the area (as well as one in Denver during the founders - Brett’s - time here) and putting on artists from all different genres. They kicked off 2023 with a vibrant and stacked compilation, featuring an array of tastemakers showcasing their talent and sounds. Mountain High Collective also had its first show in Detroit in February, bringing a stacked lineup and killer Warehouse-style event at The Detroit Experiment. On Top of everything this collective and event company does, the minds behind Mountain High are some of the sweetest in this scene. They truly keep the community alive. Stay up to date with their socials for everything 2023 is going to bring.
Unfortunately, for us in the states, we don’t have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Unorthodox Events. They are the first LGBTQ+ Drum and Bass movement in the UK, bringing dance music back to its roots of how it truly all started. Being a safe space for the queer community to come together and have a safe space to let loose and express themselves freely.
The mission statement: Unorthodox is a new LGBTQ+ Drum and Bass movement, all about pushing boundaries, exploring new territories, and bringing cultures together.
In a scene that is forever changing, it’s so important to remember where dance music started. If we don’t show love to its roots, we are taking away from the community that started it, minimizing their experiences and stories. So take some time today and head over to their website to see everything Unorthodox is doing across the pond in the UK.
Subciety x Good People Underground:
Denver, being the hub that it is, has a handful of awesome folks doing really awesome things for the scene out here. By now you’ve hopefully heard of Subciety, a label and event company based in Denver and Texas. They’ve been putting on takeovers at The Black Box, and just put on their first takeover at Cervantes: The Other Side. They’ve also partnered up with Good People Collective and FamBam Productions to throw their Bi-Weekly Detox Sunday events at the Cherry Creek Marina. These started off last summer every Sunday as outside events right along the water, but once winter rolled in, they moved indoors. Nothing changed though and the energy and music are just as great, inside, or out. We're defintely looking forward to what the warmer weather will bring again.
Each of these events kicks off with the artist Black Wolf Sound hosting co-ed Promoting Conversation workshops, where attendees can talk about everything from various topics like mental health and promoting changes in the community.
As well as throwing events around Denver and Texas, Subciety is also part of the TX-based festival Beyond Existence. Where they will be returning again this year November 3rd-5th. If you're around the Denver or Texas areas, make sure to link up at any of their events. We promise you won't be disappointed.
Offbeat Movement x Staticproof: Two event companies that have been putting the party back in after party.
Staticproof has been putting on secret location events, focusing on House and Garage, and always bringing that love and passion to the Denver scene. Most of the time not announcing some of the artists playing till after arrival (or only a select few ahead of the event). This energy really feels like bringing it back to the beginning of dance music, where you'd have to call or text a line to figure out where the party was at. For any fans of anything centered around Drum and Bass, you need to keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for everything Staticproof is doing in Denver.
Offbeat (events from the ELEV808 team) have been throwing crazy 360-style events after different shows in the Denver area. Also bringing secret guests each time. If you’re in the area and don’t mind staying up till sunrise on the weekends, you should definitely snag tickets for one of their next events (they go fast - so don’t sleep). Especially with the secret guests they always bring along.
Everyone involved with both of these companies have some of the biggest hearts and love for sound. Seeing them thrive and bring a community together for a shared love of sound is what this is all about. Word of advice: don't sleep on tickets to either of their events, they go fast and FOMO is very real.
Last, but not least, all:Lo Collective.
These guys are so talented and without a doubt some of my personal favorite tastemakers right now. They bring those dirty, low-end beats, mixed with hip-hop and other R&B-inspired sounds. Blending them into electronic and groovy frequencies. They’ve really started gaining the attention they deserve, playing Morning Coffee (pheel. + parkbreezy) sets at last year's TnF Suwannee, Solasta, and Submersion Festival. As well as a Groovesauce set (thought process, parkbreezy, pheel.) at the Detox and Jade Cicada run in Denver last year. You can also be sure to catch them throwing down at Brunch Box sets on The Black Box patio during the summer.
You can also catch some of the crew at Red Rocks for the OPIUO show this May. If you haven't yet, dive into the all:Lo discovery and immerse yourself in all the sounds they have to offer. Every release is vibrant, funky, smooth, and just all-around unique. Once you've started, you won't be able to stop listening. Make sure to show some love to their team and all the artists pushing those low-fidelity, low-frequency sounds.
Check out their latest release here
Shoutout to everyone mentioned here (and even those not mentioned) who are doing something unique in the areas they live in. Thank you for educating those on the history of sound systems, and for showing love to the underground and beyond. As well as putting on artists pushing unique sounds and helping them spread their passions, all while sharing it with a crowd of loving music fans.