Unity Gain: keeping Sunday
Liondub first came to Boulder from New York to work on his
masters degree in printmaking and fine art at the University of Colorado.
"At the time," he says, "nobody would let me play in their
clubs; everything was pretty much run by house, or techno and trance.
I would be playing at these house parties and all my friends loved it;
they wanted me to do something different in the clubs."
Taking the cue, the soft-spoken and respectful Liondub held
a potluck dinner and asked guests to help him brainstorm ideas for a completely
different kind of event in Boulder. Liondub came up with the name Unity
Gain, which is a technical term in recording for a perfect kind of gain
structure. "When putting a signal into a board," Liondub says,
"it literally means what goes in is what comes out. Everything is
balanced, so you’re not pushing it, you’re not contracting
it. I was sitting there, looking at these twenty people and I realized
that there was a lot of unity in this group, a lot of people coming together
to create some positive change, some gain."
In addition to Liondub–who keeps busy traveling between
New York and Boulder–the regular Unity Gain family includes four
more key players. There are two regular DJs: Ivy (Josh Ivy), who spins
a wide array of downtempo, and the eclectic Psychonaut (Benjamin Bussard),
whose free-style approach to music often traverses the realm of fear into
elation and dance with a combination of dissonant noise, children’s
records and break beats. Completing the line-up is alalaone (Alala Wakelin),
a film purist who provides visual complements to the music with her handcrafted,
experimental projections, and Angelina Saavedra, the designer responsible
for "interior vibes."
Ivy, who is known to spin as many as five different weekly
gigs, maintains that Unity Gain is definitely his favorite project. "Unity
Gain is the heart and soul of what I do," he says. "The vibe
is totally undeniable. It’s crazy. At most dance parties you’ve
got to really pump up the music and work the crowd. At Unity Gain, you
can play the slowest beat imaginable and the whole place will go off.
The people there are very receptive. You can go as deep as you want and
people will respond. I’ve played all over the country, and I’ve
never experienced that."
Adds psychonaut: "A lot of people who don’t go
out to other DJ events or club nights–people who aren’t interested
in that scene at all–come out to our night because it’s not
really DJ oriented. It’s music oriented, it’s community oriented.
A DJ is playing but the music is the focus. It’s slow; it’s
deep; it’s from the heart."
Unity Gain begins at 9 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3, at Trilogy Lounge, 2017 13th St., Boulder, 303-473-WINE. Folks interested in helping Unity Gain grow or becoming involved can leave their messages on the Unity Gain Voice Mail at 303-380-2772.