There are parties — and then there's LazerCrunk. The premise: Take lasers, of course, and add energetic party music of no one single genre. It's a formula that the monthly dance night's founding resident DJs Keeb$ and Cutups have perfected. Having both started out in breakcore — a genre known for making chaotic sounds danceable — they applied the loose philosophy to LazerCrunk. They play whatever they want and pick whomever they want to guest. It's organized chaos, and it makes for a bangin' party.
To celebrate the night's five-year anniversary, they're bringing in a guest producer who understands musical chaos theory better than just about anyone.
Starkey is co-owner of the popular Philly-based dance music labels Seclusiasis and Slit Jockey. The labels cover everything from hip hop with heavy bass to darker, grime-tinged tracks. But Starkey and his partner, Dev79, simply like to call the sound "street bass." Starkey, too, began his musical evolution in the madness of breakcore.
"My early stuff was a little more spastic in terms of structure," he says. "There's some gabber kicks every once in a while. And there's some breaks, I guess."
In dance music, a DJ's transformation can often be hard to chart. Genre words get slippery and most artists like to avoid being pigeonholed anyway. As Cutups and Keeb$ developed the word LazerCrunk to sum it up, Starkey and Dev79 did the same with street bass.
"It's urban-centric music with heavy bass," Starkey explains. "I don't confine myself to any musical genre. Unless I'm writing for something very specific, I just let the music do what I think it should naturally do."
Starkey, like the LazerCrunk guys, favors the heavy-bass realm, and his music could be described as space-influenced and futuristic (hence one of his nicknames, "Starkbot"). But he's released tracks everywhere from London-based Civil Music — a purveyor of bass music that edges into the orchestral — to Ninja Tune, known for all things electronic that are pretty, weird and fascinating. It's safe to say that Starkey's got range, which is perfectly appropriate for LazerCrunk's big birthday celebration.