When: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Absinthe House, 1109 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-443-8600
More info: boulderbeats.com
F inally, the semester is over, and Boulder Beats and Smooth Move are throwing a party to celebrate. On Wednesday, they'll take over Absinthe House with the help of EDM DJ and producer Revolvr.
Revolvr's career narrative fits nicely with an end-of-semester celebration. You know, sitting back and evaluating, and that sort of thing. Before the world got to know him by that name, Touvan Sughiarto was working a nine-to-five corporate job. Watching the sunrise at Burning Man in 2010, he decided to change everything.
"Burning Man is a festival in the middle of the desert, so you're disconnected from everything and I think that's what really helped me, is I disconnected from everything surrounding me that I didn't realize I was unhappy with -- this corporate environment and securing your future and growing old and all that crap," he said. "I think if you're disconnected from everything, you really start self-reflecting about everything about your life and everything that you're doing."
He went home, quit his job and spent four months in the studio. It was a risk, he said, and one that's not for everyone, but he's glad he took it. It paid off.
His blend of house and dubstep, among other styles, consistently lands his music on the Top 100 chart at Beatport, and he's booking festivals and clubs all over the country. Most recently, he released a new EP, Machine, and he's been out on a tour with the same title.
As is often the case with EDM, Revolvr's music is hard to describe with concrete terms. But he's identified a good reason why: This isn't the kind of music that's about an explicit sound or message. It's about creating and experience and making a crowd feel something.
"I love music with such an open mind that I don't really like to put exact labels on specific sounds that I have. I like to see it in terms of feel and emotion, and sort of what you wanna express in the musical language," he said. "So instead of being like, 'Oh, yeah, I'm playing this dubstep song,' it's, what do I want people to feel right now? Do I want people feel emotional or go crazy and headbang and rage? Or do I want people to hug and say 'oh my God I love this'?"
That attitude doesn't just translate to the music -- it works as a business model (though that's not what he called it). Rather than release a record to entice people to come out to shows, he has the experience of the shows to prompt people to buy a record. The Machine EP is less than a month out, but he's been playing the music for crowds for a while.
"I've been playing it as part of the Machine Tour and sort of getting it into people's heads almost on the subconscious level," he said.
You're bound to hear some of it at Absinthe House Wednesday night, along with sets from Antics, Kommon Interests and Seth Abrumz. The show is 18 and over, and tickets are on sale now for $10-$12. Day-of-show tickets will run $12-$14.