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Daedelus Brings Back Rave With ‘Wears House’

If you love music, I mean really love it, then you probably are already a fan of Daedelus, the LA-based producer who defies genres and descriptions, and seems comfortable making almost any kind of beat-driven music. His latest project is Wears House, an 80 minute mix tape with two 40 minute sides. The music includes tracks from '91-'95 along with original Daedelus compositions from earlier in his catalog (early 2000s) through today. The entire project is, in a word, joyful. It harkens back to the anything-goes spirit of the original 90's raves, where party crews could meet up at a single location to hear a wide variety of DJs spinning totally different styles of music. There might have been a jungle room or a chill out room, in addition to the main dance floor, but cultures mixed freely throughout the space, with different styles, fashions, and drugs of choice.

Photo by Michael Tullberg
Photo by Michael Tullberg

Today's mainstream scene brings people together to be the same-- same intoxicants, same place to look (the DJ booth), same styles. These things move in waves, and the current paradigm is changing rapidly, even as corporate promoters seek to capitalize on the revival of the warehouse scene. The diversity in both music and style is starting to return to the scene, but we shouldn't forget where it all began.

Looking back, LA had an incredible and often-overlooked rave scene from the 1990's where many of today's best-known DJs, and the aforementioned promoters, cut their teeth. Those who were there will remember the wild nights that turned into days, the drugs, the fashion, and the DJs, but mostly the sense of joy and discovery that came from listening to new music in an old warehouse with a bunch of friendly people.

What's so cool about Wears House is that is somehow distills those feelings into 80 minutes of expertly mixed madness. If you're too young to have participated in the original scene, this mix will give you an approximation of what made it so fun, and why it was so influential to a generation of musicians, who realized that total freedom could be found on the dance floor.

Photo by Michael Tulberg
Photo by Michael Tulberg

We caught up with Daedelus to ask for a little bit of the backstory of this project. When asked about his personal connection to the music, the man also known as Alfred Darlington said:

"There are theories regarding adolescent listening habits and lifelong fandom. Something about our developing bodies and developing tastes. I am obsessed with sound, but more so the places where frequencies rub against each other in dancing frictions. I can entirely thank Rave for that in all of its incongruous sample sources."

Which makes perfect sense-- when you drill down into what makes a Daedelus track work, incongruity is a big part of it, along with friction. We also wondered if Alfred was involved in the LA rave scene in the 90's, he told us that

"In LA we were lucky to have some pushing electronics on the radio, KPWR had it's Powertools and there was MARS FM, but after a brief visit to London in '92 hearing pirate radio, I was given knowledge that ruined me from sitting still. I was too young to run out into the night in the early 90s. That didn't entirely stop me; I attended a handful of break-in warehouse events, full moon parties, and DTLA discotheques. My fake ID gave me access to a few Hollywood clubs. It was always about the DJ on stage, never knowing who they were spinning, much less what to call the breakbeat-house-techno-tekno-jungle with adjectives like hard, deep, liquid, and whatever others imagined attached before. Those few events changed my life. Ive been collecting the sound ever since, and following what they were sampling and the sound space they were making it into my own music. That's really how it all began for me."

He's not alone. For fans of the music, those parties offered more than just a night out, they opened up entire worlds of possibilities. While many of those 90's ravers are now working in offices and raising children, you know somewhere in their hearts they are still wearing giant pants, experimenting with mind-altering chemicals, and keeping it P.L.U.R. It's easy to measure the success of DJs, promoters, and events that sprang from the 90's rave culture, but what's much more important and unquantifiable is how it positively changed the lives of your average everyday LA raver. Wears House attempts and succeeds in honoring that legacy.

Side A (39:25): 'Revisionist Rave' is the fevered sounds of 90's dance, flipped and crossfaded immaculately by Daedelus into a 40 minute mix of audio ecstasy. Sounds sourced entirely through field recordings at raves!

Side B (39:25): 'Future Past' is breakbeat jungle from then and now with an ear towards unusual blends. Daedelus takes you on a sprawling journey through Drum & Bass' rhythms accentuated with wild dubs and originals.

You can pre-order Wears House from Bandcamp here.

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