Review of Future Sound of Worship by Tyler Phillips

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5th Annual Future Sound of Worship 

On Friday May 24, 2012, GODSDJS.COM, presented by Grace Christian Church, opened their fifth annual Christian electronic dance show the Future Sound of Worship (also known as FSOW 5), in Detroit’s suburbs of Sterling Heights, Michigan. Different from last year’s production, Nate Carlisle, CEO and Founder of GODSDJS.COM (and also known as DJ Rodimus), had the opportunity to utilize one of Grace Christian Church’s personalized venues, allowing for a more intimate feeling. Although GODSDJS.COM is known for working with some of Detroit’s best local promotion companies, Michigan has to offer, including a collection of state of the art lighting technology, this production is expected to not be any different. Intelligent-lighting, lasers, projectors, and holographic projection systems engulfed the ravers of FSOW5, adding an array of colorful themes and visuals throughout the six-hour event (GODSDJS.COM). Seven different styled DJs made an appearance, in which my two favorites of the night were DJ Sonar Zone and DJ Rodimus. I thought they portrayed a great sense of energy, musicality, and stage presence in their live performances.

DJ/ Producer Tim Thomson, Sonar Zone, was born and raised over seas in the town of Burntisland, in the region of Fife, in Scotland. As Sonar Zone’s musical taste for spinning consists mainly of trance and progressive music, it truly reflects the way electronic music had influenced him back when the “Scottish-European EDM Culture” grabbed his interests in 1994. His affiliations with Evolution Gold Records (90’s), PWM Records (2010), and Fuzion Four Records (2011) certainly accredits his craft to how fundamentally sound his live show was, coming in half way through the nights line up (Thomson). Sonar Zone’s technical musicality was displayed on a continuous basis during his hour set. Playing original and remixed tracks, the classic simple meter dance music pulsed through the neon-black-lighted atmosphere with multiple tempo changes. Many times throughout his set, you could hear homophonic textures transition into polyphonic textures as build-ups reached their peaks, which in turn ignited melodic and bass breakdowns (Hoffer). Another, interesting moment that I enjoyed was when Sonar Zone’s stage presence helped influence the crowd’s reactions to a few if the bass drops. As the tension grew in a couple of his verse transitions, the shift in energy changed on a dime when Sonar Zone’s body language changed from a a “groove swing” to a “dramatic head bob” at the appropriate time during one of his bigger bass-heavy synth drops. The crowd was feeling his vibe and followed suit with their body reactions, going harder with their body expressions as if the audience all of a sudden felt a spark of electricity surge through with intensity, giving them a boost of sporadic energy. This happened a couple of times throughout his set. I really enjoyed what Sonar Zone brought to the table that night and would love to see him perform when he comes back to the States.

DJ Rodimus, GODSDJS.COM’s CEO Nate Carlisle, is a raver brought up in Detroit’s 90’s techno scene. DJ Rodimus’ taste for heavy bass and melodic sounds of trance was revealed through his later slot in the one-hour set he performed (Carlisle). Being influenced by DJs such as Armin Van Buuren and Tiesto, his passion for a unique live performance was impressive to watch. His stage presence with his personal custom Holo Sim Holographic Projection System definitely added to the visual hype of his performance (GODSDJS.COM). A common theme throughout Rodimus’ set was the use of dynamic side chaining the pulse of the tracks, which displayed throughout his musical set. As traditional progressive-trance music tends to be the rise of chordal progression, sweeping through the air, while the build-up of the kick drum accompanies the musical thought, this was a signature method of execution that DJ Rodimus’ performed many times during his set. When done effectively, the end result of the build up cleans up the musical pallet of the audience, leaving the next musical idea a fresh canvas to paint another colorful musical landscape. As DJ Rodimus performed throughout his set, his musicality of emotional-feeling was expressed through his musical thoughts, revealing how his technical skills combined with his musical concepts accurately displayed his musicianship as a DJ.

As I look out for electronic shows to attend, I will always keep an eye out for when Future Sound of Worship will be coming back to the Detroit- Metropolitan Area. Hearing DJs do what they love, and for a great cause of bringing fellowship together, is something to value as a festival-goer or music coinsure. I personally am working my way into the EDM community as a music producer and DJ artist and I definitely support persons such as DJ Sonar Zone and DJ Rodimus for what they do in their line of work as a live DJ/Producer showcasing their talents. The overall energy that both of these DJs displayed in their one hour time frame to me was a joy to see. Feeling what vibes they wanted to express, through their emotion on stage, is always a fresh experience when you go to a rave. I also thought that the musicality that both of these DJs expressed was definitely above the average DJ performer. I saw a connection between their musical thoughts, which connected and made sense musically, which was easy to interpret and follow along as an audience member. Not only was it inexpensive to see the quality line up that was featured at FSOW 5 (10 dollar presale and 15 at the door), but the entry was open to all ages, making this festival family-friendly option. This intimate festival setting is something I am looking forward to seeing again.

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