- Cody Layton aka Red Spectral
With its recent rise in popularity, electronic music shows are becoming almost as numerous as the stars in the sky. From the supernova-size Electric Daisy Carnival to dwarf-star-size underground raves, the number of events on the national level seems to increase every day, centered mostly in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas. Now, local production group New World Presents is gathering a collective of DJs, visual artists and music fans of all kinds for an “unearthly experience” of dancing, art installations and an environmentally conscious message at a unique Salt Lake City event, Deep Space.
This isn’t the first foray into putting on a cosmos-themed party for Bobby Ward, co-founder of New World Presents. In March, Ward spent $1,500 of his savings on a similar event, Project Space, “just to see if we could get the people there, to see if it worked,” he says. News of the event spread through the online networks of Burners (devotees of the Burning Man Festival, a heavy influence on New World Presents) and EDM fans as well as by word of mouth, and the all-night event reached close to capacity with an eclectic crowd.
“We were looking at metalheads with spiked leather boots dancing with transvestites and candy ravers,” says New World Presents co-founder Chad Wing. “It was very cohesive.” The judgment-free zone is an important part of the 125-bpm-filled atmosphere of Deep Space; it’s an environment where, as Wing puts it, “you don’t have to abide by certain social norms.”
The soundtrack for the pretension-less night will be headlined by a diverse group of local acts including Red Spectral (house) and Theta~Rhythms+Xzentradi (stardust glitch), as well as up-and-coming California native Ghostea (bass). The broad lineup promises a “brief escape from the monotonies and hardships of life,” explains Red Spectral, a self-proclaimed “techno-shamanist in training.” This sense of “escape” is brought about by more than just the music being played, as the sounds are only part of the festivities.
Adding the crucial visuals to the space-themed ambience will be a vast array of visual art, including projections from Visual Trigger—founder of the visual-art collective Royal Jelly Bees—light-activated RGB paintings from Peter Nielsen and live canvas painting by Brittney Moreno. The visuals and music generate a zone designed to create a collaborative and unique platform, “allowing artists to come exhibit their artwork,” Ward says.
While the aurally and visually stimulating experience is the draw for most attendees, it’s not the only purpose of Deep Space. Both Ward and Wing attended March’s Clean Air Fair and were inspired to promote responsible environmental stewardship at Deep Space. Putting their money where their mouth is, they’ll put $2 of every ticket sold toward investing in solar-powered generators. “It’s definitely going to be one of our main investments,” Ward says.
The forward-thinking affair is being held at the SLC Photo Collective, but if the popularity of these New World Presents soirees continues to increase, it’s possible the event may move to a bigger venue. Wing hopes that this event can help bring more people into the EDM domain. “I feel like Salt Lake is on the verge of becoming a vibrant, cultural DJ scene,” he says. “It’s ready, it wants to be.”
Ward is also optimistic about the SLC DJ scene, hinting that future happenings are currently in the works with multiple motifs of “arriving on alien planets,” with each event being held in various locations to match each planetary theme. But for now, as Ward puts it, the main goal of Deep Space is “bringing Salt Lake really good music.”
SLC Photo Collective
561 W. 200 South
Saturday, April 19, 10 p.m.
$20, 21 and older only