Electronic Music Mayhem
Ravine pumps it up and up
A dance music venue in Midtown is throwing an outdoor block party on September 28 that will feature well-known acts of the EDM genre and is expected to draw a crowd of 4000 revelers.
Ravine, which is hosting the event, opened in August 2018 at Peachtree and 10th streets, and is described by its founders as a “not-club” as opposed to a nightclub.
What makes Ravine different is the technology used in entertainment, says director Mitul Patel in a CL interview. He described it as “a small room with festival- or concert-grade production, so you’re getting an intimate performance without sacrificing the massive production that typically goes on stage. A lot of that has to do with our choice of sound in the building as well as light, video, and lasers. We basically created a giant 1970s-style recording studio in a 16,000-square-foot room.”
The facility can accommodate productions of film, music videos, commercials, photography, live concerts, and digital entertainment.
The audio is crystal clear, Patel says. “You feel all the notes; you feel the highs and lows; you can have a conversation with someone next to you without having to strain your ears or lose your voice. We are really on top of the decibel levels — a really deep, rich sound without the potential for long-term hearing issues.”
Since its inception Ravine has become a hotspot for hosting dance and electronic music artists and DJs, pulling in fans every week and seemingly obliterating the competition. Patel says three similar venues opened in the city around the same time. “They were all going for it. Nobody wants to be second best when they’re brand new; they all wanted everyone to come to their venue every night. There was a lot of over-saturation.” Since then, two of them have gone out of business, and the third has stopped booking dance music.
The block party outside Ravine will be headlined by Fisher, an Australian producer based in Los Angeles who scored a hit last year with “Losing It.” The song made the top of Billboard’s Dance Music Songs chart and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording and another for Best Dance Release in the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards. This year, Fisher, who was a professional surfer prior to launching his music career, released “ You Little Beauty,” which went on to become his second Dance Club number-one.
The party will feature an artist performing under the moniker Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, whose real name is Orlando Tobias Edward Higginbottom. He is a British electronic music producer, DJ and singer who lives and works in the United States. Then there is Tiga, a Canadian musician who won a Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year early in his career. There will also be DJ sets from Bontan and Martin Ikin, both established in their field.
“When we speak about EDM (electronic dance music) in general, there are a lot of sub-genres on different themes,” Patel says. “I think EDM has become kind of a washed-out term for everyone to generalize about this type of music. A lot of the music at Ravine is specifically house music and techno.” Friday-night shows are mostly progressive house — genres include trap, big room house, and bass music — and Saturday-night shows feature more underground genres such as house, techno, and tech house, according to Patel. “I will say that EDM opened that door a bit wider than in the past. House has become the sub-genre that everyone looks for.”
Underground music is now part of the commercial mainstream around the world. House has taken over Europe and has benefited from services such as Sirius and Spotify. Patel says., “Some of my favorite acts are Kaskade and CamelPhat.” Kaskade, a producer and remixer from Chicago, was twice voted “America’s Best DJ” by DJ Times and will perform at Ravine on October 4.
Traditionally, many of these acts once played dark, dingy basements or warehouses, often without air-conditioning or heat, where this type of music flourished over the years despite the adverse conditions. Now Ravine’s owners are getting requests from acts to play their venue, rather than the other way round. “Artists love playing here (due to) the combination of sound, lighting, and atmosphere.”
The Atlanta dance music scene is growing, Patel says. “It’s a healthy market for anyone who is a true fan.”
Fisher & Friends: Outdoor Block Party
$35. 3 p.m.-10 p.m.,
Sat. Sept. 28.
Ravine, 1021 Peachtree St.