When Confidential Bass Affair's Travis Macdaniel started promoting electronic music in Charleston six years ago, there was virtually no scene. "We were lucky to get 100 people to a show," says the promoter and agent. "Now we're getting 1,000 to 3,000 at shows. There are so many good people out there who are thankful for this and want more, so that's what fuels the fire for what we and the artists are doing."
After putting together several big shows last year, including Pretty Lights (who Macdaniel represents) on Patriots Point for Halloween and his third annual Meltdown Massacre showcase at the Music Farm last summer, Macdaniel has brought in seven performers for yet another celebration, BASSBash at the Music Farm on Friday.
Macdaniel isn't just happy to put on what he calls a "mini-festival" headlined by West Coast phenom Eprom and local favorites Landsquid; he's excited as a fan. "Sometimes I feel like I get kind of selfish and put on these shows for myself," he jokes. "But I'm so excited to share it with Charleston. We could have broken this up and done four or five shows, but we wanted to go all out, balls to the wall, and we've done that. It's going to be a really high-end production with a huge intelligent lighting rig, extra videos, and extra sound. Fans aren't going to be able to forget this night."
Word about Eprom has spread from his native San Francisco through Canada and the Midwest and all the way to Europe, where he's become quite popular. This spring, he heads to Europe for shows and festivals in London, the Netherlands, and Germany. Macdaniel hopes to expand his fanbase to the East Coast and expose him to the rabid Charleston scenesters.
"Eprom is a younger guy, a really intelligent up-and-coming producer," says Macdaniel. "We've really got the whole package. All of the artists are good individually and I support all of them, but it's the coming together, that's what's going to make it great."
Also on the roster is the ever-popular, Charleston-based Landsquid, who blends electronica, drum 'n' bass, breakbeats, glitch, dubstep, psychedelic trance, hip-hop, and other styles. The show also features Charleston first-timer Samples (a.k.a. Ben Samples), one half of the Colorado-based live remix project Fresh2Death, and two other locals: Intermixture (a.k.a. Marc Fennessy) and Skitch. Rounding out the bill are Pericles and DJM (a.k.a. Droppin' Joints Magically).
"I put on shows across the country," says Macdaniel. "But seeing this scene grow is the best. Meeting all the good people who want more of this music, and even in this economy where you have to pick your shows carefully, the fans support these artists, and they're the reason we're going to keep coming back better and better with shows like this."