|Hometown Heroes 1.0 Louisville, KY
February 27, 1999
By HotBands Assistant Editor - Michael McCammon
Hometown Heroes 1.0 was billed as a new vision for the Louisville electronic music scene and succeeded in achieving that quest. The evening showcased four live acts and five DJ's in the two overcrowded rooms at Sparks nightclub on
Main Street in downtown Louisville.
While many throughout the country would think of larger cities such as Chicago and Detroit as the electronic underground hotspots, Louisville ranks right up there with them. According to Ben Jones, who performed as The Benman, and is also well known as the owner of Better Days Records, 'Louisville is pretty active....I'd give us an 8 or 9 (1-10 scale) when compared to the larger cities. Those larger cities are more in the 'don't believe the hype' mode.
They are also spread to thin.'
This electronic underground party, spread nearly completely through word of mouth, saw approximately 700 visitors stop and relish in the varying styles by both the DJ's and live acts. 'Louisville has an educated scene, said Ben, and
the show was done really well.'
Two acts that I was able to watch and enjoy were VHS or Beta and Radianation. I was told that VHS or Beta would seem like a combination of Sonic Youth and Kraftwerk and I was well informed. While I will agree that it sounds like
quite an obscure combination, that is exactly what VHS or Beta is. These five guys have taken the modern rock sound that came from the West Coast and combined it with the electronic styles from West Germany. They took the stage wearing glasses highlighted by red lights that instantly brought Devo to mind. Their music grabbed my attention! The hard bass beats driven by the keyboard, the hard guitar rhythms, and the synthesized vocals (reminiscent of the band Air) were put together perfectly.
On the other stage at the same time as VHS or Beta was Radianation. While VHS or Beta combined modern rock and electronica, Radianation was more direct with his approach to electronic music. Radianation creates an amazingly great mix of house and trance sounds (see cd review). I was very surprised to witness a
local artist put out such great sounds. While Radianation didn't have the same stage presence as VHS or Beta, the laser lights combined with his non- stop performance kept everyone focused and moving, including myself.
A statement on the flyer that I picked up at the show says it best about Louisville's growing underground electronic movement. 'Hometown Heroes will be a continuing series of events dedicated to bringing together the diverse and talented people in the electronic scene, and creating a new scene which embraces the diverse forms of music and ideas which come from this electronic culture.'
Hometown Heroes 1.0 was a wonderful success. I highly recommend supporting future shows. While many throughout the mainstream view Louisville as a hard rock town, this is a pleasant and welcome surprise. To learn about future events check out http://strangeloop.nu.