Vote for Crowdsourced 1.0 Performers at the Empty Bottle

What really makes a music scene? You know–those certain reasons that make you put on a jacket and promptly head for the El or call a cab just to get there in time. That’s what Chicago Innovative Electronic Music (CIEM) and subVariant are asking via their Crowdsourced 1.0 event: What is it about electronic music that people want to see live?

It really is a heady question. But, CIEM & subVariant’s preliminary answer seems to be: “That which is “crowdsourced.”

To the unfamiliar, “crowdsourced” means that the content that is the most popular “rises to the top” via votes–as in, the crowd chooses what’s the most relevant. On (a popular news and entertainment aggregator) the front page is filled with only the content that has been voted up through “diggs.” Threadless is also a good example: only the designs that are voted hottest actually make it to production.

On April 10, CIEM will test their theory in the electronic music world. Vote on mixes from local electronic music artisians to fill the four slots in the show that runs from 7pm to 10pm. And when you show up…it will be “crowdsourced.” Meaning, everyone there was voted into their slot.

It’s democracy in electronic music. Like, seriously, democracy. Not that "republic" stuff that’s been thrown around. Your vote actually has a say on whether this artist’s sounds assault your ears for 30 minutes or not. Think carefully and vote.

Go to to vote for your favorite artist. The contenders are Kawa, Protman, [esc]ape, Justin McGrath, dreamlogicc, Roth Mobot, and Liz Revision.

Vote early and encourage your friends to vote as well.

Crowdsourced 1.0
The Empty Bottle

7pm – 10pm
1035 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 

Here are the contenders:

Rebound Kawa DJmix by Kawa

Alphabasic Arctic Tour 2011 Portland Whiskey Bar Live by Protman

Vista damage mixdown by [esc]ape

Audition For Randy by Justin McGrath

Live on RTS.FM by dreamlogicc

Latest tracks by RothMobot

The Consequences by Liz Revision on Mixcloud

Voting ends Friday, March 25.

Open Channel: Chicago’s Open Mic for Electronic Musicians

Check out this electronic version of “Open Mic” in Chicago:

Sort of like its analog cousin, Open Channel is an non-curated musician’s showcase in a supportive, relaxed environment, except it showcases electronic music, either through DJing or Live PAs. You will get 20 minutes to show off what you do musically, and then listen to other people doing the same thing. There are 12 slots open. The first 12 people who RSVP and pay will be guaranteed a slot. Playing order will be determined on the date of the performance. You are also absolutely welcome to bring friends, or just come as a spectator! There is a suggested donation of $5.

OPEN CHANNEL: Chicago’s Open Mic For Electronic Musicians

More info, including technical details at Meetup, Going, and Yelp.

Please register on Meetup.

[10.31.09] 8bit Halloween ft. Bit Shifter Live (NYC – Game Boys – 8bitpeoples)

One of the premiere Game Boy-wielding 8Bit electronic musicians in the world is Josh Davis aka Bit Shifter, and subVariant and Front 312 are excited to have him perform at Ai Lounge on Halloween. Having played over 100 live shows armed with only two Nintendo Game Boys, and two home-brew aftermarket music programs, he has a dedicated following and has been known to ignite dance floors with his high energy live performances.

Tom Loftus of says of Bit Shifter’s performance,“[B]y the time Davis jumped to his rave-up ‘Parapersona Crash,’ the walls started to shake and what little hesitation the audience may have had over dancing to a kiddy toy’s ‘bleeps’ and ‘bloops’ vanished.”

“We booked him …and I still think it’s the most people that have been in the Tank at one time–hundreds and hundreds of people…” says Mike Rosenthal, Artistic Director of The Tank in NYC. “ Bitshifter just rocked the place–just blew us all away.”

Josh Davis says of the 8bit sound, “This is a really distinctive sound-set that anyone of our generation will have most likely been exposed to during childhood and as a consequence of that it became hardwired into our aesthetic sensibilities….but it was always off-limits creatively. So, people who grew up with 8bit and 16bit video game consoles–if they were musicians, they were able to dabble in just about *anything* else….”

Liz Revision of subVariant will open by digitally spinning minimal tech-house, glitch, and IDM; Mr. Automatic from Front 312 brings electro, new wave, and acid house; and Onefiftyone from Chicago Workgroup plays nudisco. 

Bit Shifter explores high-energy, low-bit music composed and performed on a Nintendo Game Boy. The result is an unapologetically fun foray into an evocative and distinctive sound-set, executed on a console generally misperceived as being technically limited. Made possibly by two home-brew Game Boy music-making programs, Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ, Bit Shifter’s music adopts and subverts the playfulness inherent in the familiar Game Boy sound-set, repurposing it into the service of novel idioms. Based in New York City, Bit Shifter has performed over one hundred shows worldwide, having recently circumnavigated the planet in a 20-date world tour with fellow chiptune compatriot Nullsleep.

subVariant is a Chicago-based record label and events production company known for its both its innovative electronic music releases and creative packaging, as well as its edgy and boundary-pushing live events and music showcases.  Front 312 has been promoting an eclectic night in Chicago for over a year featuring house, electro, new wave and industrial at Liar’s Club, although individually its members have been churning away in various underground electronic realms, and have collected a diverse group of dedicated followers. Together subV and 312 bring their diverse crowds together to experience Halloween in a cool downtown location with an excellent, creative and diverse lineup unique in Chicago for Halloween. 

Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 presale at, or $17 day off with an RSVP to

The first 30 people with presale tickets will get a free surprise treat bag featuring cool stuff from local businesses and online shops. 


MySpace Playlist at


Ai Lounge is at 358 W. Ontario, Downtown Chicago. The night runs from 10pm – 3am. A late night sushi menu is also available, as is $10 valet parking.


Bit Shifter interview


AUDIO: “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” vocal track from Bitshifter (Weezer Cover)

AUDIO: “Activation Theme” by Bitshifter (Original Instrumental)

VIDEO: “Bitshifter Interview”

TEXT: “Interview with Bitshifter” (Longer, more technical interview)


Liz Revision:

[1.23.09] subVariant Relaunch ft. Insideout (Berlin) [Clink]

Join us for the relaunch of subVariant featuring  Insideout, head of the Berlin-based minimal techno label Clink Recordings. subVariant will distribute a limited edition numbered set of artist-created buttons to the first 50 guests from DezignJK, noted local party flyer designer. They’ll also debut “Loop Points,” an event-based loyalty card based on the techno 4/4 time signature.

Insideout’s collaborative debut with Camea, Nothing Shocking/Azimuth, was a hit and played by artists such as Richie Hawtin, Magda and Adam Beyer. Grant’s production combines the influences of modern minimal techno and the basic fundamentals of this genre: intricate percussive programming, dark atmospherics and an irresistible cavernous bounce.

Hernan Sanchez—multi-monikered producer, infamous local DJ, and techno scenester—will provide support along with Forte owner, ambitious DJ and relentless promoter Gianna Hardt and subVariant label head, Liz Revision.

Friday January 23, 2009
@ Vision (632 N Dearborn St.) 10pm – 4am. 21+
InsideOut [Clink Recordings] Berlin, Gianna Hardt [Forte Productions] Chicago, Hernan Sanchez [Newtype] Chicago, Liz Revision [subVariant] Chicago


Download Mix:

1. Pan Pot – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape (Marco Resmann Remix) (Mobilee)
2. Marcin Czubala – Los Companeros (Mobilee)
3. Vera Heindel – My Little Disco (Rhadoos Lets Deep Scope Remix) (Cargo Edition)
4. Lowtec – Untitled A1 (Workshop)
5. Null.Eins – La Gente Menuda (Markus Fix Remix) (Highgrade)
6. Seph and Pablo Denegri – Obsure (Dumb-Unit)
7. Nicholas Sauser – Pontigliano (Thema)
8. Random Skills – Zocker (Bar25)
9. Ryan Crosson – Spray Painted Flowers (Jorge Savoretti Remix) (Igloo)
10. Gaiser – Descending Order (Minus)
11. [a]pendix.shuffle – Finding Harmony (Tim Xavier Remix) (Mo’s Ferry)
12. Dilo vs Gurtz – Cosacos (Seph Remix) (Einmaleins)
13. Gypsy Family – Strangers In All Lands (Contexterrior)
14. Ruede Hagelstein – The Modest Theme (Souvenir)