By AIMEE KUVADIA
The Disco Aliens are very aptly named. They’re musical Martians whose spaceship has landed on Planet Pop. Their eclectic, electronic sound makes them unlike anyone on the radio. But it’s also what keeps them from entering Louisville’s mainstream, which favors top 40 hits over the kind of dance music they play.
It’s really quite a paradox. Popular musicians have begun infusing their vocals into the four-beat drum patterns and synthesized bass lines classic of dance music. And now all their music sounds the same. Yet people are reluctant to expand their musical palettes to include electronica, which is a distinctively enhanced version of music they’re already listening to.
“People listen to the same song on the radio four or five times a day,” said Alien Tyrohn Brooks, whose DJ name is “obitykenobi.” “They think they like it just because they know the words.”
People open to experiencing a unique genre of music will find the Aliens’ “space music” stellar. Each of its four members blends his own flavor into the mix. Sean “Plexxx” Collins is responsible for the group’s bass-heavy hip-hop sound, while Daniel “Archeon” Batson adds an edgy, rock-inspired flair. Chris “Elektrolyte” Mindel’s sound is melodic and often includes vocals, whereas Tyrohn leans toward experimental techno.
The usual dance-party scenario consists of one DJ spinning one style of music. But the Disco Aliens consists of four DJs spinning different styles of music simultaneously. This makes way for an immensely intensified experience.
“We sometimes run into issues, because there’s not enough space for four people to play,” complained Chris. “That’s why we always like to get places early and feel them out. We take pride in the way we set everything up.”
Because the Aliens create music that should be more than just heard, they have a profusion of visuals to accompany their sets. Local video jockey Benji Ramsey designed an elaborate backdrop for the group’s performances that includes three projection screens and lasers.
The Disco Aliens have been creating music in the “Spacedome” ever since they formed over three years ago. The Spacedome is another name for their studio located in Chris’s basement. It comprises two rooms: one where group members practice their sets, and one where they record music. They’re currently in the process of creating an EP or extended play, which contains more music than a single but less than a full album. They’ve been spending over 40 hours a week on this project.
Group members attribute their success to good chemistry.
“We have good times no matter what,” said Sean. “I’m ready to go overseas with these guys and see the world.”
Though their music has thus far only gotten them as far as the Winter Music Conference in Miami, they’re optimistic about what their future holds.
“I see bigger, brighter stages with more speakers than we have now,” said Daniel.
But until then, you can download their music off www.SoundCloud.com, or see them performing at venues in Louisville and other Midwestern states.
It should be remembered, however, that their music isn’t just meant to be heard. It’s meant to be experienced.