To most, white noise was an abrasive, almost unbearable sound that used to emit from TVs as big as a horse after the cable was knocked out by a trapped cat or a bumbling parent. To Nathan Samson (WMNSTUDIES), Pat Lok, and the folks at the Electric Owl, White Noise is a monthly event with the hopes of expanding Vancouver’s dance scene even further. Along with Timbre Concerts, this collaboration has become one of the most consistent testaments to the revival of disco and its derivatives: electro boogie, nu-disco, nu-funk, Eurodisco… Confusing subgenres aside, this feverish rise of electronic disco has everyone dancing again.
Now more than ever, dance music, especially disco-inspired edits, have hit the mainstream (Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”). Funk is cool again, and White Noise is capitalizing on the revival with their genre-specific event. Friday, February 13 marks the one-year anniversary of White Noise’s inaugural show. Bit Funk, Goldroom, Lane 8, Bear Mountain, and Rainer + Grimm are some names that have taken the stage since the night of Valentine’s Day last year.
Essentially, what’s advertised is a dance party that can’t be found at other clubs downtown. White Noise isn’t a mish-mash of radio hits: its players are international artists and up-and-comers on a rapidly expanding scene, performing side-by-side with local Vancouver talent.
Vancouver Weekly spoke with Lok about White Noise’s upcoming one-anniversary show:
Vancouver Weekly: How does White Noise differ from other events around the city? What is it that makes White Noise unique?
Pat Lok: Part of that is what people call the nu-disco sound: Moon Boots, the Knocks, and Viceroy – pioneers of that movement. We are the only place you can count on seeing these names every month. The other, maybe more important thing would be the party. If you don’t know the music, it’s all good; you’ll still have a great time. We often have surprise cameos and live performances from acts like our friends Bear Mountain, Ekali or Claire [Mortifee], which totally amplifies things and changes up the energy from your typical DJ night. You never know what’s going to happen at White Noise, but after you leave, you’ll be telling your friends about the next one.
Vibes. Viiiiiiiiiiibes, man.
Vibes will be served by the Knocks at Friday’s party. The New York City duo of B-Roc and JPatt isn’t new to DJing, having produced beats for pop stars and released their own material for the past five years. The twosome is guaranteed to build on White Noise’s reputation of bringing top quality, international talent to the Electric Owl.
VW: Some of your favourite headliners? Some favourite highlights?
PL: Goldroom on New Year’s Eve was incredible as he always has the crowd eating out of his hand. Lane 8 and option4 was a pretty special one as they both delivered very different yet massive sets. Also, having our friend Claire Mortifee sing live (she’s currently working with some of the biggest artists in the game) was a special treat.
As far as local talent goes, Pat Lok and WMNSTUDIES are only improving. With a monthly event like White Noise, as well as other events around the city, these two up-and-comers have the opportunity to hone their craft to accepting audiences. For the party on Friday, expect to hear the two DJs trying out some new material. With a year of experience to call back on, both of these men have extensive catalogues and knowledge to keep the party going, going, and going.
PL: Expect crazy surprises at our one-year and for the Knocks to put on an amazing show. For the future… we have a couple things in store that we can’t share just yet, but here’s a hint: think flotation devices.
Expect a Knock-out on Friday night.