Illustration depicting three cosmic silhouetted DJs playing various instruments against a blue background.

‘Elevators Ep. 1’ Pays Homage to the Seattle Dance Scene in Its First Edition

by Victor Simoes

Editors’ Note: “Elevators Ep. 1” was slated for last December, but inclement weather forced the show to reschedule. “Elevators” will now take place Friday, June 2, at the Clock-Out Lounge

“I want people to feel that cinematic, nostalgic, déjà vu-type sensation. I hope people meet there and fall in love because of a moment they had dancing with somebody at our event. I want there to be that tangible and indescribable magic.”

This is how Aaron Walker-Loud, artist, band director, composer, producer, educator, and one-third of Elevators, described his hopes for the Big World Breaks and Vinyl Sound production “Elevators Ep. 1,” kicking off at the Clock-Out Lounge on Friday, June 2.

The cross-era and cross-genre event features DJs Avi Loud and Miguel Rockwell with live percussion by Aaron Walker-Loud. The South Seattle Emerald is a media partner of this event.

The show is a homage to how the three organizers got into music back in the 2000s — honoring their roots within the dance community and providing different sounds from what you hear at any given party. It is an intentional creation, explained Avi Loud — a multidisciplinary artist and cofounder of the Prototype Sessions collective. 

The three artists want to challenge the audience by breaking their expectations of what is played at dance parties, and also by inviting them to learn and experiment. While the group members challenge one another to get better and refine their ability to be creative and spontaneous, they simultaneously create a space where the dancers can trust the musicians and adapt their energy by vibing off the sounds playing.

“We would like the audience to experience this not from the standpoint of they’re coming to a concert, but that they are coming for an experience, and that they are a part of the orchestra,” said Walker-Loud. “It’s not like we want to have spotlights on us. It’s more like, let’s dim the lights on the stage a little and treat it more like it’s an epic holiday house party that just happens to be in a beautiful official venue.” 

Inspired by DJ TOPSPIN aka BLENDIANA JONES’ manipulation of tempos, live percussion by The Neptunes, and Organized Noize of the Dungeon Family, the event will be like a time machine, explained Miguel Rockwell, veteran MC and longtime Seattle DJ. Elevators will be like an anti-theme dance party, not sticking to any one genre and eschewing “top hits” lists. Mixing different sounds and eras and adding live instrumentation to the DJs’ sets, Elevators seeks a one-of-a-kind improvisation.

“I’m going to be constructing, essentially, a wall of drums and percussion, like a playground, with both spontaneous and rehearsed sections,” said Walker-Loud. “I’ll be able to visit these different mini-stations of what I have at my fingertips to try and enhance every moment that Avi and Miguel are bringing to the table and just add to it.”

Even though episode two of Elevators has yet to be confirmed, the group hopes to continue providing experiences to the Seattle community and beyond, developing relationships with other dancers and musicians. 

The doors for the 21+ event will open at 8:30 p.m., and the show will start at 9:00 p.m. You can check out the trailer for Elevators at Big World Breaks’ Instagram, and for ticket sales, please visit Elevators Ep. 1 Ticketweb page

“All of our lives have been impacted in personal and artistic ways by the dance community in Seattle,” said Walker-Loud. ”So, to be able to provide a thank you, saying hey, you guys have shaped us, so let’s give you some room to play.”

Victor Simoes is an international student at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in journalism and photo/media. Originally from Florianópolis, Brazil, they enjoy radical organizing, hyper pop, and their beloved cats. Their writing focuses on community, arts, and culture. You can find them on Instagram or Twitter at @victorhaysser.

📸 Featured Image: ‘Elevators’ is a one-of-a-kind DJ and live music dance party that’s an homage to Seattle dance culture. Check out the first installment at Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge on Friday, Dec. 23. (Illustration by Dan Nguyen and DJ J4S)

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