Connor performed his first Indie/Dance/Mash-Up set last night at a downtown hole-in-the-wall called the Soundlab. It was a guest-list only event featuring three DJs. Unlike the two turntablists, Connor did an Ableton Live set - a seat-of-the-pants high-wire act where all the musical pieces are prepped on the computer and then selected, beat-matched and spat out in real time – the all important groove totally dependant on split second jabs at a bewildering collection of knobs, buttons and faders. He's been creating mash-ups (digital re-mixes wherein one or more popular songs are mashed together) for fun for months, but started working on his set in earnest when he learned there might be an opportunity to try it out live on a room full of drunk and dancing twenty-somethings.
He's posted three early mash-ups and an original electro/club/pop track on his "Pack Mentality" MySpace page - where he has quietly but steadily been building his Nu Disco persona.
This is another musical left turn for Connor - but probably a welcome and rewarding antidote to the frustration of trying to assemble a band of great players and then keep them together for more than one or two cash-challenged shows. His MacBook Pro, Reason, ProTools and Ableton Live allow him to create and perform solo - not with an acoustic guitar like Rev. 1, but with the power and the glory (and the block-rockin' beats) that only an infinite collection of digital samples can deliver. Add to that the undeniable ear-candy of layered iconic pop slices and you can begin to see the appeal - both for him and the dance floor.
And all his gear fits in a backpack.