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OSU club puts its spin on electronic music

Amanda Abney / For The Lantern

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Bass leaks through the walls of room 30 of Hitchcock Hall at 7 p.m. on Thursday nights, when the  Ohio State Electronic Music Club starts spinning.

President Arthur Brehm (aka DJ Rocketnerd), and experienced party promoter and DJ Mike Zetts (aka DJ Roman Seoul) use the club as a platform teach students how to mix types of electronic dance music.

The EMC holds DJ workshops for club members for a hands-on approach to learning the art of producing electronic dance music.

“We start off teaching them about how a turntable works and how a DJ system is put together with a mixer and two turntables,” Zetts said. “We show how a basic mix is done with that technology, and how higher technology like CDJs (a device allowing users to control a CD like they would a vinyl record) and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controllers sort of emulate how a turntable works.”

About 90 to 100 people attend meetings in which the group votes on issues, Brehm said.

“For the DJ workshops we have a dedicated core of about nine to 12 people that kind of rotate in and out,” Brehm said. “About a dozen people show up every week to spin tunes with us. We want that number to grow.”

EDM is constructed by using electronic instruments such as synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers. There are many styles of electronic music which range from disco to dubstep.

Students involved in the workshops like the opportunity to learn more about producing electronic dance music.

“The president and his friend bring in CDJs, so we get to learn beat match and mix our own music,” said Cory Eft, a first-year in physics. “We bring our own music on flash drives, so we can do stuff with music we are familiar with.”

Jon Briska, a first-year in economics, enjoys being around others who like the same kind of music,

“I like the group of people,” Briska said. “We share a common interest. I think that’s the thing I like the most.”

Brehm has been with the club since its inception in 2009. Dave Foust, a graduate student in urban and city planning, and Marco Satala, an OSU graduate who is currently at Boston College of Law, started the club to promote electronic music to the university crowd, Brehm said.

“Our mission statement is to educate people on the breadth of electronic music,” Brehm said.

Membership dues are $20 for the year, which gets members into all of the group’s shows for free. Members also have the chance to win tickets to events put together by local promoters such as Prime Social Group.

“We do this because we love the music,” Brehm said. “If we didn’t love this stuff, then we wouldn’t do it.”

The club tries to hold 10 shows a year, along with a monthly night at Tipsy Bar and Grill, Brehm said. Last year, EMC brought nationally recognized electro house DJ Porter Robinson to Columbus.

Club leaders are interested in working with the Ohio Union Activities Board.

“We really want to get in touch with the OUAB and bring Deadmau5 to the Schottenstein Center,” Brehm said.

Last year’s welcome back event was so popular, the club had to turn people away at the door, Brehm said.

“We are all about the authentic sort of underground experience,” Brehm said.

Zetts has been teaching people how to DJ since he was in the U.S. Army at the Defense Language Institute in Presidio of Monterey, Calif.

“A lot of my other soldier buddies wanted to learn the art, so I started teaching them,” Zetts said.

The EMC plans to hold turntable workshops as well as have local Columbus hip-hop DJ Matt Watkins (DJ Ginsu) instruct, Brehm said. He said the group will be doing a turntable scratch workshop, as well.

“If you are ever interested in learning how to DJ, you should check it out,” Eft said.

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