Denver is home to one of the top concert venues in the US (Red Rocks Amphitheater) and one of the top nightclubs in the country (Beta Nightclub), this city knows good music and top artists from all genres of music from all across the globe get booked to play in Denver every week. Denver is also a Mecca for Techno music and has several yearly Electronic music festivals in the area. One of our favorite festivals in the country is GATF - Great American Techno Festival that takes place every September at around the same time as the Great American Beer Festival, also in Denver. During that festival we discovered a weekly Techno Party at the Beatport Lounge inside Beta Nightclub - P.U.N.C.H.I.S. These guys have an infinite passion for Techno music and it's reflected in the vibe and music at Beta every Friday plus their newly released Label P.U.N.C.H.I.S. Records which made a very impressive debut. P.U.N.C.H.I.S. founders Ben and Ozuky Pitcher answer our burning questions below and were kind enough to share a free track from their new label. (https://soundcloud.com/p-u-n-c-h-i-s/diego-santana-sergei-loginov) (Resident DJs Andre Orcutt and Sergei Loginov prove to us how rich the Denver Techno scene is with two outstanding guest mixes.
CGNY: Tell us the P.U.N.C.H.I.S story. How did it start? What was the vision? How did all of you become part of it?
P: P.U.N.C.H.I.S officially started in the summer of 2006 and our beginnings were admittedly D.I.Y. After the clubs closed, a rather large group of friends convened at our flat in Denver with a single disco ball and some decks. The Denver scene at the time was picking up steam and booking some pretty big names. The group of us took full advantage of this. We were up front for every DJ and made so many contacts just from being present. So P.U.N.C.H.I.S really grew from that. As time went on our musical tastes matured and we decided to start booking artists whose sound we personally liked. We would throw parties anywhere we could: rooftops, lofts, bars. We weren't picky- as long as we had a good sound system and people who wanted to dance, it was on!
CGNY: Tell me your very first memory about Techno. How did you get hooked?
P: During an after party someone randomly changed the music to Richie Hawtin's 'Transitions.' This was accompanied by a video which we probably watched 10 times that night! It was cutting edge in 2006 without a doubt. It was hypnotic, mechanical- but had a very human touch. At that moment everyone turned to techno. From then on it was a never ending search for similar sounding music. Founding partner Ben started collecting and sharing DJ sets like mad and finding new artists for hours every night- Pandora's Box was officially opened.
CGNY: From my own personal experiences I know P.U.N.C.H.I.S parties are always a night of magnificent techno with an awesome crowd but which party has been one of your most memorable?
P: So many of our parties have been memorable but I'm going with Martin Buttrich from Desolat Records who played for us back in 2011. That was a turning point for us. What a night- the power cut out three times but each time the power went back on he played better and better. He was such a good sport despite the technical difficulties. He had the sound dialed in like a true professional and took us on a journey that night- not one person left the room throughout his set.
CGNY: In your opinion, why do you think Denver has become a major player in the US techno scene? I mean you guys get top International talent every week! Most cities would kill for your line-ups.
P: Word is traveling around the globe that Denver has some of the most up-for-it crowds. These are people who truly love music, fellowship & sharing a common bond through the sound. It's no cliché. We feel each of the DJs we have hosted play a large role in this; they experience our city and make sure their peers know that we have a special scene which in turn qualifies us as a hot destination. Let's not forget that the Rocky Mountains are a huge draw as well and Denver consistently proves that we are one of the most forward thinking regions in the world- after all, we did legalize cannabis!
CGNY: What are some of your favorite things to do in and around Denver?
P: We like to take full advantage of Colorado and its four distinct seasons. Our crew has varied interests: hiking, biking, skiing & camping in the Rocky Mountains to name a few. It's an incredibly healthy city for a myriad of reasons and the culinary scene is getting better every year. We also have fantastic craft breweries. Denver is far from a cow town- that's a huge misconception. Also, it's not as snowy as people assume. We actually get over 300 days of sunshine-more than Miami or San Diego.
CGNY: What are you looking forward to the most in 2014?
P: We are very excited to announce the launch of our biggest project to date– our own label, P.U.N.C.H.I.S. Records. All of the pieces finally fit together in one place and we already have a busy release schedule. Our first release that was out on February 24th has hit Beatport's top 5 Minimal Releases section after only few days. We have a really great team of producers on board, of course, it’s our P.U.N.C.H.I.S. residents– Sergei Loginov (who also stands behind our label’s management operations) techno enthusiasts Andre Orcutt and Jason Timothy who is an Ableton veteran and creator of training software. We even have a new wave representative Diego Santana who is only 21 but already has proved himself as an established producer. Each release will coincide with a record release party which will showcase our tracks and artists. We also have a few nice surprises for our monthly radio residency at dj.fm/deeptech so stay tuned. For an immediate sampling you can check out https://soundcloud.com/p-u-n-c-h-i-s for a taste of what's coming as well as an archive of our mixes. What we are really looking forward to is seeing the influx of people from around the world who are curious about our city and scene so consider this your invitation.
CGNY: Thanks for the interview and we will see you on the dance floor!
Both mixes here!
Sergei Loginov- Deep tech - https://soundcloud.com/p-u-n-c-h-i-s/sergei-loginov
André Orcutt - Techno - https://soundcloud.com/p-u-n-c-h-i-s/andr-orcutt
Thanks to our CGNY contributor House Diva for the interview.