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Sound Stage

Controlled chaos


Dan Green has a lot of irons in the fire. Splitting his efforts between performing on stage as SUBliminal Chaos, and acting as the driving force behind Des Moines’ 515 Alive electronic music festival, Green’s always got something to keep him busy.

SUBliminal Chaos plays Vaudeville Mews on Thursday, Dec 12.

SUBliminal Chaos plays Vaudeville Mews on Thursday, Dec 12.

“(I’ve done) 10-plus national shows between here and Iowa City,” he said. “I’ve played a couple festivals, and I’ve been working on a lot of music.”

Now that his live schedule has slowed down a bit over the holiday season, keeping busy means working on new material, something he could stay preoccupied with year-round.

“That’s the great thing about electronic music,” he continued. “It’s a really progressive medium. It’s all about the limitless options you have.”

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Another thing keeping Green moving is his willingness to push the boundaries of what many people think electronic music can do. While the casual observer may think of dance clubs or sprawling three-hour DJ sets, Green seeks out more traditional music venues in search of new converts. Last November, Green closed out the 2012 edition of Little Big Fest, and throughout this year, he’s opened for a number of more traditional bands. One of the ways he strives to make electronic music more accessible is by tailoring sets to a particular audience.

“When I’m opening for a band (the set) is very, very different. It’s a lot more melodic, often with a lot more lyrics,” he said. “They don’t have the same groove as normal dance music. It’ll be a lot of funky, jazzy music with some interesting bass lines.

“A lot of it is sample-based. I use a lot of old hip-hop samples, and some of it goes even earlier than that, with a lot of ‘60s female vocal sounds. The old style of recording has a very specific sound, and mixing that old sound with some new elements, like some really big drums that kind of hits you in the chest, creates a really cool effect.”

All those effects — all the work — is ultimately in the service of one thing: entertaining as many people as possible, whether they walk in as fans of electronic music or not.

“I just hope people enjoy it. I hope they dance and have a good time.” CV

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