Anyone who likes to think that there are only so many sounds that can come out our beachy little corner of the world, likely haven't stumbled across ALLAREONE yet.
This collective of local electronic artists speaheaded by DJ Terry "TFunk" Flores and Chris Garcia, is one of a handful of local groups truly pushing the envelope when it comes to fusing different sounds to create a sound they can call their own.
Armed with Abelton-equipped laptops, effects panels and a variety of live instrumentation sources, ALLAREONE combines laid-back, loungy Ambient electronics with more upbeat Dance and Dub, topping it off with samples of everything from Jazz and Soul to 80s New Wave and Rock N Roll to create something they like to call "Future Fusion Beats."
Though the core duo has been making music together for more than two years, only recently have they begun to venture into performing and DJ'ing live around town. We caught up with Flores recently at the group's first real steady gig — Wednesday nights at Berni's 501 (see full review here) — and talked with him about the group, how the name came about and what being a DJ really means.
Here's what he had to say:
Myrtle Beach Music: Terry Flores and Bryan McKenna perform at Berni's 501 on Feb. 15.
Tell me a little about your background and where the name ALLAREONE came from?
Above the House of Blues stage are words that read "All Are One, Unity In Diversity." Not only the name ALLAREONE, but the idea behind our collective actually came about from these words.
I can remember the one specific concert when this idea came to life for me. It was Sound Tribe Sector 9 in August 2006 and this show in particular forever changed my musical perspective.
I grew up here in Conway, a self taught drummer and guitarist, and was always intrigued by music. I decided to go to Coastal to study music theory and I had taken classes for a year with a good foundation, yet had not discovered what I wanted to do musically.
Growing up i listened to an eclectic mix throughout the years, from Reggae to Hip-Hop to Classic Rock, but the scene in Myrtle beach was definitely rock-oriented. Incubus and Radiohead were some of my favorite artists for their blending of styles and incorporation of electronic influences, so I took a lot from them.
But it was when I first saw Sound Tribe Sector 9 at HOB that I really made that connection with the idea of using computer-based controllers in unison with live instrumentation. From then its been a constantly-evolving process of taking new age techniques and combining them with classic styles, from creating innovative new sounds to sampling older genres such as Soul, Funk, Jazz and 80s and just trying to blend it all into a cohesive, conceptual idea, or fusion of ideas.
And how do you define what you guys do? Are you a DJ group, a production team, a music collective...?
The whole idea of ALLAREONE is kinda a free-form grouping that's a constantly evolving situation, but we definitely have a collective that all have worked together for awhile now. Mostly, I guess, its kinda my brainchild, but my partner there is my roommate so we get down together a lot tagteaming drums and whatnot, so I'd say we're mostly the core duo and then we'll add other people in like we have tonight to add the live drums in there.
Overall, we've been making music together going on two or three years now — at least on the serious, really trying to make something.
So, I see you guys in there with laptops and effects, but no turntables. Do you even still need turntables to be a DJ?
Honestly, the word DJ is such a loose interpretation now that who's to say who is an who isn't.
How do you feel like your time at Coastal shaped what you do as a musician?
I went to Coastal for a year in 2005 and did music theory. I took guitar lessons under Tom Yoder and did a lot of drum work and keyboard classes, piano stuff, just kinda getting the foundation.
From there it was just kinda the exploration outside of that classical training that helped give me a good background for everything I'm doing now.
Do you see yourselves more as making your own music or in the studio producing for others?
Basically, we do a lot of production in our home studio right now with a couple audio interfaces and trying to record the live drums and starting to master our own tracks is really the next step for us there.
We've never really had any professional sit-ins with studio technicians or anything like that, we're just trying to learn what we can.
But as far as musically, we're definitely doing a lot of original production working with drum machines and using a lot of native instruments to produce the sound I want. Also at the same time we'll get some synth in there and do a lot of sampling old stuff, taking some 80s music or whatever and getting in, chopping it up and editing it down and trying to spin it in a new age way.
You label your music as a "fusion" of sounds? What is your wheelhouse as far as the types of sounds you're trying to fuse?
We definitely do that Electronic, Ambient, loungy-type thing, but we also tend to as the night gets deeper, get into the Dub vibe and get into the heavier side of Dance. But we never really do any House or Techno-type sound though, we want to be forward thinking with what we're doing.
Have you performed in any clubs around town or where do you see yourselves performing locally?
We did Zulu Lounge this summer, we did the Crafty Rooster not too long ago — they had a Beerfest and we did a day set there — but as far as getting into the nightlife scene [Bernis 501] is really kinda our first venture into that.
But we'd definitely be interested in doing all the clubs, hopefully that's where things are leading towards for us.
We just did a showcase at the Island Bar where we could do something different and bring out the drums and the guitars and all that, so who knows really. We're open to a lot of ideas.
What do you think of Berni's and what they're doing out here?
The environment is cool — they've got a little fire out back here — but really it's just nice to see new places popping up.
Actually I feel like the scene is growing here and that's great because we've kinda struggled to find an outlet for the things that we do. We're not exactly commercial, not really your run of the mill group, so it's been nice for us to have this.
And to wrap it up, tell folks why they should come and check you guys out?
It's just something intriguing, and something that people might not come across very often around here.
Being from here we've had a lot of time to explore the various musical outlets and see a lot of shows around the Carolinas and whatnot and we just try to bring a little of all of that to what we're doing and make it something special.
It's just something that we're passionate about, we put a lot into it and we want other people to come out and share that vibe with us.