Galactic Effect on "Downtown Miami Scene" Versus "Commercial Crap South Beach"
Although The Galactic Effect has only been around since early 2014, his impact on Miami's music scene has already been felt.
Determined not to be another faceless producer in a sea of EDM-crazed Miamians, he combines aspects of classical music with futuristic bass and old-school hip-hop. His unique mix of sounds and theatrical performances have gained him a dedicated following in the underground music world.
We here at Crossfade caught up with The Galactic Effect to talk about his ancient space operas, Miami's love of electronic music, and the struggles of being an up-and-coming musician.
See also: The Six People You Meet on South Beach
Crossfade: A lot of people in Miami still know you as Dusthead, tell us about The Galactic Effect.
The Galactic Effect: It is the new moniker I've been performing under since the start of 2014. Before that, I played for years under the alias Dusthead, but I wanted a change and an upgrade. I felt that Galactic Effect better suited the new sounds I was exploring. A space opera realm, where the music is dance-y yet cinematic in tone. It's very difficult to put a definitive genre on my music since it's always changing. I intend to create a very alive, spacey, ancient-future blend of galactic sounds for my live sets. My music is sometimes very inspired by producers like Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus, Hans Zimmer, and many more.
What are your live shows like?
I try to stay busy during my live shows, with instruments and collaborative energy. Most of the time, I bring out the electric violin and play along to the beats. Other times, I'll incorporate the electric guitar and vocals. I also love to collaborate with fellow local musicians. I have worked with live string quartets, sitar players, other electronic producers, dancers, flutists, and more. I love to record them and sample them up for future live sets, in case I'm playing solo.
Your new EP, The Beat and Beyond, is hard to describe. What's the story behind it?
Every track on the album has its own vibe, sometimes very different, yet it's meant to complete the larger picture and story. When I was working on the EP, I had this concept in mind of outer-worldly tales told by the beat. The reception has been great so far. There's something different going on in every track, which helps in connecting with all sorts of people. This EP is actually the first half of a full album. I will be releasing The Beat And Beyond, Part 2 in early November.
What's your opinion of Miami's current music scene?
In general, I love Miami and its underground music scene. There's definitely this open-mindedness and love in the air towards local electronic music that is making a big impact on producers hustling to make it. The downtown Miami scene is its own entity, straying away from the commercial crap South Beach has become. I just finished playing a show in Boston, at the HNDMD monthly event, and the crowd there reminded me a lot of Miami. Except they come out a little earlier and show more effort to support the opening acts. My next show in Miami is July 3 at The Nest, where I'll be a supporting act for one of my favorite producers, Daedelus.
What is your struggle as an underground musician in Miami like?
The struggle of being an underground musician is like being the hero or anti-hero to your own story. There's fundamental lessons you're always learning in each step of the way. Musicians with high ambition and dreams tend to suffer a bit, but also gain a lot of wisdom on the way up the ladder. I feel like there's this subtle competitiveness and ego game in the underground music scene sometimes. Us musicians in the hustle and struggle need to give each other more support and respect sometimes. This isn't all about ourselves, there's a bigger picture. And when we do make it, let's keep our humility and make positive things happen for the people around us. When you're in the underground world, you have a lot of ideas about what you want to be. But then when you make it, it's easy to become what everyone else wants you to be.
-- Pablo Chacon Alvarez
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Galactic Effect. Opening for Daedelus. Thursday, July 3. The Nest, 62 NE 14th St., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets costs $10 to $20 plus fees via holdmyticket.com. All ages. Call 786-766-2411 or visit thenestmia.com.