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‘Seeking aRAVEments’ shows growth of local DJ event series

Artists showcased stellar sets at the sold-out Valentine’s-themed rave, the brainchild of Paul “DJ LeftFoot” Schoening.
Image by Cole Bursch
Riotgrrldarko was one of the nine artists who performed at the show.

The Seeking aRAVEments show brought energetic performances from young local musicians and DJs to Fine Line on Feb. 10.

Recent University of Minnesota graudate Paul Schoening, known professionally as DJ LeftFoot, started the concert series called “Rave Against the Machine” in 2022, including a Halloweekend show in late October. These events became the groundwork for Seeking aRAVEments.

“A few takeaways from those earlier shows were that people were looking for a place that they can feel safe and just go dancing,” Schoening said. “There was a market for local DJs because of that. Plus, I wanted to do something that also gave a platform for new DJs, like me.”

The night began with killusonline, a recent Best New Bands honoree, who performed with a full band and blended rap vocals with hardcore rock.

RiotgrrlDarko set mixed alternative production and rap vocals for an energy-filled sound that rocked the crowd.

6RIPS performed music that blended laid-back rap vocals with hip-hop production that culminated in infectious hooks and clever raps.

DJ Gilchrist, the DJ alias for Gustav Kuhnen, played a set featuring trance, house and techno influences, flowing with futuristic tunes.

DJ Overly Sympathetic, a mainstay at the Rave Against the Machine event series, describes their sound as “nightcore.”

Schoening’s set as DJ LeftFoot combined disco, house and hip-hop while a homoerotic video loop of attractive male characters (including Pauly D and Vinny from “Jersey Shore”) played behind him.

Ech0astral, who blended electronic subgenres with hip-hop influences, is the alias for Carbon Sound’s content director and University graduate Julian Green.

Fluidtranquilty, the DJ alias of Kaya Morris, finished the night with a Berlin-inspired techno mix.

Schoening grew his connections within the local music scene by working on Radio K’s hip-hop show The Vanguard, where he met rappers like 6RIPS and RiotgrrlDarko.

“Those personal connections I made at The Vanguard with 6RIPS and RiotgrrrlDarko brought them into the fold for the show,” Schoening said.

6RIPS said he relishes every opportunity he has received thus far to fine-tune his craft.

“It would be easier to give up, kinda the same with performing, trying to figure out how to keep getting better at it, thinking of ways to be more entertaining and engaging, just refining me keeps me going,” 6RIPS said.

LAS CABRONAS stood out as another act that put on an epic performance during the Seeking aRAVEments show. The duo, consisting of DJ Supersooaker (Jolie Leiva) and DJ Curbstomp (Angel Perez), is relatively new to the Twin Cities music scene.

LAS CABRONAS introduced themselves to Schoening after a show and asked him to teach them how to DJ.

“My music career only started in October (once again, all credit to Paul [Schoening]), but I feel like the music scene finally feels like it has variety and is being opened up to more artists and different kinds of artists,” DJ Curbstomp said in a text to the Minnesota Daily. “I think this is what’s so special about what Paul is doing because he’s not only including artists that have already a lot of experience, but also artists that are just starting off and exploring their abilities.”

Schoening said LAS CABRONAS are “the most inspiring musicians I know of right now.”

“I don’t even know many DJ duos anymore, it feels like a lost art,” he said. “I had known Angel for a while, and they were so supportive of my shows, so I asked them if they wanted to try DJing. I was really proud of them and so happy that they could have a full audience at Seeking aRAVEments.”

At least two Seeking aRAVEments artists have planned upcoming shows. Ech0astral will open for Rochester, New York, rapper RXK Nephew Saturday at 7th St. Entry. Riotgrrrldarko will open for Minneapolis punk band VIAL on May 25, also at 7th St. Entry.


Correction: A previous version of this article misstated DJ Overly Sympathetic’s pronouns. They use they/she pronouns.  

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