Halloweekend 2021 is finally here, and the organizers of Minimal Effort are ready to sink their teeth in.
Their hotly anticipated "All Hallow's Eve" event at the iconic Globe Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles is set for tonight, October 29th from 9PM to 4 AM. Tickets are available for the show, which will deliver seven hours of music and a highly curated, experiential outing.
Known for their immersive production, Minimal Effort has tapped a blue-ribbon lineup for the momentous return of their Halloween-themed bash in the City of Angels. The night will feature performances by Day I Dream pioneer Lee Burridge, disco-house luminary DJ Harvey, Hood Politics Records label boss DJ Susan, and deep house star Atish, among others.
Ahead of "All Hallow’s Eve," we caught up with Atish about what he has up his sleeve for such a special show and how he's navigating the electronic dance music world as a new father.
EDM.com: Contrary to the name of its organizer, this Minimal Effort show looks to be quite the production. What can you tell us about your performance at this Halloween spectacular?
Atish: It’s a performance that’s at the forefront of my mind as I’ve had an eye on Minimal Effort’s events for quite some time now. They’ve produced shows with first class lineups and I’m thrilled to be featured alongside some of the industry’s best. I’ll definitely be working hard to bring my A-game.
EDM.com: As a DJ and selector, how do you prepare for a set like this, which requires a different kind of curation than a typical performance?
Atish: DJing continuously fascinates me as an art form because it’s half preparation, half improvisation, and this performance will amplify both aspects of that spectrum. This is a particularly unique time slot for me as there are a few different angles that I’m considering on the preparation front.
For one, I’m playing after DJ Harvey. I respect DJ Harvey deeply, and he has quite an eclectic taste. I’m trying to predict what kind of vibe he might end his set with since I prefer smooth transitions between DJs as opposed to full vibe resets. Will it be disco? Funk? 80’s? Odd-ball stuff? Psychedelic rock? 100 BPM or 140 BPM? How can I smoothly pull the audience closer into my own wheelhouse?
Beyond that, I’ll be closing the night out, so I know I need to keep the energy level up to prevent people from wanting to go home. But at the same time, I don’t particularly like banging a set out start to finish, so I’m hoping to thread the intensity needle carefully.
And lastly, it’s Halloween, so I want to make space to include my spooky tunes to play to the vibe.
I’m preparing and triangulating across all three of these factors while still ensuring I’m playing music that represents my voice - it’s certainly one that has me thinking long and hard.
And the other half of the DJ spectrum I mentioned earlier is improvisation. I can prepare as much as I want, but I need to make a call in the moment based on how the dance floor is responding. If I have a disco spooky banger that falls flat, I’m comfortable pulling evasive maneuvers and re-reading the room, regardless of how I thought it would unfold. It’s a tricky balance, but these types of challenging situations are what I love the most about DJing...if I can pull it off...
EDM.com: How has your experience been trying to balance touring with raising your new child?
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Atish: It’s been really hard, particularly being in the middle of a pandemic. I’m still adjusting to it all. Prior to being a father, my career was about me. There was a time when I used to accept offers for gigs hours within receiving them. But now, every gig is a family decision. Is our nanny available on the weekend when I’m gone? Can any family members come to help? If not, am I putting too big a burden on my wife at home? I’m also constantly watching COVID numbers across the US since vaccines aren’t available for babies yet. So aside from figuring out the
logistics of leaving home, my wife and I have to make a risk calculation for my son’s safety - sometimes it takes weeks to figure out if a traveling gig is possible, and that unfortunately means many missed opportunities. And when I do travel, I dearly miss my son and feel a bit of guilt as well.
EDM.com: What have you learned about fatherhood along the way?
Atish: I’m trying to learn how to recalibrate (or more pessimistically, lower) my expectations for myself. There’s only a finite amount of time and energy we have in a day, and a baby will suck most of that out of you. It’s impossible to operate at 100% in your personal life and career while being an attentive parent. I’m a workaholic (or at least, I used to be!), so I’m figuring out how to balance all the spinning plates.
But on a more positive note, fatherhood has taught me that I have a potential for love that I never imagined possible. My son is the greatest gift I’ve ever received, and in the big picture, the rest is just details.
EDM.com: Divulge to our readers something they may not know about you. Something they can't find on the web.
Atish: I’m an open person and a child of the internet so just about everything is out there. But one thing most people don’t know is my obsession with the show Breaking Bad (and its prequel Better Call Saul). I’ve watched both of these many times over and read hours worth of online analysis of this masterpiece of a show. I can quickly bond with someone over the ins and outs of Walter White or Gus Fring.
EDM.com: Tell us about your upcoming EP with YokoO. How did it come together and what exactly can fans look forward to?
Atish: I’m really proud of this EP. It represents a sonic direction that I’m very excited about that might surprise a few people. To be candid, I’m aware that many in our scene have closely associated me with Burning Man, and for good reason. But with that, I feel that I’ve been put a bit in an Organic House box, for lack of a better term. I have nothing against that genre and I play some of it myself, but this EP showcases a bit more minimal and groove oriented sounds that haven’t been heard in any of my productions thus far.
Part of that comes from collaboration with YokoO, who has leaned a bit into the romanian/minimal sound. The project came together in mid 2020. I had been sitting on a few tunes that had lush, ethereal, melodic sounds but lacked a certain specialness in the groove. I had been friends with YokoO for a few years at that point and sent them his way to see if he was inspired. In just a few days time, he turned around with some gems using my parts. We had a few conversations around some tweaks, but overall he just hit a home run with where he took them. It’s been an absolute joy working with YokoO and I hope we release more EPs down the road.
EDM.com: Besides the new EP, what else does the future hold for Atish?
Atish: Looking ahead, I’m really thinking about how to balance the touring life and the home life. Since I’m spending more time at home, I’m trying to use this as an opportunity to release more original music than pre-pandemic cadence. I’m close to wrapping up a collaboration EP with the up-and-coming Indian producer Vridian, which I hope to have out early next year. I’m also making good headway on a solo EP that should follow a few months after. Sim
You can purchase tickets to Minimal Effort's 2021 L.A. Halloween party here.