When discussing music, a debate on what constitutes musicianship often arises. According to dictionary.com, a musician is an "artist who composes or conducts music as a profession." Setting the notion of profession aside, theoretically speaking, a musician is any person with a guitar, a keyboard, a drumstick, any wood or horn instrument or a microphone. But scratch the surface of that definition and anyone with a turntable or two and an aesthetic for combining--"composing or conducting"--sounds and you'll find another kind of musician: a DJ.
DJs, like any musician, have to work hard to gain respectability and credibility in their field. They also have to have a little something that makes them stand out in a crowd. Something about DJ Pat Benolkin puts him head and shoulders above the rest.
Benolkin spins downtempo, hip-hop, trip-hop and funk beats, and fashions some truly beautiful electronica sounds. On his myspace.com site (www.myspace.com/quaintmusic) there are four recent creations (based on the dates). "Humblefinoct24" has a melancholy, insectile sound that triggered images of Alice's fall through the rabbit hole (I recently played American McGee's "Alice In Wonderland" so go figure). The music is somehow sad and hopeful at the same time.
Having recently been turned on to some amazing electronica by a co-worker slash friend (Prefuse 73, Boards of Canada, IQU), Benolkin's music glides right in with these others of this genre, but still has a unique sound. On the Boise Weekly band roster, Benolkin describes himself as, "a versatile and humble musician, [who] always dreamed of being involved in the musical community. He was first introduced to DJing while learning and experimenting with music production and recording. Now he DJs regularly throughout Boise, and is constantly producing new music of his own." Get down to Neurolux this week and catch Benolkin's set. He is a musician in every sense of the word.
Saturday, October 29, Okkervil River and The Very Hush Hush at 8 p.m., DJs Pat Benolkin and Derek Fritcher at 11 p.m., $3 cover or FREE before 9 p.m. in costume, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St.