8 p.m. Wednesday at Newby’s, 539 South Highland. Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Advance tickets available online at newbysmemphis.com. For more information, call 901-452-8408.
It was frustration that drove Christian Bauhofer, known to fans of electronic dance music as the genre’s quick rising star Minnesota, to become a one-man band, tossing out his guitar in favor of a bank of turntables, sequencers, and keyboards..
“Before I started producing electronic music I tried playing guitar in multiple bands when I moved out to Santa Cruz, Calif.,” says Bauhofer, 23. “It was always just hard to get a group of guys together who could get stuff done. I like the fact that with electronic music you could do it all by yourself without anyone, and also the fact that there’s just so many more possibilities with electronic music than with traditional instruments.”
Bauhofer performs Wednesday at Newby’s with opening deejays/producers ProtoHype, a Los Angeles artist who plays “heavier dubstep stuff,” and on his first tour, Baltimore’s DCarls, whose style Bauhofer describes as “heavier, midtempo.”
Bauhofer says his own set, which will be accompanied by an elaborate light show, will be a grab-bag of music from throughout his short-but-eclectic career, which includes familiar remixes and originals that range from moody psychedelia to high energy hip-hop.
“’It’s just a variety of different kinds of bass music,” he says of his broad palette of sounds. “It’s a factor from my upbringing.”
Bauhofer was born and raised in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, hence his nickname when he moved to California, which in turn became his stage name.
“My name definitely does suck for Google,” he told a college newspaper last year. “It’s kind of hard for people to find me, unfortunately.”
Bauhofer’s father was a musician who taught his son to play the guitar at age 12. Perhaps just as influential on him was dad’s former occupation running lights in San Francisco for bands like the Grateful Dead and B.B. King.
“I was into a lot of underground hip-hop stuff that was coming out in Minnesota like Atmosphere, Eyedea & Abilities, that kind of stuff,” he says of his formative music years. “I was also into a lot of like indie rock and even some emo stuff. It’s hard for me to remember now because I’m just full-blown electronic music. But all my influences come from that kind of stuff. Also, when I was younger, I was really into classic rock — Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, all those guys.”
When Bauhofer moved to California to go to college he started to explore electronic dance music, quickly moving from the electro house sounds of artists like Justice and deadmau5 to the more complex moods he found at so-called transformational festivals like the Symbiosis Gathering (dubbed by some “the next Burning Man”) and Santa Cruz’s Raindance Festival.
“That’s what set me on the path I’m on now with the more eclectic stuff and the trippy samples I use in my music,” says Bauhofer, who has played Coachella and South By Southwest among other festivals.
Bauhofer released his first EP, Panda Snatching Tycoon, in 2011. Ancient Machines followed a few months later as well as his remix of “California Dreamin’” by the ’60s folk rock group The Mamas & the Papas. Last May he released his third EP, Astral Projections followed by Altered States in November.
Bauhofer’s current road run is called “The Eternal Frequencies Tour” after his upcoming EP of the same name, due out on April 1. The artist says this disc is the first of four EPs he plans to release in the coming months inspired by the seasons. Once released, all four EPs will be combined to comprise Bauhofer’s first full-length record.
“Doing it this way works well with my touring schedule. I can do small amounts of music and put it together into one giant piece of art,” says Bauhofer, who credits his girlfriend with giving him the idea of building the record around the seasons. “I’d say the record will be more like Astral Projections than Altered States. Altered States was meant to be like dance floor tunes, less serious. This one combines that with what I did on Astral Projections, which is very psychedelic, melodic bass music. I think it’s a good combination of the two.”