Two excellent Madison DJs inaugurate Crucible's new "low-sensory" dance night. Info
Electronic music often goes hand-in-hand with a glorious excess of stimuli: pummeling subwoofers, hyper-vivid lights and lazers, the wild crush of sweaty bodies, and assorted substances. The east-side venue Crucible, which opened in late 2018, has proven itself a great place for the adrenal wallop of a good dance night, but also wanted to make its offerings more welcoming to people with various disabilities and medical conditions. The new dance night Hush aims to address that need with "no strobes, lasers, or fog, a lower sound volume, and chill atmosphere," with Madison-based DJs Ellafine and Umi stretching into more downtempo material.
"This idea came up periodically, as a number of folks want to come out, but can't cope with some parts of a more traditional nightclub experience," says Crucible co-owner Greg Kveberg. "My own wife can't attend some club events (strobes trigger migraines for her), so the idea resonated. We'd like to be as open and welcoming to all sorts of people as possible, and this seemed like it would be an experiment worth trying. I guess the short answer here, really, is that we're trying to be responsive to the needs of our community." In other words, filling a void for often-neglected scenes and genres goes hand in hand with making spaces and events accessible for as wide a range of folks as possible. Kveberg adds that Hush might become a monthly occurrence if there's enough entrance.
DJ Ellafine, real name Elly Fine has a penchant for darkwave and synth-pop and DJ Umi, aka Jordan Ellerman, wields a commanding grasp of house and techno as a member of Madison's Foshizzle collective. But they both know that a good DJ needs to be versatile, and Hush will challenge both to stretch out. Ellerman says he'll be reaching into '60s and '70s R&B as well as some beat-less (which doesn't necessarily mean ambient, he points out) electronic tracks he's been collecting over the years. Fine will be reaching across a mix of genres as well, emphasizing "songs that don't always make the cut on more intense nights." Fine sums up Hush as an important step toward inclusivity and a welcome artistic challenge: "I like to think of it as an accessibility effort as well as just an opportunity to showcase that there are other ways to enjoy music and dancing that people may appreciate even if they don't have disabilities or sensory issues." —Scott Gordon