Starting this week, Oakland resident Riggsbee and veteran Bay Area breakbeat DJs Sean Infinitee, 138 and Justin Johnson are bringing Faultline to the unpretentious Lounge 3411 (at 3411 MacArthur Blvd.) the first Friday of every month.
“We noticed this year alone there’s been a bunch of huge breakbeat talent coming to the Bay,” Riggsbee said recently. “Breaks are starting to have their own parties again and showing up in side rooms of other parties. Oakland is going through its own resurgence. We just felt like the timing was right to do this.”
With downtown Oakland being closer to downtown San Francisco than parts of The City (like the Sunset), and boiling rents in The City, artists are being forced to fan out. A sign of the times, Oakland’s First Fridays art walk has grown from a gritty group of galleries coordinating openings into a massive monthly quasi-festival of art and music.
The uptempo, funky genre of electronic music known as breakbeat is surging as well, Riggsbee says. Looped and warped samples of syncopated jazz drumming first exploded as breakbeat dance music in the mid-1990s, then again in the early 2000s.
Breakbeat 3.0 is a response to dubstep and electro fatigue.
“It brings a different energy than house or techno. It’s got a lot of low-end bass, but it’s not rigid. It’s funky. It has a lot of different avenues you can take it down,” Riggsbee says.
Born and raised in Walnut Creek and Danville, Riggsbee began drumming at age 12 and switched to DJing at 18. Since 1998, Riggsbee has promoted and played shows in Santa Cruz, Oakland, San Francisco and beyond.
“I’ve always played breakbeats. I feel like it’s the closest thing to playing drums. I feel like the transition was just a natural thing,” he says. “I study both like they’re a science.”
Lounge 3411 is becoming something of an electronic music hot spot, Riggsbee says. Its manager charged the DJs, who work as SeismiCity Events, with bringing in the die-hard breakbeat lovers, as well as hipsters and First Fridays tourists.
He adds: “We thought, ‘People are already out on the town. This is perfect.’ We’re hoping to be the unofficial after-party of First Fridays.”
IF YOU GO
With DJs Sean Infinitee, 138, Eric Riggsbee, Justin Johnson
Where: Lounge 3411, 3411 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
When: 9 p.m. first Friday every month
Contact: (510) 531-3411, www.lounge3411.com
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