Devonwho helms Ableton ‘nerd-out’ at Public Works

Sunny, funky experimental electronic artist Devonwho will help leading music software company Ableton show off new wares in a unique premiere at Public Works on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based producer will perform an Ableton-enabled set as part of a night of cutting-edge beat-making with Kid606, Christopher Willits and Mophono.

The event launches Ableton’s Live 9 and Push music software-hardware suite, offering the latest updates to the wildly popular portable music studio. For $1,100, Live 9 comes with Ableton’s new, Akia-built controller, Push — an intimidating, futuristic 64-keypad, 3,000-sound tablet.

“I think really it’s a nerd-out,” says Devonwho (aka Devon Fox). “We’re all going to be looking at the Push and then we’re going to be talking about Ableton.

“If you’re not into Ableton, you’re going to be like, ‘Whoa, I’m just here to see the music.’”

The tunes should be dope, of course. Ableton reigns supreme among DJs because of its flexibility, Fox says, and all artists performing  will offer vastly different sounds.

“Live is the most intuitive software for performance,” he said. “It allows you to create things on the fly. … I call it a sketchboard that you can just throw ideas at.”

“It’s definitely a different event. Not something you’d see normally,” he says.

Fox uses a Roland Gaia synthesizer with Ableton to create sunny,  experimental jams live — a reaction to a childhood in the Portland, Ore., rain.

“Whenever I’m playing stuff live, the crowd will see me getting into it. I’m smiling. They’re smiling. They’re like, ‘Whoa,  this is a lot of fun,’” he says. “Even my chord structures aren’t really in any kind of way sad.”

Given his first drum machine at age 8, the 29-year-old Lower Haight-based Fox loves synths, melody, samples, glitch and bass. Eight-bit video games, Prefuse 73 and J Dilla burble up in his self-released “Perfect Strangers Vol. 2” from August 2012.

His two 12-inch vinyl releases from Ireland-based label All City Dublin exhibit a live dance-funk side, he says.
Fox is prepping another EP for All City Dublin this season, and planning for his first full LP later this year.

“I’m trying to get away from [self-releases] because I want to present things properly,” he says. “It’ll be my first true LP release to the public. You can buy it in a store, or whatever.”


  • Where: Public Works, 161 Erie St., S.F.
  • When: 7 p.m. today
  • Tickets: $5
  • Contact: (415) 779-6757,
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