Who: Particle ~
When: Tuesday, February 3, 9:30 pm ~
Where: Humboldt Brews ~
How much: $15 ~
Back around the turn of the century, Particle pioneered something they call “livetronica,” essentially they were pioneers bridging the gap between the jamband and electronica scenes. The band’s founder, Steve Molitz, began jamming on analog keyboards while he was a college student in the hotbed of jam, Boulder, Colorado, but he soon settled in L.A.
When I interviewed him a decade ago, he wasn’t really sure how to define the Particle sound. In the beginning, he said, “It was hard to describe what kind of music we played. It was kind of a mix of rock and this indie sound, groove and electronic and funk and jazz — after a while it gets hard to categorize it, or know what to say.”
Instead he fell back on calling it “high-energy dance music” since, “We’re known for keeping people dancing, for creating an atmosphere of celebration, and also for creating a space where people can take a trip.”
The “Particle People” understood, and so did Tom Rothrock (producer for Beck and Foo Fighters) who produced their first studio album, Launchpad in 2004. The band ended up touring nationally and internationally and played monster festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Fest.
Then at the end of 2006, Particle went on semi-hiatus, cutting down to scattered shows to leave room for family and changing work situations. Molitz became a hired keyboardist playing with artists like Robby Krieger of The Doors, Phil Lesh of the Dead and the Allman Brothers among others. He did film soundtrack work and made music for video games.
Last year, itching to get back the his own music and the road, he reformed Particle. Guitarist Ben Combe, bassist Clay Parnell, and drummer Brandon Draper signed on and they returned to touring full-time as ever-evolving journey. They’ve recorded enough studio material for a couple of albums, due out this year. But first there’s the latest cross country tour and a return to Arcata. The Particle People will be there…