I first met Irwin in New York a few years ago doing the nightcrawler event crawl. Electronic music was dead. Jersey Shore was tenticulating into our minds and Moby had a tea shop. According to my reports from the scene in 2002-2004 New York’s nightlife was a blend of dying east village ratholes, hungry man marching bands of Williamsburg and this one strange dude dressed in black performing live techno in the back of a Jazz bar on Ludlow. He wouldn’t call it Techno though. Blending live percussion with electronic homemade instruments in a hurricane-like performance Irwin encompassed a lot of the original values of the rave scene that was promised to us.

“I started off doing classical music went on to being in pop groups in junior high and after whoring myself in different genres I became enamored with electronics to create music. I guess you can call it hyperdabbling.”

We had just come down from a long strange trip of the nineties; sold a bag of used goods by self-proclaimed originators of the electronic music scene who claimed “Together we could change the world! Peace, Love and Unity Movement!” while later counting front door profits with club cronies selling water for $10 a bottle. Little did we know those same cronies and promoters would perform a hostile takeover of the Spiritual-Rave-Love movement and make DJ’s rockstars throwing faces into the forefront to create idol worshipping fans whose main goal was waiting for the drop. Irwin did not descend into this madness or the addictions and competitiveness of music industry vice. That’s where this writer, another obscure underground electronic musician comes in.

In typical Venetian synchronistic fashion, we bump into each other again at the local abbot skinny coffee digs. Irwin still didn’t want to be seen, a quality of the original scene. The idea was our faces were not important. It was about the music and those of us who produced at the time covered our faces when we gigged live or spun records in a dingy corner of the warehouse. This is why I can never recall how me and Irwin actually met. The washed up ravers were not washed up. We were anonymous.

It was time to catch up.

“These days if you have a passion it’s quenched real quick. Back then it was like, ‘Where can I get more information?’ You had to go to the library. You had to do the work to get what you wanted.”

This work ethic follows him today and as the months passed after our coffee shop run in I would attend secret Irwin shows around the skinny, meeting what seems like an underground crew of extremely successful freelancers and artists and discover that his portfolio in the music scene was vast. Not only was he a trained drummer but once upon a time he was signed to a couple of huge labels. He’s been on huge records we’ve all loved and plays with the hottest acts in Los Angeles. He’s a rare breed of electronic musician in that sense – one with Buddy Rich chops and Kraftwerk mindset doing his own thing, a sort of zen minimalist philosopher creating healing sounds for the locals.

“I started off doing classical music went on to being in pop groups in junior high and after whoring myself in different genres I became enamored with electronics to create music. I guess you can call it hyperdabbling.”

You can define Irwins “hyperdabbling” as sitting in with the House of Vibes Allstars at Harvelles, doing monthly’s with John Nau at Hals or interpretative avante-percussion with Toledo at Le Petite Ermitage. If you wanted you can also name drop his appearances on Brian Jonestown Massacre albums but that’s not the important stuff — now he’s making music with a healing message.

His Sunset Sessions are exactly that. You may meditate, watch or just listen as the California sun vanishes into the Venice horizon. Irwin’s real-time live musical accompaniment moves with the seagulls flying past a huge window in a hypnotic rhythm. Still unassuming, in the back of the secret venue he watches as well, introducing sonic atmospheres to track the sky’s descent into electronic darkness.

Irwin Positive Intent Sunset Sessions

Irwin Positive Intent Sunset Sessions

“What I’m doing is very sound design heavy, it’s realtime with the crowd as a participant.”

Now a sound sorcerer or sorts, Irwin speaks of the past as just being part of a, “…new world of iteration.” One that is constantly changing to adapt to it’s environment.

“Sound can alter matter. I’m working with frequencies that actually create mandalas. It’s a big part of what the event is about.” He hands me a handmade flyer for tonights event at Full-Circle.

“Cymatics are a way of confirming that the frequency being generated is naturally creating a fibonacci like resonance that translates on a molecular level. That’s the mandala shape that is visually represented by, for example, a substance like lycopodium, which naturally takes the shape of a beautiful mandala.”

Now a sound sorcerer or sorts, Irwin speaks of the past as just being part of a, “…new world of iteration.” One that is constantly changing to adapt to it’s environment.  I get it. It’s Derrida meets sound alchemy. Why not change the environment in ourselves with sound?

Irwin finishes his cup of coffee observing our surrounding, “True healing is an element of both the sciences and the arts. There used to be a method of healing people where you put them in beautiful environments and bombard them with great foods and great musicians would play for them. I don’t think that’s far off to say that our body and psyche are affected by the quality of its surroundings including the sounds we take in. Bringing one from resistance to resonance.”

As I leave Irwin and he walks down Abbot Kinney to his overground lair to prepare for his night of matter alteration, I realize this spiritual-technology movement never went anywhere – it just lacked the right soundtrack.

 

Come see and hear Irwin tonight! RESONATE WITH IRWIN – Tuesday February 10th 8-9: at Full Circle, 305 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA.