A Deeper Look into Baltimore’s Symbiotic Productions
For the past several years, a crew of DJs, Visual Artists, Promoters, Dancers and more, have been blowing the minds of party goers from the DC/Baltimore area’s. From underground warehouses, to small clubs, to multiple room events, Symbiotic Productions provides not just a ‘rave’, but a truly unique experience for everyone involved. This crews ability to transform venues into a completely different world is truly remarkable on top of their top notch lineups comprised of the DC/Baltimore regions best DJ’s and producers, as well as some of the best national and international acts. We had the opportunity to talk to Symbiotic founder and 1/2 of DJ duo Malphunktion, Andrew Prince also know as DJ Amp.
Who/What is Symbiotic?
Symbiotic is a production and promotion company rooted in the electronic music and other underground realms of dance and performance yet a step outside the box of your typical rave company.
When/How did it get started?
Back in May of 2010 there was an local event called Buckle Up. The line up had gotten over booked and several people had to do tag sets with people they had never played with before. I hit up one of the DJs I’d known for years, Daniella Downs, who was also on the line up and explained the situation and BLAM. We destroyed the room. It was also one of the first gigs both of us had really played out in some time and after having such a blast we decided to keep at it. We ran around the club after a few drinks with a handful of our close friends, who we felt we’re pretty much at the top of the game, and formed this new nameless collective of experienced promoters and DJs. The name Symbiotic just kind of fell into place once we looked at who we were, what we were about, and how we wanted to go about things.
What kinds of services does Symbiotic offer?
We are a fairly well versed group of people. Outside of our own events, we provide sound systems for many of the other promotional companies in the area. We also provide a fully stocked roster of some of the very best talent the area has to offer, event management, and a full promotional team. We have also partnered with DarkMatter, a local underground dance performance crew. There isn’t a whole lot out there we don’t have our fingers on in some way.
Who are your favorite artist’s you’ve booked?
Danny the Wildchild
Drumsound and Bassline Smith
Lee Coombs vs. Meat Katie
How do you go about picking Artists both local/headlining?
It starts by designing the set flow. Once we have the headliner in place, or conceptually know what kind of sound we want for a headliner then filling in the slots around him so that the flow from one DJ to the next makes sense. Basically setting each DJ in the right order so we can maintain the right energy level in the event throughout the night.
What’s your favorite Symbiotic Memory:
It’s hard to pick just one when each event we throw has so much put into it, but if I had to choose… There was a moment at Superfunk 2, standing on stage and looking out into the sea of people and I saw everything from where we had been to where we are now and where we were going. The growth we had taken in the 5 years between Superfunk 1 and 2 from a bunch of friends throwing parties to professionals putting on a proper show. It was breath taking and even more motivating to continue to build up those moments and make them better.
What is your goal?
Honestly, to create the best memories possible. Both for ourselves and those who come to our events and performances. I had this person come up to me while I was out at a DJ gig one night and they told me that they had been depressed over the loss of a loved one for years and that our event was the first time they had genuinely smiled since their loss. Moments like that, that’s what we do it for.
What are your current and past venues you’ve worked with?
Ground Zero – our underground warehouse home in Baltimore
Paradox in Baltimore
U st. Music Hall, Washington DC
The Warehouse Loft in DC (past)
The Spk/Ez building in Baltimore (past)
What is your favorite venue you work with?
Ground Zero will always be our home and hold the biggest place in my heart but The Paradox and U Hall have both turned into welcome homes for our events.
What was the first event Symbiotic ever put on?
It was an underground warehouse party for the 4th of July that we called “Red, White, and Blown“. It was very post apocalypse looking, we even had the front end of a car mounted so it looked like it had come through the wall! We knew that night we had something special.
What past events have you thrown? When did they happen?
Red, White and Blown (2010)
When In Rome (toga rave) (2010)
Back To The Future (2010)
Superfunkidiculous 1&2 (2012)
Spk/Ez bi-weeklys (2011)
Phunk the System 1&2 (2013)
Rave Camp Pool Party (2012)
How have you seen the company evolve throughout the years?
In one perspective, everything has changed. Yet in many ways, nothing has at all. We’re still the same group of friends doing things for the same reason we started. We love to do it. The shows may be a bit bigger, but the joy we find in what we do is still what brings us together.
What does it take to properly throw a successful event?
So many things, attention to detail, preparation, planning, but it’s never a one man show and it takes a team of like-minded driven people who care about the product they put out. It’s the main reason we’ve been able to keep such a high standard of quality for our events. Everyone I work with wants our shows to be the best around.
What’s/When’s the next event Symbiotic will be producing?
November 30th at the Paradox with DarkMatter
What kind of teaser information can you provide about the event?
Aww man… same with all of our events, you gotta go to find out but… I will tell you we have drum and bass icons who to the best of my knowledge has never been to the area.
Mark your Calendars! November 30th is the date, The Paradox in Baltimore is the place. For more information and announcements follow the official Facebook Page