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i_o | Dark and Twisted Techno Demon

by Tigerlily

My ravefam easily convinced me to drive up to Seattle for a Saturday of Anjuna at Ora Nightclub, but who was this mysterious i_o character playing the Friday before?  My buddy David insisted he’d appeal to my old school Techno side, and since I have faith in (most of) his music tastes, I decided to go ahead and check him out.  Turns out, i_o is a dark and twisty demon on the mau5trap label who plays shuffle-all-night-worthy Techno tunes.

As a teenager, I didn’t get into any of that whiny, angsty emo crap.  I preferred the straight up fury of Rage Against the Machine and TOOL who helped me break out of my “Rusty Cage” and discover Techno in underground warehouses.  There was something raw and relentless about Techno’s driving beats that matched the sorrow and anger in me and connected with the industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails.  So it’s unsurprising that i_o was influenced by NIN and creates his music to reflect those old school gloomy rave vibes.  Hearing his set at Ora last year took me right back to those weekends spent dancing my way through the dark nights and back into the light.

His first hit “afk” was produced under artist name Fawks, back when he had red hair.  Since he just gained notoriety in 2018, it’s fitting that I couldn’t find any info on when or why this enigma changed his name to i_o. The mystery seems intentional as he covers his face in pictures, including those he takes with fans. What we do know is that he gained the notice of deadmau5 with his remix of “Imaginary Friends”.  Taking the already existing steady pounding of the track, i_o peppered in what I now see as his signature dark, industrial tones, and got signed to mau5trap.  

Two of his remixes caught my ear that night in Seattle; his exploit of the 2002 Dirty VegasDays Go By” and his still unreleased remix of “Alchemy” off my favorite Above & Beyond album, their 2011 “Group Therapy”.  “Days Go By” came out in the height of my rave days and I can see the video in my mind every time I hear it.  To me, it’s a classic. So hearing i_o’s grittier take on it was like hopping in a time machine back to those dingy warehouse parties.  And I fucking LOVE that i_o brought his dark vibes to “Alchemy”, that tragic, yet ethereal track voiced by the always amazing Zoë Johnston.  He took the sad lyrics of being left for another and brought some well-deserved anger to it.  I can’t wait for it to be released so I can binge-listen for a week.

With EDC Las Vegas May 17-19 and Paradiso June 14-16 coming up, i_o is easily one of my most anticipated acts on those lineups.  I can’t think of any other artist whose time-conflicting set could keep me from getting dark and twisty with my favorite Techno demon.  I’d sell my soul to the Devil for an interview with i_o, though who knows if Satan would take it since it’s as black as my cold, Techno heart. I can’t wait to dance with i_o’s techno demons this summer under the Electric Sky and on the beautiful grassy expanse at The Gorge Amphitheater!

Tour Dates
May 17th – EDC Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
May 18th – EDC Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
June 15th – Paradiso Festival – Seattle, WA
June 21st – The Brooklyn Mirage – Brooklyn, NY
June 22nd – Noir Inside Rebel – Toronto, Canada
June 29th – Circus Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
June 30th – Stardium – Seoul, South Korea
August 9th – Halcyon – San Francisco, CA
August 16th – District – Atlanta, GA
August 19th – Maya NightSwim – Scottsdale, AZ
August 23rd – New Horizons – Nürburgring, Germany
August 24th – Creamfields – Warrington, UK
August 31st – North Coast Music Festival – Chicago, IL
September 1st – Electric Zoo Festival – New York, NY


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