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Technical Warfare


Name: Robert May
Handle: Iota
Main Gig: Tuesdays at Moe's Alley ("Bassic Elements")
Alter Ego: Account manager for Netmagic, a San Jose high-speed Internet service provider
Record for a Peak Experience: "Selecta" by Johnny L
Favorite DJs: John Kelly, Arc Angel Gabe Real
Gift to Self That Keeps on Giving (and Taking): "Two years ago when I got my first credit card, the first thing I bought on it was a 12-inch subwoofer cabinet. I'm still paying it off, and I think now I've paid more in interest than it actually cost."
Crucial Link: www.bassicelements.com

It's a well-known property of acoustics that bass frequencies carry much farther than those at the top end of the audible spectrum. And in addition to chest-thump factors, bass also packs a psychological wallop, sharply attuning the mind to music if only for some subconscious awe of the tremendous, rattling force it generates.

Such are the elements of Robert May's DJ-craft. Resident DJ of Bassic Elements, a weekly dance night featuring a rolling, roiling and rumbling genre of electronic dance music known simply and precisely as drum 'n' bass, May, who behind the decks goes by the nom de boom of "Iota," has quickly jumped to the fore of Santa Cruz's raver underground.

"While I was in school [at UC­Santa Cruz], I lived in a house with other DJs," May says. "We had three pairs of turntables set up in this giant living room. I even got my neighbors across the street coming over to complain."

Falling in with underground rave collective 13 Moontribe, May spun records for the peak 2am set at an October event on a North Coast beach, so impressing Bassic Elements organizers Boyd Christensen and Regan Vreeland that they recruited him as the weekly event's mainstay DJ.

"It was 13 Moontribe's biggest party ever and the first time they did drum and bass," he says. "I still hear from people that it was one of their most popular sets ever."

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From the June 21-28, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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