A cloudy and dreary day in the Bay Area; I meet up with a soft spoken and mellow character to get a deeper understanding of the global culture of electronic music. Upon first glance he may not appear to be the producer of huge and heavy hitting tracks: donned in a baggy sweater and tight jeans rolled to his calf. A look beyond the surface reveals a passionate and devoted musician with a unique and educated outlook on an ever-changing and participatory music genre. His name is Joe Wiseman of AndDrop!
AndDrop! – Don Draper
The up-and-coming AndDrop! is comprised of Joe Wiseman as the lead DJ and co-producer, and the producing duo of brothers Harris and Sylvain Kauffman. While Joe serves as the solo performer for the majority of the group’s shows, the Kauffman brothers are an integral part of the AndDrop! experience. In a few short years AndDrop! has progressed from playing small house and fraternity parties to headlining international shows while studying abroad in South Africa. Joe earnestly reflects on the early years of his DJ career saying he was originally drawn to the art after taking a student run class in his freshman year at UC Berkeley in 2008. His passion for the craft and genre as a whole quickly became apparent. His soft-spoken tone immediately picked up and as he re-lived how he got to where he is today with a smile, only pausing when he realized how fervently I was attempting to keep up in my note taking.
The big break for the group came while Wiseman was studying abroad in South Africa, a move he said was premeditated. “When I was looking at programs I was drawn to South Africa because of its night life,” says Wiseman. “I even wrote on my application that I wanted to get into the night life scene,” he added with a chuckle. After landing a few smaller gigs in Cape Town Wiseman contacted a promoter for one of the largest night clubs in South Africa, Assembly. Due to a fortunate series of events AndDrop! was billed as the co-headliner for the sold out 1500 person show and given the opportunity to demonstrate his passion in a 2 hour long set. In reflecting on the experience Wiseman states, “That was the best set of my life, I finished and thought to myself: What the hell just happened? It was the most incredible feeling.” AndDrop! quickly gained the reputation of “The American kid on tour from the USA.”
More on AndDrop! and what its like to be a part of an international participatory cultural movement after the break. Read the rest of this entry