Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Remembering Nod Factor

In digging through my hard drive I stumbled upon a folder of old design work that I have not seen in years. Every job is engrained in my memory, but the following really stands out because it was for my homies DJ Fudge and DJ Sky at the begining of a new era in Atlanta's indy hip-hop scene. I can't even remember when exactly this was, but for many years our insular little scene only existed at Apache (Mic Club) and Lenny's (Second Sight) and both events were on Tuesday night! Other than random events at MJQ or the Cotton Club, those were the only places the scene found itself. And honestly, the only place for the DJs to get busy was at Lenny's. Fudge and Sky were always there and records and needles got demolished. A gang of turntablists (Creation, Damn, Dainja, Fari, Synthesis....) would tag team all night to a small, but dedicated group of hip-hop heads. As time went on and everyone got a little older the old basement hang-out feeling got stale and Fudge and Sky sought a new outlet where turntablism would be at the forefront, while co-mingling with art, conversation, food and drinks. They had an idea for a weekly event that would be continuous, cyclical, constantly moving (read: the flyer's arrow pointing left flipped 360 degrees as you'd flip the flyer over). So they put together Nod Factor at the 5 Spot in Little Five Points. They brought in painters to work live with the music, pushed food and drinks (not just the giant cheap PBRs at Lenny's) and culture. BBoys would stop by, but so would writers and artists. They'd always have guest DJs stop in. Just bring your records and get on. Sometimes there would be musicians playing along. I would bring a drum on occasssion and sit in. Fudge even had me DJ a time or two. They'd also have shows from time to time. I remember Transistor Fist playing at the first anniversary show with Psyche Origami and Dylan's first ATL incarnation, Intellect and Dirty Digits. We played with Methuzulah one night when he had just changed his name from Solace Morner to Mojo Swagger. Nod Factor lasted a few years. It was the height of Myspace and the beginning of a new mode of promotion. You could post about an event and people would really show up. Nod Factor was bigger than Fudge and Sky. A lot of people latched on to the energy and helped promote the Wednesday night event themselves. For the first time, I remember seeing new faces at a local event so it was good while it lasted. Plus it was free!

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