Known as the bass capital of the world, Denver has been reveling in its short-lived history of homegrown and heavy-hitting electronic music. Titans of dubstep and mainstage EDM rose to prominence, with local venues harboring up-and-coming talent that took advantage of the city’s national image. However, all times of prosperity must come to an end and Denver’s bass scene is no different. Some beloved staples in the dubstep world were revealed to be nothing short of diabolical, while local venues shut their doors due to scandal and dire straits. With the downfall of these players, the crowning title of “bass capital of the world” seemed better suited for lake Okeechobee, but quietly throughout all these events, a movement brewed.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it is unfulfillment that is the impetus for change. Denver has quietly been cultivating the talent of DJs and producers who are tired of living in a place known only for one facet of their beloved art form. Looking to break out of the mold of hard-hitting music, pockets of talented musicians continued to refine their craft. Enter a small group of lo-fi lovers all on their own journeys wishing to redefine the music Denver is known for. They call themselves the all:Lo Collective.
The story of the collective starts with Phil Gallo, aka pheel., and Parker Williams, aka parkbreezy, who were living together and making music in 2017. They were both submitting their music and ran into the same question asking what label they came from. Both decided that they would create their own label together to help get their lo-fi bass music heard, and thus all:Lo was born. Not long after forming the label, Marley Schwartz, aka TF Marz, reached out to the duo off a tip from his friend Hunter. Schwartz was looking for DJs to hop in on his curation series event, and Gallo and Williams both came out to perform. After that show, Schwartz instantly knew he wanted to work with the two DJs that would end up being his business partners at all:Lo Collective.
Thought Process, Scarien and Lousy Anna, quickly helped fill in the foundation of all:Lo Collective. Each artist brings their own unique take on lo-fi electronic music, as they each explore how they can work with and stand apart from their labelmates. This is best heard in the collective’s annual compilation series which showcases the work of the main roster of artists and others as they weave together their beats. The selected tracks are practically an antithesis of the loud bass music of Denver, with chill sensibilities that are arguably more befitting of the Mile High City.
The bread and butter of all:Lo Collective can be best seen in their live DJ sets. It is at these events that the core message of the group shines, and it is that their music is for all to enjoy. The collective harbors a space that is welcoming of people and invites them to listen to music of different backgrounds and genres that they may not be used to.
“It’s something that you can take your parents to you know,” explains Williams. “Anybody’s invited and anybody’s welcome. It doesn’t have to be somebody who’s just the introverted bass head that only wants to sit in front of a sound system. We want to play music that appeals to the sound system culture but with more soul and more feeling. We want to be more inviting for the majority of people in every age group.”
This open-door policy does not only apply to their lives shows. Williams encourages artists to reach out with their music to the collective and get to know the other members. He and the team are striving to build a community around their work that uplifts all those who want to participate. It is meant to be a force for good in Denver that creatives of all credence can get involved in.
Most importantly, all:Lo Collective recognizes that the beats that they spin, and are inspired by, come from oppressed communities. More specifically, they recognize that they owe much to the Black pioneers of techno in Detroit and hip-hop in New York City. This is why the collective wants to explore how they can give back to marginalized communities through an initiative dubbed “all love.” Schwartz envisions this as a nonprofit wing to their operations where the collective would partner with organizations in low-income communities to teach youth how to create electronic music. This is a project still in the making and one that the team truly wants to get right.
For those wanting to find a welcoming community of lo-fi, R&B, and Hip-Hop enthusiasts in Denver, then look no further than all:Lo Collective. This is a group of passionate music lovers who are soulfully creating eclectic and cutting-edge sounds for the bass world. They strive to be authentic to themselves and genuine to those who want to join their community. The building of that community is integral to the collective’s mission of uplifting Denver artists. all:Lo Collective welcomes all and is a solid starting point for any lovers of electronic music that want to get involved in the music scene but don’t know where to start.