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Published: 2005/06/30
by Chris Clark

Conspirator, Cervantes-Denver, CO, Fox Theatre-Boulder, CO- 6/20 &21

With the future of The Disco Biscuits still uncertain and their persistent desire to play and make music still strong, Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein returned with Conspirator. Along with Final Phase's DJ Omen and very special guest Jon "The Barber" Gutwillig, the four hit Colorado for a two-night stand of dark psychedelic trance.

As soon as Aron, Marc and Omen hit the stage it was on. Performing to a crowd of Biscuits regulars, electronica fans and Boulderites alike, Conspirator opened full throttle and never let up. There was no paradigm, no definitive structure. Instead they would just meld trance, drum n’ bass and techno together to create a sound much akin to European trance DJ Hallucinogen. While some of the characteristics of a typical Biscuit show were in place-namely Brownstein’s ferocious head-bobbing and Magner’s extensive utilization of synthesizers-these shows were much more focused on the pure electronic side of sound. Omen’s drum tracks and beats, although at times a bit off, offered a solid foundation for Magner to delve into his boards, at times with a1980’s, Mr. Roboto electronica sound. The only relatively disappointing part of the evening would have to be Barber’s playing. Yes, my expectations of him are awfully high, but he just didn’t deliver a poignant effort. It just didn’t feel like he was comfortable, even during the set closing rendition of the Biscuits’ "Rock Candy." But it was still an impressive performance and a great way to spend a Sunday night in Denver.

Monday night’s show at The Fox Theatre was a taste of the night before but it showcased more improvisation and a couple more Biscuit gems. Playing for a nearly-packed house on The Hill, Conspirator continued on the vibe set the previous night. They took it deeper, venturing into chaotic adventures of thumping bass, funky synths and chest pumping drum tracks. Barber added nice touches throughout the night, but the real highlight was witnessing Brownstein and Magner’s unwavering connection on stage. As they did at Cervantes, Conspirator treated their audience to a couple choice cuts from The Disco Biscuits live repertoire. Ending the set with a surprisingly well-oiled "42">"Caterpillar" had the walls inside The Fox bursting with life as the crowd of several hundred sang along with the Bisco boys and swayed to Magner’s swirling keys. All else said, this was a fitting way to conclude a great two night run.

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