One of the innovators behind Primary Nightclub, Primary Presents and the forthcoming Rituals Series, Derek Specs, took time out of his busy schedule to talk about his history in the Chicago music scene and what makes Rituals stand out above the rest.
The Dankles: Give us a brief description of your history in the Chicago music scene?
Derek Specs: I started attending raves in the mid 1990’s. In 1999 I got my first real job in the music business with Vince Lawrence of Slang Music Group as a graphic designer. From 2001-2003, I ran an Irish pub called Seanchai and turned it around into a underground club which hosted many icons of house and techno including Camjere, Paul Johnson, Dan Dell, Tax, Mystic Bill, Punisher and more. I sold my part of Seanchai and went on to work with Music 101 as one of there designers and promoters and learned a lot from Arman Rizavi and Joey Swanson. In 2005, I started producing underground shows with MIA drum n bass. In 2007, I was brought on to work with James Amato at Smartbar and then in 2008 I worked with Debonair Social club where I spent my next 4 years. After moving to California for a small period of time, I made my return to Chicago to build Primary Nightclub which opened on June 21st in 2012. Now that it is 2015, we are making our move into large venues where our Rituals Project will be held and by 2016 we have plans for a festival!
TD: Describe your vision for your Rituals project?
DS: Rituals are not your average events. Rituals are built to be an immersive experience, a right of passage and a building of a community. We hope to bring order to the chaos of a fractioned Chicago music scene with a brand new chain of events dedicated to the taste makers, the misfits, and those who’s curiosity is peaked by something new and exciting.
TD: What can we expect from Rituals?
DS: You can expect everyone dressed in wild masquerade attire, circus acts, interactive experiences, 360 degree video mapping, custom built sets around the venue and more surprises!
TD: When and where is the first show in the series and who will be playing?
DS: The journey begins November 7th as Primary presents brings Sharam and Robosonic to Chicago’s Portage Theater. Lose yourself in an interactive surrounding that engages all five senses to transport you to another time. The event kicks off at 9pm with curated beats by Chicago’s RJ Pickens and Augie De Larosa.