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It’s difficult to describe Cary Nokey with the language ofcontemporary music. Cary Nokey isn’t so much a band as amusical collective, a rave-esque rotation whereinthe only constant is the electricity each member sparks.Born out of late nights in karaoke bars, Cary Nokey is thespace where high intensity electronic dance musicintersects with emotionally-charged rock, a hybrid of grit andglam. “I think of it as if Kurt Cobain had been a DJ,” says theman at the center of the collective, the multi-hyphenatemusical ringleader 8bit.T he idea to restructure the musical experience came to 8bit(named for a type of distortion, a production effect thatwarms a sound by lowering its fidelity) a short time into CaryNokey’s musical life. Making music shouldn’t have a format.Instead, why not reimagine Cary Nokey as a platform,featuring carefully curated acts rotating for however long,governed only by what makes sense for the music; think of itas karoake of Cary Nokey music.“With Cary Nokey, you’renever going to get one thing.”There is a core to Cary Nokey, however, whichencompasses 8bit and DJ ValNtino. Introduced at ascreening for Twilight years ago, 8bit and ValNtino made animmediate connection, each recognizing a musically-mindedtwin in the other. Burnished by the EDM scene, ValNtinointroduced that ethos into 8bit’s production.“Now we do a set that’s so high energy, it’s a whole otherworld. It never comes down.”Above all, 8bit feels the current musical landscape issuffering from a condition, and Cary Nokey can treat it. It’snot so much that Cary Nokey is anti-radio,but pro-experience, and what’s on offer for audiences todaypales in comparison to the exploration and creativity presentin the ‘70s and ‘80s. To truly move someone,be it bodily or emotionally, is Cary Nokey’s only goal. “You’regoing to want to do something to it,” says 8bit. “You mightwant to do a line. You’re going to want to dance. You mightwant to fall in love.”
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