The vibe was undeniably palpable. It was old friends reconnecting, new friends introducing. Save for a short but refreshing rainfall soon after the event started, the weather for the Knew Conscious Gallery’s Ascension experience couldn’t have been more perfect.
More than mere music on the street. More still than the artwork it celebrated, Ascension brought together a synergy of Denver’s most-respected visual artists and musicians for a free-to-the-public celebration of life.
The ever-impressive DJ Russo kicked off the event’s first hour, throwing down beats the 2700 block of Larimer had never before experienced live and on the street. Following Russo were three internationally-renowned composers – The Great Mundane, Akara, and KiloWatts – each delivering a new and unique ambience to the growing crowd excitement.
The Great Mundane’s hip-hop and electro/house continued the evening with an impressive set that was designed to, in his words, “fall in love with a tree, travel through a wormhole, or to never be bored again.”
Boredom was absolutely not in the cards as he handed the reins to Akara. Classically trained but extradimensionally inspired, this duo sent out haunting and yet powerfully luminous vibrations to the collected masses. Unperturbed by some brief rainfall, the pair provided audio accompaniment to the full and double rainbow that was the storm’s gift to the show. That rainbow’s terminus dropped directly onto Knew Conscious’ ridiculously well-designed stage, reinforcing the crowd’s shared realization that “here is the place to be.”
A short interlude followed, with Knew Conscious artist and Ascension executive producer Kurt Redeker personally thanking those in attendance. He spent but a minute reminding everyone of the power in community and how the vibrations of life are the ties that bind good people together.
KiloWatts then stepped on stage to deliver over an hour of extraterrestrial melodies and cybernetic compositions that lulled the crowed with all the right vibrations. Watts brought incredible emotion to the crowd, absolutely validating that in his words, “whether expressing the warmth of the heart through lush chords and melodies, or engaging extraterrestrial aliens through twisted granular tractor-beams, James Watts is committed to sharing music with the world, and beyond.”
Ascension’s headliner, Octopus Nebula, was undoubtedly the crowd favorite. Filling the block to near capacity, the O-Neb foursome hit the ground running with an extended set of textured psychedelic grooves. This band keeps on impressing, as they did late into the night, closing out Ascension and preparing those remaining for the after-show right next door sponsored by The Meadowlark.
Music wasn’t the only reason for Ascension, nor was it the primary reason either. Ascension is and was a celebration of visionary artwork as well. Sponsored by the Knew Conscious Gallery at 2700 Walnut Street, Ascension was an aural and visual testament to the almost virally-growing interest in interdisciplinary contemporary art. The event showcased pieces by several artists including the galleries owner Kurt Redeker himself, many with the added framing artwork of Kind Framing’s Dan Bishop.
An artist meet-and-greet was held in the Gallery as well, showcasing art and artist for an impressive range of Denver’s notables: David Hale, Kris Davidson, CT Nelson, Martin Stensaas, Krystleyes, Reuben Rude, Amanda Sage, Jeff Wood, Jud Turner, Erin Asmussen, John Haley III, Grant Standard, Hilal Hibri, Kati Hibri, David Richardson, Tracy Tomko, Justin Totemical, Michael Gallegos, Jon Lamb, Michael Ortiz, Max Kauffman, and Talia Sandoval.
For aficionados of the artwork who couldn’t make the event, the Knew Conscious Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and by appointment on Saturdays and Sundays. The Gallery generally holds events corresponding with First Friday and Second Saturday each month. For more information, contact the Gallery Director Leah Brenner at 720.352.8194.