The music library

While you do the research, Dade Elderon — a.k.a. Adeptus — is making tracks

"What I like most in music is contrast, and freestyle pairs aggressive drums with sweet-sounding melodies."

MUSIC "They wanna give you it all at the library."

Dade Elderon's come up with a perfect promotional catchphrase for the SF Public Library's Main Branch. We're IMing about the library, where he sets up his gear and writes and records songs on a 9-to-5 schedule. "One part of the library is a very high-tech, clean learning environment. It's a temple. Then you go down to the [first-floor] bathroom and it's like a dirty, filthy circus. There is a lot going on in that bathroom. Every stall is a different challenge."

A few days later, I meet Elderon on the library's fourth floor. As is his practice, he's reserved one of the private rooms and has set up his equipment, most notably a Korg Electribe EMX-1 and ESX-1. "This is what I bring to the library — I have a [Roland] TR-606 and other gear at home and at a friend's house," he says, handing me a spare pair of headphones. "I use this [the ESX-1] strictly as a drum machine, and load up different sounds depending on what kind of song I want to make. I program the melodies on the EMX-1 because if you run too many parts at once on the ESX-1, it will make the sound muddy."

For the next half-hour, Elderon — long bangs spilling out from the right side of his SF Giants cap — gives me a brief tutorial, explaining polycyclic wave forms, saw waves, and different hi-hats while running through a variety of sounds, from hip-hop to trance to freestyle. Sitting with him, I can see how the room, with its soundproof clear glass and stylish card-catalog wallpaper, is an ideal readymade recording studio. "I really like the tables and the glass setup," Elderon says. "It's peaceful. Sometimes people will stand outside with a 'What are you doing?' look on their faces, but I just ignore it. I don't know what people might think these things [the Electribes] are — some people are suspicious of them, maybe."

Contrary to a paranoiac's sense of appearance, Elderon isn't working with explosives, though he is hoping some of his projects will blow up. Party Effects, the Oakland techno bass crew he helped figurehead, has disbanded, and these days he's working with a number of different recording artists. "This is a track I'm making with Dz MC's, a Brazilian freestyle singer," he says, as a percolating, skittering melody dances around a haunted-sounding female vocal.

Along with Dz MC's, who has a following in Brazil, Elderon has been making tracks with aspiring Stateside singers such as Gloria Hernandez, a local vocalist whose voice possesses freestyle-ready sass and snap, and Nikki Marx, whose sexy photos and real-life story have intrigued Elderon and his roommate and former Party Effects partner, Alexis Penney. "She's German, lives in New York City, and works on Wall Street as a day trader," Elderon explains, as we look at some of Marx's provocative photos. "Alexis is obsessed with her, and we can't figure her out."

At the moment, Elderon is also in the early stages of some remix projects for 679 Artists, a Warner Music Group label based in London that represents Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds, and Streets. Along with his other roommate, Myles Cooper, he's also contributing a track to an upcoming album by H.U.N.X., the "gayest music ever" electropop side project of Hunx and His Punx's Seth Bogart. "I guess Myles's idea is to make the most annoying song anyone has ever made, and I think he's doing it," Elderon says appreciatively. "Seth and I are making a gay freestyle song. He wants it to be over the top. I sampled him making a bunch of sex noises, and I'm going to sprinkle them throughout the track."

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