Ubahn Gives Hip Hop and EDM Fans a Fest of Their Own

Plus, David Wolfenberger returns, Freekbass kickstarts album and more

Nov 13, 2013 at 11:33 am
click to enlarge The Natives are one of the many local acts performing at this weekend's Ubahn Fest (Photo: Brian Glass)
The Natives are one of the many local acts performing at this weekend's Ubahn Fest (Photo: Brian Glass)

This Friday and Saturday, a new music festival will take place in Cincinnati’s (literal) underground, as the unique Ubahn Fest

makes its debut. The two-day music festival (its name a play on the German word for underground rapid transit systems) features a mix of Electronic music, DJs and Hip Hop artists, including many local and regional performers. Ubahn is a collaboration between the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, branding/“social intelligence” agency AGAR and Self Diploma , one of the leading independent event promoters in the region.

The Ubahn Fest is unique for its content — while Cincinnati has its share of music fests, this is a rare one that focuses on EDM and Hip Hop — as well as its locale. The fest is being held downtown at the vacant Riverfront Transit Center, beneath Second Street and running between the Bengals stadium and Broadway. The entrance is at 220 Central Ave., between Pete Rose Way and Third Street. 

A pair of marquee, internationally beloved acts are headlining Ubahn. Friday’s headliner A-Trak, one of the leading DJs/turntablists around, who has worked frequently with Kanye West, done production work and remixes for an array of artists, formed the popular duo Duck Sauce with Armand Van Helden, collaborated with the likes of Travis Barker, Jay-Z and Danny Brown and co-founded the esteemed Electronic/Hip Hop label, Fool’s Gold. A-Trak was featured on the cover of Billboard’s 2012 Dance music issue alongside Skrillex and Diplo.

Saturday’s headliner is singer/songwriter/producer Mike Posner, who has built a large following with his memorable brand of eclectic Electro Pop. Posner has also found success working with a wide range of artists — everyone from Big Sean and 2 Chainz to Justin Bieber and Big Time Rush — as a producer, songwriter and/or guest artist. Posner’s much anticipated new album, Pages, is due next year.

DJs, EDM and Hip Hop artists from across the region joining A-Trak for Friday’s festivities include DJ Davey C

, DJ Prism , The Animal Crackers , Trademark Aaron , Puck , Erik Barnum , The Natives , Sh3llz , Eazy El Loco , DJ Vizion , Panzer , Disco Joe , DJ Worldpeace , DJ Fursur and Briz-Rain . Saturday’s lineup is rounded out by local and regional acts like Cal Scruby , K.M.F. , CJ Townsend , Black Signal , Valley High , Buggs Tha Rocka , Santino Corleon , Those Guys , Big Cam , DJ Donkis , DJ Magnificent , DJ Drowsy , Sleep , Nuk , Nick Youngerman and PRJR .

Ubahn runs from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The fest is open to fans 18 and up. Single-day passes are $20 in advance; two-day passes are $30. Get your tickets at ubahnfest.com, where you can also find complete info on the festival. 

More Local Notes

• Singer/songwriter David Wolfenberger

hasn’t performed in the area in some time, but Wednesday the 1999 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards’ Artist of the Year comes out of hiding to join an old friend in concert. Wolfenberger is re-teaming with Mark Olson, half of the brain trust behind the best work of The Jayhawks, at Newport’s Southgate House Revival ( southgatehouse.com ). Wolfenberger toured with Olson in the ’00s as a member of The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, the group Olson formed with then-wife Victoria Williams after he left The Jayhawks. Wolfenberger opens the show at 8 p.m. and will also join Olson during his set. Tickets are $10 in advance through ticketfly.com .

• On Nov. 8 at the music blog at citybeat.com, we debuted the first video clip from September’s MidPoint Sessions

, a day party held during the MidPoint Music Festival at the Art Academy of Cincinnati that featured intimate performances from four Ohio acts. Put together by The Queen City Project , the first video features Athens’ Indie Folk ensemble The Ridges , who curated the lineup for the Sessions. Over the next three Fridays, visit the blog for premieres of the rest of the clips, which will spotlight the performances by Cincinnati’s The Happy Maladies and Molly Sullivan , as well as Columbus’ Indigo Wild .

• Cincinnati Funk singer/songwriter/virtuoso bassist Freekbass

is gearing up for a new album and he has taken to Kickstarter to help finance it. The project has already begun in Lexington, Ky., where Freekbass is striving to capture a warm, vintage album sound by recording everything live in the studio with Duane Lundy, who has worked with the likes of My Morning Jacket and Ben Sollee. The legendary Bootsy Collins returns as executive producer on the project, which has Razor Sharp Johnson (P-Funk, Bootsy’s Rubber Band) on keys and various special guests, including adventurous saxophonist Skerik. To donate to the project (and check out some of the cool donor perks, including, on the higher end, a personal concert or one of Freekbass’ signature basses) visit the Kickstarter.com page here . Here is the pitch video:

CONTACT MIKE BREEN : [email protected] , @CityBeatMusic or on Facebook here .