House and Techno music lie at the core of Jeff Henderson’s creative rebirth. Although he found it to be his calling later in life, the now Tampa based DJ and producer quickly established himself as a connoisseur of underground dance music in Denver, CO; a city brimming with both talent and aficionados.
His tendency towards the dark and dissonant speaks to a deeper understanding of the underground aesthetic. This hasn’t been lost on his peers, either. In 2016 he was added as a resident DJ of Fiat LuXx’s INTIMäT event concept series. And in 2017 Jeff was bestowed with the honor of becoming a resident DJ of The Underground Denver. This highly esteemed crew includes some of Denver’s most talented and respected maestros, and, runs Denver longest running midweek Techno night at Milk Bar every Thursday. Over the past few years Jeff has become a fixture of the Mile High City’s vibrant nightlife scene.
Henderson’s rapid learning curve comes as less of a surprise when you take into account his almost four decades of musical experience. Born and raised south of Chicago, he started playing drums at the age of nine and began playing in bands as a teenager. In the ’90s he formed a hardcore band called Buddha Knievil, and they released a self-titled album through Urban Legends Records in 1996.
By the turn of millennium, however, artists like The Crystal Method had turned him on to electronic music. In the mid ought’s he began experimenting with music production, and the soundscapes he’s made in the time since serve as stylistic mile markers charting the course of his journey.
Tracks like “Night Drive” and “Marianas Trench” arose from Henderson’s downtempo/chillout phase, but he became deeply involved in Denver’s underground dance music scene in 2012. Songs from this period such as “DadeDreamer” and “House” exhibit markedly more house music influence – and by the time he unveiled “Not Obligated” he had identified techno as the sound with which he resonated the most.
Perhaps no other single defines his signature sound quite like the recently released “Smelter” on JourneyDeep Records. The single’s gloomy bass line and artfully placed hi-hats demonstrate how effectively his background as a hard rock drummer translates into the sterile sensibility of minimal techno.
In 2016, Henderson hit the ground running as a selector. After performing at a handful of private events held at Denver after hours venue EKŌ HOUSE, he played his first official gig at Aaron Schumacher’s So Techno warehouse party at the same location. In the months to follow, he added underground events like High and Dry, Milkshakes and Shakeweights, Together at 9,000 Feet and Holy Cow to the list. In 2017, he ventured all way to Miami Music Week to perform at the nightclub Fat Tuesday and played multiple warehouse parties and club events. In 2018 Jeff continued to play out often at all the usual places around Denver, but also added Beta Nightclub to the list of venues he’s played at, opening for techno legend Christian Smith at a Mahesh Presents Proper Sunday’s show.
Considering Henderson’s unique vantage point in the electronic music community, it’s appropriate that he strongly believes in making music for the sake of music. He speculates that he’s gravitated towards techno because it’s relatively free of the empty icon worship of other subsets of popculture. Whether because of this philosophy or for his extensive musical background, his dedication to sound itself is becoming of a modern DJ and producer.
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