Since the dawn of Dubstep in Chicago, Smart Bar has been a leader, bringing artists to the club on Thursday nights and providing a place for the genre to thrive and grow. Distinguishing itself from its UK Garage and Grime predecessors, Dubstep tracks differ in style by a heavy emphasis on Sub-Bass and a distinct half-time structure. Although initially adopting the spacious minimal aspects of Dub Reggae, it now incorporates elements of many other genres, such as Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, Techno and Breaks. Dubstep DJs who have made their mark on Smart Bar crowds in the past several years have included Caspa, Skream, Benga, 16 Bit, Excision and Rusko. Now, due to the success of Thursday Dubstep nights, Smart Bar officially introduces two new Dubstep resident DJs for 2010 – Chris Widman and Phaded.

Chris Widman is a Chicago DJ that defies easy classification. Host of the weekly radio program Abstract Science since 1997 and a DJ since 1995, he is at the forefront of breaking new styles, crossing genres and re-introducing forgotten music. When DJing for the dancefloor, Widman practices his own form of crowd-pleasing sonic warfare: riding the razor’s edge between over-the-top and falling off the deep end. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Widman started DJing straight out of high-school drum line. After hearing the frenetic percussion and massive bass of Jungle music at a local hip hop party, he bought his first 12″- Shy Fx’s “Original Nuttah” – the next day and quickly expanded his scope to Chicago house, midwest techno, hip hop and acid jazz. Modeling his technique after the area’s cultural vanguards – DJs Joc Max and Ray Velasquez, who both emphasized musical programming, tight mixing and playing great music – Widman starting DJing (as DJ Quest) and throwing raves in Kansas City with schoolmate Henry Self. In 1997, at the University of Missouri, Widman and Self first broadcast Abstract Science on KCOU 88.1FM. With the help of Luke Stokes, the show moved to WLUW 88.7FM Chicago with the Abstract Science crew in tow – joined by support members Colin Harris and Kim Schlechter. Widman quickly established his first Chicago residency at SmartBar (Abstract Sessions, 2001-2003) and has gone on to DJ and promote countless events in the city, and perform across the United States and Europe. Over the years, Widman has DJed with a diverse cast of luminaries including dubstep heavyweights Benga, Caspa, Kode9 and Skream, among many others. Widman also records and performs live with Colin Harris as Quadratic. Since their first EP release in 2008, the long-simmering collaboration has impressed Chicago crowds with dynamic live performances. With a batch of new songs, honed on-stage opening for Rukso, Hudson Mohawke, Daedelus, King Cannibal, and Kode9, Quadratic are set to break new ground in 2010.

Chicago’s favorite Dub-Slinger, Victor Holloway (aka Phaded) is a front-line veteran of the exploding North American Dubstep Scene. A Computer Science major at UMC, Phaded started out as a DJ at local clubs in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri. Always the audiophile, a journey through his music collection could take you down a path starting at Hip Hop, with stops to pay homage to Jazz & Blues Standards and carrying along to the sounds of Classic Rock and Dub Reggae. Phaded eventually made his way to Chicago in 2003 and was introduced to Dubstep three years later after he listened to the legendary ‘Dubstep Wars’ podcast hosted by Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC Radio 1. With furthering the Dubstep sound in mind, Phaded took part in the development of two highly influential entities: and Subfix. Launched in May 2007 out of Seattle, is the brainchild of DopeLabs, providing a high-quality internet radio stream to showcase the sound. Coinciding with the station’s launch was the first broadcast of Phaded’s ‘The Dented Sessions’. The show has had guest appearances from artists such as DZ, King Cannibal, DopeLabs and Zeno, as well as Chicago mainstays Nameloc, DJ Solo, Chris Widman and Whoa-B. Now approaching its 3rd anniversary, has grown from its humble beginnings to an extended community of DJs and volunteers, with a listenership that spans the globe. Phaded’s other labor of love is the event that changed the way Chicago and the rest of the Midwest region embraced the sound: Subfix. Known until recently as Dubfix, these events, including many at Smart Bar, have provided a platform showcasing both pioneers of the genre and regional talent alike. Now in conjunction with Abstract Science, Subfix affiliated events continue to bring you the sounds of the most talented performers in the world

Phaded’s live sets are peppered with exclusive tracks direct from both artists and labels alike, with a long list of affiliations to established heavyweights including Badman Press, Betamorph Recordings, Savory Audio, Shift Records, and Filthy Digital. With an aggressive mixing style, top-notch track selection and a knack for knowing how to work the crowd, the quest to hone his skills in the mix is never ending. It is this drive that defines him both as a performer and behind-the-scenes player. With support from a cult-like following worldwide, Phaded will be delivering the music you’ve been waiting all your life to hear at SmartBar and beyond for years to come.

Come out and see our new Dubstep Resident DJs on the following Thursdays in May, and throughout the rest of the year on selected Thursday Dubstep nights:



Smart Bar is Chicago’s independent nightclub, celebrating over 25 years of showcasing new and exciting dance music and the most cutting edge DJ’s from around the globe. Smart Bar is located in the lower level of Metro, Chicago’s premier independent music venue, at 3730 North Clark Street. For more information call 773-549-0203 or visit <> .

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