The creation of Hypersonic officially came in the fall on 1994, but in reality the influence of its members reach all the way back to 1988. That’s when 2 friends decided to spend the summer on Guilford College’s radio station playing records with a little different feel than the usual college rock and alternative programming. Randy Salmon and Chris Rich set about introducing North Carolina to the sounds of techno pop, electro, house, new-beat, industrial and rave music. They began going to a small independent store called Spins to special order rave records from England and Belgium, and introduced the owner to rave music. He would later become a big advocate of the sounds being played by Randy and Chris, and founded the highly successful and influential First Friday series at Club Babylon.
After sowing the seeds of rave in Greensboro, these friends decided to pursue music at a professional level and left North Carolina for Atlanta, GA and the Music Business Institute. While here, Randy earned his degree in Music Business Management and learned the intricacies of producing music and concerts. Already heavily involved in the NC rave scene, he learned of the booming progressive scene in Orlando, FL from classmate Chris Krause. He introduced us to the legendary Aahz parties thrown by Kimball Collins at The Beacham Theater, and the Infonet raves at the convention center. This is where our love of concert-style events for dance music evolved. Chris would soon depart school to move to N. Carolina to spin and throw events as Strawberry NEK.
Through mutual friends in Strawberry NEK and acquaintances in Florida Randy met Damian Murphy and Kevin Bazell aka DJ Kazell. These two would become Liquid Groove and Liquified a couple years later. They were living in Charlotte, NC after producing and playing at a series of immensely successful events in Orlando and Miami. They were interested in coming to Atlanta and promoting shows, so they reached out to Randy. Chris and Randy worked with them to begin what has become Atlanta’s most successful EDM promotion group. Not content to settle with conquering and dominating the Southeast, they have now taken Los Angeles by storm the last 10 years. Kazell routinely tours the world with John Digweed, and his music production skills are in wide demand throughout the tech-house world. The Liquified events at the Mayan Theater in LA became so legendary; John Digweed even recorded and released his Global Underground Mix cd based on his nights there. As a fun side note, see if you can find Randy’s name in the liner notes of that cd!
In 1994, Randy returned home with the ambition to bring high quality electronic dance music events to N. Carolina. Armed with a notebook of contacts gained from extensive travel and networking throughout the East Coast during his college years, he founded the now infamous Hypersonic Productions. His intent was to the concert experience to the dance music scene, and to introduce new acts and phenomenal talent from all across America to a hungry Carolina audience. He began by utilizing Greensboro’s largest and craziest venue, Club Zero. Since the club did a booming business until 2am with the college drinking crowd, the only time available was after that. So along with Liquid Groove, aka Liquified, he began the Late Night Underground series that ran from 3am to 11am. The first event featured the first North Carolina appearance of West Coast house legend Doc Martin. The second showcased the progressive house pioneer John Digweed, also his first NC event. From there on out, many firsts and many insane parties followed.
As the crowds grew, so did Hypersonic. A couple years earlier, when Randy was DJ’ing a party in Columbia, SC, he met another long-haired hardcore techno and heavy metal loving kid named Hugh Nesbitt. A chance meeting in Greensboro, followed by many nights around the turntables convinced Randy that Hugh was one of the most talented DJs he had ever seen, and he had seen all greats. Hugh began experimenting with 3 turntable sets, and soon was on par with such talents as Doc Martin, Sneak and Carl Cox. DJ Hue became the second member of Hypersonic. He is a classically trained musician, who plays keyboards, guitar and horns among other instruments. His musical talent led to the formation of Hypersonic as a band along with Randy. Several very popular tracks came from this duo over the years. Their live performances with racks of synthesizers, tables full of drum machines and the ubiquitous Roland TB-303 were action packed and a hit with the massive crowds of thousands for which they played.
In the course of promoting shows over the next year, they met and befriended Daniel Linton. He was tireless in helping promote these early shows and became the third member of Hypersonic. He had a background as a drummer and played in several local indie and punk bands around Greensboro. As he began to experiment with turntables and electronic dance music, it became clear that he had an immense natural talent. He gravitated toward the Drum and Bass sound, and with the help and training of Randy and Hugh became the best D&B Dj in the Southeast. Years later he would move to Los Angeles where he combined his love of indie music and DJ’ing to form the well known indie-electro duo LA Riots. He now plays the worldwide festival circuit and travels the globe alongside such artists as Mstrkrft, Crystal Method and Tiesto.
As the Late Night Underground events became more and more popular, people from several states from all around the Mid-Atlantic region began to travel to NC for these dynamic shows. Soon even the largest club in town was getting too small for the throngs of ravers descending on Greensboro in the middle of the night. Needing a bigger venue to bring the music he loved to an ever growing audience, he came upon The Millennium Center. In another life, it served as a post office, jail, court and government office complex. It had been turned into an event center, but was rarely used due to the desolation and despair that existed in the withering downtown district of Winston-Salem. This massive venue was the perfect spot to expand from club-based events into the concert style shows he first saw in Orlando. It was also the perfect place to showcase the live show of Rabbit in the Moon. This Tampa band was known for the mind-bending music of Dave Christophere and the eye-popping performance art of Bunny. These Florida favorites had never played North Carolina, and Randy knew they were the perfect fit to begin a series of events that would go Beyond typical club shows.
And so it began…
Read more about the Beyond events here.