With how thoroughly commodified electronic music has become in recent years, it’s great to stumble upon a track that cuts through the white noise and reminds you what this whole thing is about. Today, We Got This Covered is privileged to bring you a special kind of song debut. Denver-based DJ/producer Joman has offered up “Beneath a Neon Sky” as tribute to Digger Denny, a fixture of the Denver nightlife community who recently passed away.
An outspoken DJ, producer and promoter who left a lasting mark on the scene of the Centennial State, Denny committed suicide on July 12th. Among the public outpour that has followed his passing – which included Above & Beyond paying their own respects during their set at this year’s Global Dance Festival – was this track, which Joman premiered alongside fellow local artist Xenology during their back-to-back set at Beta Nightclub in Denver on the 15th of this month.
An infectious lead melody and radio-ready top line (with vocals by Joman himself) set a tone of celebratory longing in “Beneath a Neon Sky” while reverberant sawtooth synths at each drop make the track as danceable as it is cerebral. At the second bridge, a tasteful transition into electro breaks makes for a subtle nod to Denny’s genre of choice that those familiar with his style will pick up on.
In regards to his creative process on the song and video, Joman explains:
Well, I wanted to make something ravey, something I could play at big shows as a tribute to him. I wanted it to sound like something you’d hear at Global, hence using footage of Global Dance Festival in the video because I know how much it meant to him – especially the year he got to play one of the stages and of course because of the tribute that Above & Beyond did for him on the Rocks shortly after his death, which is also included in the video.
The lyrics themselves are both a response to his critics and a description of the friendships that have been forged in stone since we lost him but I think they have a universal appeal to anyone who loves this scene and the music as well. The news, our parents and others often see only the negative in all of this and I wanted to address the positive: the community, the camaraderie and the love.
While he originally intended to shop “Beneath a Neon Sky” out to labels and co-ordinate a remix series with Denny’s close producer friends, Joman says that he ultimately decided against trying to profit off the track and opted to release it as a free download alongside an extended DJ mix and stems. “That way, anyone who wants to remix it can do so, including his friends,” he says.
We Got This Covered expresses our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Digger Denny. We urge anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and anyone concerned about a friend or loved one to reach out to that person directly for support.