Spotlight – Osby Still Keeping It Underground
Osby James Robles
“I’m a big dork who Loves music, dancing, reading books, writing, sewing, making art, being creative, people watching, sewing, drinking coffee, traveling (when I have the money to), taking pictures, collecting tin containers, & well, hangin’ out with mondo yummy people too :n)” – Osby’s Facebook
Undergrounds has been his root and will continue on!!!
While many of us 90’s rave/underground partiers have closed that chapter, there are those who still enjoys it. A Bay Area native, undergrounds have been his passion for 20 years with no holds bar on the Ghost Ship tragedy. Let’s get to know Osby James Robles
(In Osby’s world the word ‘mondo’ means ‘hella’)
As a 20+ year veteran, when and what was your first party?
Back in ‘95, the 1st rave I ever went to, I saw Robin S. performed “Show Me Love” and some of her other songs live in person and totally right in front of me on this tiny stage in front of the DJ booth. When she opened for Frankie Bones in SF at one of the warehouse piers, like not too far from Pier 39 towards the Bay Bridge (later, that same warehouse was used to film scenes in the movie “Groove”).
Who introduced you?
I went with my friend Katya to this rave that her friend from DVC threw and paid off the SFPD to
not get busted. I met Scott Hardkiss that night. He and I were like in the DJ booth during Frankie‘s set for a while talking about music.
What was memorable from that night?
The whole night was fucking memorable as fuck! There’s nothing I don’t remember. From dancing on both dance floors, meeting mondo people, seeing the most awesome costumes like how this one dude who wore painted foam blocks on his shoes and was like almost 10 feet tall which he didn’t fall the whole time. I do remember leaving around like 4 AM with a big ass smile on my face!! Oh yeah. That night I talked to Frankie for like a half hour after his set and told him how inspiring he was!! I knew about him prior because he used to produce freestyle tunes on Cutting Records and did mondo collaboration freestyle tunes with Omar Santana.
You mentioned big events (massive, festival) aren’t you thing. Did you have a bad experience or are there other reasons? Have you been to at least one massive? if so, how was that experience?
I’ve only done two massive ever well. The one Ducky threw in City Hall in 2002 and Slammin’ Vinyl in the UK in 2005. The UK thing was like hella way more mondo massive man. I’m just down for smaller shindig man… don’t like big parties, otherwise I’d just go clubbing.
Since your party days from the early 90’s till today, how do you see the state of rave/edm scene now? the good? the bad?
The ‘old skool’ family underground crews, we still do the same things we always do, so that ain’t changed. But mondo newbies, at the time, who went to our shindigs, got ideas, got the itch, became promoters themselves, and threw their version of undergrounds based on how we threw them. So yeah, through the years they got mondo different. I mean different promoters do their shindigs their ways, so it is what it is.
On the recent Ghost Ship fire tragedy in Oakland, did you know anyone personally who lost their lives? What do you hope we can learn from this turn of event?
Yeah! I knew Chel-C, Igaz, Mandy and Travis. The only thing to learn from this, is that venue managers and promoters aren’t suppose to be like mondo stupid.. straight up.. lol.. that’s all I gotta say about that man.. lol.. sorry.. but yeah.. that’s all I gotta fuckin’ say about that shit man.
(CLICK HERE for complete list of victim)
Sorry to hear that you knew people who lost their lives. I hope we never see this again. Last but not least, is there anything you want to get off you chest for the world to know?
What happened at Ghost Ship is a mondo isolated incident and the result of irresponsible people. I mondo don’t want their fucking stupid action to like mondo reflect on years of what me and others have built as our haven.