Posh Josh is bringing electronic music to the people
Electronic music DJ Posh Josh is trying to better himself through his music. And, while he’s bettering himself, he’s hoping to motivate listeners to better themselves, too. It’s the purpose of “Connect,” the music series happening bimonthly at Animas City Theatre, with Posh Josh, aka Josh Rosenthal, at the helm, along with other local DJs, who will round out the lineup.
“When I play music, I connect with myself better, and when I connect with myself better, I can be the best Josh that I can be. I can be best service to my community, to myself and to my friends,” said Rosenthal. “It’s the elated feeling you get when you have that moment. ... I hit those moments, and I get that moment of elation, and all that’s going on, all the problems of the world, everything melts. What I love most is when I see that person that has that blissed-out look on their face. They’re looking within and connecting with themselves.”
As a kid in the ’80s, Josh was ingesting the new-wave, punk, and hip hop music of New York City. He also had jazz-playing parents who ultimately had a profound effect on him, as much as what was playing on the turntable, which could have been anything from Howard Jones to The-The.
“Having a mother and her husband that were jazz musicians turned me onto another thing. I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live, and they were inviting musicians over to jam with them,” said Rosenthal. “I’d be like ‘Hey, you guys, can we close the doors? SNL is on.’ And they said, ‘No, you’re going to love this.’ I said ‘No, this sounds like a bunch of weirdos playing funky music.’ And that’s exactly what it was. Now I have a love for jazz and the influences. I had this influence of pop sounds with the influence of my parents, and then hearing rap. When you come to one of my shows, you’re going to hear a little of everything.”
Rosenthal’s love of electronic music flourished in southwest Colorado. He was around when the old Abbey Theatre hosted the electronic music events known as “Down,” and was influenced by the sounds of Thievery Corporation and Mark Farina. And, despite his first DJ efforts sounding like “shoes in the dryer,” he stuck with the art form, and has attempted to remain as true to it as possible.
These days, Josh’s sound is funk-laden house music with regional performances and sets at festivals like Burning Man. What he’s trying to do is make a communal space where people can let their hair down with like-minded peers who are interested in building community through a music scene.
For a lot of people, the genres under the electronic music umbrella mean nothing. Deep house, techno, acid house, and so on can be confusing for someone not immersed in the art form. But that doesn’t matter. One thing about the electronic music scene is that it’s overtly positive and loaded with open-minded people.
“If I can create the event, or be the vehicle, or create an opportunity for more people to feel themselves more, then I’m winning,” said Rosenthal. “That’s the vibe I want to bring across through the music and through the event. I didn’t want it to be a meat market, I want this to be a place to meet some great people. It’s not an event that’s about getting totally hammered so you’re numb to your feelings. It’s an event to be conscious and be present.”
The next “Connect” will be Saturday at Animas City Theatre.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. firstname.lastname@example.org.