In a city partial to its indie rock, Jamie Minotti is striving for balance.
“A year ago, there was no way [Toronto-based progressive/electro/house DJ] Deadmau5 would be in local alt weeklies,” Minotti says. “It would always be some indie band from Brooklyn. In San Diego, electronic music is such a young scene. It’s great to see it developing.”
Minotti’s talent management agency, the Madero Group, has found a niche with up-and-coming electronic-music artists and derives its name from a saying Minotti heard from his grandfather many times as a child.
“My grandpa Orlando Corenti was a classic Sicilian,” says Minotti, a Connecticut native with a background in psychology and teaching who has been in San Diego for 12 years. “He loved to eat and drink a lot, but he would always say, ‘Everything in moderation. Don’t drink too much or eat too much.’”
“Madero” is a word Minotti made up, derived from the Italian word for “moderation,” to exemplify what the 37-year-old manager would like to see in San Diego’s music taste.
“Nothing against it, but the reality is that San Diego is hung up on skinny-jeans indie rock. We’re fighting an uphill battle here. On a national level, other music is so much larger than what’s going on in San Diego. But we are so passionate about San Diego, we want to see it grow here. There’s so much going on that kids here are just getting hip to.”
Two years ago, ready to help the kids get hep up to national trends, Minotti cofounded the monthly Ocean Beats events to provide a venue for his artists and similar musicians who’d had a hard time finding places to perform in San Diego.
“Besides the Kava Lounge and Spin Nightclub, there were no venues for future bass crossover artists,” Minotti says. “So I teamed up with SUBLMNL Sound System (Austin Speed and CRMNL) and started Ocean Beats at Winstons, traditionally a hippie venue, to feature some of the hottest, unique, and most cutting-edge upcoming electronic artists.”
Ocean Beats has since held shows at Belly Up, Ruby Room, and the Del Mar Marriot, showcasing experimental, hip-hop, house, future bass, and everything in between from well-known out-of-town artists such as Ana Sia, BoomBox, Joe Nice, BusDriver, Eliot Lipp, Freq Nasty and Kraddy, and locals such as Addiquit, Inspired Flight, and Vokab Company.
Minotti cut his teeth in management with Delta Nove from Long Beach and Alfred Howard (The Heavy Guilt) & the K23 Orchestra six years ago while running a foundation that raised money for social programs and working as a tour manager on the side.
In October of 2005, Minotti teamed up with Who Is Guy Grand Productions, a company throwing theatrical concert events in the Bay area, which produced Xingolati, a festival on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship which traveled from Los Angeles to Ensenada featuring performances by the Flaming Lips, G Love and Special Sauce, Medeski Martin and Wood, among several electronic artists.
“It was insane,” Minotti recalls. “Instead of going to a festival, you were in it. Everyone on the ship was part of making it what it was. The idea was to bring electronic music, burners, circus, and rock together. Other festivals would target specific genres, but now Coachella looks like Burning Man. Xingolati helped kick off that initiative.”
These days, Minotti shares a Point Loma office space with Who Is Guy Grand Productions and Sustainable Waves, a production company that provides solar and sustainably powered sound systems for festivals such as Street Scene, Treasure Island, Outside Lands, and the New Belgium Tour de Fat.
“Electronic music is popping off right now. Many people don’t realize how many genres there are, from future bass to dubstep to glitch-hop to wobble.
“San Diego is awakening to accepting different scenes that are already going off on a national level. San Diego really does want good, hip shit.”
Ocean Beats will be hosting an uptown edition at the Ruby Room on December 9 with electro-heavyweights ill.Gates, R/D, DJ Pound, Roric, and Austin Speed.