In Memoriam: Micah Danemayer

Diego Aguilar-Canabal
Monday, December 12, 2016

Micah Danemayer, 28, channeled a life force that even death could not extinguish. Indeed, the Ghost Ship tragedy that claimed his terrestrial existence along with 35 others seems to only have brought me closer to the community Micah himself introduced me to, just a few years ago.

Micah was one of the first people to introduce themselves to me after I moved to the East Bay in 2014 and started attending local concerts. Between acts at the closing party for Downtown Oakland’s Moco Gallery, Micah simply passed me his bottle of bourbon and started talking to me about music, as though we’d known each other for decades. The feeling persisted, even after his passing, when he appeared to me in a dream this weekend.

“Micah,” I said, “there are tributes to you all over town. So many good shows—I wish you could be there, man!”

Micah smiled and responded in his habitually cheeky way, sticking his tongue out and flashing the devil-horns hand gesture, shouting slayyy it duder! I woke from my dream with the image of him smiling and winking, very much in the style of his idol, David Bowie.

At the Ghost Ship, Micah was manning the projector during various performances, conjuring masterful avant-garde splashes of light and color under the moniker Visual Aids, just as he had been last year, during my only visit to the ill-fated venue. I feel immensely fortunate to have experienced his multisensory art firsthand.

It’s impossible to overstate what a pillar Micah was in the local arts community. Last performing under the name Paralycyst, he combined a penchant for densely-textured industrial sounds with an unabashed love of pure, decadent acid techno. Red Cellar, his new duo with another local techno master Regretamine, was slated to make its live debut next month at Obscura Machina, Micah’s monthly series of curated “micro-rave” concerts. The show will go on in his honor.

Micah’s personal warmth and open heart brought him to introduce me to many other heroes in the Bay Area’s incendiary techno scene including Countervulture, Type B, Forbidden Colors, Heartworm, HOM, 404 Not Found, and Bonus Beast, to name but a few.

He was the glue that held us together and continues to inspire us. We love you, Micah.