Chicago EDM Djs reach into DeKalb’s cookie jar

By Carl Nadig

Halloween celebrations continued into November with electronic dance music DJs Milk N Cookies leading the way.

EDM was featured Saturday at Rosy’s Roadhouse, 930 Pappas Drive. Alumnus Alex Bentley opened the night under the stage name STATUT3.

Bentley performed with Xonic and J.Worra Oct. 11 at Rosy’s. Bentley said both DJs influenced him and helped him grow as a music producer.

Although he started producing music less than a year ago, Bentley was signed as Rosy’s first resident DJ and will open for future headliners at the venue.

Bentley’s opening act, compared to the main attraction of Milk N Cookies, was subtle.

“I didn’t want to go too hard on my music, just to make sure there was enough room for [Milk N Cookies] to go through the night,” Bentley said. “You always kind of want to stay calm in the beginning of the night. You don’t want to go full rage mode.”

Bentley incorporated an angry combination of electronic trumpets and pounding drum beats that sounded like Ping-Pong played with magnets.

The sound waves under Bentley’s musical arsenal were reminiscent of listening to sizzling cable cords after playing a computer game for too long.

Some of the samples Bentley included were Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” and Pretty Lights’ “Finally Moving.”

When brothers James and Paul McElwain of Milk N Cookies took the stage, the show was already into Sunday morning. Milk N Cookies incorporated a playlist of buzzy drop-hop and raging bro-mash for a crowd dressed in their Halloween costumes.

“We started DJ-ing five years ago and producing three years ago,” James McElwain said. “We’d like to believe our stuff is kind of original…If you could smell our music, primarily, it would smell like Armani Code cologne and, alternatively, corn chowder.”

The 23-year-old DJ/producer duo, much like the relationship between the two members in Daft Punk, was aesthetically gratifying in its auditory presentation as much as with its visuals.

“The relationship is interesting,” Paul McElwain said. “We fight a lot. It’s funny, you know … if a friend asked us to fill up a glass of water for them, we’d be like ‘Yeah, for sure, dude!’ And if one of us asked each other to fill up a glass of water, it’s like, ‘You’re a piece of s—!’

“But, we work well because we’re twins. [James] taught me how to DJ and how to produce music … as long as we’re fighting, we’re on the right track.”