Rusko Drowns LA in Ocean of Bass
All photos by Staticka, who rocks.
This morning I feel like I was struck by lightening. I feel like the cells of my body have been injected with electricity and are all dancing inside of me with their arms in the air screaming “yeah!” My heart was still racing last night when I arrived home, over an hour after I had walked off the dance floor. I was 100% straight-edge sober. But I was high as fuck.
Walking up to the ticket table outside of Lot 613 in downtown LA last night, people were already yelling, “What did you say?!?” from thirty feet outside the venue’s closed doors, the booming waves of bass flowing out into the night like a typhoon. Just while I was waiting to go in, no less than ten people came out to get the free earplugs (mad props to the promoters on that one). I knew it was going to be a good night.
Like always, I headed right down front. The sound from the Funktion One sound system was REDONKULOUS. Destructo was up having a hell of a time throwing beats, just lovin’ it, as was the following DJ Skeet Skeet, mixing up everything from Deadmau5 to a chick version of One (The Loneliest Number). The dance floor was heaving like a minor drinking Everclear.
I have a few words of advice for my fellow dancers at the front of the floor: Ladies, you don’t have try and be sexy when you dance. Dancing IS sexy. Humping the stage and giving a Tootsie Pop a blowjob while you slither around puts you in the giant group of LA club kids who are trying too hard. In the words of a master: “Do or do not; there is no try.”
And guys guess what? I may be a tiny little blond thing, but do NOT try and push me out of the way on the dance floor. I am a mountain. A bouncing, twisting, dancing mountain. I earn my place at the front of the room on a nightly basis and no jerkface standstill is going to elbow me behind him. I create and keep my dancing space and I do it with a smile.
Here’s a quick tip for everybody: don’t set your FUCK-ing drinks on the shaking table where all of Rusko’s equipment is set up; his laptop, his keyboard, and his boxes full of knobs. Are you fucking stupid? Go suck off a Blow Pop, please. At the back of the room.
Thankfully they had some security up front; I was actually a bit worried at first about the proximity of Rusko’s setup to the dozens of drunk, air-spanking hands, but a suited bouncer was sent to stand and protect. I wedged in between him and a giant speaker, two unmovable blocks which gave me a sweet little space to dance in for the night.
As Skeet Skeet is playing I see Rusko start moving his way through the crowd to get down front. People are elbowing him, pushing. They don’t recognize their headliner. I do; he’s a fairly tall guy and besides that he was rockin’ a multicolored fluorescent jacket and a red plaid cap on top of his proto-mullet. He made it to the front and hopped on stage.
Madness. The density at the front of the dance floor doubled almost immediately. My small space got even smaller. My knees are bruised and bloody this morning from repeatedly hitting them on the edge of the stage which fell right at knee-level for me. I had another new experience last night, and my third dance-related injury of the week: I was dancing so hard that I bashed my head into the speaker. For real. There is only one thing you can do after that happens: laugh at your dumbass self and keep dancing.
Rusko performed live. Live in a tee shirt that said, “Yes I Am and No, You Can’t.” When I saw him at the Roxy he was on crippled equipment and he STILL killed. But this show, with the sound and the MC and the bass guitar was no comparison. And besides, dubstep just sounds better in a warehousey venue in gritty downtown LA than at a cha cha club in Hollywood. It tastes better.
Rusko would jump on the bass guitar off and on to further bassify his music because there obviously wasn’t enough. At one point of his set he just turned down the bass as low as it would go, testing the speakers’ limits and drenching us all in the sweet sound of the low end. I love to hear producers playing out their own tracks; Rusko played new stuff, he mixed old stuff, he tweaked every track I love and he sweated his face off. For the first bit of his set, the massive bass vibrations kept bumping off his system, his laptop. Dancers in the crowd offered up their discarded clothing, of which there was plenty, to cushion the equipment. Problem solved.
During these seconds and throughout the whole night, the very talented MC Rod Azlan kept things going with a melodic style, rapping with almost an island-lilt. So many MCs are a bit too machine-gun monotone for me; Rod Azlan was a breath of fresh air.
About a hundred people were taking photos and filming, occasionally turning the lights up to get a better shot; I am sure I am in some of them looking like I just stepped out of a shower. The sweat was dripping off my earrings and my necklace and pouring into my eyes, and by the end of the set I could hardly see. I could hardly breathe.
Just like at the Roxy, Rusko finished off with a little drum and bass insanity- or so we thought. “ONE MORE!” everyone chanted and finally the tall, afroed guy beside me got his wish: he had made a pen and notebook paper sign that said “I AM A COCKNEY THUG” and had been holding it up all night long. He gave it to Rusko as a parting gift, after we had all choked on our own fucked-up ribs.
MY favorite track last night was “Sound Guy is My Target,” which Rusko teased us with early on and then gave full blast closer to the end. Good GOD that track murders. I just got it this week and have been listening to it fanatically; though I really love it at the end of Rusko’s BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, where it slams down near the end and may be the best climax I have heard on any mix EVER.
Rusko finished to wild crowd chaos and impromptu huggery at the front of the dance floor; time to chill, right? NO. 12th Planet took the stage and proceed to freaking KILL. I went to get a bottle of water which I downed immediately, hit the bathroom in the very back of the venue where the bass was rattling the mirrors on the wall like a nine point earthquake, then emerged to hear a fatty mix of “Rock the Bells” (MORE LOW JINGLE BELLS IN THE DUBSTEP PLEASE) and “Explicit” by Emalkay: you know, “I beat motha-fuckas! I beat motha-fuckas!” SO good.
Where’s Waldo? Can you find DF5K six times?