REVIEW: The Do Lab presents Eskmo, Siren & Sugarpill @ King King

***all photos by the amazing photographer and all-around nice guy Aaron Bennett***

Hollyweird was wildly alive on the warm summer night and screaming about it, as usual. Blessed by the gods of street parking, I bounced around the corner towards King King down Hollywood Boulevard, on a star-lined sidewalk as slippery and tilted as the revelers who traverse it.

Despite it being an electronic music stronghold in the City of Cars, I am not a huge fan of King King. The décor seems like somebody said, “Hey! Let’s do an Asian theme!” then went out and bought a Buddha statue, four wall hangings of Chinese characters and a bunch of red paint. In Hollywood one is never surprised by a lack of substance in the clubs, but a dearth of style in such a creative city… now that’s just downright unacceptable.

Still, I frequent King King at least once a month, and always when The Do Lab hosts their Thursday night celebrations of West Coast bass music and beautiful freaks. This local production crew is known for throwing arts-centric events like the Lightning in a Bottle and Lucent L’amour festivals, and adding several inspiring layers to the usual “get-drunk-get-laid” ethos otherwise found at Hollywood shows.

At The Do Lab’s parties, there are always more people dancing than not, and the distinct feeling is that a majority of the crowd actually knows who the artists are and cares about the music. Smiles and hugs fly all around, and city attitudes are for the most part muffled, making the Angeleno crowd even more attractive than usual- though the miles of skin shown under short leather skirts and feathery halter tops doesn’t hurt.


I walked in slightly past 11PM to a perfect-size crowd (full club but not crotch-to-butt), and the entire floor was dancing all the way back! People seemed happy and gracious; with eyes closed and palms raised, they turned their heads to heaven in thanks for the music. It was a good ol’ fashioned whompdown with button-pressing delights: heavy midtempo breaks, dubstep fusion, glitch hop bangers and even a slick cut of some Fine Young Cannibals that indeed drove the dance floor crazy.

LA local Sugarpill proudly brought the night alive first with his original tracks and clean beat-slicing skills, a set so fun it seemed to bear a smile. Siren then proved why he is becoming one of the most hotly demanded producers on the West Coast and beyond for his genre-jumping mixes quickly blended with old school jams and future sound.


Headliner Eskmo (just signed to Ninjatune) delivered crunchy, stomping, grime-infused music that is the perfect fit for this chaotic post-genre world; he wadded up the dance floor and threw us down like so many scrapped ideas, over and over, deliciously. Some music hits in a deeper place, and Eskmo’s does just that.

All three of the artists were charismatic performers; instead of the serious equipment stare-down that sadly accompanies many electronic music events, they were moving, bouncing, smiling, pointing, dancing, shouting… and the crowd loved it. Of course we did! We want to feel the artists’ passion. We want to share their excitement and to connect on a musical and emotional level.


The night was hearty, and I left feeling as if my soul had just savored a bowl of sonic stew. Not only was the music rich and full, dense with sounds plucked from the imaginative wonderland that lives inside these guys’ heads, but the party was also full of heart as well. Promoters’ affection for their events too often fails to extend past their wallets, but when it does, it creates a feeling that is recognizable immediately due to its rare nature in the club scene.

I saw this feeling in the eyes of an old friend Thursday night, attending his first event by The Do Lab and almost blabbering with happiness in a state of slight disbelief:

“This crowd is so nice! And this music, whoa… I can’t believe this is Hollywood!”

It may be Hollywood, but it is also a brave new world where communities are created through shared interests, and those of The Do Lab include artistic expression and participation of everyone in the room, making the world more beautiful, and getting the hell down on the dance floor whenever possible.

***all photos by the amazing photographer and all-around nice guy Aaron Bennett***


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