Guest Blogger Review: SCREWFACE Jan. 28 by Ryan Xristopher
A big thanks to my friend and recent LA transplant Ryan Xristopher for this review!
Friday night, Jan 28, Hollywood Area, beautiful evening, the first installment of the Screwface show via PureFilthLA, featuring Drone, the Professionals, SAMIYAM, Kemst and Lorn @ Club Gabah. Let’s do it.
Entry in, nice clean space, straight rectangle dancefloor with the DJ in front and a small seating/chill area on the left. Flown speakers facing down from the ceiling and a line of bins to make your teeth rattle and your hair blow back. You want bass? You get bass.
My own taste doesn’t put a Drum & Bass DJ on at the beginning of a show, and Drone’s set even seemed to go a little backward, with higher energy tunes at the beginning, chilling to more half time stuff at the end. The Professionals took over after a little bit of an awkward stage change and fed the biggest crowd of the night all the sawtooths and wobbles they could handle. There’s not a whole lot of musical payoff for me in the dubstep/brostep/electro concept right now, but I spent some time zoning out and people-watching. My favorite moment was when I caught a stand-out beautiful, well-dressed little club girl trying to dance to a seriously tricky break; looking like she was hula-hooping, swatting at bees, shading her eyes from the sun, and trying to put on a too-small boot, all at the same time, and trying to make it look sexy. Good for you, chica. Stand true!
Samiyam came on and that’s when my night started for real. I tell you, rhythm is supposedly defined by some sort of repetition; but Samiyam makes that idea senseless. Inside a massive dynamic box of sounds, stutters, beats, fills, and lyrics he’ll sing along to if and when he feels like it, he dismembers anything you could call a repeat. He plays music I’ve never heard before, and on a soundsystem like that, it’s pure bliss for diehard techno-heads to be treated to vibrations unlike anything the other thousands of hours have washed over their ears. I moved to LA to hear tunes performed just – like – that.
Last of the night was Lorn. A story: I heard his album (“Nothing Else”) last year, and it was good; everyone else I played it for raved over it. Then I saw Lorn at the Decibel in Seattle and it was my favorite show of the whole festival. Seeing him perform, I got it, plain and simple. Now the second time seeing him, the experience even went deeper. I was up front the whole time, but I might as well have been just hovering over the room, lazily sitting on top of all the energy being expended by all of us who could close our eyes and fight off fears and nightmares with our conductor. Lorn’s music played live can be specifically transcendent, I’m living proof of that. Whatever controlled rage has been chilling on the fringes of my guts gets to come out and play and find closure through the dark dark dark dark textures he presents in his sets.
I’m the first to admit that I’ve started becoming fiercely possessive about my relationship to music lately. I often feel like a mouse in a dark corner, hugging and hiding my tiny piece of cheese, but I’m standing on a switchblade, and any small flick of my foot, and that knife’s gonna come out and stop just a few millimeters short of your neck.
At the end of Lorn’s set, those kinds of thoughts curled into a needed sleep. I scanned the room at 2 when the music was over; I think there were about 50 of us left? Brothers and sisters, those.
I was there when the music ended! And I will be back tonight for the next installment of SCREWFACE at Club Gabah (4916 Hollywood Blvd) tonight with AK1200, Ras G, The Professionals, DLX, Kemst & Oicho!
Find more photos of the night by Regal D here.