Archive for the glitch mob

Nosaj Thing Tours with Bassnectar in November (US)

Posted in Events, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by worldromper

Two of the West Coast’s most in-demand performers are hitting the Mid-States and East Coast together this November when Nosaj Thing joins Bassnectar on the Cozza Frenzy tour; catch them while you can!

  • Nov 3: Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
  • Nov 4: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
  • Nov 5: Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird Nightclub
  • Nov 6: Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
  • Nov 7: Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
  • Nov 10: Boston @ Paradise Rock Club
  • Nov 12: DC @ 9:30 Club
  • Nov 13: New York @ Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza
  • Nov 14: Philadelphia @ Theatre of the Living Arts
  • Nov 18: Oxford, MA @ The Lyric Oxford
  • Nov 19: Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge
  • Nov 20: Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
  • Nov 21: Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall

Cozza_Frenzy-Bassnectar_480Please note, Bassnectar is touring all October and will continue his tour through December, concluding on New Year’s Eve at the ridiculously booked Sea of Dreams with Ozotmatli, the Glitch Mob, Marty Party, an-ten-nae, Random Rab, Ghostland Observatory and more. Only the shows he plays together with Nosaj Thing are listed above; for all of Bassnectar’s tour dates, please click here.

Check out Nosaj Thing’s new album “Drift” out on Alpha Pup Records right here.

Check out Bassnectar’s new album “Cozza Frenzy” right here.

Symbiosis Gathering Changed My Life

Posted in Events, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by worldromper

This is a story of DF5K.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 037It was nearly two years ago now that I moved back to the States from New Zealand. Summer in Seattle was swelling to the crusty-hot days of August and I had a shit job doing shit bartending work at a shit hotel downtown, working long into the night scrubbing bar mats and serving drunk tourists. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing with myself whatsoever. None.

I had never listened to electronic music before in my life.

new zealand is freaking epicWell okay that is not entirely true; I had stumbled upon the dub and reggae scene in New Zealand, and high on rotation in my iPod were Katchafire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Pitch Black and Salmonella Dub as well as anyone who had remixed them. Guys in the Auckland record stores were always happy to school an interested American girl on their island music.

I had also spent many happy nights out on the town with my flatmate Ian, dancing for hours in Auckland’s happenin’ Viaduct area, and had walked home more than once from these “Heels Only” clubs with bleeding feet. Before in my life I had glided past a thousand dance clubs drooling out lame house music onto the streets, but for some reason, I started going in towards the beats and shaking what my momma gave me for the first time ever.

116I left Auckland, and months of traveling around New Zealand led me to discover pockets of counterculture dotted all over the two islands. Tiny camp towns like Marahau, barely even a freckle on the map, are nestled next to insane national parks and were populated by a swirling mix of artsy locals, hikers who were about to tramp the mountains or who had just returned from a month in the bush, world travelers, hippies, neohippies, surfers from Santa Cruz, stoners, seekers, searchers, and freaks like me.

These havens were full of people whose life was centered around sharing art and creating a sustainable and beautiful life, such a stark contrast to most Americans I knew whose only goals seemed to revolve around bigger cars, bigger houses, and more more more.

But soon enough I was back in the US of A and fairly floating through space and time with no plans and no idea whatsoever. I wondered where the beautiful spirits congregated on this continent, and if I would find them.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 033And then a friend invited me to this music and art festival in the woods of Northern California called Symbiosis. It would be a very long day’s drive from Seattle with him and his girlfriend and we would stay for three nights at  place called Angel’s Camp. The festival was focused on sustainability and would be a pack-in, pack-out affair. Did I want to go?

Hell yes I did. I had the slight problem of a jobby-job, but I have never been one to let a bullshit job get in the way of my life. So, I faked pneumonia. I went to the hospital (to be fair I did have a cough) and when the doctor said he could write me a note to get off work for two days, I said, “well, how about until next Tuesday?” The doctor agreed and I was off work for a very long weekend, bound for my first true outdoor party experience.

I think you guys know how this story goes.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 046Arriving early to the isolated location, my friends and I set up our tents in between the two stages, and what happened for the next four days in that remote wooded spot changed my life forever, as I now write to you deep in the thick of what will be my life’s work, writing for and promoting the music that I love and the artists who make it. It was not just the music I experienced that shook my spirit and lit my soul on fire, but the thick saturation of artistic expression and the community around it. It was a haven for freaks like me; I had finally found a home in this life, and it was beautiful.

When I look back at the lineup for Symbiosis 2007, it blows my mind: Shpongle, Flying Lotus, Ott, Bluetech, Glitch Mob, BLVD, Souleye, Ana Sia, Zilla, Lazer Sword, Audiovoid, Danny Corn, Hallucinogen in Dub, Chris de Luca, Mala, Bassnectar and dozens and dozens more. These artists were my first toe-dip into the world of EDM, and I think you can see why I turned out the way I did.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 045I can’t remember if it was the first or second day, but around about five in the morning one night these four guys were up on the second stage, just tearing up the dance floor. They were slamming sound down with such force I thought my neck might break; I had never before experienced any type of music, electronic or otherwise, that was so fresh and unique and unlike anything else out there. I was not hearing this music, I was living it: I was breathless and losing clothes by the minute and probably had a long string of drool dripping off my lower lip.

I turned to a new friend next to me on the dance floor and asked, “What do you call this music? With the really heavy, fucked-up bass?”

You call it GLITCH,” was the reply. And a fiend was born.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 035

Since that night I have seen the Glitch Mob dozens of times and have devoted my life to sharing not just glitch hop and its bass-slutty cousins, but the whole music and art and community experience that has meant so much to me in this life, which I think I can say, a DJ saved.

I returned to Seattle with an insatiable hunger for the beats and began going out six nights a week to electronic music shows, meeting new friends with open arms at every turn. While I might possibly have found another road to the electronic arts that I now so adore, I did not. Symbiosis opened my eyes and set me on my current life path of promoting and writing for musicians and artists. I am eternally grateful for the past, and forever stoked for the future.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 036Now, after a year’s respite, Symbiosis Gathering is back for 2009, this time at Camp Mather on the doorstep to Yosemite from September 17-21 and with a lineup that will slap you across the face, pour fireworks into your soul and call you a cheesemaker. Check the whole lineup here; I am most looking forward to hearing Caspa, Amon Tobin, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, the Glitch Mob, Shpongle, Flying Lotus, Hallucinogen, Mala, N-Type, an-ten-nae, Mimosa, Of Porcelain, Vibesquad, Heyoka, Kether, Lazer Sword, Lipp Service, Souleye, Welder, Random Rab, Babylon System, Jupit3r, Mozaic, Mr. Rogers, R/D, Treavor Moontribe, Sleepyhead, Sexytime, Nikola Baytala, Noah Pred and about eight zillion more.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 042I will no doubt discover several new favorites, and I am more excited about this outdoor festival than any other this year. Not to be rash, but I have heard several people talk about how much more fun Symbiosis is than Burning Man. Whoa. That is almost party blasphemy, right?

Whether you are just hearing about Symbiosis Gathering or have been waiting with baited breath for this year’s installment, one thing is certain: the music will blow your mind, stamped and approved by DF5K.

And it just might change your life.

Low End Theory: Glitch Mob, Mary Anne Hobbs, & Flying Lotus

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by worldromper

First of all I want to say that this review will be a failure. I haven’t even written it yet, but I know there is absolutely NO WAY I can possibly capture half of what went on last night at Low End Theory in these funny little symbols that make up words that spring from my laptop. No way. But I woke up with phrases falling out of my head; they are the byproduct of my existence and I want to share them with you before I even take a shower and clean myself up- after all, I’ve been on a head trip to a dark and filthy world of bass and grime.

I feel like I just returned from the epicenter of the future of music and came out alive. I am wandering around my place this morning like a lobotomy patient, just saying ‘FUCK’ out loud over and over. My brain is all over the floor like scrambled eggs and I am tingling in all the right places.

Last night at Low End Theory, LA made the world go ’round. Could you feel that shit? I thought the walls were about to blow off the building, that if anyone even struck a match, the whole earth would explode. When you press a lot of human beings together in a small space, you can always smell the crazy in the air. It’s an odor much louder than the aroma of pot or BO or Swishers; it crawls up your nose and infects your brain until you’re putting off the scent of crazy too. You know that smell? Yeah. You do.

I arrived at the Airliner early last night, bought a PBR tall boy and starting bullshitting with my slowly expanding circle of LA friends. The crowd was a fucking Who’s Who of the creators and performers of the city’s bass slut scene, there not only to support their friends but also for the same reason we all were: to experience the epic shift in consciousness only obtained at a live music show, and to dance our fucking faces off.

On the outside stage the laptops and mixers and magical equipment of the Glitch Mob were already set up, and some huge chunky speakers were chilling in front of the stage, extra sound brought in by Pure Filth. The speakers took up a bit of the dance floor but we sure as hell didn’t mind.

The music popped on upstairs and I ran up to dance. Nobody was spinning and the MC Nocando was encouraging the early crowd to get up and get down. Now, just hearing Nobody spin would be an EXCELLENT night. Just this ONE artist. The room quickly started filling up and a few pop-and-locker types started doing their mad robot shit, and soon D Styles was on, keeping the crowd hyped and bouncing. Every so often the Mother Fucking Gaslamp Killer would come over and yell something on the mic, or off the mic, or play with knobs and levers from the dance floor side of the decks. At this point I was already covered in sweat with my hair in pony-tailed dance mode and thought SHIT I better fucking pace myself, there is SO MUCH to come.

So I got another PBR and headed downstairs in the cool outdoor air, looking up at the stars and talking to all kinds of random people who were filtering in. A rope separated the sparkling, sparking crowd from the dance floor and stage, and when they took this flimsy barrier down I felt like I was a ten year-old in line for the biggest roller coaster in the world. People RAN, and in a split second, the dance floor was full and I found myself very close to the front. Soon Nobody and the Mother Fucking Gaslamp Killer were on to warm up the crowd, and everyone around me was already starting to freak out, seriously just twitching and jumping and screaming. Up front two blond chicks were making out. Now, two blond chicks making out is kind of like the naked guy: when these people show up, you KNOW it’s a party. That shit is ON. The chicks always go over a little better, of course.

Nocando was up on stage as well, coaxing the California love from the crowd which we threw in the air like the ‘L’s on our hands. “C! A!” he screamed: “ALL DAY!” was the response, and people just start yelling “LOS ANGELES! AHHHHH!” A month ago I was trying to decide whether to move to LA or San Fran or Montréal, all which have these AMAZING music scenes going on right now. I talked to everyone I knew in these three cities, and what won me over was the mad amount of passion I felt in the responses from LA. These people LOVE their city. NO REALLY- they FUCKING LOVE IT. Los Angeles has that center-of-the-universe personality layered over with a driving appetite, a slick strutting confidence, a feeling of insanity flickering just below the surface that threatens to burst out across the entire world. People in LA have BALLS. THEY GET DOWN with NO apologies. I just may have found my favorite home EVER. My ‘L’ is UP.

Now Mary Anne Hobbs took to the decks. She is not only a killer DJ but also one of biggest proponents of the bass slut sound in the world, routinely throwing out dark and wobble-riddled new music for the listeners of her pioneering and constantly evolving electronic show on BBC’s Radio 1, Experimental. On air she connects bold producers with a hungry audience, uniting “generation bass,” and will be broadcasting this Low End Theory show very soon. She is also a music journalist, an expert motorcycle rider, and as a total kick-ass female, one of my biggest role models. The crowd welcomed her with open mouths and she played very dark and dirty tracks with layer after layer of thick bass. Hey, this lady doesn’t just share the bass love, she IS it. Fat set. Fat fucking set.

I went back upstairs to check on the dancing freaks, the room was straight packed and I couldn’t even get close enough to see who was playing. But as I turned around, I heard the unmistakable fucked-up beats of the Glitch Mob. I screamed back downstairs and pushed my way back to the front again, causing one guy to say, “Whoa, you made it back!” like I had just crossed the Kalahari or something.

Let me tell you a secret, folks- anyone can be right at the front, you just have to propel your way up there. It was just as crowded twenty feet back as it was under Nocando’s nose, and believe me the very front is the best place to dance, because there is no one in front of you to get in your way- only the Glitch Mob. I am also a fan of dancing right in front of the speakers as the blast of air from the bass is like a little personal AC. Now, I don’t have to worry about all of you now taking my secrets and my spot up front, because the front of the dance floor is not for everyone. I can’t tell you why; in my opinion there is no other place to be. Plus, there are blond chicks making out.

Note to Glitch Mob: Bigger Venue. THE PEOPLE WANT IT. GIVE IT TO THEM.

Ah you know I can’t complain one inch- we were a little squished last night but truly, the venue was perfect. The Glitch Mob was in their element at the indoor/outdoor stage piled high with speakers, the crowd crammed together, jumping simultaneously, hands in the air, and everyone freaking each other- a highly sexual crowd and I am not just talking about the guy on my ass. Hey, if you want to push your way to the front, you’re going to get your booty humped. It’s just the way it is. The show was like a divine orgy, and I saw many hands up going palm down, like a worshipful mass, there for the benediction. We got it. OH, did we get it. At the past two Glitch Mob shows my clothes have fallen off. Boys, you are doing something right.

Animated, expressive, smiling, dancing, yelling, laughing- the Glitch Mob was having a blast, soaking up the love and the screams and giving it back bomb-style. They played a new (to me anyway) track full of slashing organ sounds that kicked you in the ears with the dark shoe of a circus master freak. They bubbled in the cut and their city made the world go ’round. They played my ringtone. They pelted us with their remix of Nalepa‘s Monday, which always ups the insanity notch on the dance floor just a bit, and Boreta brought out his remix of Haiku d’Etat’s Mike Aaron & Eddie. A couple of times I had to step back from the front several feet to find my mind, but after five and a half breaths would push my way back. As they closed their set with West Coast Rocks, I felt something you don’t often feel in nightclubs in big cities- LOVE. It was good, as good as the taste of polished sound blanketed with filth which the Glitch Mob provides. I wrapped myself in it.

Then a bunch of people left. A bunch of stupid people, because the secret super special surprise guest walked in with a smile on his face, straight from the land of tomorrow: Flying Lotus. This man is AHEAD of his time. People cannot handle his shit, their brains aren’t ready. I remember when I saw him perform at this year’s Decibel Festival, I wasn’t ready. The part of my mind that processes sound design had not yet evolved to the point of “getting” his music. Well something about the sunshine in LA has sped up my musical metabolism and I stepped into a world last night from which I am never coming back.

Now I usually get pissed off at people standing on the front of the floor instead of dancing, but there is an exception in this group. It is in fact a faction of the dance floor that I LOVE: the guys and girls standing up front at a really good show, big eyed and open-mouthed, frozen in place, saying: “WHAT?” Their brains can’t process the music yet, much less their bodies, and you can practically see the gears turning as their minds evolve to fit this new art inside. It is a beautiful moment. They will catch up, Flying Lotus. WE will catch up- the whole world will. Keep doing it, you MUST, it is your duty to humankind to help us evolve. Reach into your brain and pull that shit out and lay it on us. I danced to his set like I had never danced before; I reached the ceiling of my own energy and my favorite part of the night, the point where only one word can come out of my mouth: “YEAH.” Yeah.

And then, that was it. The lights came on and the music went away. It was only 1:45 AM, and I felt like I had been on a monthlong backpacking trip across another planet and was just reborn into my life with a re-inspired mission to spread the word and share the art. 

THIS IS FUTURE SOUND.

THIS IS LOW END THEORY.

THIS IS LA.

And last night yall, we made the world go ’round. The show might be over but the game will never be.

See you next week,

Shilo



STS9 & The Glitch Mob @ The Wiltern Theatre

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2009 by worldromper

Last night changed my life. The city of LA, after one week, has changed my life, and the Wiltern Theatre changed my life. If you don’t believe that one night or even one moment can affect you forever, then maybe you need to get out more. And you need to fucking dance.

I went to a show last night to see all four members of the Glitch Mob open for Sound Tribe Sector 9, expecting of course to dance my face off to their sweet ass future funk and listen to some of the most forward-thinking, fun, and bass-slutty music in the world. What I did not expect was to be blown away by the powerful headlining band and by the opulent historic theatre as well.

The Wiltern Theatre opened in 1931 and stands today (after almost being destroyed in the 70’s) as one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the U.S. It is simply amazing: an aquamarine-tiled exterior with blazing blue neon sign heralding the night’s performers, al encasing a luscious entryway and interior heavily detailed with geometric designs, sunbursts, zig zags and murals. Now I am not big on Art Deco, being an Art Nouveau lover and Mucha fanatic- but like most things in life that I think I don’t like, it turns out that I just hadn’t experienced really good Art Deco yet. The Wiltern is now my favorite theatre/performance house in the world that I’ve been to, beating out the Sydney Opera House and the Palais Garnier in Paris (which inspired the tale of the Phantom of the Opera). I was blown away and will let the venue slide on the ridiculously weak drinks served up at seven bucks a pop.

I went out alone last night, which may strike some of you as weird, but surely not those of you who know me- I love going out alone. The evening is a blank canvas and I, it’s creator. Shilo does what Shilo wants, whether that is to bounce to another party right after the opening set or to stay out until 7PM the next day- hard to do when you have a car full of five friends. Plus, I only know about ten people in LA, and three of them were in the opening act.

However within five minutes of arriving outside the venue I had run into five people I knew. Some I had met earlier that week at shows in LA, and some were acquaintances from Seattle. “Aren’t you novaTRON’s friend?” a pretty brunette asked. “Fuck yes I am!” Communities today are defined not by family or religion or geography but by shared interests, and my tribe is the one of bad ass electronic music, hey what can I say?

People travel from all over to see STS9; I met fans who had driven from Tennessee and Texas and had a really good time talking to the friendly freaks in the festie-flavored crowd. The fans were young, male-heavy, Phishy, and named ‘Wave’ and “Cherry Bomb”; I met one girl who was wearing the exact same underwear I had on, as pants. I mingled right down front, accessed by my early-arrival wristband, with a lot of people who didn’t even know who the openers were. “What have you heard about the Glynch Mob?” one chick asked me. “Only that they are about to blow your mind,” was my reply. Later on in the night I did run into several people who, like me, were there for the Mob.

And then while we were chatting, the Glitch Mob walked out to their laptops as nonchalantly as if they were about to check their Myspace messages on them instead of ripping out some fantastic crunk. Flanked either side by fatty brown leather couches and a little fireplace, indeed the feel was that of a cozy little house party. A cozy little house party with four of my favorite producers on earth. 

Right down front, I was in heaven, except of course for the losers who post up on the front of the dance floor and then don’t dance. WTF? Get the fuck out of my way, wallflower, I want to get down. With new (to me, anyway) music at the beginning of their set, the boys continued with their remix of Nalepa’s Monday (always a crowd favorite) and a lot of West Coast-heavy shit. People in the crowd just would just start screaming, “LA! LA! LA! California! AHHHHHH!” These people LOVE their city, as they should. You would NEVER be at a show in Seattle and hear someone scream, “Washington!” NEVER.

I LOVE being at a Glitch Mob show surrounded by a crowd who are mostly Mob virgins. They start out a bit confused, then they begin realizing what is happening inside their brains and their bodies, and by the end of the set the dance floor is freaking out, hot and sweaty. Just like me.

The four artists were a bit more subdued last night than I had seen them before, except for edIT of course, and except for the times when they interacted with each other with smiles and laughs and secret hand signals. Put into a group with no appointed leader, humans will defer to the one who uses the most gestures. It is a scientific fact, and edIT wins the captain award hands down- or hands up, as it were. Last night they all seemed very focused, and they were, for not one of them noticed when I had a major wardrobe malfunction down front due to dancing like an idiot and my hoo-has popped right out the top of my top (fucking corset!). Thank god- I want to get artists’ attention with my words, not with my nipples.

In my opinion of the Glitch Mob, Boreta is the most original and my continued favorite; his tracks are never in a hurry to destroy you- but they always do. OOah is the most out-there and goes the furthest and I think when he plays as a duo with one of the others, he always brings out their darker sides. Kraddy knows the crowd best and throws down the hypest party music, and edIT? Well, edIT is edIT. Enough said. And one thing is for sure- he really, really, wants to know “What’s up!??!?” Each member of the Mob is insanely talented, fresh and unique on their own, and when they all play together the result is that of a sum greater than its parts: a new animal is created, a new sound that I will promote to the end of the universe.

A lot of people say that midtempo is hard to dance to. I say, those people can’t dance. Ah, just kidding, fuckers, I’ll tell you a secret: NO ONE CAN DANCE, and yes, everyone can dance. Dancing is an innate ability of human beings. However midtempo is not like hard techno or psy-trance where you can basically just hop up and down twitching on the dance floor for hours and fit right in. The slower tempo means that there is room for a lot of moves, and moves within moves. Between the beats, each motion is exaggerated and is more noticeable; this makes people more self-conscious which can spell trouble for the dance floor. That said, I know a lot of hard-core dance-lovers, people whose identities are first and foremost that of dancer- and those freaks all LOVE to dance to the Glitch Mob.

Some people just aren’t ready for the future, and that is where the Glitch Mob comes from. I think their music had a little too much energy for the more mellow neo-hippie crowd last night, and I can sympathize, because so do I. I was born with a supernatural amount of energy and will disrupt a room full of meditators just by standing in the doorway. But by the end of the Glitch Mob’s set, many of those chilled out stoner STS9 fans were covered in sweat and dancing like that is what they came to do. You cannot resist this music. You want to party? Do the glitch.

One suggestion, Glitch Mob: I really think you need someone jumping up and down on those brown leather couches during the show and maybe also a towel girl for Boreta’s head. And just so you know, I am available for part-time work in the LA area. I am already promoting your next shows (two this month), writing down for people the name of venues that I haven’t even been to yet, I  because I can’t not promote the art I love. I even bought a tee shirt last night, so get ready because this list whore is SO hitting you guys up next time.

On to the main act: STS9. I had missed their last show in Seattle because I was broke and had to put up with listening to my friends’ rave reviews for days after, so I was stoked to experience this popular band first-hand. They did not disappoint. After being right in the thick of things and right up front with the Glitch Mob, I made my way up, up, and up to the very back row of the immense theater, sitting exactly in the middle and taking in the entire room like I was a queen and this flashing and pounding spectacle was my kingdom. In a new city and free of any prior party persona I felt captive to, I sat in the back and took notes. At a show. I took notes. Trying, trying to capture this intangible experience happening around me, writing down phrases in the dark with a new, more focused version of myself, the Shilo that will be a great writer one day. And then I went right back down to the pit and danced my fucking brains out. 

Though STS9’s slower ballad-ish songs were not my can of beer, the crowd lapped them up, and all around me couples were humping each other, freaking the wall, and licking the speakers- seriously. The guy on the drum kit was my favorite out of the many performers on stage but then again, I kind of have a thing for beat masters. I was really into their many songs with the slapping bass; STS9’s organic, percussive-centric sound has deep tribal echo and is truly psychedelic. That word is thrown around a lot these days, but STS9 nails it, and if the dilated pupils of the majority of the crowd were any indication, they were not disappointed by the beats. In fact, they were fucked.

STS9 is a perfected blend of electronic and traditional instruments, and last night all the elements came together: guitars and laptops, deep and groovy music, a relentless and strobing visual art experience with bars of rainbow light, live painters on stage, the beautiful and historic theater, and then that other thing. You know, that unnameable feeling that makes you laugh out loud for no reason in the middle of a crowd, that inspiration that goes inside of your body and moves it for you for hours on the dance floor, the reason that you spend all of your money and your time on live music performances. It is that thing which we create- the energy made by human beings that bounces back and forth between the artists and the recipient crowd and sets the night afire. It is human communion through music and dance, and it has been changing our lives for a zillion years, and we know this. You know this, I know this: my community, the bad ass electronic music people, we know this. And it breaks my heart to think that there are a whole lot of humans out there, maybe even sitting right next to you, who have never experienced such transcendence on the dance floor. Someone has to tell them, someone has to explain that there is much more to this world than cable TV and career ladders and a bigger car. This is why I write, not only to capture moments in words but to promote the art I love and try to reach a bigger audience, to share with them the music that has changed my life. That is why I write.

Okay well that, and to get into shows for free. Like I said, I am a list whore and I admit it. When you go out as much as me, you have to be. No apologies.

Until next time from the streets of LA,

Shilo

From The Front Lines: Echoplex with FLYamSAM, Gaslamp Killer & More

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by worldromper

Does it do it for you? Does the early-night sight of a cheap plastic table piled high with laptops with glowing, bitten apples, USB cables up the kazoo and out the wazoo, wires and boxes with buttons and knobs all over the place do it for ya? Does it make you bob up and down like a cork in whiskey with a stupid fucking grin plastered on your face for so long your cheeks hurt? Does it bring your heart up in your throat like you just saw the boy you like staring at you with very bad intentions in his head? Does it make you dance like this is your only life and you are going to die someday? Does it?

Well it sure as hell does it for me. 

Can I get a FUCK YES for the button pressers? For the unapologetic wizards who give us the gift of dance night after night? For the boys and girls moving forward the future of fucking sound with their electronic creations and tireless efforts?

I woke up this morning after less than four hours of sleep, bright eyed with strands of words in my head desperately trying to worm their way out before they disintegrated into a lost dream. Maybe it was the pseudoephedrine-laced cough medicine I took last night (now I understand why they make FUCKING CRANK out of that shit), but by all practical purposes I should have slept deep into the bright and sunny day. But I couldn’t stay in bed and was up by 7AM, energized by the talent I experienced the night before and yes, this insane LA sunshine on my face. I had forgotten what it was like to walk outside and have the weather lift your spirits, instead of peering into another gloomy, overcast day and wanting to kill a bird and break somebody’s windshield just for the hell of it.

Sorry Seattle. My bad. But you are going to have to put up with my super annoying OMFGILOVETHESUNSHINE shit for a while. I will try and send some up the West Coast to you; expect it mid-July. For a month.

So anyway I arrived around 11:30 last night at the Echoplex, a big dark belly of a place with the stickiest floors I’ve danced on in a WHILE. That’s how I like it though- give me divey and grimey and filthy and city OR give me the outdoors in the forest or field or beach. I am a woman of extremes, though I did not favor the pussy little drinks in Dixie Cups at the Echoplex one bit- next time I’m bringing a flask. The sound was pretty good up front although towards the back it got a little cloudy; this didn’t bother me however since I am never in the back of the room. I am a card-carrying speaker freaker, and you know this.

Now the Echoplex is in the neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles, an area I was warned to never, ever to go at night lest the roving gangs of marauders decapitate me the instant I stop at a red light and disperse my body parts to the four corners of the universe. Obviously this did not happen. Cough cough, did somebody say culture of fear?

I arrived as the earlier show of the night was coming to an end and the funky Latino punk-hop band Ozotmatli was working the crowd- it was hot and sweaty and smelly up front as the dance floor jumped around, got down, and waved arms on command. Great dance music and lyrics (DONDE ESTA LA AFTER PARTY?), but since I was there for the late-late action I didn’t want to go too crazy and instead had a drink and went out to the smoking section where I met friends # 12, 13, and 14 in Los Angeles, all of whom welcomed me with big smiles to their city which they obviously love. I also met Carmen, the chick in the bathroom selling cigarettes, condoms, and gum- I don’t think anyone had asked her name since 2006. I have had a very warm welcome here indeed- not only have the temperatures been flipping sub-tropical but the artists I know in LA have reached out to me with open arms, putting me on lists and inviting me to sweet parties all over the city. 

Ozomatli finished up with a powerful political message, truly a great introduction for me to LA’s vibrant and active Latino community and a great funk-forward band. The crowd thinned out dramatically and became more rainbow with fewer women. And I ask again, why the hell are electronic music shows so dominated by the boys?

“BOYS! MUSIC! NOW! PRESS SOME BUTTONS!” was what I was screaming in my head at the sound guys of the Echoplex who had quite the rough time getting their shit together so Eliot Lipp and Alex B could play. Finally, the bass boomed out and we got the fat fucking beats we had been waiting for. These guys are the shit, in case you didn’t know. Check out the mixes on their Myspace pages. Now. 

The Echoplex ruckus was the official after party for the STS9 show; people started to trickle in and by the time the Gaslamp Killer went on, the floor was getting hot with one crazy blond chick dancing like a mad woman down front (there’s freaks in LA, WATCH OUT YO). “Hope you sound guys are ready for me,” the artist taunted the techies with a smile.

Now, I must tell you: I love the Gaslamp Killer. No, let me rephrase that: I FUCKING LOVE THE MOTHERFUCKING GASLAMP KILLER. His set was rudely and heavily cut with grimy dubstep and the boy acts like he is commanding an orchestra of dancing zombie minions or maybe an army of club kid-skeleton freaks to do his bidding as he swings his arms and fro maniacally to his hefty beats. Jesus Christ, where do I enlist? Another sound guy had to crawl out and put some sort of jack under the table to hold up the weight of the equipment and of course, that chunky bass. And wow, do the ladies love that fro or WHAT? He is my new favorite.

After that inspiring set, the oh-so-loveable Flying Lotus stepped onto the stage alongside SamIYam and together as FLYamSAM, proceeded to lay down crackled, warped brain music, a perfect fit in the dank underground club, and I danced the rest of the night away. The two play off each other well, having a great time. I always love watching Flying Lotus do his thing because he exudes joy, his passion for his music as apparent as his smile. I always just want to hug him. I left before the very end, ‘cuz motherfucker I’m ill, not sick- no really, I am existing way under the weather and my normal hyper-energetic self. I have no health insurance, but no worries- music is the medicine.

The crowd last night was not huge, but truly these cats are ahead of their time. A lot of people don’t quite ‘get’ the music they are making, for they are on the bullethead of the art of sound and it takes the majority of people a while to catch up. But they will. Keep doin’ it, yall, for all of us alive out here. I see how the bass slut scene in Seattle has grown in one year, and I must say I could not be more excited to see and help this music dominate the West Coast and then on to the world. You guys with me?

And speaking of noodling up to artists: please, people, when a DJ or producer or MC or visual artist wows you, TELL THEM. Thank them. Creating something from your brain and putting it out there and saying “hey everybody, judge me please” takes a lot of balls. As a writer I know the power of words; kind statements from my friends nourish me for weeks and weeks. So tonight while you are out if someone rocks your world, let them know. You don’t have to have a colorful vocab (watch the low jab)- just saying ‘thanks’ helps artists to keep creating and making the world better for all of us. SO DO IT.

Speaking of tonight: STS9 plays another show here in LA at the historic Wiltern Theatre; I will be there early as to not miss one second of Kraddy, OOah, edIT and Boreta as they rain down mad sulphurous thunderfuck upon the crowd. Then for me it is on to a sweet rooftop party downtown with Robot Koch- after getting to party all night with his Jahcoozi-mates Sasha and Oren at this year’s Decibel Festival, I must say- it’s going to be one HELL of a night.

Seattle, you’ve got Mr. Rogers and birthday boy novaTRON at J-Sun’s going away party tonight at the Lo-Fi. DO NOT MISS.

Again, this blog is a work in progress. I LOVE getting comments, yes even negative ones. I like to hear what you have to say, so say it loud. Does anybody get my referrals to random lyrics and songs? Souleye, maybe?

Peace and love. Have a great Saturday night and remember, safety first, after fun.