Earlier today, I explored the Gaslamp Quarter in anticipation of living in downtown San Diego and toured a couple apartments and checked out the scene there. There’s a jazz club, a couple standard dance clubs, a House of Blues, a bunch of awesome restaurants and bars, etc. It was actually quite nice. I talked to a waitress at one bar and another side of the Gaslamp started to reveal itself. She said most of the people walking around there are visitors and tourists and there really is next to no “Gaslamp arts community” even among people who work and live there. There are tons of bars and music venues, but alas there’s no Dubspot, no Boiler Room, no Low End Theory, nowhere where like-minded creative people can learn from each-other, just the predictable instant gratification of the familiar. I may go out there tonight. I may hear Gangam style. I too may feel like killing the Gaslamp.
Willie Bensussen (aka the Mothafuckin Gaslamp Killer) got his name from his penchant for clearing those dancefloors with dubstep, hip-hop, and whatever the heck else he wanted to play. There’s some poetic justice to the fact that the bass music that he played, which was once shunned and marginalized by those clubs, is slowly making its way into the clubs there as popular music. Just earlier this year the Gaslamp Killer played Vouyer, as if to signal that things had come full circle. With the increasing popularity of Dubstep Trap and world music, maybe there’s hope for some like minded people to bring a more experimental scene there. Maybe one day there will even be a Boiler Room San Diego. That said, in speaking to more of the locals there today, I confirmed that the majority of Gaslamp-goers are still tourists who will be dancing to top 40 tonight while you listen to the Gaslamp Killer BBC Essential Mix.
As expected, This mix is heavy, gritty, challenging, groovy, and eclectic. It has its share of Brainfeeder bangers, but really leans toward the more obscure, which is for the better. It shows the breadth of GLK’s musical inspiration and reminds us of a couple of things. First, 70s psychedelic rock gives us a unique look at the roots of todays electronic music effects. Deliberately dense delay, heavy filtration, flange, and phasing all have roots in that era and there’s endless inspiration there. Second, The amount of obscure eastern music that we haven’t heard is staggering, and there’s a whole frontier of new music that can come from that. The distortion and dirt of Gaslamp’s original tracks fit right in the mix with the classic vinyl gems he’s played and you can really get a glimpse into where his musical sensibilities are coming from. He also seems to have a thing for screaming organs.
This mix is NSFGL.