Another lucky giveaway for the City of Angels, this time featuring a stacked club music bill featuring some of Chicago’s best. We hardly need to introduce Brenmar, Sasha Go Hard and DJ Spinn, but each respective act has trail-blazed their respective way across the United States (and further) and created their own distinct lane within the rap, club and footwork worlds. Taking place at Los Globos this Thursday (1/22) and thrown by the good folks at IHC Presents, the night will function as the release party for Brenmar’s Award EP, an effort that sees the New York-based producer striving for wider audiences on collaborations with Uniique, Dougie F and more. Comment below with your favorite Sasha Go Hard track and cop tickets for the show here.
Decibel Festival, like many other contemporary festivals that straddle the dwindling line between underground and overground forms of dance music, was heavy (to say the least) on four-on-the-floor house and techno. In fact, the festival’s adherence to technical linearity was so strong that one could posit that the steady pulse of a kick drum defined Decibel 2014. From the late night Ostgut Ton showcase at Q Nightclub to Phuture’s TB-303 jams, house and techno from the world over could be found at Decibel, but the respective genres’ British and German constructions took center stage. This created something of a dilemma for a team looking for more rhythmic variance and, shall we say, a global purview than your standard techno bro fest. Fortunately, the Decibel lineup provided pockets of brilliance in the form of jungle, footwork, grime and kuduro, allowing us to indulge in gaudy, kick drum-heavy performances from T. Williams, Wolf+Lamb, Nadastrom and more.
On Wednesday night, Arca and Total Freedom, with music video art auteur Jesse Kanda providing visual accompaniment on a huge LED screen, took to EMP’s Sky Church with a vengeance, weaving syncopated kuduro and dembow rhythmic patterns into a number of contemporary pop hits. The Sky Church, a massive room in a corporate music mausoleum, is an odd venue to hold a genre and gender bending performance from three prodigiously talented artists, but a small, dedicated crowd, equal measures repulsed by and smitten with Kanda’s Vine compilation-meets-high concept body art, was up for the challenge proffered by the CDJ wielding deejays. A percentage of the crowd was even made up of holdovers from Max Cooper’s technically proficient, but disappointingly linear performance (the following night’s dancer-assisted showcase featuring Cooper was supposedly far superior) that preceded Arca’s takeover, a less surprising development than one might expect considering the breadth of interests and knowledge among the Decibel crowd.
Hit the jump for the totality of our Decibel coverage…
If you’ve ever attended a concert at Orange County’s The Observatory, you know that the suburban venue is not the ideal place to witness dance music. The three tiered floor, segmented by walls and steps leads to inconsistent crowd movement, awful vantage points and a disconnect between performer and crowd. I knew all of this as I entered the Santa Ana venue on Monday night (November 18), but pushed it to the back of my mind as I primed myself for a night that would feature buzzing rapper Chance (The Rapper) and footwork pioneers DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. Dubbed the “Social Experiment” tour, the three performers (plus Chance’s three man band) had been on the road since October 25 and had played 17 shows in only 24 days. With all of the performers hailing from Chicago, the night promised an air of cohesion that few touring acts can fulfill.
At first glance, the selection of DJs Rashad and Spinn as openers might be confusing, but the decision makes all too much sense when you consider that Chance has evoked his reverence for Chicago’s juke/footwork scene on multiple occasions in the past. Rashad and Spinn’s lightning fast, syncopated rhythms might come off as at odds with Chance’s gospel-infused hip hop, but one only has to examine the Windy City’s long history of dance music with hip hop leanings and vice versa. The crowd at The Observatory might not have been ready for the 160 beats per minute flurry that Rashad and Spinn would throw at them, but Chance knew what he was getting into when he brought the two artists along with him.
After wading our way through The Observatory’s outsized parking lot, we made our way into the venue and took our place among the hordes of Chance fans chomping at the bit to shower their hero with love and reverence. Overwhelmingly Caucasian and college aged, the crowd was, by and large, dressed in the Southern California norm of street wear brands, 5 panel hats and lots and lots of camouflage. Chance came on promptly after we arrived, joined on stage by a drummer, keyboardist and trumpet player. Over the next hour, Chance would lead the crowd through most of his recent Acid Rap tape in an expansive performance that straddled the line between hip hop show and performance art.
Hit the jump to read the full recap…
Chicago legends DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad are not ones to fuck around. From the onset of “She Turnt Up”, the intent of the track is established. Loose women, white powder and (enhanced) orange juice are the priorities for Spinn and Rashad who continue to perfect and expand upon their Juke origins. “She Turnt Up” falls more into the Ghetto House category and will appear on Teklife Vol. 2: What You Need, scheduled for an October 23 release on Lit City. Stream below.
So earlier, we posted a roundup of mixes from the likes of Baauer, Hudson Mohawke and Nguzunguzu. Well it looks like we spoke/posted too soon. It’s been quite a day for mixes (check out Mixes From The Astral Plane, Vol. 2) and we’ve got three more for your listening pleasure. We’ll make this quick so you get to it.
Dirtybird representative Eats Everything is featured in Resident Adviser Podcast 316 and said the mix was the best he’s ever done. Check it out over at RA. I’m pretty sure everyone besides us was at Sónar 2012 in Barcelona over the weekend, but in case you weren’t, relive Chicago legends DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad play out some classic juke over at Red Bull Music Academy. Houston beatsmith Sines has made quite a name for himself via his own tunes and his recently formed imprint Freshmore. Don’t miss out on his mix for Keep On Repeat.