Oct 22

Phutureprimitive @ The Loft 10/15/14

Dancing out your Demons: A Journey from the Primitive to the Phuture

Phutureprimitive stopped in Minneapolis for their 5th show on the ‘Searching for Beauty’ tour this past Wed, October 15th. Phutureprimitive is currently on a 30+ stop tour that started in the midwest working their way to the west coast and adding dates throughout the tour. Rain, the man behind Phuturepimitive, is taking ‘Searching for Beauty’ to the next level with a brand new 3D projection mapping stage and ritual dancer, Caeli La.  He also has Kaminanda opening  on the majority of the tour’s dates.

20141016_000546In Phutureprimitive’s first national tour in 2013, he played an interactive game with his audience called “Dance Out Your Demons.” It’s a game where each attendee writes a fear, demon, wish or desire on a piece of tape and adheres it to the bottom of their shoe. As concertgoers dance throughout the night, one is encouraged to dance out their demons. The game was so well liked, so he decided to continue it during the current tour.

I arrived to The Loft about 10:45pm, just before Kaminanda began his set. As I entered the venue I was greeted with a variety of vendors, a Reiki massage table, live painters, and a merch booth with a pretty extensive selection of hats and shirts with Phutureprimitive’s insignia.  I grabbed a drink from the bar and began to browse the merch and live art booths.  As I was wandering around the venue I came upon the table with the red tape and markers and I began to think of what demon, wish, or desire I would dance out for the remainder of the show.

20141016_003824Kaminada’s set appeared to be mostly pre-recorded  with minimal live manipulations.  He played a large number of remixes, consisting of songs old and new. Although he didn’t do much for stage presence, the mix was incredibly well put together, and had myself, as well as other attendees, dancing and getting our feet warmed up for the main event: Phutureprimitive.

The stage that Phutureprimitive has designed for this tour fit The Loft by mere inches. With Rain DJing from inside the projection background, the visuals surrounded him. His musical styles can range from light slow moving melodies to bass heavy sounds of the future. Many times his music has an industrial feel while still engaging feelings of harmony and beauty.  Rain self-describes his music as dripping wet love drops of nasty mind melting sonic bliss. His focus is to explore a dark and dense palette, to invoke a profound sense of tranquility and beauty, and engage the listener in hypnotic movement, often escalating into a full-on kinetic experience.

20141016_020319About a half hour into Phutureprimitive’s set, we got our first glimpse at the beautiful and graceful ritual dancer, Caeli La.  She took to the front of the stage, and everyone’s attention drew to her. Her movements were slow and calculated. During her dance routine, the 3D projected visuals were minimal, and she was the center of attention. Caeli La provided ritual movements and dancing for two songs before disappearing behind the stage, and allowing Rain to present some of his heaviest tracks. He continued to engage the audience in a journey using his music as the vehicle. The music never stopped, and the people never stopped dancing. Towards the end of his set, Ceali La came back onto the stage wearing a pair of wings and a crown. She danced on stage for the remainder of the set, which ended at about 2:15am.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere and vibes Phutureprimitive brings on this tour. I personally appreciate live artists, and crowd interaction. I always seem to have a better time when the artists find a way to connect to the crowd through interactive games, music, live artists, and live dancers. I had a great time at his show, and look forward to the next time he comes through Minneapolis! I will definitely be in attendance!

 

Article by Ross Louwagie

Pictures by Ross Louwagie

 

Oct 22

Downlink [Interview]

“DOWNLINK – A name firmly cemented in the hearts and minds of the bass music community. He is respected the world over as a producer of the highest quality dance floor bangers. He has had numerous #1 hits on Beatport and has released music with major labels like Rottun, OWSLA and Mau5trap. He has helped mix an album for the legendary nu-metal band Korn. He has toured the planet far and wide, leaving a wake of awe-struck audiences in his path. To see him live is to witness one of the tightest technical DJ’s in the game. His 3 deck live mixing and infectious stage energy light up venues turning crowds on their heads time after time. Expect lightning fast mixing on a journey through a wide variety of bass music. All tempos are fair game as long as its underground vibes and dirty bass” (uplinkaudio.com).

In between interviews and sets Dan Crittendon sat down with Sean Casavant, better known as Downlink, at Safe In Sound Festival to talk about Sean’s Nu-Metal influence, broken CDs, the Destroid project, and the future of dance music.

 

TBM: Thanks for meeting with us! To begin, do you think you could tell us a little bit about the very inception of Downlink as a musical project?

Downlink: Well I started DJing and producing music around 2001. I got into Drum and Bass first off, and that was my first love, and is still, in a way, my deepest, truest love in bass music. I did that for a few years, but then I started getting a little bored, or I guess just wanted to try something new. Dubstep in North America around 2006 or 2007 was just starting to become a thing, so I decided to apply all my skills to that with the Drum n’ Bass mentality and the skill set that I had developed. After that I decided to start up this project that is Downlink, and the rest is history.

TBM: What name did you DJ under when you were doing Dnb?

DL: I had a couple different names. Thorn was one. Mowgli was another name I had when I was doing Jungle type stuff. Never really was successful with that, just local shows. It wasn’t until I’d had about a year of school when I’d realized that I put a lot of money into it, so I started Downlink and started taking it seriously.

TBM: What motivated you the most to move past DJing into the realm of production?

DL: I’ve always been into music from as far back as I can remember. I was listening to my parents’ records, and got into grunge when I was about eight. I remember I dealt with my parents who would come into my room and break my CDs because they weren’t happy with the musical choices I was making. You know, they’d come in and I would be listening to “Rape Me” on high volume and they’d be like “NOPE! My kid’s not listening to that!” and they’d break it. I would have to go re-buy it. So I’ve always been into music, and when I got into DJing, it was always in my mind that I wanted to create the music that I was DJing, so it kind of evolved naturally.

TBM: What made you realize that Downlink was finally the thing for you and what shaped your direction?

DL: I kind of came up at a time when Dubstep was fairly new to North America, and then sound that we were pioneering was kind of like robotic, spacey sound. Guys like Excision, Datsik, myself… there were other guys like Vaski, 12th Planet, Liquid Stranger all around the same time kind of doing that same sound. I just wrote a couple tunes that were very well received such as “Gamma Ray,” “Ignition,” “Factory…” some of the tunes that I made a name with, and started getting a lot of bookings. I was like wow there’s real money to be made here, more than I could make with some basic day job, so I just went in head first with it and decided to make it my life.

TBM: So I read somewhere that you mixed an album with Korn? How did that come about since you’re in such different musical spheres?

DL: Well first of all, it started with a love of Nu-Metal and Korn overall growing up and in high school. I’m 30 years old now, but when I was a 12, 13, 14 year old pot smoking, skateboarding teenager, I was really into that heavy Nu-Metal sound and when the time came up, we started talking about doing the Destroid project. Well initially when we started doing Destroid, we were working with Sonny Moore’s manager, Tim Smith, and he actually linked us up with Jonathan Davis because he had connections through his Rock scene days. When Jonathan Davis called us up on the phone and was like “Yo, I really dig what you’re doing.” We did a couple tracks with him and one day he just called me specifically because I had broken down to him how much I loved his music, and he had paid special attention to my music after I had opened up to him. He ended up calling me and told me he thought my engineering skills were what they needed for the album. I basically jumped at the chance and moved down to Bakersfield, CA for a month and a half to just live with them and work on the record. It kind of just organically happened just through a friendship with Jon. Even to this day I’m still great friends with him.

TBM: Do you think working with them on that album has influenced your style?

DL: I don’t think from that album specifically, but I’d say growing up listening to Korn, definitely. Even in my music now if you listen to it, it’s very riff-heavy and rhythm oriented rather than being overly melodic. There’s a heavy sound design element, so the sounds are very crunchy and heavy. I think growing up listening to Korn’s early stuff affected me more than working on that album did. I guess working on the record kind of influenced the Destroid stuff more.

TBM: It sounds like Grunge and Nu-Metal had quite an impact on you as a kid. What were some of the first albums that you ever owned that fueled your passion?

DL: There were a few, the first very memorable albums were Offspring – Smash, which was a huge album for me, Green Day – Dookie was a huge album for me, Weezer’s Blue Album, Deftones’ Adrenaline, Deftones’ Around the Fur, Tool. Even now those albums mean a lot to me as a person. Smashing Pumpkins, their early stuff. Alice in Chains. A lot of deep, moody shit with like fucking brooding qualities to it.

TBM: So what gave birth to the Destroid project? Unless I’m mistaken that’s you, Excision and KJ Sawka. Do you all go way back?

DL: I lived in Prince George, BC and moved to Colona to be closer to Excision and Datsik since they both lived there. My girlfriend at the time and I moved into Excision’s house; we just rented out the top floor area. Me and Jeff built a strong working relationship around music, and Troy was a good homie. So it actually started out with me, Jeff and Troy wanting to do Destroid as a group, and the group and the fundamentals progressed with the sound, and Troy’s personal career started going in a different direction, so there’s a lot of factors that I won’t get into, but it ended up changing to the point where we realized it might be more valuable to have a live drummer on stage with us, so we took on KJ. Jeff had booked him for a few shows in Colona, and we all knew each other so we were like this guy’s cool. We were huge fans of his work with Pendulum and also his solo stuff, so we thought he was a perfect fit and so we took him on and Troy wound up doing his own thing. We’re all still really good friends though.

TBM: Trends in dance music tend to be very fast-evolving, do you ever feel an impetus to modify your music to stay ahead of the curve?

DL: I think it’s less trying to stay ahead of the curve, but more hearing what other people are doing, and trying to fuck around with that style. It’s not like an intentional urge to make something current, I’ll just make whatever is exciting to me at the time. I do find a little bit with the fans that they can be a little impatient, and sometimes they only want you to put out what you’re known for and what you first started making. You’ve got to keep your fans happy and occasionally put out extreme fucking filth bass music. At the same time, I don’t have a problem making music that I want to make because I want to make it.

TBM: What sort of musical direction do you want to experiment moving forward?

DL: My personal sound will likely always be spacey, robotic shit, at least with the Downlink project. That being said, I’d love to go down an experimental Tipper type of path and just do weird, glitchy mid-tempo kind of  shit. There’s a lot of music in my head that I can’t do just because I don’t have time to do it. I’m just too busy doing Destroid and Downlink, so I can’t take the time to do any other kind of unique, original types of shit. But once I’m done with this DJing life, and I can stop touring so heavily after maybe like 10 years, then I can focus on doing super introverted, weird music that I actually feel resonates with me.

TBM: Any thoughts on what the future of dance music will look like?

DL: I think that dance music in general is just too focused on making crowds go up and down and throw their hands in the air, when for me, that’s so not fulfilling as a human being. As an artist, you feel like you’re doing what everyone else is doing. Lately I’ve been thinking back to my roots with Prog Rock and Grunge, and what if dance music/EDM could embody the vibe of Grunge music in terms of the raw, dirty sound of it, and also the attitude of it with the arrangement and everything. Where not everything has to be super clean, you just need that raw attitude and raw feeling that you put into the music. In order to really break through, you’re going to have to take a different journey. That’s where I see it going, is a fusion of Rock and Grunge with bass and dance music fundamentals. I can envision a future with bands that are playing bass music with instruments like Destroid, but they’re just slaughtering it like a band would back in the day, like Slayer or something, but the sounds coming out are just raw, synthesized sounds. So the sounds will be filthy, and the mixdowns are trashy and there are vocals and a live drummer. It comes with this mental vibe that is a future sound of music and I really see things going that way. Watch, in 10-20 years I guarantee those are my feelings, anyway.

TBM: Very interesting! Thanks again for meeting with us, Sean. I look forward to seeing what the future holds in store for Downlink and Destroid.

 

downlink

 

Article by Dan Crittenden

YouTube vid / music compliments fo Downlink

Photo from Kill the Light Photography

 

Oct 21

Terravita [Interview]

 

“Dominating the bass music scene for nearly a decade, Terravita has run the gamut when it comes to crowd-smashing, mind-melting electronic music. From the days of Drum & Bass to the era of contemporary Dubstep, Trap and everything in-between, Terravita know no limits when it comes to crafting the most staggering, bone-jarring bangers around. From their industry-leading sound-design to the razor-honed precision of their drums, Terravita are undeniable experts at their craft, and will inevitably remain so for many years to come” (EDM.com).

After their heavy hitting Safe In Sound set at Myth in Saint Paul, Terravita sat down with Dan Crittenden to talk about their history, their music, plans for life after Terravita, and their newest EP, Fuel To the Fire.

 

TBM: Hey guys thanks for meeting with me, can you introduce yourselves?

Jon: I’m Jon from Terravita

Chris: I’m Chris from Terravita

TBM: So where are you guys from?

Jon: We’re originally from New England. Chris and Matt are from Rhode Island, I’m from Western Massachusetts and we all lived in Boston for like ten years. We just recently moved out to LA in the past two years, and we live there now.

TBM: Can you tell me a little bit about how you all got together to form Terravita?

Chris: So Matt and I worked together for a while, and we were working with another emcee who decided to show up drunk one day to tell us we didn’t know what we were doing producing music, so we no longer worked with him. So then Jon showed up to a couple shows and then we sat in with him and the chemistry was right so we kept him and then kept the name Terravita. That was like a decade ago.

TBM: I heard earlier that you also produced house music under a different name; was that what you began with or did you begin as Terravita?

Jon: Nope Terravita came first, and then we started Hot Pink Delorean after our release schedules got backed up for like three years.  We had nothing else to do, and we were signed exclusive so we couldn’t put out any other music as Terravita so we started putting out music as Hot Pink Delorean and it was pretty fun.

TBM: Do you still intend to keep the two projects running simultaneously?

Jon/Chris: We haven’t really done anything new with that in about two and a half years. Terravita just kind of took over and we didn’t really have time for both. We’ve been dabbling a bit lately, but who knows what’s going to happen with that. We’ll see.

TBM: When you were signed to Firepower Records, did that at all shape your musical direction?

Chris: It didn’t change our musical direction.

Jon: We were with Troy when he came up with the idea. I think it was EDC Orlando actually, and we were all in a hotel room at like three in the morning, you know, after-partying, and he threw out the idea. He was like, “Hey guys I really want to start a label and I really want to do it right. Everything for the artists, the way it’s supposed to be. Would you be willing to release with me?” Of course we said yeah, so that’s how that relationship got started off.

TBM: So you were basically there from the very inception?

Jon: Yeah definitely.

Chris: I think we were like their third release or something.

Jon: Troy has never really told us what we have to do musically. Sometimes he’ll offer us some constructive criticisms but he’s never once told us to change something.

Chris: It’s always been like, “If I were to do this song I would do it like this, but it’s your song so do what you want.”

TBM: So with that level of musical freedom, where do you see yourself going with your music moving forward?

Jon: We’re always working with collaborations with other people, trying to get some different perspectives with music and combine them with our own. Lately though we’ve been trying to go back a little more to our original sound, with more bass-heavy mid-range stuff. Kinda to take it back to that 2010 kind of sound.

Chris: We’re into more of a hip-hop swagger, kind of like focusing on the groove of the beat, rather than seeing how crazy the noises could be.

TBM: So Jon, I noticed you were doing the emceeing on stage today, is that your primary role?

Jon: That is indeed my role.

TBM: Given that, what is your work flow like in the studio?

Chris: Matt is typically our studio mastermind. So either him or one of the other members will come up with an idea and go from there and it cycles through all our input and winds up with Matt mixing and mastering. We’re unique in that we’ve got three different people in the group so we each bring our own preferences and influences. I think that’s why we can have such a diverse sound.

TBM: At what moment did you recognize that it was time to put everything else on the backburner and dive full force into Terravita?

Jon: It was shortly after “In the Club” and “Lockdown” came out. We didn’t know anything that was going to happen, you know what I mean? We had just recently gotten out of our deal with Technique and we had a new lease on bass music, and that’s when dubstep was starting to become popular. We didn’t really jump on the dubstep bandwagon because we kinda felt like we would be selling ourselves short, and that’s when we started making drumstep, which at the time didn’t even have a name. For us it was just halftime drum and bass.

Chris: Fast dubstep.

Jon: We wanted that dubstep vibe, but still keep it at 175 bpm because we were always drum and bass guys. Those tunes really didn’t even take us that long to write, but all of a sudden Skrillex is playing them main stage at EDC. Next thing you know, shit just started rolling forward. We got really lucky, we’ve had a lot of good people who were trying to help us out and support us.

Chris: Also, there was a point where the two acts (Terravita and Hot Pink Delorean) were equally popular, and the reason we chose Terravita was because that’s what we did first, and our passion is bass music. Hot Pink Delorean  happened kind of as a fluke because of this contractual thing that happened, but afterwards it was just the logical choice to go back to Terravita and we’ve been doing that ever since.

TBM: So what were you guys doing before you found success in the music scene?

Jon: I was a bartender in Boston. I worked at a bunch of places, but I worked the door, worked the bar, waited tables… pretty much any job that you can do in a bar or restaurant.  Fine dining! The pleasures of having Jon Spero serving food.

Chris: I pretty much have always done music. There were times when the economy got tough and doing music was pretty hard. There were about two years where I sold cars, but other than that I’ve basically done music since 1998.

TBM: Chris, what were some of your earliest musical involvements?

Chris: Mostly throwing raves.

TBM: So you were the one orchestrating things and making it all happen?

Chris: I would be the promoter.

Jon: We all kind of started throwing and promoting shows. I was also emceeing solo for a while, at which point I was not very good at my job. But I thought I was.

TBM: So how did the raves go?

Jon: His raves went great; his went really well.

TBM: Did you encounter frequent problems with the police?

Chris: Oh they hated us. It wasn’t commercial at all at the time, there were little to no corporate sponsorships. It was hard when you told them you were doing electronic music and they were just like, “NO.”

TBM: Even today with the overwhelming rise in popularity with electronic music you’re still met with hesitation.

Chris: Less so, though.

Jon: The thing is that there’s just a stigma to it. Music has always been associated with drug use. That’s never going to change. I read an article the other day that 50 people got arrested a Toby Keith concert. Some people were raped, there were violent arrests as well as drug arrests, but nobody is talking about that, but one person passes out at an electronic show and everybody is talking about drugs and molly.  I think they need to stop calling them “overdoses”. Nobody is overdosing on molly, they’re just overheating and passing out. Secondarily, that’s just the way it is. Music and drugs, they go together. I don’t like it as much as the next guy, but at a certain point you have to come to grips with the fact that it’s just never going to change. Whether it’s Woodstock, Rock n’ Roll, Reggae, any of it, it’s all going to be associated in some way with drug use because it’s mind altering and it helps creativity, but at the end of the day, I’m not your parent. Do your thing, just be smart about it.

TBM: You guys are no newcomers to the scene, do you have any crazy tour stories that you’d care to share?

Chris: Not anymore. Mainly now we just work on our music and focus on our tours. We’re actually pretty fucking boring now. If you caught us 18 months ago, maybe not so much.

TBM: So after the novelty or shock of the whole experience has worn off you think you’re calmed down a bit?

Chris: Eventually you get into your early thirties and decide that there are things more important than partying.

Jon: You just get burned out, man. I mean, how many years can you go partying and partying and running around doing crazy shit? We’re all practically married now and are kind of toning down our lives a bit. You eventually realize that life is a real thing and you need to save your money and move forward. You don’t have a 401k or insurance or anything, so if you’ve got a family in mind you really have to be careful what you do. Once people stop booking us for shows is the minute our income stops, and what then?

TBM: Do you feel that you’ve all taken that into account and developed contingency plans for when the journey comes to an end?

Jon: Yeah I think everyone’s got a bit of a backup plan. Chris works with SG throwing festivals and stuff.

Chris: The Safe in Sound brand is from Maureen, our manager’s company, SGE. Her and I are kind of the ones running the show, and obviously there are many more people working on it beyond us.

Jon: I just started a company, a vaporizer company, so that’s something I’m planning on using in the background.

Chris: To be honest with you, we’ll probably be doing this until we’re 40. We’ll stop playing when people stop coming to see us, I guess.

Jon: That or when my whole entire body just gives up.

TBM: Well to wrap this all up, why don’t you give us a plug and tell us a little about your new EP?

Jon: It’s called Fuel to the Fire coming out October 14th, it’s a four-tracker coming out on Firepower.

Chris: You can tell it goes back to our old sound, with a little more hip-hop influence. By hip-hop, I don’t mean trap, I mean we’ve got some hip-hop vocals and that hip-hop beat with the dubstep sound.

Jon: That’s were I come in, and that’s where Master P comes in. We actually really like this sample from “Make Them Say Uhh,” we played it tonight and we hope people enjoy it as much as we do.

TBM: Sounds great! I loved that track. Thanks for meeting with me, guys! I hope the rest of your tour goes smoothly.

 

TerravitePressWebSize_004

 

Buy Fuel To the Fire – EP now on iTunes.

Buy Fuel To the Fire – EP now on beatport.

 

Article by Dan Crittenden

Photo and Music Compliments of Terravita

 

Oct 20

The Glitch Mob @ Myth 10/16/14

The Mob

Where to begin? I suppose the best place is the beginning. Many moons ago I learned of techno. As a pubescent The Crystal Method’s Vegas was in constant rotation on my boombox, Paul Oakenfold’s Tranceport was amongst my first Cheapo purchases (let’s not discuss Aqua’s Aquarium), and Chemical Brother’s Exit Planest Dust was the very first vinyl I ever became obsessed with. Much later, in late 2009, I moved to Spain. Before too long I fell in with some Drum and Bass heads who introduced me to “the rave.” Roughly around the same time (before or after… I don’t remember) I discovered Bassnectar and The Glitch Mob. My assumption is that it had something to do with the musical influence of my older brother coupled with my own growing love for the electronic scene. Needless-to-say, I’ve never looked back.

The Glitch MobIn August of 2010 I was freshly back on US soil catching rays and drinking America beers with some good homies at the Ginther cabin. Normally we’d extend shenanigans throughout the weekend, but I had a mission: The Glitch Mob was playing First Avenue in support of Drink the Sea, and I had no intentions of missing the show. To this day I remember being, one, surprised that attendance at First Avenue wasn’t that impressive, and two, happy I had so much breathing room. At the time I didn’t fully grasp just how cool it was that Ooah, edIT, and Boreta were performing live on midi controllers (nor did I really understand what a controller was), I just liked their sound… a lot.

In February of 2014, after a four year hiatus, The Glitch Mob released their much anticipated sophomore album, Love Death Immortality. I won’t lie, I was nervous. I mean, Drink the Sea was, and still is, one of my favorite albums of all time. What if they fucked up? What if LDI didn’t live up to the grandeur of its predecessor? Despite my worries, I preordered the album as soon as it was made available. When it finally came it graced my record player and did not disappoint (to be honest, I probably streamed it somewhere first, but whatever). Sure, it wasn’t Drink the Sea, but it was damn good! Somewhere on the internets I picked up a quote from Boreta stating, “If Drink the Sea was introverted, then LDI is definitely extroverted.” I think the comparison is fitting. I couldn’t wait for The Glitch Mob to start their new tour, and was stoked to find out they would be playing my beloved Bonnaroo.

The Glitch MobOk, let’s fast forward to October 16, 2014. After much anticipation, The Glitch Mob were finally back in the Twin Cities. To my excitement, not only was I going to show, but I was also scheduled for a meet and greet. All day I tried not to think too much about what I was going to say or how the meeting would go, but rather I approached the scenario as cool and calmly as I could. Probably too cool actually; my girlfriend Anna and I arrived roughly ten minutes late and had a hell of a time getting Myth personnel to let us inside the building. Fortunately we were eventually granted access and were given the opportunity to awkwardly apologize for being late. Despite out tardiness, Ooah, edIT, and Boreta were beyond cordial. In fact, the only person slightly put off was their tour manager as he had to re-explain a few things that he had already gone over with the rest of The Mob. Sorry Jason. All-and-all I was slightly underwhelmed by the meeting. Not to say it wasn’t awesome. It was. It’s just that there I was in the presence of some of my favorite musicians and I didn’t know what to say. It must be so weird for artists to meet their fans. Afterword Anna made an analogy that I think fits the situation pretty well, “It’s sort of like bringing your significant other home for the holidays. Your whole family has heard all about her/him, but your significant other doesn’t really know anything about anyone there. It’s just an awkward scene.” Even so, The Glitch Mob were way cool. They seemed to care very much about everyone who had come out, and I am so glad that they put out the effort to connect with their fans. Let’s just say the extended fam would be impressed.

A few hours later I found myself very pleased by Chrome Sparks’ sound as well as their weird flashing lamps, yet, slightly disappointed by The M Machine. I love The M Machine’s material, and for that reason was upset that they didn’t play enough of it. Had a DJ set been advertised? I don’t know, but that’s what I witnessed. I’ll tell you what wasn’t upsetting: The Glitch Mob! The trio entered the stage to an eruption of cheers and wasted no time jumping into heavy hitters from both Drink the Sea and LDI. There is just something about their music that is so extremely epic and powerful. It hits you in the chest. It rattles your soul. There aren’t many electronic shows in which you’ll find members of the crowd head banging and thrashing about, but that’s what you get when you go see The Glitch Mob. In addition, you’ll find kandi kids, seasoned electro-heads, and everyone in-between – a welcoming scene to say the least.

The Glitch MobAccompanying The Glitch Mob was what has been dubbed as “The Blade” – their interactive touring display. While watching the trio bang away at the intricate compilation of custom made midi controllers and drum pads, all of which face the crowd in order to showcase Ooah, Boreta, and edIT’s seamless and meticulous queues, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Skrillex’s mother ship. The Blade definitely shares the mother ship’s raw industrial (yet futuristic) look, but the three pods are vastly more advanced in terms of functionality. Along with a massive LED backdrop, The Blade is a definitely a sight to see. It was fantastic to watch the trio bang away during “Mind of a Beast” and “Skytoucher.” Remixes of Prodigy’s “Breathe” and The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” also lit the crowd on fire.

Just before dropping “Fortune Days” and “We Can Make the World Stop” Boreta addressed the crowd asking for everyone to, just for this one song, this one moment, put their phones away. No recording, no pictures, no Instagrams, no Snaps. In return, The Glitch Mob would do the same (not that they were doing any of the sort, but those who follow The Glitch Mob know that they are fairly active on the social medias). The result was fantastic. Shit. It was almost magical. Every single person except for some dude who ultimately put his phone down after receiving enough flak and Chris Blackburn (at least you uploaded your vids to YouTube, brah) shared in the moment. Our society has become so device centric that we don’t even notice bright floating screens in the air until they’ve all been removed. When they are, it’s just the band and the audience. It becomes personal again. It’s gorgeous.

Before finishing the night out we as an audience were told that Saint Paul truthfully had been one of the hypest crowds on the tour thus far. “Skullclub” provided one last opportunity to dance and thrash about. Fans, young and old alike, took advantage. I left Myth exhilarated and sporting a permanent smile. The Glitch Mob came, saw, and conquered. Ooah, edIT, and Boreta are certainly some of the best live electronic… let’s just call them what they are: a band. They are one of the best bands I have seen to date, and I can’t wait to see them again.

 

Article by Alex Stahlmann

Photos by Carter Dick

 

Check out the full photo album on our Facebook page.

 

Oct 20

Shpongle and Beats Antique: Creature Carnival Tour @ Myth 10/17/14

Are You Shpongled Yet, Creatures?

If you bought a ticket to Beats Antique’s Creature Carnival Tour there’s a good chance you too had no idea what to expect. What I can say now to all those not in attendance: it was quite the circus. I wasn’t expecting much at all out of second opener Emancipator (I completely missed out on Lafa Taylor) but found myself pleasantly surprised by the smoothness put forth. I now realize I had only seen Emancipator Ensemble (opened for Shpongle live at Red Rocks) which is the main duo with added members for a nearly completely live musical experience. Having two members and a computer, along with any live instruments they felt like playing, opened up the possibilities for faster transactions and more inventive, exploratory music. The biggest surprise to me was how quickly two of them could create a sustainable groove as compared to an entirely live band. Emancipator was quite the unexpected delight that I was not planned on enjoying before my main treat of the evening: Shpongle.20141017_223526

My main man Simon Posford took the stage at 10:30 p.m. and wasted zero time wrangling in the creatures for his exotic dance party, kicking off the set with the Latin flamenco influenced “Dorset Perception” from Tales of the Inexpressible. This is the track you play when you’d like your listeners to immediately stop what they are doing and ask “what is this?” as they slowly start swaying to the music. The happy, horn heavy music continued for a half hour moving through tropical jungles mystical rain forests with tracks such as “My Head Feels like a Frisbee” and “Levitation Nation.” Simon was just tearing straight into the party heavy tracks that would normally find themselves worked later into a Shpongle headlining set.

I personally think it was a great decision playing the catchiest of his tunes first to try to capture any and all unsuspecting Beats-heads off guard and suck them into Shpongleland, and it seemed to have worked. While never becoming uncomfortably crowded, weirdos from all sorts of places came creeping out of the word works and sliding their way through the empty spots towards the expertly crafted and extremely engaging worldly beats being pumped through the speakers by this happy dancing man whose fedora looked like it got in a fight with a peacock and won. For the record, I love Simon’s hat and am sad to hear someone actually stole it a week before this show. Fortunately his girlfriend crafted him a new one and he was back to his signature look by the time he hit the St. Paul stage.

At precisely 11:01 things took a mind-bending turn towards the psychedelic. Anyone sucked in from the start 20141017_230359expecting an entire show of happy, easy to dance to, street festival friendly songs was in for an utter surprise as the deep, subaqueous sounds of “How the Jellyfish Jumped up the Mountain” began to work its way out the sound system. With the proper preparation it was easy to feel like a jellyfish pulsing through a submerged canyon miles below the sea, racing your way towards an Atlantis of your own dreams.

From there on out was a blur of tasteful psychedelic visuals, an immersive audience of outlandishly awesome humanoid creatures, deep hitting, pulsing beats and trippy auditory sprinkles meant to stretch and fold your brain as though it was salt-water taffy being prepped for sale at the county carnival. “Ineffable Mysteries” was an unexpected delight and “Divine Moments of Truth” took you on a tour of any place in the universe you wished to visit. I find it best to explore the surfaces of Earth-like planets in a distant solar systems but that’s just me. The craziest part is realizing when you open your eyes you’ve just traveled halfway across the known universe and back in less time than it takes Rebecca Black to tell you why she’s such a big fan of Fridays.

At some point in the set Simon delved into one of his other projects, psytrance heavy Hallucinogen, and pulled out the weird Gamma Goblins. Does calling one of Simon’s tracks weird even mean anything, aren’t they all weird? Are you Shpongled yet?

If not, between Shpongle and Beats Antique we were treated to, as it seems they’re trying to do in every city on the tour, some superb local talent. I did not catch the name of the woman, nor can I completely describe what she did, but it was along the line of a complete transformation into some sort of twisting, hanging, camouflaged lizard 20141017_234045suspending herself from a vertical, spinning metal hoop. In simple terms she was a contortionist who hung from inside of a hoop, but the reality seemed much more intense than that. This is one of those girls who could pull her own weight (literally) on a Circ de Soliel tour.

The night’s actual main event was extremely intriguing by most standards. Some patrons felt the show paled in comparison to last year’s Halloween show at Mill City Night’s mainly due to this runs lack of crazy projection mapped visuals. My response is, carnivals don’t have 3D mapped and projected visuals…this tour is about something different…something along the line of a more interactive experience for everyone. I applaud Beats Antique for the creative approach they’ve taken to this tour.

I am not going to go into much detail about this because it just won’t translate if you weren’t there, but there are a few highlights that should be touched upon. The song selection was great in my mind. Zoe Jakes had a couple female dancers accompanying her for some very interesting dance numbers and captivating outfits while the band played very burlesque-y burlesque tracks. Then the band would play an old classic before jumping into Bassnectar’s remix of “Roustabout”. There’d be another classic followed by new tracks. At one point I saw the giant inflatable animal making its way on stage and though “Okay, I’ve seen this twice. Maybe time to grab a drink?” Nope. Heavy, wild and crazy dub step beats rocked out the speakers while a six legged, one-eyed, radioactive Scooby Doo was suddenly lunged over and over at the crowd. Did not see that one coming.

The craziest and most interactive song of the night involved all the Beats Antique specific creatures scattered throughout the crowd. The band had provided 4 creature faces to choose from online (Tiger, Owl, Squid and Rabbit/Antelope) to print off, color and turn into a mask. The MC of the evening called out for a space to be cleared on the floor and for all Tigers to show off their creature moves in the center. I was Tiger! So naturally I pushed my way to the middle and started Tiger dancing moments before being spotted and called out “Now THERE’S a Tiger!” by the MC. Each creature got their own spotlight dance time. I saw familiar Owls and Wookies I hadn’t seen since way back when we first blasted off into Outer Shpongolia oh so long ago. What a crazy creature carnival indeed!

And then they tried to unravel all of what they had sewn the past few hours with what has to be one of the worst endings to a show I’ve ever seen. There was no formal “thank you for coming out” moment after the last song, just the MC awkwardly pacing around the stage asking who’s birthday it was. Zoey joined the stage and we all sang happy birthday…fine enough. But then MC started asking again who’s birthday it was for real and he brought 3 girls on stage to be presented with ice cream cake. It was painful to watch as Zoey Jakes took handfuls of cake and literally shoved them into the mouths and faces of girls who obviously weren’t enjoying the domination at all. One of the girls was in a wheel chair which added to the extreme awkwardness of the situation. Then nothing. That was it. Time to go.20141017_223652

Overall Emancipator did such a great job that I need to reevaluate them as a group. They are, without question, much stronger as a duo than a full live group. Simon can’t help but Geshtonkenflapp your psyche all over the wall like an egg cracking in reverse gravity. He will never disappoint. Projection visuals excluded, Beats Antique threw down hard and played a much more enjoyable set than I had expected (sometimes I forget how much I like seeing them live). And even though they tried to ruin it with the worst show ending I’ve ever seen the damage was already done. Creature Carnival Tour was a massive success.

 

Article by: Eric Severson

Pictures by: Eric Severson

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