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Entries in review (27)

Thursday
Jun142012

Review: Pretty Lights at EDC Vegas

After just returning from 2012's crazy, hectic, and memorable EDC weekend, I really have only one set that I can't get out of my head. And that's Pretty Lights. On Sunday evening, I was finally lucky enough to experience the delight of Pretty Lights live, and the genius producer Derek Smith did not disappoint in the least bit.

Opening the night with "Hot Like Sauce" only seemed appropriate for the first time he has ever graced the Kinetic Field mainstage at Electric Daisy Carnival. Instantly, the emotion in the air changed, creating a new atmosphere within the crowd. I had long been a fan of his groovy Electro Hip-Hop Soul music, but experiencing his hybrid music live was a completely different experience.

Seamlessly interweaving each track into the next, Smith made sure the crowd responded with nothing but good, positive vibes. It is a rare occasion when I lose my sense of time during a set, and PL made sure that happened. On a stage that is primarily dominated by House DJs who churn out Top 40 tracks, Smith's set was a beautiful and much-needed change. Everyone who was blessed enough to witness his set that night only had positive things to tell me. 

Changing his BPMs far more than any other DJ I have witnessed, PL truly showed his mixing skills while creating an entertaining and uplifting environment. I couldn't help but to make noise and cheer to his soulful Glitch-Hop sounds, or raise my fists in the air every time he instructed me to. Experiencing his set was certainly the highlight of my EDC and I feel sorry for anyone who missed it.

Thankfully though, Pretty Lights is a firm believer in sharing the music, sharing the love and the experience. All of Pretty Light's music is available for download on his website. The musical vision that Derek Smith has for Pretty Lights is the same sort of vision I feel every Electronic Dance Music artist should have. The fact that he is a supporter of sharing his creations to all who care to listen is quite an empowering thing, and I hope more artists in the future follow his lead. Because he is a supporter of free media, his music gets an overwhelming amount of support, and as a fan I feel like I can gain much more respect. It obviously has not hindered his success - how else would he be getting the chance to play at one of the largest music festivals in the world?

Pretty Lights is leading quite the musical revolution. With his versatile style, overwhelming amount of talent, and a backing of supportive and friendly fans, there is no doubt in my mind that Derek Smith is going nowhere but up. After this weekend I'm counting the days until I have a chance to experience the incredible live performance I witnessed again. And after listening to his set I'm sure you all will too!

 

 

 

(Pending full tracklist - Update coming soon!)

Free Music Downloads Available on the Pretty Lights Homepage!

And don't miss these amazing photos of Pretty Lights' performance at Ultra Music Festival this year!

By April Surrency

Monday
May072012

Review: Tristan Garner at Santos Party House

Parisian Electro & Progressive House DJ and producer, Tristan Garner, took Santos Party House by storm Saturday night. It was Garner's debut NYC performance, and it will definitely not be his last. He played everything from Swedish House Mafia, to Daft Punk, to Deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner's stellar collaboration "Animal Rights."

Tristan Garner's high-energy set kept the crowd going until well past 3:30 AM with his flawless mixing and transitions of all different genres. He really wowed the crowd with Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Quintino & Sandro Silva's "Epic," and Tommy Trash's "The End." And he closed the night with a bang, playing his own remix of Nadia Ali's "Rapture." Garner, who founded his own music label Xtra Life Records, which currently has a DJ competition to get signed to his label which ends May 11. Check out the video below for the contest deets and enter at XtraLiferecords.com.

 

Review and Photography by Laryssa Loza

Friday
May042012

Review: Childish Gambino & Flatbush Zombies at Starland Ballroom

I saw Flatbush Zombies on April 30th open up for Childish Gambino at Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, NJ. Flatbush got on the stage, opening with "Thug Waffles." The Flatbush Zombies are a trio of musicians, made up of Meechy Darko, MC Juice, and Erick Arc Elliot, hailing from Flatbush Ave Brooklyn. Meechy Darko and Juice handle most of the rapping, while Elliot handles the production.  Immediately from Darko's first line I knew I had just found my new obsession.

"Today I purchased a coffin and I ain't even dead yet, Smoked about a 100 blunts and I ain't even high yet,Darko continues with a grimy flow into the hook, "Seaweed flow must be from that weed smoke, eyes chinese cause we smoking sour diesel, blunts siamese, two of theses, you be me yo, fuck the police though we smoke it like its legal." Juice takes the final verse and gives a shout out to Danny Brown in the line "twisted my fame be, blunt after blunt after... blunt, so stuck so stuck off the what?" 

Flatbush had an extremely energetic performance that I know interested the Gambino crowd and motivated them to join the undead themselves. The Zombies also played "Laker Papers," "S.C.O.S.A," a Gucci Gucci remix, and "Piss Test," a killer collab between Danny Brown, A-Trak, and Juicy J. To me, the Flatbush Zombies are a mix between Danny Brown and ASAP Rocky, but other critics have called them Horrorcore Wu-tang revivalists trying to do justice to the genre after Limp Bizkit. Either way, they are definitely worth checking out.

Childish Gambino opened his show with the song "Outside," the first song on his album Camp. The smooth vocals were a good opening to the hard, heartfelt track about Gambino's Childhood. Speeding up the pace, Gambino continued to the next song on his album, "Fire Fly."

Following this Gambino brought the energy level up and played his hit "Bonfire." The crowd fed off of Childish's energy to create a truly hyped show. Featuring a full band with two violinists, and a background projector featuring lights and lyrics, Gambino needed to do very little to take up the whole stage and get the attention of the audience.

However, the rapper, writer, and comedian, could be seen moving throughout the whole stage interacting with all sides of the show. Gambino then went to the single that launched his career, "Freaks and Geeks." This is where the two electric violinists came in, really bringing up the emotions of the show. He opened the song by stating that the lyrics would be on the screen behind him "if anyone here didn't know the lyrics." Immediately when the violins came on the crowd went wild realizing the song choice.

Following the violin theme, Childish Gambno went on to play "All The Shine," giving the crowd a slower song to relax. Gambino followed this pattern of breaking up his energetic songs with his slow singing pieces, allowing the crowd a short break. Throughout the concert Gambino played a large selection of his older music from Culdesac. Songs that were played were "I Be On That," "So Fly," "Do Ya Like," "Fuck it All," and "I'm On It." Off his EP he also played "Lights Turned On" in addition to his hit "Freaks and Geeks." Off of the album Camp Childish Gambino also included popular tracks "Heartbeat," "Les," "Backpackers," and "Hold You Down."

Throughout the concert, Starland Ballroom was going crazy, there must have been at least twenty kids who crowd surfed to the stage area. After Gambino finished his set, he then came back to play an encore at the crowd's demand. He opened with a few songs off his unreleased album Royalty and even did a freestyle adding to the already amazing show.

Although I was unsure of what I expected from  Childish Gambino and Flatbush Zombies, they absolutely blew me away. Both came to the stage to perform with such a raw energy that they were able to capture the emotions audience. Childish Gambino put on an amazingly energetic show with a full band, and moving from side to side, kept the audience entertained and involved. Gambino truly shined on the stage and established himself as a true performer to me. I would highly recommend attending a Childish Gambino concert if you get the chance, and be sure to check out what's coming next from The Zombies. 

Review by Matt DiGiovanni

Monday
Apr162012

Review: Noisia and Big Chocolate @ Webster Hall (4/13)

A solid drum & bass set is not easy to come by, and is usually subjected to the realms of the underground dance world. I was surprised, then, to see the Dutch trio, represented by Martijn van Sonderen and Thijs de Vlieger, maintain the dark, grimy d&b at Webster Hall on Friday night. The two surprised me with their ability to maintain the dark, grimy d&b that we all love, while bridging the range of their sound with an electro-house vibe.

Despite initial issues with the sound system at Webster, Noisia delivered their genre-crossing bass music to their dancing fans. Their mixing of 'Tommy's Theme,' to 'Diplodocus,' to 'Friendly Intentions' (VIP version) conveyed a progression of their set, which came to a halt midway when they busted out their remix of Deadmau5 and SOFI's immensely popular "Raise Your Weapon."

By that time, Noisia had commanded the entire audience, getting them to sing and sway, before destroying them with their remix of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.' Other notable tracks head-banging tracks included 'Stigma' and their own  Noisia's production was truly epic, and their sound was absolutely enormous. They are definitely a group to check out!

Accompanying act Big Chocolate took to the stage, rocking it with face-melting dub. The 21 year old showed his evident passion for the crowd, raging with them for the entirety of the set. The California producer and DJ has gained renown in the music industry in recent years for his hard-hitting remixes. Inspired by death metal, Big Chocolate was actually the co-founder of the band Disfigure the Goddess, and has toured the US with the likes of Dance Gavin Dance.

Twenty minutes into the set, Big Chocolate truly shocked us with a slow building remix of the 1999 classic 'Sandstorm' by Darude. Just when the audience had realized what was happening, he dropped the track back into pulsating dubstep, rallying the crowd's energy. Later he did the same with Bingo Players' 'Rattle,' which was also quite well received by the downtown crowd. 

By Laryssa Loza

Monday
Apr092012

Review: Tommy Trash at Webster Hall NYC

The amount of talent in New York City this past weekend was astonishing. Picking and choosing between shows to see proved to be a chore. However, Webster Hall was absolutely the place to be Friday night. The line for entry extended around the block, and the the venue was packed solid. Fans anxiously awaited the London-based rising star Tommy Trash to take stage.

The ARIA Award-nominee began his set at 1:30am, without the use of any fancy visuals, which he frankly didn't need. Known for his real dirty sound, he wowed the crowd with a collection of his own originals, remixes, edits and bootlegs sending fans into a dancing frenzy.

Tommy Trash began his set with originals Monkey See Monkey DoCascade, and Future Folk, transitioning flawlessly into remixes of Zedd's Shave It, and Dada Life's Kick Out The Epic Motherf**ker, and then back into originals Sex Drugs, Rock N Rolland The End.

He certainly commanded the crowd like I've never seen, keeping fans begging for more. Well-known artists Kill The Noise and Feed Me were spotted on stage to support Tommy Trash; at one point security was seen scolding Kill The Noise for parading around the stage (how dare they)?!

As promised on the DJ's Facebook page, "If clubbers expect to hear me play a lot of my own stuff then that’s what they’ll get. But also I plan on remixing my remixes and remixing my originals specifically for these shows. It will be a unique experience in that clubbers will only get to hear these tracks by seeing me live. They’ll get special versions that no other DJ has" Tommy Trash delivered just that. He brought the rockstar vibe to Webster Hall, head-banging and raging along with fans during his entire set. This is a live show you surely do not want to miss!

Review by Laryssa Loza