Sunday, June 10th, 2012 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Or, Electric Daisy Carnival, Day Three. Hypnotic lights strobe on and off blinding a mixed crowd of international denizens, ravers, clubbers, hippies, scenesters, and wholesome All-American types. Subs reverberate powerfully replicating the sounds translated from a DJ’s laptop via time-coded CDs or thumb drives, routed via mixers, amp racks, and any other piece of gear, cabling, or musical medium in the daisy chain of the towering concert rig erected before us. The low end is deafening…but pleasantly so. The sound-waves seem to pass right through you, but not before they take a little detour inside you, curling up in your gut, and scrambling your insides just a bit. The arena, aptly named, is called the Bass Pod.
Delta Heavy has just finished assailing the crowd gathering in front of the stage with an eclectic and pounding mixture of Dubstep, but while people are up and dancing, you can tell they’re restraining themselves just a bit – as if waiting in anticipation of some larger spectacle to follow…
My girlfriend has just dragged me away from Pretty Lights in the main field, insistent that we catch this next act, Dirtyphonics, despite the tantrum I’m currently kicking up in protest. I’d heard their music before, enjoyed it, and enjoyed playing it in a live setting, but failed to understand how a Dirtyphonics LIVE set would differ from the string of ho-hum ‘live’ sets by acts like Deadmau5, Paul Van Dyk and their ilk of laptop DJ that I’d bared witness to in the past.
I feel like there’s something else you should know before I continue. I disliked EDC. Not because it was a bad event or the music wasn’t good, but because I’m impatient of the ‘festival experience’. I do not like the extreme heat of Vegas in the summer, and I loathe line-ups. EDC IS one big line-up from the 2 hour traffic jam to get to the festival grounds to the corral to get through security; from the line-up for the beer gardens, to the sea of less-than-sober people shambling their way between music arenas. On the third night of a less than superb party experience, my temper was short, and my level of enjoyment was minimal at best.
That all changed with Dirtyphonics Live.
Their music selection, a mixture of original tracks, mash-ups, smash-ups, and cut-ups, was without flaw. It ran the gamut from 110 to 187 BPM. In the space of 90 minutes I must’ve heard at least sixty tracks in whole, in part, and sampled. Their set started with rapid-fire sci-fi laser spewing Drum & Bass to tribal-tinged Moombahton; from borderline Screamo Electro to chuggy, Techno-infused Dubstep. Bass-Heads might say it was ‘brain-melting’.
Never have I heard beats cut-up, melodies sliced, basslines stuttered, drum rolls filtered, or vocals chopped live so seamlessly and with such precision. To this day, I don’t know what it is they do up there on stage. In short, I’d say it’s just four guys grinning maniacally, drinking mass quantities of Grey Goose straight from the bottle, and mashing buttons faster than I’ve ever seen. And it’s fucking awesome.
Dirtyphonics is performing LIVE at Five Sixty on March 27th, 2013 .
Check out the event details here: http://twisted.ca/Dirtyphonics