Archive: December, 2010

Dubstep Massive: Borgore, J Rabbit and Hellfire Machina

If you were wondering what the kids were doing Wednesday night, then you weren’t at Music Hall of Williamsburg for an injection of Bass—straight to the main line.  The 18+ show was packed with dub heads, rave kids, hip-hoppers and hipsters. Heads nodded.  Arms waved.  Bodies moved. New York-based openers Hellfire Machina threw down a massive two-hour set.  Building steam with jittery break-beats and dubbed-out sirens, the pair unleashed wave upon wave of bombastic bass and got people on their feet.  Remixes of Dead Prez, Wu-Tang and Brand Nubian had the crowd shooting along, bouncing off the walls buoyed by that ever-present bass.  UK dubstep mega-hits like Doctor P’s “Sweet shop” had hands in the air.  The duo’s Jody Shires and Tom Williams swapped turns at the decks, dropping bomb after bomb, grabbing the mike at times to proclaim, “Dubstep is a revolution and it’s because of you lot” and to remind of everyone that the house was overflowing on a Wednesday night.  With bass so thick you could hear it in your nose, ravey drops, and shout-along samples, they rained hot bass fire down upon the sea of heads before them.  Simply put, Hellfire Machina killed it.  If your NYE needs a bass boost, you can catch these guys at Bass Fueled Mischief’s all-night throw-down in Greenpoint.  Cop tickets and peep the flier here.

Up next, Bronx-born J Rabbit brought his house-heavy dub to the masses.  The beats he dropped were huge.  Monster cuts like his “Satisfaction” remix that has been doing the viral thing on the interwebs had the kids jumping.  His sound built on what Hellfire had started.  The whole night, a thick layer of bass coated the room and didn’t dissipate until Boregore’s last cut around 3am.  J’s dub is the new dub—bass-fueled of course, but with huge, danceable drops.  He’s bringing dubstep out of the bassment and into the club with high-energy bangers.

Borgore closed out the night with dark, dirty bass bubbling.  His set was heavy on originals with the Israel-based artist taking mike in hand and shouting his joke-rap vocals about cumming on faces over several cuts. Behind him, girls in full stripper gear slithered and teased. The crowd—synapses blown, ears blown, heads blown—kept bouncing, at this point lulled into a sort of trance by the hypnotic bass assault.  “Gorestep” –the label Bore has coined for his patented brand of aggressive bass bombast—means a barrage of thick bass breaks not for the faint of heart.

With a packed house on a Wednesday and a fully amped and very young crowd, the bass that shook the Music Hall announced load, long and low that bass-culture is on the rise.  No matter what the mainstream mags say, dubstep has landed in the U.S., fixed itself firmly in that nebulous space between jam and rave—between festival field and underground club—and it’s going to be around for a while.

Posted in DJ, Local Flavor, Up & Coming

Borgore, J Rabbit, and Hellfire Machina Bring Bass to Brooklyn

This Wednesday, December 29, Powerline, The Good Thing, GBH and Bowery Presents have all come together to bring you a bone-rattling bass-culture bill at Music Hall of Williamsburg.  Headlined by Israel’s Borgore and his pioneering brand of dubstep—“Gorestep”—the night will also feature sets from Hellfire Machina and Bronx-based young gun J Rabbit, who just dropped a new mix-tape for Mad Decent last week (CLICK HERE for a free download).  Advance tickets are available HERE.

Posted in DJ, Events, Local Flavor, Mixtape

Dirtybird Showcase Brings Claude Vonstroke to District 36

I often find myself backed into a corner, feebly attempting to explain to those who don’t have firsthand experience what it’s like being young in New York City. You can try to describe the energy, the people, the lifestyle, but the truth of the matter is it is in many ways incommunicable because it is something you feel in your very bones. Suffice to say, we simply function at a different caliber than the rest of the people in the world, mostly, and living here is therefore simultaneously the most rewarding and most trying thing that you will ever do. The city will give you anything and everything you could ever ask for, but as much as it gives it demands in return. It is possible to lose sight of aspirations, to forget to be thankful, and to maintain outstandingly high expectations because we have experienced highs that only very few people in the world will ever get to. But then, just as you can feel the cold edge of jaded reaction slip into your manner, an event like this comes along to punch you in the stomach, jolting you awake and suddenly reminding you why every drop of sweat, vibration of stress and pang of heartache is worth it.

Perhaps it was the experience of a shiny new club – speakers I’d never heard, a floor I’d never stomped on, dark corners as yet unexplored. Perhaps it was Claude Vonstroke, a man whose talents I have long worshipped along with the rest of the artists on his dirtybird label. Perhaps it was the company, the dress, and the vibe from the crowd. Whatever it was, it all came together to create one of those perfect nights; the kind you pray for every night as you’re getting dressed, checking for keys, and wandering your way to the train. District 36 itself is an incredible space, with the perfect sort of New York City vibe to it – big, but still intimate; cool, but not swanky; edgy, but not dirty. The former clothing factory is located in the Garment District and was designed to be entirely centered around the sound, which appears in the form of massive speakers reaching from the dancefloor to the balcony and strategically placed to surround the dancefloor, hitting the audience with soundwaves from every side. The holiday decorations didn’t hurt either, with giant snowflakes and icicles hanging far down from the roof, reflecting light from the giant discoball and sophisticated lighting design already present.

With Basic NYC to thank for organization, Fahad, Tanner Ross and Christian Martin got the night going, each delivering killer sets, with tech house being the primary focus of the night. And as for Claude himself, well, what can really be said? The man is an electronic god among men. Although I had the pleasure of seeing him before, first as Sonar in Barcelona and then at Electric Zoo Festival, this time was an entirely unique experience as the indoor environment, more manageable crowd, and impecable sound created an immaculate element. Tech house, and particularly Claude’s particular brand of it, is quite simply made to be heard on a giant, expensive system that can truly handle the bass. And man, did District 36′s system deliver. With every transition and drop, looks of disbelieve were exchanged and exclamations of “Oh yeah!” heard everywhere, quickly followed by some serious hands-in-the-air grooving and complete abandon. Many dirtybird favorites were heard throughout the night, including Riva Starr’s remix of the Martin Brother’s “Steel Drums”, and Claude Vonstroke’s “Big N Round” and “Beat That Bird”. Just when I thought the night was over and had started to contemplate finding the train, Claude stepped back behind the DJ booth to chants of “One more track!”, and dropped “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?”, a favorite track for anyone who’s ever even heard the name Claude Vonstroke.

So, it is with renewed strength and joy that I look forward to following the progression of District 36 as a venue, with the hope that it can perhaps fill that venue void that New York seems to be experiencing – I for one think it has great potential. As always, dirtybird remains at the top of my personal roster of labels to track closely, with my obsession only being further intensified by the brilliance experienced this night. And above all, I can go forth remembering that when the parties start to blend together, the people start becoming faceless, and dreams turn grey, “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?” will always be there in my headphones, just one click away.

Check out the complete photo gallery HERE.

Posted in DJ, Live Music, Music News, Photo Gallery

Talib Kweli Introduces “Gutter Rainbows” with an Intimate Event at SNAP

On Tuesday night, Talib Kweli presented his latest album, Gutter Rainbows, to an intimate crowd of about 100 people at SNAP. “These songs were the songs from Prison of Consciousness, which is not ready yet, that I felt like needed to be out, needed to be heard, right now,” Kweli said of the track selection for Gutter Rainbows, “these are my favorite tracks of the moment.”

Not only did we hear the whole album from start to finish, Kweli also introduced each song and rapped along with some of his verses. Several of the album’s collaborators stopped by to show their support, including 88 Keys, Outasight and 6th Sense. Gutter Rainbows will be released on January 25, 2011. Prisoner of Consciousness is also slated for a 2011 release.

CLICK HERE to view photos from the night, and check out some nuggets of wisdom that Kweli dropped during his Q&A after the jump…

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Posted in Events, Live Music, Local Flavor, New Music, Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery: Trouble & Bass Lisbon Take Over at Santos Party House (December 9, 2010)

On Thursday night, the Trouble & Bass crew hosted guests from abroad for another one of their signature wild nights. Hailing from Lisbon (hence the name of the party) Zombies for Money and J-Wow of Buraka Som Sistema delivered high-energy beats that had the crowd going from start to finish. As always, the Trouble & Bass Crew – Star Eyes, The Captain, and AC Slater (DTL is currently on tour in Europe) – held it down with solid opening and closing sets. Truly an amazing way for T&B to close out the year, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2011.


Posted in DJ, Local Flavor, Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery: Flashing Lights at Public Assembly (December 10, 2010)

Flashing Lights returned to Public Assembly on Friday night, with stellar sets by special guests Starks & Nacey (of DC’s Nouveau Riche) and residents Nick Catchdubs, DJ Ayres and Jubilee. Natalie Storm performed some solo material, and was even joined by Jubilee and Maggie Horn for a sexy dance break. Throughout the night curious characters from the muppet-themed party stopped by for a peek (hence the costumes).


Posted in DJ, Live Music, Local Flavor, Photo Gallery

Fool’s Gold x LTD Holiday Party Next Week

The Fool’s Gold x LTD Holiday Party is back in full effect and coming atcha on Friday, December 17. Fool’s Gold has been on fire with their events lately, and we expect this one to be no different. Mannie Fresh, Just Blaze, The Brothers Macklovitch (A-Trak + Dave 1) and Sammy Bananas will be behind the decks and complimentary food and drinks will be served until midnight… All you have to do is RSVP.

Posted in DJ, Events

Last Chance to RSVP for the Trouble & Bass Lisbon Takeover

Tomorrow night, the Trouble & Bass crew will take over Santos Party House with a few special guests from Lisbon: J-Wow of Buraka Som Sistema and T&B’s own Zombies for Money. Preview some tunes HERE, and don’t forget to RSVP for $5 admission before midnight. All RSVPs will be entered to win a pair of tickets to the party. The guest list will close on Thursday at 5 PM.


Posted in Contest, DJ, Events, Local Flavor

Photo Gallery: J. Cole – BET Music Matters Tour (December 5, 2010)

The BET Music Matters Tour featuring J. Cole, K. Michelle, CJ Hilton and Sean Garrett at the Highline Ballroom.


Posted in Events, Photo Gallery

Into the Woods and Far From Home: Daedelus, 12th Planet and Gaslamp Killer

Into The Woods is a collective of filmmakers from the pacific northwest who shoot bands and DJs in unusual places. I recently had the experience of watching this crew at my home to shoot a piece for San Francisco based band Young Prisms, and I even took some time to film with the collective behind the camera. The amount of equipment used to record the sounds and video was staggering, and I have to admire their expertise in capturing moments that I can only describe as magic off the stage. With the same likeliness, when I came across the footage of their encounters with Daedelus, 12th Planet and Gaslamp Killer, I was not surprised by the sheer quality and sentiments of these videos. Even more magical is how these moments are captured. The videos and performances exude raw and unique qualities that encapsulate the artists’ character and charisma - no crowds, just the artist and their nuance off the beaten path. Check out the refreshing videos after the jump, along with snippets of what Into The Woods had to say about the happenstance of  their encounters.

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Posted in Extracurricular, Film, Video


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