There are moments here at Coachella that you want to hide. Your face region has been rocked by the Black Keys; Crystal Castles gave you ear epilepsy (that hurts so good); or then the Kings of Leon assaulted you with their sonic skullduggery. It's intense. Then you're consumed by the clouds of hotdog stench, or maybe bunny-eared barely legals' endless squee-ing. Intensity turned to 11. For whatever reason, you need a minute away. Luckily, last night, L.A.'s own Nosaj Thing turned the festival's Gobi tent into an aural igloo to weather Coachella's blizzard of white noise. In the middle of his searing set, it became clear that Nosaj may be the next one from L.A.'s beat scene to make it big.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. He's got class. Noasaj Thing (aka Jason Chung) is the most well mannered of the Low End Theory alums. Between Gaslamp Killer's face-melting frenzy to Flying Lotus' heady lurching grooves, these Low End Theory standouts have defined personas. Nosaj, however, plays it cool, letting his mostly instrumental music do the talking. You know what they say about the quiet ones.
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2. Striking a Balance. Nosaj reconciles deep bass with orchestral ornamentation, for a contradictory sound that feels both heavy and light at the same time. He drops a beat that surges with that signature lopsided Low End Theory groove, while weaving in the warmth of digital noise.
3. Visual stimulator. On stage, laptop jockeys look like they're Gchatting, so they often have stoke the crowd with just their sound. But sometimes, they need a little backup. Nosaj's Coachella set featured video that made 2001's stonery stargate scene seem like child's play. He's got the sound and the vision.
4. Chops, he's got 'em. Some of the Low End Theory residents excel at crafting their own beats, while others thrive on splicing songs. Nosaj does both, slicing and dicing Portishead into his mix, while layering dubstep textures into his own cuts.
5. He's a hypnotist. Those hazy, hazy beats, they get you every time. They can charm even the most ornery of Coachella snakes. The Gobi tent churned with the crowd he sent swaying, while others sprawled in the grass, and a few genuflected over mobile phones, sending out digital messages in a bottle to the outside world. Nosaj can connect.