WHO: Flying Lotus with Strangeloop, Teebs, Samiyam, Gaslamp Killer, Austin Peralta, and Thundercat
WHERE: Music Box
The Music Box convulsed with bass last night as the Brainfeeder crew descended upon Hollywood Blvd for a sold out show. Top Brainfeeder talent, the leaders of the beat/electronic music scene--Strangeloop, Teebs, Samiyam, Gaslamp Killer, Austin Peralta, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus--shared the same stage lined by massive Pure Filth speakers, shaking the walls of the historic theater all evening long.
Despite showing up half an hour before doors, we missed the entirety of Strangeloop's set due to confusion at the box office. Very disappointing, since his latest work is absolutely stunning--a/v project Fields, out late July on Brainfeeder, is a hypnotic, beautiful experiment in sound and image, with deeply moving ambient soundscapes that build and fold over the course of three acts--the first a movement symbolizing birth and constellation, the second death and dissolution, and the third a transcendental union of both.
Teebs followed with a short set with some of the most beautiful, delicate beats found on Brainfeeder. Last year, Flying Lotus described his debut Ardour as "an island vacation--the way Avatar looks." His sounds are calming and of no discernable origins, allowing for an exploration of the organic possibilities of electronic music.
Samiyam--who shared 404s with Teebs--was the first special guest. Last time we saw him, Gaslamp Killer brought him on stage warning that, "This little guy is gonna tear your head off and put it back on again and give it a kiss." Sam set the tone for the evening, spinning high-energy hip hop from his favorite records, and weaving in some new tracks off his upcoming Brainfeeder release. Sam Baker's Album is a brilliant followup to 2008's Rap Beats Vol. 1, which was Brainfeeder's first official release (though he released and distributed himself via his Myspace at first). These tracks operate within recognizable Brainfeeder territory, but there's a lot of smooth funk in there too. "Buy my fucking record, I'm broke and starving," he said with a laugh.
The Gaslamp Killer--the special guest from Hell--played MC, dancing across the stage with laptop and ipad in hand to instruct the crowd to make some fucking noise for Teebs and Samiyam. "This is some Los Angeles music you're hearing baby," he said. Gaslamp's a total maniac in the best way possible, moving and shaking as if possessed, yelling that his face was burning from all the sweat. With remixes from sources as varied as Radiohead, Outkast, James Blake, Black Sabbath, and even Aaliyah (clearly nobody in the crowd forgot "Are You That Somebody?"), GLK's drew from perhaps the deepest arsenal of sounds than anyone else that night. New Hudson Mohawk showed up too. He's got seemingly endless energy, and last night he took us down the rabbit hole and straight into Hell.
Austin Peralta and Thundercat are quickly becoming one of L.A.'s best collaborations. When they play together, Peralta on keys and Thundercat on bass, they're communicating sonically, creating symbiotic sounds without saying a single word to each other. Unsurprisingly, the two genius musicians have the same relationship individually to Flying Lotus, who had them join him for his headlining set. Thundercat, who you've heard on FlyLo's Cosmogramma, has his own solo record coming out on Brainfeeder in August called The Golden Age Of Apocalypse.
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Flying Lotus pushed the Music Box's sound system to its absolute limit and then some. The extra subs were an absolute necessity last night. He invited Carla Azar, drummer from Autolux, to sit in with Peralta and Thundercat. On 2004's Future Perfect, she puts 95% of beatmakers to shame, and she fit in naturally next to FlyLo last night.
Cosmogramma was there with all his usual Radiohead samples mixed in and then some from Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator. "It's fuckin fiction / If anything happens, don't fuckin blame me, White America / Fuck Bill O'Reilly!" boomed over the sound system. FlyLo proceeded to reference the OVER 9000 meme, officially bumping it from most to least hated Internet joke. The band previewed Thundercat's "DMT Song," introduced by Lotus asking the audience if anyone's taken DMT before, telling us he was going to give us a little hit. In the span of a few minutes, FlyLo's "Do the Astral Plane" ramped up the dance party and then winded it down, ending a long, sweaty night of beats from Los Angeles' most talented producers who have all found a home on Brainfeeder.
(Photo credit: Gari Askew)