Dublab 13th Anniversary Party
Better than...waiting in a Wendy's drive-through congested with D.U.I. candidates at 2 a.m.
At the 13th anniversary party for Dublab -- L.A.'s beloved nonprofit web radio collective -- there were nine DJs on one stage in roughly five hours. The party had been hastily moved from Freak City to the Echoplex, and it felt a little strange to kick things off at 8 p.m. (That's early, even by L.A. standards.)
Still, Dublab is known for showcasing an eclectic mix of obscure hip-hop, funk, and electro, and they came through with artists who each brought something different to the table. To our surprise, it wasn't the headliner, Daedelus who brought the house down, but his immediate predecessor, The Gaslamp Killer, whose gritty beats made us feel like we were dropped into an ecstatic party scene from another era. (Look for him on LA Weekly's cover this week!)
We first caught Mas Exitos, whose psychedelic Latin flavored beats -- with matching visuals -- got the still-sparse crowd dancing. The mood temporarily changed when Dntel took the stage. He followed a course through ambient sounds that were melodic, if hard to groove to. The party didn't really get going, though, until a red beanie clad Teebs began his set. Known for trap music, a style Flying Lotus has been known to play around with, his set resonated with the growing crowd, and he moved along smoothly for the most part, except for a couple seconds of dead air while changing tracks. Teebs quickly apologized, "Sorry I fucked up, that was my bad." The crowd quickly moved on as he continued into a remix of "Impulse" that recalled The Books.
By the time Peanut Butter Wolf, aka Chris Manak, took the stage the place was packed. Manak played a video set that included 50 Tyson and Leaders of the New School's track "Case of the P.T.A." that got the crowd going, but his expression was somber. The tipping point came near the end of his set when Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" came on and The Gaslamp Killer of Low End Theory fame arrived on stage to drop the beat while shaking his trademark curls. Folks went nuts.
Gaslamp Killer, whose debut album Breakthrough came out last week, proceeded to sample Jimi Hendrix's "The Star Spangled Banner," the Star Wars theme, and Brian Wilson, all while dancing spastically. It was pandemonium: the sweaty mass of partiers threw their hands up, grinding while one blonde brandished a small Jim Beam bottle and polished it off quickly. Near his set's end, Gaslamp Killer shouted, "This is for all the fucking takers out there! Sooner or later you'll have to pay your debts!"
It was a hard act to follow, but Daedelus, who wore a white coat with tails, nearly came through. His electro themed set was made up of throbbing instrumentals that kept the crowd hypnotized. By the time he finished, every single empty beer can and glass that had been set down on the stage was overturned. It was a good night.
The Crowd: A mix of people, but just about everyone was bound by big hair -- 'fros, dreads, and frizz, on girls and guys alike.
Random notebook dump: There were a few precious minutes when the air was clear of phones snapping photos, and that is a rare moment indeed.