Last week, we introduced you to Mixhell, the husband-and-wife DJ / remix / production team of Iggor Calavera and Laima Leyton. Metal fans will, of course, recognize Calavera's name instantly -- with his brother, Max, as a teenager he helped found Sepultura, one of the most influential metal bands, well, ever. But by 2006, he was bored with the band and with metal in general, and soon was exploring his burgeoning love of electronic music. These days, as Mixhell, Calavera and Leyton have scored the support of the who's-who of the electro world, playing with everyone from Soulwax to Justice to Diplo and back. But Mixhell has a few key elements separating it from the blog-house pack. First, there's that refreshing burst of feminine energy, which is so often lacking in the jock-ish vibe of relentless bangers. Second, there's a distinct Brazilian influence, a kind of below-the-belt knack for the low end that can only come from south of the equator. And, of course, there's Calavera's drumming expertise. Sure, he played rock and roll for so long -- but who better knows beats than an actual drummer? And Calavera hasn't left his kit behind, either. While Mixhell's live appearances started as more or less straightforward DJ sets, these days they've morphed into a different, far more interactive beast. While Leyton mans the decks, synths, and the occasional microphone, Calavera plays live along with the set -- smack in the middle of the crowd. Sure, dancing, flying limbs might lead to flying cymbals, but that's all part of the balls-to-the-wall energy he's dragged in from the Sepultura years.
Sat., Nov. 7, 2009