With Y Diz and Galactic Effect, Telescope Thieves, Lautlos, Tyord, and members of Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions
The Nest, Miami
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Good morning, 305ers. It's now officially the Fourth of July, our annual exaltation of everything American.
But late last night, while visions of mustard-laden hot dogs danced in your brains, a different kind of celebration was happening at NE 14th Street's latest venue, The Nest, where a completely packed crowd of sweaty beat heads was bobbing and swaying to the forceful, bass-heavy grooves of L.A. dance mastermind Daedelus and several local cohorts for a pre-Independence Day jam.
Kicking off the night was Tyord, part of the XYZA clique of solo electronic artists that call Miami home.
His music is a more downtempo and introspective take on the beat genre, in step with some well-known peers like Forest Swords or Balam Acab. Tonal arrangements that sounded more excavated than arranged were slotted in alongside hissing, crackling two-step drums, creating a worldly, wordless hum that evoked melancholy and mystery by turns.
The tribal aesthetic of the music was accented by Tyord's visage, sporting an ivory mask and headwrap and bobbing to the tunes in controlled measure.
The performance almost didn't happen due to Tyord's involvement in a bad auto accident just days earlier, which made the tightly focused set all the more impressive.
The XYZA support continued with Lautlos, another innovative beatmaker who peddled unexpected rhythms and tones in line with a vaguely Brainfeeder-esque aesthetic.
The sets seemed to be accumulating intensity, with Lautlos looking ecstatic while naturally crossfading tracks and adding little nuances to each measure, as the crowd fed off the laid-back vibe.
Next was Telescope Thieves, who prefers a more frenetic approach to footwork, inlaid with lots of little vocal slices and splashes of color.
The whole XYZA crew seems well-versed in their art and intent on pushing a headier mix of electronics on Miami's typical techno monotony, and we look forward to seeing where they go next.
See also: EDM's Five Greatest Delusions
During a short interlude, Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions' Cito Vivas appeared on the venue's patio with his trademark saxophone in tow. The horn player announced that several members of the Telekinetic family would be collaborating on Y Diz and the Galactic Effect's performance, and he was visibly psyched for this "Walrus family affair."
Vivas then belted out a few smooth sax riffs before disappearing to the stage, as the Telekinetic crew, including Y Diz, Buffalo Brown, and others rocked the voracious audience with their mixture of psychedelic hip-hop and bass-dropping instrumentals. The sound was an assault at times, but with enough members on the stage to give Godspeed You! Black Emperor a run for its money, the energy and momentum was always high.
Another interlude, and the crowd squished in to the too-small stage area as a striped suit-clad Daedelus ascended the decks to do his thing.
A legend of the L.A. club scene and veteran of dance genres past, present, and future, Alfred Darlington has probably been clocking BPMs since most of today's push-play "producers" were in diapers. His sound has mutated significantly through the years, but he still employs his trusty monome, an inscrutable grid of tessellating lights that somehow produces honest-to-god melody in Daedelus's tuneful hands.
More impactful than his technical virtuosity, however, was the turnt-to-eleven level of showmanship and passion in his set. Mashing warped vocal samples, harsh synth tones, and thudding drum hits, sounds were barely given room to breathe before being pushed aside for the next attack.
Daedalus can break a beat in infinite ways, and some of the most inspired moments of the set would come when he'd peel back four-to-the-floor drums for a halftime swing, then halve it again, creating peaks and valleys of expectation and release that caused the crowd to roil and shriek with delight.
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All in all, the evening was a dusty neon take on today's red, white, 'n' blue. For those looking to commune in a more active way before the inevitable barbecue coma strikes, they did well to welcome another year of independence at the newly formed Nest.
A joyous mood lingered through the night, culminating in the irremovable smile Daedelus always inflicts on us. As the bass echoes in our brain, we can think of no better start for this day of beer-and-burger calamity that's so lovingly called the Fourth.
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