Los Angeles' gLAdiator Talks Trap-House
Bass, the final frontier.
For a venue that's made its name giving house heads and the trance family a place to party into the wee morning hours, Space is just beginning to open its doors to the newer, rawer rhythms of the trap movement.
For the last couple of months, the recently launched Base at Space weekly has been bringing the biggest names in trap to the downtown club's stage. And on Saturday, September 14, Los Angeles duo gLAdiator will return to Miami (after a successful local debut at Ultra Music Festival 2013) and ask the sweaty masses, "Are you not entertained?"
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Compared to the gLAdiator guys' large-scale introduction to the Miami scene, during which they performed a specialized trap set on UMF's dedicated trap stage, the upcoming gig at Space could present a tougher crowd. But these old friends live for a challenge.
"We've been DJs for a while," says Danl Goodman, who along with his best friend, Ian Johnson, makes up the rowdy tag team. "We have a lot of practice. We know how to read crowds. We know what kind of music those people are going to want to hear."
By now, most beat freaks are acquainted with the trap-house trend's dance-rap fusion. Even Tiësto dropped a little trap into his Ultra set. But while many of Goodman and Johnson's peers search for the next hard, brutal noise explosion, the gLAdiator guys are on the prowl for something deeper. They're not just here to cash in on a sound and then dip. These dudes are on a mission to bring their diverse musical tastes to life in a new and interesting way, as long as it makes people shake some ass and get loose.
Growing up, Danl was a metalhead and Ian was an old-school hip-hop lover. Having known each other since the 9th grade, they've learned how to bring the best of both worlds to the table and use each other's strengths for the benefit of both. A forthcoming five-track EP, to be released sometime in the next couple months on Fool's Gold Records, shows growth and evolution, winding through many different flavors, genres, and sounds aside from trap.
"We're just kind of playing around, exploring our own sound, what we enjoy making, and just kind of going with it," Danl says. "Ultimately, I think we're trying to become a brand of producers and DJs who aren't necessarily just 'trap artists.' I think it's important for people to like the direction an artist goes in, rather than just the style of music that artist produces. I think we're just going to keep going with it. And hopefully, our fans agree with our choices."
So far, the approach is working. Active on growing social networks like Vine, the gLAdiator guys have watched their fanbase explode and quickly turn into an enormous family-style crew that they affectionately refer to as "the Squad."
"We're always humbled by the fact that there are people out there who are listening to our music and enjoying it and coming to our shows. It kind of blows our mind," Danl laughs. "We're incredibly thankful. We're appreciative. We love all these people, and I think it's important to show them that respect and tell them that they are part of the Squad."
So if the Miami fans promise to turn up and turn out, we can all become members of the Squad too. It's an all-inclusive crew, and it's not gonna stop growing any time soon.
gLAdiator. As part of Base at Space. Saturday, September 14. Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets are free at the door before 12:30 a.m. with password "Red Rabbit" or $25 to $35 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-375-0001 or visit clubspace.com.
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