Brodinski, TJR, Bones, LBCK, and MISTER BLAQK
The Yost Theater
March 14th, 2012
Opener Mister Blaqk started the night with his short hypestep mix before giving way to fellow opener LBCK's electro shuffling and swift dance beat riffs. A sprinkling of glitch here, a dash of some groove oriented pitter there; welcome to the video game soundtrack MDMA and vodka composed. Some less frantic noises began rearing through as LBCK was making his preparations to part, but I had to do a walk-through of the venue.
Upstairs was a gathering the local cadre of "American Pie" sequel auditionees taking part in the bastardization of dub reggae and UK garage. My personal feelings regarding the music wasn't what completely drew my ire; it was the small crowd's reaction as well. The flailing, Fred Durst impersonations, and body spasms were not for me.
Back downstairs more poppy electro filled up the sounds of the room, but blogosphere champion and LA favorite Bones was readying to make his appearance and play the role of Superman. Bones spent his entire time on stage delivering an eclectic combination of deep bass and even deeper tech vibes. The crowd stayed amped and engaged the entire time, proving that slower house and varied rhythms can be just more effective--if not more so--thatthe usual vacuum molestations. When he was taking centerstage, calculated dance music with actual substance was actually obtaining a small victory at the Yost.
Once the performer of skeletal namesake took off, TJR took over with a hard bombardment of post-Detroit house. What you hear making the rounds at both unsanctioned backyard gatherings and massive raves emanated from the speakers, sending my cognitive processes for a spin. His sounds blasted and battered in the vein of a never ending and always pulsating musical alarm. Maybe it was my anticipation for the headliner, or maybe he brings some taste along with him when he gets into the dirtier sides of house, but TJR's DJ skills were just far too potent for someone who wasn't even on a well-traveled level yet. The enjoyable globe-trotting rhythms ripped from non-American didn't hurt, either.
Brodinski started his set once TJR's last song drowned out, and he started it on his creative mettle alone, without any sort of aid outside of the materials he brought with him. Flashy backdrops and Wonderland-themed visuals must not have been to his liking.
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Speeding rounds of synthetic drums and bass shot out from the sound system. Not even the fluttering of vocal lines from Avicii's mega-hit "Levels" allowed light to pierce through. This was the sound of dance music's subterranean level, and production gloss was nowhere to be found. The Broski's (his name which I hope he prefers to be called when he enters Orange County) techno terrorizing ran unabated; his knob twists bringing beats both as cold and sharp as steel. "Bromance" cohort Gesaffelstein's remixes and original works such as "Control Movement" thrashed the unfortunately under-packed dancefloor. The French--they used to win over our hearts by being romantic, now they win them over through unmitigated electro might.
Critic's Bias: This is the least weed I have smelled at a show in years. My sinuses were finely allowed to dance freely.
Overheard in the Crowd: The word "bro" and "dude" had to have been said thousands of time, if my entirely unscientific calculations can be held true. Seriously though, can't we at least think of something else to call someone? Maybe your friend has a name they were given at one point or the other? Maybe not, I could be wrong.
Random Notebook Dump: I almost expected more intimidating gestures from Brodinski, considering the sound of his set. Maybe some spell-conjuring motions or a cape or something? Just kidding, really.