Elektro’s SXSW Recap
OWSLA Showcase at Roial: I was able to stop into this epic day party for a hot minute to catch one of my favorite teenage producers (since apparently there’s a million now), Porter Robinson. The day had just begun so plenty of hungover EDM fans missed his early set, stacked with banger after banger from the sweaty but smiling 19-year-old.
SMOG Dubstep Day Party at Emos East: New warehouse style venue, Emo’s East is quite the trek from all of 6th Street’s mayhem. LA dubstep collective SMOG hosted an all day wobble fest packed with teens in bikini tops. I was grateful to make it just in time for 12th Planet’s set, which are always energy filled but in this instance, lacked his typical stage dives. British super duo Skream and Benga double teamed the decks as their opening show for the Skream and Benga Presents Tour. The two best friends made silly and often scandalous facial expressions to each other throughout the set and danced around the stage. Towards the end, Benga invited everyone in the crowd (and I mean everyone) took it seriously, much to security’s dismay. The party onstage lasted longer than expected but eventually every lingering fan was forced back behind the barricade. As the set ended, Skream drunkenly invited the entire crowd to their after party, as long as they bought him a drink.
Mad Decent Showcase at Elysium: Lovers of anything tropical gathered for the Mad Decent Showcase. Diplo, owner, potentially the best looking DJ, and biggest contributor to electro and top 40 crossover played a set complete with booty shaking dancers (so Southern.) Austin favorite Bro Safari was onstage along with Nadastrom and Dillon Francis, who played with Diplo for part of his set. Despite the mediocre venue, it seemed as if the most wild partiers and committed fans to dance music were supporting Mad Decent over anything else.
Biz 3 Warehouse Showcase: I was not the only fan who hiked to the East side of town to check out this EDM star stacked lineup hosted by the Chicago based publicity company. “MVP of the MPC,” Araab Muzik played a depressingly short set to a large crowd much more eager to see Skrillex. With his mellow and silent demeanor, the producer stepped up to the stage and ferociously tapped onto his MPC perfectly blending samples and beats. With a relatively quick set change, fans began to push harder and harder to get towards the front to get a peep of the recent Grammy winner swing his black locks to the beat of his mega hits. The crowd was so rambunctious crowd surfing girls were being carried out by security for medical attention, damn.
Trouble & Bass Showcase at Barcelona: The Brooklyn based self proclaimed “heavy bass champions of the world” drew a crowd much different than their usual gothy fans. Plenty of random drunkards dressed in green stumbled down the Barcelona staircase when they noticed Deathface mixing in some hip-hop into his hard hitting dubstep set. The sun was shining outside but underground at Barcelona, Trouble and Bass felt at home in the sweaty and dark den of a club.
Moombahton Rooftop Party at Roial: Easily my favorite party spot during SXSW, Roial’s open air rooftop held an early evening moombahton party hosted by the creators of the genre, Dave and Matt of Nadastrom. I caught the second half of DJ Tittsworth’s set, where the D.C. native used the microphone throughout the set asking for audience participation and hype. Dutch producer Munchi was a great addition to the American based lineup with his upbeat tropical infused moombah tunes, getting the crowd riled up and mixing club dancing with some funky salsa moves. Nadastrom killed it with an amazing set sprinkled with performances from rapper and producer Jen Lasher who ferociously shook her stuff in front of the DJ booth. Dave Nada hyped up the crowd continually shouting “where my moombahton lovers at?” and “make some noise if you’re a basshead,” to which the crowd responded accurately with shrieks.
Dillon Francis at Karma: At first sight, this sports bar that shares a name with the cast of Jersey Shore’s favorite club was not a good spot for the Mad Decent producer to perform. The indie-folk band playing before him wasn’t a great sign either. With a 9 pm set, the moombahton master even admitted on Twitter he wasn’t expecting much of a turnout or fun show, but as his set approached more and more fans began to trickle in. A low to the ground stage made for an intimate show where Francis made sure to include his most popular tracks “Que Que” and “IDGAFOS” along with remixes while he lip synched and took vodka shots fan girls delivered him, (like five of them.)
Sinden and Sbtrkt at Madison: With rumors of ASAP Rocky performing, this upscale venue was swarming with snapback wearing bros jamming out to opener, British DJ Sinden. Working the demographic of the crowd, he mixed in a combination of modern top 40 hip hop and older r&b and rap tracks. As the crowd grew more impatient waiting for the New York rap crew to take the stage (a lot of iPhones were being pulled out once Sinden had been playing for over an hour) most people realized the ASAP crew wasn’t going to show up. In the midst of my disappointment, a masked figure took the stage. For a second everyone seemed slightly confused by once “Wildfire,” Little Dragon’s track remixed with Drake and SBTRKT came on, it was clear who was behind the tribal looking mask and disappointment faded.