The Glitch Mob, The M Machine & Chrome Sparks Rocked Hammerstein Ballroom.

(This is a repost of a review that I did for ElectronicNightLife.com, so head over there and show them some love in thanks for getting me into crazy parties.)Chrome Sparks - Hammerstein Ballroom 2014Saturday night at the Manhattan Center (or Hammerstein Ballroom for all of us oldsters) was one of the best dance music events I’ve attended in almost a decade of partying. The evening started out with a stunning set by Chrome Sparks. While I’ve been a fan of the group for a while, I had no idea what they sounded like live. Their live show was a tremendous fusion of indie feels, signature synths, live percussion & a rocking vibe. The Glitch Mob fans who got there early were treated to a delightful performance that I hope resulted in hundreds of new followers for them. They totally deserve it, and just in case you want to know what they sound like, check out this cat video featuring their track “Marijuana.” When it dropped live, the crowd was massively into it.

The venue was perfect for this show, with the floor filled by the time Chrome Sparks finished up. For a mid-tier venue to be totally filled more than an hour before the headliner starts requires a special talent and that’s what The Glitch Mob was providing. The M Machine took the stage after a couple of minutes of tech and completely blew away the unsuspecting crowd. I’d not heard them live before either, but now they’re a must-attend if I end up at festivals they’re performing at or if they return to NYC.

Their set was a potent argument for their rise to Headliner status.  The crowd was with them every step of the way, as they blended big room, deep house, banging electro and a couple of fun surprises with ease. Even when their system crashed mid-drop, the crowd accepted their apology, with no one moving from the dance floor. They kicked back into their set a minute or two, finishing out strong with some huge bangers that had the crowd “massively stoked” for Glitch Mob. That’s in quotes because I actually heard an attendee say that to his friend as they walked by.

The Glitch Mob - The Blade - Hammerstein Ballroom ElectronicNightLife

This was their first show in NYC since 2012, and Gothamites were hung out to dry when Glitch rolled through on their Love Death earlier this year. If you were at the Terminal 5 show you know how special this group is and the quality of the shows they can put on. The big fans (i.e. Me) went down to the show they did at Electric Factory in Philadelphia to see them, so I had a good idea of what to expect. Or so I thought.

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Their set was, in a word, legendary. This was a completely different set than the one I’d seen only a few months ago, and whoever convinced them to change it up needs to be given the highest of fives. The set started out with an assortment of everyone’s favorite tracks off of Drink The Sea, their debut album. The crowd surged as the Blade launched the percussive onslaught that is The Glitch Mob live. Their massive drums, controllers & synth systems were on full view to the audience, so anyone who wants to have the “press play” argument won’t find any supporters here. Boretta, Ooah & ediT had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands, as their electic fusion of rock, breakbeat, hip hop & bass music flooded the ballroom. Their Derezzed remix from the Tron movie Daft Punk score had the floor rocking out in ways I’ve not seen since I saw Rammstein at that venue in high school.

Pulling tracks from We Can Make The World Stop, the trio started filtering into their more recent work, which, was a potent choice. While the Love Death Immortality tour started with Mind Of A Beast & Our Demons, the new album’s tracks hit the crowd about halfway into the set, pushing the energy higher and higher. Becoming Harmonious & the rest of the Love Death Immortality album were celebrated by the crowd, as they’d been waiting to hear these tracks since the album came out. They even surprised the dance floor with their Tupac remix. Hearing their massive “California” rework live was fantastic, but not the thing I was looking most forward to.

They played their Prodigy – Breathe remix. I’ve been waiting to hear this live since The Prodigy released their  expanded 15th Anniversary edition of Fat of the Land (their seminal late 90’s album). They didn’t play it in Philadelphia, which was my only regret at that show. However, here in NYC, the track killed. The crowd loved every second and the dance floor exploded some more. This & their Seven Nation Army remix showed they knew what the crowd wanted to hear, and boy did they deliver. The mandatory multi-song encore was more of exactly what we wanted and a well deserved victory lap for the trio. They’ve come a long way since their Drink The Sea mixtapes, and I’ve been so happy to see them become the super group we all knew they would be.

This was one for the record books folks, and if you missed it, you have my deepest condolences. This show was dope and I can’t wait to see what the three have up their sleeves next. (Photos by Dylan Smith)

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Who Is This Vocalist?! Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” Becomes “You Gotta Go!”

So Earmilk broke this crazy sounding track, and I’ve been trying to guess who the hell it is. It’s cool as hell and the vocals are 100% on point. The cleverness of changing “You Oughta Know” to “You Gotta Go” turns the 90s vocal sadness soundtrack into a huge, punchy dance anthem. This is going to get played at every festival ever. This has the catchiness of Turn Down For What but without the stupid dub-lectro feel and zero heart. But there’s no artist info anywhere! Right now, I’ve narrowed it down to three possible vocalists, and I need your help (yes you, the reader, all 12 of you) to ID this tune! It’s between Ayah Marar, Aja Volkman or Dia Frampton. Check out these tracks by each of them and let me know which you think.



America Fuck Yea Tour: Philadelphia, The Glitch Mob & Bailey

As the sunset cutting an orange, pink & purple tear in the afternoon sky, I sipped from the excessively large can of Miller Lite I’d purchased at Penn Station while amusing myself on Twitter. I was on the train to Philadelphia to see some old friends and watch some music I couldn’t find anywhere in NYC. Not only was The Glitch Mob in town on Friday, but Bailey was pushing out some dirty drum & bass on Saturday. The weekend looked to be quite epic and by the time I arrived at my friend’s house, homemade chicken wings and cheap beer were waiting for me. I told you my friends take care of me.

The Electric Factory was packed, both floors, and the bandshell still covered. To note, Philly had come strong and was waiting to tear it up. Then, as we took the first sips of our drinks, they came out, the crowd erupted & they got to work. Starting with Mind of a Beast, the debut track off their recently launched album. They played it. Live. To explain, check out these pictures by my amazing friend Michael Gonzalez.

Their set up was an amalgam of pressure sensitive pads that look like they came off the bridge of the Defiant from DS9 or a Cylon raider. There was a heavy set of drums surrounding them all, and boy did those things glow. The trio of Ooah, Boreta & ediT proceeded to bang out one of the best shows I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in my short life. The raw power & animation stunned while commanding the crowd. This was not a dance party, this was a rock show, and they were the Gods of the hour.

After crashing out, I spent that Saturday eating & drinking my way across the city of Philadelphia, commiserating with friends, old and new. Many hours & many more beverages later, I found myself at Blurr, a tiny bar in deep illadelphia. Imperial Drum & Bass was setting up for another hard night, and Bailey was about to hit the decks. The D&B coming out of Self & Destin over the course of the night was hard and fast, with none of the liquid or smoothed out melodies you hear from Hospital Records. This was dank & dirty drum & bass. The heads there swapped out between hanging by the bar sucking down brews & ducking outside for quick smokes. There was a raw authenticity to the event that you rarely find in NYC these days, and the kids gave no fucks who was dressed in what or how much people were spending at the bar. It was all about dat bass yo.

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Bailey took the decks and immediately blew everyone away. The d&b was relentless, with cuts and samples jarring the dance floor and knocking people around. It’s fun when you think there’s a mosh pit going on, but it’s really just bass assaulting people who got a little bit too close to the bottoms. I mean, until someone knocked a beer onto Bailey’s laptop. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the party was so intimate, that someone could actually just be drunk and ruin it for everyone. So while he was shaking his Macbook dry, my friends and I beat a hasty retreat back to my friend’s compound for additional good times before crashing out. The bus back to NYC would come soon enough, but as I pulled the covers up as I tried to get comfortable on a couch, I definitely knew that this weekend would herald some excellent adventures. Keep checking in here to see more of my “America, Fuck Yeah!” Tour. Let’s see what trouble I can get into.

(Pictures care of MVK & Access provided by ElectronicNightLife.com

Glitch Mob Goes Under The Hood

The Glitch Mob’s new album is out and it’s fabulous. I’m still listening to it daily and am so glad they opened up their studio & production stuff to this interview. There’s a stupid amount of nerditry and music-related geek out here, most of it above my weight class, but I know all you synth & plug-in junkies lust after this stuff, so take it away Tumblr! Also, put the album into your face Here!