BY PELLE GUNTHER Walking into the Electric Factory, the glow stick littered pavement told tales of many an enthusiastic raver’s shattered dreams as security confiscated everything they could find a reason to take. Watching the vibrantly dressed fans enter the venue, as glow sticks were pulled from shoes, out of sleeves, from hats, pants and god knows where else, the security’s failure at the art of security became painfully clear. Once inside the venue the amount of successfully-smuggled contraband-rave materials on display was astounding. But these fans brought their rave A-game for a reason: This frigid 5th of November (my love to Guy Fawkes) was definitely one to remember with the unbelievable electronic DJ catalogue that lay in store for us that evening. Unfortunately arriving a little late we just caught the end of Emancipator, as one member played electric violin over strangely calming, hazy hip-hop instrumentals.
After Emancipator, Beats Antique took the stage. This evening the group was merely David Satori and Tommy Cappel, meaning the music was all there, but all the charm and mystique created by Zoe Jakes’ belly dancing seemed oddly absent. They started their set off strong and played Beauty Beats as their second song, giving us all the more reason to invest ourselves in the depths of their new album Blind Threshold. Their Balkan-infused electronic beats drove the crowd into a frenzied dance of a new sort as people tried to find the medium between Balkan and hip-hop. Having seen them before this was definitely not the highlight of their career, however with the unbelievably original and breathtakingly beautiful music they put together, they hardly disappointed.
After leaving the stage, Beats Antique was replaced by Lorin Ashton the artist commonly known as Bassnectar. The grungy, simply-clad DJ with hair that would make any 80’s metal head jealous was nothing too impressive to the untrained eye. But as he began to play, it quickly became clear that this was a true performer. A musician who gave his live show a life of its own, not just some DJ pressing the play button on his laptop. His songs all embodied the heavy, distorted dubstep bass lines, but the complexity rhythms he employed and the depth of his music shows what is truly a unique sound. The music he created made me feel like being bad — like messing up trashcans, breaking windows, nothing terrible, but it breeds the urge to pull of some sort of mischievous shenanigans. The music however dynamic and interesting did get a little repetitive at times, as he used the same fills, basslines, builds and drumbits over and over again, but the crowds of people drugged-up and dancing could really care less.
Through his act he managed to sample everything from Three Six Mafia to Sigur Ros and even tossing in a little “Purple Haze” and some “Fire.” The latter two making the elderly security guards behind me remark “Ohhhhhh I know this one”, a thought that was simultaneously being shared by myself and every other Hendrix enthused member of the crowd. Ashton played for a remarkable two and a half hours, keeping his show energetic as he danced and head banged to his wild tunes. All said and done it was a very enjoyable night, in every respect. In the future I would love to see a show with Beat’s Antique headlining since the focus of the night was definitely stolen by Bassnectar and his obsessed, raving, dancing fans.