I won’t lie. DJ sets these days bore me. The unending flow of generic EDM beats with the expected bass-drops just doesn’t do it for me. It takes a special kind of sound to get me to a club to see a DJ “perform”. Breakbot is one of those DJs.
THOUGHTS: I’ve always looked up to Peanut Butter Wolf. Ever since he founded Stones Throw Records in 1996, and put out dope album, after dope album, after dope album, I knew that his taste of music was impeccable. Though I’ve never seen him DJ live, knowing what kind of music floats his boat really got me amped to check out his DJ set at Echo Park Rising. Though I’m not the biggest fan of DJ performances (specifically, EDM DJ’s), I was all smiles when Peanut Butter Wolf spun his records. Playing and mixing classic, after classic, after classic, it was music from my youth that, as cheesy as it sounds, made me feel young again. It was a party inside the festival grounds, as well as outside of the festival grounds. Hundreds of people were standing at the gates, only to be denied entry. Fortunately, they could still appreciate the music that Peanut Butter Wolf was pumping out.
THE ACT: Matthewdavid
THOUGHTS: If it’s good enough for Flying Lotus, it’s good enough for me (Matthewdavid is signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint). Though I’m not especially excited by producer performances, the beats he performed were particularly intriguing. Complex and pulsing, it was music that had the young audience dancing in the crowd.
On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.
The last act I was able to catch at the BET Experience music festival was Lecrae; a Christian rapper who has amassed quite a loyal fan base through his crunk beats and his verses on Christ.
With a new album scheduled for release on September 9th, his 7th album titled “Anomoly”, there little doubt that he will soon be charting on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart before the year’s end.
Similar to Centric TV’s “Centric Certified” initiative, the flagship BET channel “Music Matters” spotlight also aims to highlight the next BET superstars through music, bios, music videos, photos and intimate interviews where the artists explain who they are and what music means to them.
Each artist performed a short set of around 4-5 songs. It was a great opportunity to discover (or rediscover) a number of both up-and-coming and established recording artists do their thing within an afternoon.
Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.
Devonté “Dev” Hynes is a British singer/composer/songwriter and producer who performs under the stage name “Blood Orange”. What you may not know about him, however, is that he is a prolific song writer who has worked with high profile recording artists like The Chemical Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Sky Ferreira and Britney Spears, to name a few.
He performed at Coachella in support of his fourth solo album “Cupid Deluxe”. Critics have described his music as alternative dance, “chill wave” or indie electronic, but his 80’s and 90’s influenced music can simply be described as … for lack of better words … “sexy-time” music. The mood Dev Hynes sets with his compositions is amazingly seductive. I would have preferred a set time in the evening- that would have really enhanced the overall mood of the set- but even under the blazing, desert sun, I noticed couples grinding to the music.
For his performance at Coachella, he was accompanied by several of the vocalists who appear on “Cupid Deluxe”: Caroline Polachek of Chairlift (on “Chamakay” and “Chosen”) and Friends‘ Samantha Urbani (on “You’re Not Good Enough” (my personal favorite), “It Is What It Is” and “Always Let U Down”).
Everybody loves Pharrell, myself included. My passion for his music all started with his work in N.E.R.D. “In Search Of…”, released in 2001, was on of the dopest albums I had heard in a long while. I even brushed off my yellow, N.E.R.D. mesh cap from back in the day to wear the day of the festival. I dunno, maybe I thought I could get Pharrell’s attention or something. Total fanboy move. I’m 37. SMDH. LOL.
His set week one was RIDICULOUS. I anticipated it to be a spectacle, but I had no idea of all of the star power that he would be bringing up to the stage. I work for Doggy Style Records, and even I didn’t know that Snoop would be showing up! Now, that’s how you keep a secret! Nelly, Snoop, Busta Rhymes, Puff Daddy and Gwen Stefani, all joined Pharrell on stage to perform the songs he produced, cowrote or simply collaborated on. Simply ridiculous. Oh how I wish that I could have been able to stay in the photo pit for his entire set…
If there was an award to be given out for best show that Saturday, I think Pharrell would have taken the belt. To make the set even better for me, personally, I think I took my favorite shot of the festival (even though I still have to carefully look through my shots from Sunday) during his set, which is the featured pic at the top. In front of tens of thousands of fans, I think I was able to capture the look of serenity on the face of an artist who is truly at home, on stage, performing for his fans.
To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.
Earlier in the day I had watched Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well perform, and having done some research before the festival about different projects he had worked on, I found a video on youtube of a track How To Dress Well performed on produced by Henry Laufer p/k/a Shlohmo called “Don’t Say No”.
Intrigued by the sound and the fact that he was apparently working with Tom Krell, I decided to buy his latest LP “Bad Vibes” and after a couple spins on my record player, I decided that I’d put him on the list of acts I wanted to check out at the Festival. I’m not a big fan of DJ sets- I’m more of a live band kinda guy- but having enjoyed Flying Lotus in the past year at the Hollywood Bowl, I decided to swing by the tent where he was performing to check out a bit of his set.
As the “house lights” dimmed, and the smoke machines started pumping out a thick mist over the stage, Shlohmo came up to his DJ console and started his set. His live set was a little different than I had expected. “Don’t Say No” and “Bad Vibes” are very moody records, extremely ambient in there overall approach . The live set still carried the eerie mysticism of the music that I had purchased and watched before the festival, but during the fifteen minutes that I watched, it didn’t feel as lo-fi as maybe I had wanted. Missing was the interstitial feedback and ambient hisses that gave “Bad Vibes” its unique sound. The live show was almost too “clean.”
Don’t get me wrong. The music was good … the filled tent of bobbing heads was proof of that, and I love “Bad Vibes” (which sounds amazing on vinyl) …. but like I said, I’m more of a live band kind of guy.