Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dub 101 Tour / April 20 / The Union

By: Kyle Rutherford, Staff Writer
Photos By: Kyle Rutherford

The second installment of the Cumulus Entertainment's Dub 101 tour to hit Athens this season was in was in full swing at The Union Friday night. A sort of a 4/20 celebration (and yes, many mentions of the counterculture holiday were made), Cumulus brought in High Chai Recordings' Slave out of Kent, Ohio, to blister the faces of anyone that set foot within the small venue.

First to spin was Captain PlannedIT, who was probably the most eclectic DJ to play the entire night. Going on first with the crowd slowly trickling in, the bass his electro house and dubstep mixes had a greater affect on the rattling of the venue and some or our brains. Yes, his bass was heavy, but it was never too heavy that is caused people to stop dancing...or breathing. DJing using Traktor as well as adding in his own samples and self-produced drum parts out of Ableton Live, Captain PlannedIT (aka Jason Karikas) played some more popular EDM (Electronic Dance Music) tunes, with a glitched-out, yet less bass heavy remix of the ever so popular "Sandstorm" taking hold at one point, as well as Skrillex's "Right In." But the craziest and most original thing about Karikas was that he played an alto saxophone over a few parts of some songs. Sounds different, but it was lively and fun.

Next out was DJ Technician (Brett Bernardo) from Springfield, Ohio. When Bernardo gets on stage and mixes, the musical feel is as of something you would hear in the UK or in an underground Los Angeles club pre-2010. Bernardo typically starts out with some chill, glitchy bass music that sounds like something you could fall asleep to. Moving forward, the bass gets deeper and some dubstep wobbles are prevalent, but it all stays within the realm of classic UK bass and dubstep music. Even with Bernardo yelling at to the crowd "Ya'll want to hear some dubstep?", attendees didn't get their Americanized brostep that it was obvious that they wanted. Just like February's Love and Light show, no matter the bass, jungle beats, or wobbles, some people just can't get a hold of classic dubstep and bass music, which is dearly unfortunate because DJ Technician is one of the better DJs of that genre that I have seen.

Third out was Columbus's Kingpin (James Castrillo), a 4 -year DJ that plays everything from glitchy house to moombathon, which hits close to home for Castrillo because of his Latino roots. Starting heavy as hell, Kingpin played the sort of stuff you'd hear from a club DJ, but did tend to play music that some attendees could only stand around and looked oddly confused to, such as Deadmau5's "Cthulhu Sleeps" and some moombathon, which gave Castrillo the chance to come out on to the floor and dance for a little while. But the bangers were still there, from roeVy, to Kill the Noize, to Porter Robinson. All in all, Castrillo definitely warmed the crowd up for the headliner.

If only one word could describe DJ/producer Slave's set it could only be heavyashell. Starting heavy with an (obviously) cannabis inspired dubstep track, the 21 year old David Timko stayed heavy throughout, playing mostly electro house and dubstep. Timko was able to make things seem easy when mixing, playing many club bangers like Borgore's "Flex(Document One Remix), practically balling energy up in his hands and throwing it out onto the dance floor. The coolest mix session (for me at least) that took place was a straight, effortless mix of "Fire Hive" by Knife Party, "Bass Cannon" by Flux Pavilion, and the Noisia remix of "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" by Skrillex. Also mixing in KDrew's remix of "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye (a song whose remixes have become a staple for professional and amateur DJs everywhere), dubheads were pleased throughout Timko's entire set.

Last out was Dayton's Elton Mack, a seasoned DJ who runs a group called Run DDT (Dayton Dub Tribe) and has even been a resident DJ at Dayton's Club, Masque, doing Thursday dubstep shows for six months. Mack's set was what one would expect to step into whilst at a club, combing heavy remixes of rap and hip-hop tunes, but mixing in softer remixes of "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Obviously the dubstep and even the drum and bass influences were superior, but the occasional dance and house music made the now smaller crowd jump. Mack played what clubbers would love, but throwing in heavy bass and closing with a remix of "Hit the Road Jack," he was able to play something that everybody could like and that everyone would dance to.

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