Downtown Saturday Night: Baseck, Tech Itch, Naha, Others Deliver Drum & Bass, Dubstep, 8-Bit (And Basically Everything Else)
By Liz Gonzales
On Saturday night in a small boxy room lit only by a dim Chinese lantern, colored spotlights and a red-bulb lamp, the air was thick with the diverse energy-bursting soundtrack courtesy of DJs Naha, Miyuki, Baseck, Skull Vomit, Tech Itch and EMU, who, combined, embraced 30 years of electronic music history.
Xabbu Itch Tech
After a few years of absence from LA, Tech Itch spun a heart-pumping roller coaster set of drum & bass, and mixed it with alternating dubstep samples. He weaved in and out of these two subgenres, but ended his run with a machine-gun drum & bass battleground that was so loud it felt like a rave, metal concert and experimental show all in one.
The night's variation was not only delivered via sound through speakers, but also through the technology that brought the musicians together. In five-and-half hours, the onstage DJ craft evolved through decades. From vinyl to Pioneer CD-Js to software and 8-bit mixing, every possible way of electronic music making was present. Combined, they revealed the unique backgrounds of each DJ.
Xabbu Baseck as MC
Baseck, the host for the night, switched roles, scratching and spinning, and occasionally belting out Metal-like vocals. In between, he mixed Game Boy beats and bops, skips and splits, tossing in tracks from his recent release with Sonic Death Rabbit, Creatures.
Xabbu Naha spun an all-vinyl set
Naha and Miyuki, the two female Djs of the night, were also the only pair that spun all vinyl sets. Primitive yet sophisticated, Naha, a ten-year club veteran from Seattle, was behind the turntables; she opened with her mixes of techno, breakcore, jungle, and digital hardcore. Her vintage tracks transported jungle to its purest form -- originating with the "Amen" break.
Josef Miyuki spit out vintage Jungle rhythms
Miyuki, a member of the collective responsible for RadioBomb FM, a seven-year Jungle KPFK show on Friday mornings, stuck to what she knows best: dark elevating drum & bass.
This night of underground pulsating rage in downtown L.A. ended with an all-dubstep mix by Smog's EMU, bringing out the rockers, the metal heads, the ravers, the junglists, the hip-hoppers and every night crawler in search of mayhem -- 200 bpms throughout.