rock nyc’s Tenth Anniversary Celebrations: Boys Noize, Drop The Lime, Canyon at Central Park Summerstage August 8th, 2009: DO YOU WANT THE BASS?
(This show was huge for me, it started an infatuation with EDM that would peak at an MSG trance gig and subside with Avicii’s dilution and pop mainstreaming a number of years later -IL )
The best looking audience at a Summerstage are smoking cigs, smoking pot, doing spastic dances and transforming Summerstage into the earliest rave known to man. They are mostly mid-teens to early twenties, the girls look good but disjointed and the boys seem to have not received the dirty jeans and white tee’s memo and instead are a mix of down town flamboyance and upbeat party. One guy is wearing tee announcing “Drugs are wicky wacky” though they are also invisible except concert stand by weed. It’s all very Eurotrash meets Bridge and Tunnel and they have come here for a bright sun, big city rave.
They’ll get it. Meanred Productions gave us three first rate dance oriented DJ’s in a fun mix of styles and DJ Oddie playing everything from hip hop to jungle between sets.
First up was Australian duo Canyon.This was the duo’s first trip to Australia and they have only been in town to days abut already to figure out how to move here: certainly their clever, dub heavy sound is very marketable in New York though a little slow for a crowd ready to let loose. Still, there is a lot of idea’s and their found stuff is fascinating whether a telephone ringing or a woman screaming. By the end, a mix of Eddie Cochran and Tygers Of Pan Tang got us dancing. And of course there is nothing to look at though they are relatively chatty
Drop The Lime is very chatty and very, very exciting. I have “We Are The Future” off the “Trouble and Bass” sampler run by Drop The Lime himself (Luca Venezia) aand I love him more live. With a keyb and a drum, Drop The Lime sings and plays a very bass heavy synth shouting “Do you want the bass” before blasting it over everything, over the drummer who is thunderous. On two songs Venezia is playing straight up dance rock with a heavier bottom then we are used to and one song “Look at the devil in the eyes” is mashing of styles that may lay at the heart of Drop The Line. It’s like if Primal Scream and Prodigy formed a band but the very next song is a bit, ahem, laid back. Venezia actually gives a performance here, the distance disappears and two chicks in silver space suits dancing like robots from outer space at either side of the stage are fun to watch along with Drop The Lime’s drop dead srock star impression.And whenever he goes too far away from this dance mix he cranks up a bass and gets you again. There is nothing trebly here and the audience gets it and, like Jerry Rivera’s audience here a coupla weeks ago, they show their approval by dancing.
At first, after the open sensuality of salsa, the mechanical movement of a rave is off putting: it’s like watching “A.I.”s move, sometimes literally creaking at the joints and sometimes ecstasy wide but always with its eye on the beat and not the flow but after awhile I am absorbed by its own integrity and a harsh, dare I say, Teutonic sexuality: it’s like having mechanical sex: sometimes you want dissonance and togetherness at the same time.
Speaking of Teutonic DJ “Boys Noize” is German and doesn’t say a word. Boys Noise has an excellent mix album “Oi Oi” from 2007 and is responsible for a coupla awesome “Boom Boom Pow” remixes, one featuring 50 cent. This afternoon he begins his set with a long sample of Vincent Price reading Poe’s “The Raven” and for the next four songs he isn’t quite there but slowly the gifted Alexander Ridha gets his footing. An extended reworking of “Block Rockin’ Beats” is excellent but his “Beat It” is otherworldy. From a byte off the instrumental introduction he contracts the sound till it’s just the beat and then he improvises off the beat the way a coltrane would improvise off a melody. Ridha keeps on cutting out and back and raising the tone higher and higher with his audience and just as you feel he can’t get any higher without blowing the amps or terrifying dogs for miles around, he throws down the bass and the place goes berserk.
It is bravado stuff and a dance tall tale and something the denizens of raveland are here for. The money shot and Boy Noize provides it.