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Salva, Cam'ron And A-Trak At Terminal 5, Saturday, May 31st, 2014 Reviewed

A-Trak 051

Salva manipulating at Terminal 5, May 31st, 2014

The sting in the tale from employing Aristotelian premises to defend royal authority against the pretensions of the papacy is that it implies that a political community is a good thing in its own right, and its preservation a duty. This diminishes the special position of monarchy.” When you are at an EDM gig and you won’t dance and you don’t take drugs, the best thing you can do is follow my example: sit in a corner and read 14th Century political theory (the whole Church versus Monarchy in Western Europe gig) and listen to the truly superb beats master Salva from a great distance.

Opening for A-Trak,  Salva,  master of the re-mix,  flexed a different muscle for the heavy duty, hard work, beat revisions of his astounding one hour set; this was not the Tiesto type roll out of favorite remixes and backing tapes, it was a techno electro masterpiece of conflicting beats and sound effects neither beholding nor ignoring the bass but not enslaved to it either.

Around the halfway mark, enthralled by all these conflicting beats building it to walls of rhythmic blasts which the dancers listened to and chose one, going crazy three floors below me, I decided to take a closer look and found myself with a clear site straight down at Salva manipulating his turntable. One part electrician, one part musician, his rapid speed finger movements were like plucking the strings of a guitar and resulted  with scratching and noise control to paint a very fabulous landscape for one thing only: dancing. DJ Salva has remixed  Matt & Kim, Boys Noize, Jamie Lidell, not to mention Kanye West and  his work in the English Grime scene but not tonight, but this was a mix of pure House and bass and it was a real thrill ride.

I guess one reason Salva held off on the hip hop was because he knew that Cam’ron would be coming out for a way too short  show between two A-Trak sets. Cam’ron has recorded an EP waiting to drop, Federal Reserve, with A-Trak, and this night has invited fellow Diplomats Jim Jones and Just Blaze to help him romp through a less than 30 minute (“Imma comin out to party with you” Cam’ron claimed) highlighted by the great new song “”Dipshits” at the end, a terrific singalong.

An hour before and an hour after was the main attraction, A-Trak, a past master DJ with not just half of the EDM album of the year under his belt, Quack, but a resume this long and a reputation that just keeps getting better. Still, with all the visual effects and press the bass, and mixes of stuff like  his brother Chromeo’s bands “Jealous”, 2011’s “Big Bad Wolf” (a howlingly great track), Martin Solveig’s electro house thriller “The Night” and calls to “not let the bass getcha” before closing the first set down with his biggest hit “Barbra Streisand”, it still was essentially the “Fools Gold Gone Wild Tour” and a little obvious and all the lights and lasers couldn’t change it being one more night. Danny Brown came out but he didn’t rap so fuck him.

The second set was all A-Trak freestyle and I might have enjoyed it, indeed the fifteen minutes I caught I did enjoy more than the standard set, but it was 1230am and I was exhausted. Though it made me wish I was as young as these kids dancing up a storm all night, the youth of America on beer and steroids, wandering through the three floors in search of a place to follow the beat homewards. Terminal 5 is a huge, passionless, airplane hangar of a room, it is as bland as cement, but it is good for a rave, it is good for a dance party where the more room the better and it was a good place to see A-Trak.

EDM  and pop is a little like the Monarchy versus the Pope in 14th century Europe in reverse; the Monarchs of Europe was trying to disentangle itself from the Pope’s influence and EDM needs a strong union with modern pop  and rock groups, it needs to entangle itself. Till then, this was a fine evening of dance.

Grade: B+



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