Metro + Smart Bar; Thu 1
In the electronic-music world, Chicago is known for its long and illustrious house-music history. The same is true of New York. But the West Coast? Maybe it’s the palm trees and salty sea air of Southern California or all the rain to the North; whatever the reason, producers from Los Angeles to British Columbia have always marched to the beat of their own drum machines.
It’s the pioneering dubstep and glitch-hop sounds of those rebels out West that see Smart Bar’s Thursday Subfix party outgrow its sublevel surroundings—at least for the night—and stretch onto the main stage of Metro. When British Columbia–based headliner Datsik discovered the wonky sounds of high-profile acts like Rusko and Bassnectar, he wasted no time in churning out his own grimey productions, which have just the sort of gritty oomph and rave sensibility to get the kiddies’ feet moving. Co-headliner Eprom, from San Francisco, takes a slightly subtler touch to his work, though no less potent. Amid his 8-bit video-game stabs and half-time bass warbles, there’s atmospheric warmth and even a soulful vocal sample or two. Chicago support comes from bass-music champions Phaded and Jeekoos.The rager downstairs is centered on left-field L.A. beathead Nosaj Thing.
A contemporary of fellow Californians Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer, his focus isn’t dubstep per se; it’s more the jittery instrumental hip-hop made famous by Stones Throw’s Madlib or Prefuse 73. Leo123, of Ghostly International’s Dark Party, is also on hand to share his mix of old-school electro, hip-hop and techno, sounds well represented on the duo’s latest EP, which was just released. Smart Bar resident Chris Widman, of WLUW’s Abstract Science show, and the youngster Nameloc set the mood in the early hours.