Monthly Archives: July 2012

Abakus Crushes Camp Bisco 11

     Camp Bisco Music Festival, presented by the northeastern EDM capitalists Meat Camp Productions, held its 11th annual bash at the Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, New York this past weekend. Acts included Big Boi, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, Lotus, Oliver, Simian Mobile Disco and A-trak to name a few. As the legendary festival hosts The Disco Biscuits took the stage in anticipated eruption Friday night, true fans of tech house gathered in small number for the Abakus late-night set in the Big Dance Tent.

Abakus initiated the set with digital ferocity. Energy embedded in the first two and half minutes of the mix grants him a swift grip on the audience. Captivating every moment, intrinsic to his trademarked demeanor of an iconic space bass phenomenon, he never missed a beat. Psychedelic rythms and space born crescendos cross over high speed perpetual basslines, self-narrating their journey through the cosmos, and creating an atmosphere both composite of high-tempo industrial chaos and metaphysical insight. Although juxtaposed to the Biscuits, Abakus prevailed with an incredible demonstration of his abilities. Its house music on a cellular plane.

The show itself is performed on Ableton Live with synths and controllers similar to a large portion of DJ’s across the globe, but what sets the great divide between he and them is the fact hes spinning tracks he originally produced and sweat over. As a consequence of his pristine and concise productions, expectations from the fans give surmounting pressure to his on-stage performances, making every event pivotal in his expansion. My first encounter with him was one for the books, taking a headline late night slot at the Big Up Festival in August 2010 where his two hour set(which had to be cut off) made respected spinsters Orchard Lounge look like slackers. The BB King afterparty in NYC and opening slot at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago in late December left fans with a desire for more however, lacking in the unremitting intensity found in his earlier performances in 2010/2011. Support of the Disco Biscuits’  past new years tour served as menial evidence of his capacity to disappoint, but behind the tables, he is a human being(a notion I consider to be arguable) and we forgive him. Abakus quickly persevered these extraneous times and continued to patton his own avant-garde style while maintaining the traditional club house atmosphere that seems to be forgotten in time.

The entity Abakus is the brainchild of Russ Davies, hailing from electro clubbland London. One could compare his sound to a bit of Wolfgang Gartner meets the Chemical Brothers, but unlike many of his peers, Davies is not limited to the restrictions of genre. Finding his niche in both worlds being a producer and live performer after 10 years experience, his project has taken a life of its own as a bass driven Frankenstein. His other monster creation as the alias Cinnamon Chasers, a nu-disco house project more adroit in remixes and edits, has received loads of success as well. He is a master of his own universe. Basically every song he produces gains instant success. Last years release of Prisms, on Modus Records,left critics singing his praises and recently Davies has found a home in the top of the Beatport Charts with the release of Abakus’ third album Futurism Pt1also on Modus Records.

Precise execution of his serpentine beats and a staunchly tasteful fanbase make Russ Davies’ ascension to greatness inevitable. This years Camp Bisco set was a strong reminder of who the boss of psyche-house is. The performance, featuring tracks from his latest release, was available for live stream on the newly launched and you can listen to the soundboard on Soundcloud now!



L.A. Theatre of Arts Debute ‘Hurlyburly’ Last Night…







7.25.2012     L.A. Theatre of Arts Graduating Class of 2012 Presents:


1625 N Las Palmas      

Los Angeles, CA 90028        

7:00pm Free Entry!



The Theare of Arts Acting School and its graduating class of 2012 present playwright David Rabe’s dark comedy Hurlyburly; directed by Darin Anthony and featuring notable performances from Johanna Andari, Aland Brifkani, Bland Brifkani, Cody Kearsley, Alexandra Lavrova, Mattias Ramos, and Rebecka Shirwani.

Set in 1980’s Hollywood when cocaine’s illustrious social status was just in its peak, and narcissism fueled the devices of every man and woman in greater Los Angeles, this pessimistic stage piece centers on four friends, Eddie, Mickey, Phil, Artie, the women in their lives and their dysfunctional relationships. The play is comprised of a dark, complex and witty dialogue that runs its pivotal course from start to end, predominately revolving around the character Eddie’s arrogantly dejected rants. In Rabe’s Hurlyburly universe, inhabited by callous sociopaths, Eddie’s symbiotic relationship with his ego is jeopardized by his desperation of companionship. Mickey(Bland), his roommate, coasts through life free of attachment and turbulence, while Artie(Mattias) and Eddie’s best friend Phil struggle to find themselves among the social pressures of holding composure. Almost a Kevin Smith style turn of the tongue, Rabe’s rendition of a vindictive 80’s Hollywood and its capacity to transform souls in their entirety will bring laughter and insight simultaneously.

The play opens with Aland Brifkani’s character Phil storming into Eddie’s apartment. Aland immediately delivers a great performance. His character demands a consistently well spoken, yet frantic and distraught demeanor, and I was very satisfied with his delivery. His performance possessed a great deal of color to it compared to Kearsleys in the early stages of the production, giving the viewer the impression he is to be protagonist.

Bland Brifkani’s role as Eddie’s roomate Mickey was most entertaining. Bland’s rendition and ad-lib to the sleezey but charming, conceited qualities of his role were quite convincing, accurate to the portrayal of a Hollywood tomcat. Never hesitating to fill any gaps in his performance, I see a natural ability to take the stage, given any variables.

Cody Kearsley’s engaging performance as Eddie was unanimously revered as the highlight. He delivered the complex and witty dialogue with empathetic passion, and without a moment of doubt to be seen. Taking his role far beyond its demands, he successfully bridges the gap between the audience and the story being told, stripping us of our peripheral limitations.

Originally debuted in Chicago, 1984 with reputable stars such as William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, and Jerry Stiller and directed by Mike Nichols, Hurlyburly has been a Hollywood favorite for almost 30 years. Since then, it was adapted to screen in 1998 by Anthony Drazan and revived on Broadway in 2010. Darin Anthony’s version of the quirky melancholy easily stands up to its predecessors, and gives light to some remarkable actors.

Come to the Theatre of Arts located on 1625 N Las Palmas in Hollywood tonight at 7:00pm and meet these young stars! Free entry and refreshments

Disco Duo Classixx to Play Orange County

Los Angeles natives Tyler Blake and Michael David, aka Classixx, are taking their mid-tempo space-funk sound from hyperspace and bringing it to a terrestrial level this August for their West Coast 2012 summer tour. The duo will take the stage at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, CA on August 18th with support from old friends and fellow L.A. residents Cosmic Kids, and other special guests. A golden opportunity to break free from the epidemic of shallow pop/house tunes that plague the dancefloors, witness two pioneers in the disco laden style that has now been absorbed into the currents of mainstream.

The two met in middle school while living in Oak Park, a suburb of L.A., and started producing by high school. Blake knew he wanted to make music when he purchased Radiohead’s album, Kid A, and admitted “it made me either want to start making music, or stop making music forever”. Unaware as to how to gain exposure, they began hosting Hush Hush parties in the mid 2000’s, where they performed sets for a substantially growing fanbase. David left the band he was then touring with and Blake dropped out of Berkley, allowing them to pursue music full time and thus forming Classixx. Giving momentum to their self-launched career they ambushed the L.A. scene with the catalytic remix of Pheonix’s “Lizstomania”, still frequently circulated across the nation’s club scene. Unfolding soon afterward, they debuted their heavy-hitting synth-house original, “I’ll Get You(ft. Jeppe)” on Kitsune Records. Shortly after the duo’s breach into professionally producing music, their reputation caught the attention of Green Label Sound, home to such artists as Holy Ghost!, Chromeo, RAC, and Neon Indian, and they signed to the label.

Classixx’ venturous production skills alone cast a shadow over the trendy DJ’s invading the ears of impressionable frat boys and intoxicated girls across the West Coast. Blending the sounds of 80’s synth pop, mid-tempo funk, house and disco into a fiercely aesthetic flowing composition, these two set a new standard for the up-and-comers pouring into the rising Nu-Disco scene. Instead of appealing to the stimulus enticing formula of break and drop, they set out far beyond such limitations of instant gratification and embark on a journey to undiscovered space. Two converging minds meticulously producing true music in a most beautiful form, all the while simultaneously making dance the objective as well as a byproduct. Classixx are a necessary addition to the archives of any connoisseur of electronic music.

Percussive basslines and 80’s nostalgia aside, for us it largely dwells on how the artist delivers live. The stage presence these two possess is powerful to a degree where the audience is helpless to drift away into their cosmic melodies. Ambient compures overlapped with progressive bass lines and soulful vocal additions evolve into house driven floor bangers, and the crowd along with them. On stage they master the viewers in a way most DJ’s can’t, dynamic in that they appeal to the emotions of the audience rather than their reflexes. In an interview with Adobe Airstream in  the summer of 2011, they commented on the components of their live performances; “Blake and David like to mix up (mind the pun) their DJ sets from night to night, never settling into a static routine. “We don’t ever really plan our DJ sets. It doesn’t make much sense to because you never know what the crowd is gonna be like. [DJ sets are] a huge advantage over playing live because you can feel out the crowd and play to it rather than having a setlist you have to stick to.”

Watch the reputable disco dons take the stage August 18th in Costa Mesa, CA  at the Detroit Bar. Its a night to bring together club life with true music for a cornerstone experience in moonlighting. A gift-wrapped privilege in the Newport area, it would be a mistake to miss an act of this magnitude.

Tickets here: