My shot from the Yost Theater 9/5/12
In the midst of their California take-over, Digitalism rocked the house at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana Wednesday night, and T&A was lucky enough to catch it! Comprised of Hamburg’s Jens Moelle and İsmail Tüfekçi, and comparable to a post-modern Daft Punk, Digitalism has respectively been on the electronic radar for almost ten years now. Their phenomenal debut album Idealism made them instant giants, perpetually recognized for half a decade on a single album before finally releasing another EP in 2010. Although the duo played a DJ set as opposed to the acclaimed live band performance, the night was far from a letdown.
The Yost was a very impressive place to host the performance for one. Upon entering through the front glass doors you’re greeted by two parallel aisles leading downward to the general admission area; an upper dance floor accompanied by sofas and a full bar(score), and a lower level. The walls are covered in red drapes, giving one a faint sense of culture in the atmosphere, which doesn’t hurt at an 18+ DJ event. The stage was pretty serious. Although a smaller theater, a stage-wide visualizer screen stretched over the front of the DJ booth with Go-Go girls dancing away atop each side. An LED backdrop erupted with a plethora of colorful animations behind the stage, and radiant lasers bounced off two disco balls fashionably hovering above the stage for optimum stimulus. Most importantly, THE SOUND QUALITY. Few events come to mind that could beat it. I could hear the person next to me perfectly, all the while the music was incredibly loud and every single note permeated with crystal clarity. It was like an IMAX for techno. Easily one of my favorite venues.
My own shot taken at the Yost Theater 9/5/12
At about midnight the stage went black, and their logo appeared across the booth and backdrop. You knew what time it was. Digitalism opened with a super spacey “digital” tune, building the mood with such a professional finesse, I mean these guys really had you before you knew it. Not to be taken lightly either, they tore into some high-octane house and nullified any challenge of predictability. Amid a compilation of tech-house beats and their own remixes, they dropped classics such as “Idealistic” , “Pogo”, and “Zdarlight”. Electrifying build-ups kept the energy surging, especially with a dedicated fanbase to hit the peaks with unanimous enthusiasm. Despite being a DJ set, it was mostly composed of their own tracks and edits, and their ability to unleash the right amount of intensity down to every note and calculated execution made it irrelevant at the time anyways. The tracks were certainly tasteful and delivered in a style that mirrors their live show. Crispy house rhythms fused with the trance beauty that Digitalism does so well. Whats great is that the place wasn’t even close to selling out, and they still played an over the top show, full of spectacular theatrics and relentless floor killers. This was West Coast indoor at its best.
Still going strong after forming ten years ago with limited releases goes to show you the power and potential musical genius behind the converging of these two German noggins. What keeps them firmly intact in the electronic hierarchy, and what it always comes down to, is their genuine artistic knack for creative uniqueness, and a good live performance. They expertly carry you through serene sequences of digital love and dance rock breakdowns, and continue to persevere with their classic approach in an era of failed, detrimental experimentation.
Digitalism delivered. What more can I really say?