Sound and Noise
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 16:11
Electronic music is something that has definitely hit the mainstream in a big, bad way during this past year. It’s hard to find a trailer for a movie, video game or some general piece of software that isn’t accompanied by a dubstep track these days. Even regular pop songs and celebrities seem to be mixing their tracks with drops and glitches to jump on the bandwagon in their own, small way.
Fargo is no exception to the growing craze. Electronic shows have become more and more common in our area with remix DJs like Girl Talk -- and now Bassnectar -- hitting the town.
The most recent show in question (featuring the aforementioned Bassnectar) started off the night with Gramatik and Gladkill taking the stage.
I’d like to tell you exactly how they sounded, but honestly, I can’t really remember. The two were fairly tame and didn’t really inspire a terrible degree of remembrance. Perhaps it was my lack of familiarity with the two DJs, but to me they brought the sort of generic beats that you’d expect from a show’s opener.
It didn’t help that the pair played for just about two hours altogether. The generic, uninspiring electronic noise made for a decent crowd-warmer (as decent as can be, considering the relatively strict rules governing the Venue’s crowd regulations), but it did act as quite the obstacle before the main attraction.
That main attraction, of course, was the top-billing Bassnectar.
While I’m quite a fan of the electronic genre, I must admit that I had never listened to Bassnectar with any regularity before the event. That might have something to do with the fact that this was (according to him) the DJ’s first show in the area. However, that didn’t mean that the majority of the crowd was unfamiliar with him, and they showed it.
The energy of a crowd is incredibly important at a show like this, and in that regard the concert was very effective. Bassnectar’s production values certainly helped that aspect along. His equipment was clearly (and, understandably) leagues ahead of the other two. Living up to his name, the DJ’s bass output literally shook the nostrils in my head even as I sat at the back of the show in the Hub’s balcony section.
But while his presentation might have been grander, his music still left me largely unaffected. With the exception of a surprising Wu-Tang remix, I still didn’t find the music incredibly memorable. None of the beats carried much weight or surprise and, while they what was there was clearly well produced, it just didn’t get me as excited as the crowd.
At this point, I shifted my expectations at this point away from the baser sounds of dubstep. However, the tracks didn’t feature the more melodic, scored approach that a cleaner brand of electronic music one would expect from the Daft Punks and Crystal Methods of the scene.
Perhaps I wasn’t hearing his best material, or perhaps Bassnectar just provides a tamer, less frightening brand of electronic music than I’m used to for live performances, but I was left largely unimpressed with the performance. I was left unclear as to what style of music was being brought before me, and quickly realized that it just fell somewhere in the middle.
The show provided some interesting sound and noise, but it didn’t light any fires.