The Jet Jam Showcase may have been the biggest party at Decibel Festival this year. Between three very different acts, the crowd got three very different sets, but one thing stayed consistent throughout: they were all ridiculously fun. A DJ set by Shlohmo got the night started off right, with a bland of his own material with top 40 and indie rock remixes, plus plenty of underground electronic and hip hop. Glitch-pop spaz Baths threw down, beating the crap of out his MPC, and subsequently, causing the audience to totally lose their minds and cheer him on through some under construction new material and old favorites. Finally, Star Slinger finished off the night with a continuous dance blend of the 90s through this year that kept Neumos packed until the early morning.
DJs can be pretentious, but you really can’t complain about anything with Shlohmo. He’s a kickass DJ (check out his excellent FACT mix here) and he doesn’t really owe anything to anyone. But tonight, his blend of styles and party tunes was anything but selfish. I mean, really, he ended his set with the theme song from 90s Nickelodeon show All That!, fading in and out of the song to hear the crowd sing along. As the opening act for the night, Shlohmo fully embraced the responsibilities put upon him, and loosened everyone up completely. As Neumos packed up, the dancing increased, and smile on Shlohmo’s face just got bigger. As his set concluded, Shlohmo gingerly went up to the mic. “Baths is up next. Real music!” The crowd cheered as he laughed at himself. Baths walked onstage and gave him a hug. Altogether, seriously, he’s the coolest.
As Shlohmo’s tunes came to a close, Baths messed with his laptop. “We were supposed to do this seamless transition, but this is what you get” he laughed. By his demeanor, you’d expect Baths to play a chilled out set of bass-heavy electronica, but without much ambition. But guess again – Baths’ music is some of the most dizzying and immersive glitch art out there on the scene. Baths blends house, hip hop, dubstep, synth-pop, and more to create something that no one else on the scene has. Complete with chopped up vocal samples and a gnarly falsetto (worthy of a duel with Michael from Passion Pit, even), Baths kind of just blew everyone’s mind, and after every single track, the crowd let him know. He couldn’t get the smile off his face. “Seriously guys, this is so fun. You make it so easy”. Once he relaxed, things got fun. Baths pulled out a Shlohmo remix he made a long time ago and played nearly everything off his debut record. With four minutes left and the crowd begging for more, he dug through his laptop for a new track in working condition. It took a couple starts – first the sound was way too quiet, then stuff was squealing. But on the third try, the bass hit, and for one more song, the crowd lost it dancing with Baths to a song that wasn’t even half done. It was a great example that electronic music isn’t really about overproduction and a seamless light show – it’s about people expressing themselves in an artful way, and throwing unprecedented parties.
Speaking of unprecedented, no one really knew what to make of Star Slinger when he came on stage. He’s a pretty husky dude with sunglasses and DJ equipment. He’s playing some of his own stuff and some of other people’s. But a couple songs in, Star Slinger starts going back in time. 90s dance, house, and techno dominate the night. That 90s R&B vibe that is coming into vogue right now was in every track, and as the night went on, it only got better. Before anyone knew it, it was already almost 2 in the morning, and it was time to go home, rest up, and get ready for another crazy day at Decibel Festival. Check out Star Slinger pictures below.