08.09.2003 (Saturday), 10:49 AM

XLR8R 10th Anniversary

...start shakin' that ass...start shakin' that ass...

Jan and I went to the 10th Anniversary party for XLR8R Magazine up in San Francisco last night. XLR8R, for those who don't know, is a music magazine that covers electronic music in its many forms: techno, downtempo, drum and bass and whichever category is the most descriptive (this week). It's an excellent magazine and I have been reading it for a long time. When an email came to me a few weeks ago announcing the "Living Magazine" celebration, I didn't hesitate to order tickets even though I had been merely a reader of the mag and had never been to one of their events.

The shindig was at Mezzanine which is south of Market Street in SF which, to my delight, had an incredible sound system (more on that in a second...). The XLR8R staff went out of their way to create a "living" magazine with exhibits of their covers, product demos of software and other such stuff, a turntablism demo with the DJ from Live Human, a Kid Robot booth and a bunch of other stuff to look at and play with. And then there was the music...

They had a couple of local DJs spinning early on and it was cool and all but things really started to kick in after a few live performances. First up was a guy named CEX (pronounced "sex") who did kind of a white-boy rap thing that was kind of interesting but went on for a bit too long. It was amusing though.

Second up was Blacktronics, four guys with a small array of noise- and beat-making gear. They THROUGHLY kicked my ass all around the room. Large, pounding beats (the ones that get your sternum vibrating...thanks to Mezzanine's sound system) and equally sinister bass. There was MUCH ass-shake on the floor during their 20 minute set. Following that was an extended spinning session of cool and slamming reggae sides that kept us nodding in time.

Meat Beat Manifesto's Jack Dangers and a friend or two were up next and also ripped it up. It was less beat-dense but it still popped the air out of the speakers in a vicious manner. They also had a video DJ who had a bunch of clips showing on the screen that were literally being scratched (in a DJ sense) live to whatever the other guys were playing. It was brilliant aurally and visually.

We passed on seeing SF-resident Jonah Sharp do his DJ set because we were all out of gas after a long day of work and we jetted off to bed satisfied that we'd back back at events like this in the future...especially if Blacktronics is going to be there...

Posted by wjc