A line of people waited in front of the Mayan Theater, hoping they’d be able to get into the free show THE GASLAMP KILLER, his FRIENDS and THE RED BULL MUSIC ACAMEDY were having to celebrate the release of his debut, full-length album, “BREAKTHROUGH,” on BRAINFEEDER RECORDS.
William Benjamin Bensussen A.K.A THE GASLAMP KILLER came running out of nowhere, with a box of “BREAKTHROUGH” matchbooks in hand.
He passed them out quickly, thanking people for coming and being patient, and then he disappeared.
He disappeared inside, where he was signing copies of his new record for the fans crowding the merch table on the left side of the stage. Over on the right side, there was a screen printing table where you could make you’re own customized GLK shirt. Never seen that before.
The first of GLK’s FRIENDS to come out on stage was one of his LOW END THEORY comrades, DJ NOBODY. He kept the vibe pretty low-key, playing a mellow, all-vinyl psychedelic set, letting the people filter in from the lines outside.
Next up, COMPUTER JAY, came out crushing, huge 8-bit sounds, playing music on an ATARI 2600 (Yeah, the video game system), from there he switched between a drum machine, a synth, and the turntables for scratching. His ability to jump from instrument to instrument, while steadily breaking the crowds neck was incredible.
The third special guest to grace the stage was one of the founders of THE WORLD FAMOUS BEAT JUNKIES, J ROCC. He got the crowd dancing with a sick, Jackson 5 “Give Me One More Chance” remix, and a mashup of sorts, using elements from Tribe’s “Find a Way,” and “Soul II Soul’s “Back to Life.”
In between each set, GLK came out and thanked the audience for coming so early, (The Mayan was packed by 9:45) or gave out a little history about the Mayan Theater, or told the audience that he had abstained from alcohol and marijuana (the crowd booed. lol) so that he could have a clear head coming into the evening. Then he immediately downed a glass of whiskey.
He introduced the next act as his “favorite band.” It was ADRIAN YOUNGE PRESENTS VENICE DAWN. The crowd didn’t seem to know who this band was. They were a funky, jazzy, jam band with soul. These guys are featured in a song on “Breakthrough,” AND they put on one of the best performances of the night. At one point, one of the guitar players busted out the jazz flute, got down on the flute, then used the flute to strum his guitar, and then used the flute to bang on the cymbals.
Towards the end of their set, they jammed out and built the music up a crescendo, then every band member froze in their place. They let the silence build, while they held their poses, the crowd roared, and then they jumped back into the song. Instant fan.
Turns out Adrian Younge wrote the score for and edited BLACK DYNAMITE. Makes sense.
Next up, was EPROM, form the bay area. He played a trap-heavy set with heavy remixes of “Niggas in Paris” and “Mercy.” He definitely got the crowd going with that bass that makes your nose hair vibrate.
After EPROM, BRAINFEEDER RECORDS jefe, FLYING LOTUS came on stage. He played a lot of stuff off of his forthcoming album, “Until the Quiet Comes,” he played a track he did with the mysterious, CAPTAIN MURPHY, and he played a song or two that he had just came up with early in the day.
Once Flying Lotus was done sharing, THE GASLAMP KILLER came out like a mad man. He played some tracks from “BREAKTHROUGH” and whipped the crowd up with his infectious energy. He played a few tracks from TNGHT, and each time a small “mosh pit” would form in the middle of the floor. GLK’s set was musical ADHD or Schizophrenia. He went from Eazy- E’s “Real Motherfucking G’s” to Raekwon’s “Ice Cream” to the “Darth Vader Theme” at a breakneck pace.
After his set, he introduced DAEDALUS, as his “mentor,” “big brother” and “life coach.” Then the two played together for about 15 minutes. Crazy hair and ‘stache to the left. Mutton chops on the right. Non stop energy on the left. Spastic, furious conductor-like movements on the right. All while this relentless, bass-rich, music is hitting your ears.
Once GLK left the stage, the crowd thinned out, but Daedalus delivered to the faithful, manipulating beats and melodies over and over again.
I forgot to mention that the Mayan has five huge screens, and during the entire show STRANGELOOP was in charge of the visuals. There were clips from Anime, Aeon Flux, some crazy/awesome Egyptian god Horace sequence.
It was one great night of music from THE GASLAMP KILLER, FRIENDS AND RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY. The fact that it was a free show, with a “first come first serve” entrance system, and no full lineup available, forced people to show up early. But, it caused a lot of people to hear and enjoy music they might not have otherwise. That was the magic of the night.
I recorded some videos, but it’s taking to long to compress, so they will be up later, so keep an eye out for updates.