Last night we witnessed the rebirth of Grime in a dark basement in Downtown Los Angeles. We gathered at The Belasco Theater, a venue only recently acclimated to regular electronic shows, to experience the genius that is the collaborative effort between beat powerhouse Eprom and absolute hypebeast Alix Perez, but what we got was so much more. After descending three flights of stairs, it was clear from the subs vibrating the wall, the minimal lighting, and the inherent lack of cell reception that they were not fucking around with this show.  It was like being transported into an underground showcase in the middle of Shoreditch in London, and with that, the stage was set.

Proko, the first mind-melting act, set the standards and expectations for the evening by quickly throwing down some heaters that got the crowd moving.  Right from the start this night was established by Grime (not UK Grime) and Minimal, but this was something new.

 The impeccable bass lines found throughout Proko’s set list paired with his flawless mixing.

Even the crowd’s general enthusiasm was something I had never seen before, and I was ready to dive in head first.  The sound system clearly wasn’t ready for the filth because it cut out for about five minutes while stage hands frantically scurried around to find whatever cable was mistakenly unplugged.  I, along with the rest of the venue, were heavily head banging before 11pm and we hadn’t even made it to the undercard acts.

Next up was underground Soundcloud classic, Tsuruda.  Now, while his posted production is incredible, we had trouble connecting with his set.  He chose tracks with soft, extended and/or melodic intros that often left us wondering whether or not the speakers had just been unplugged again.  The transitions between tracks were crunchy as well, but Tsuruda showed promise for future sets that I’m excited to see play out.

Now, Ivy Lab took the stage by storm dropping some of the heaviest shit I’ve ever heard in my life.

This was Riddim, this was Hip-Hop, this was Minimal, but most of all, this was just Bass. And lots of it.  People were losing their minds in the crowd, throwing trap arms, head banging, and chanting as loud as they could.  The venue’s sound system was fully pushed to its limits trying to keep up with the heavy, English productions.  Their presence in Los Angeles felt like the start of something greater to come, but this was indeed a worthy preview.

Finally, the main event. Ivy Lab transitioned off seamlessly and Alix Perez B2b Eprom, the collaboration otherwise known as Shades, was primed to blow. From the first track on, it was obvious that Shades was a force to be reckoned with.  Between every wub, grime sample, heavy 808 and methodically crafted glitch and beep – we could see the energy of the room continually building as if the crowd hadn’t already been dancing for three hours.  Los Angeles legend, The Gaslamp Killer, dropped in on their set about midway through to MC through the use of live vocal samples and chants that worked surprisingly well. This was a huge treat for this bass-centric crowd.  Moving forward we heard staples of their first EP like “The Serpent” as well as brand new production from Shades, Alix Perez, and Eprom that blew away any and all expectations set forth that evening.  This was the first time I had experienced a show that was so heavy, dark, and slow yet commanded so much energy.

What I expected was a dubstep show in a basement, but what I saw was the future of bass music at large.

Your entertainers for the night

Electric_Sloth_Team

Your coverage correspondents for the night

Photos: Jake West for Bassrush

Check out Ivy Lab

Check out Eprom

Check out Alix Perez