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JAUZ @ The Catalyst 11/7/18 Show Review by Josh aka DJ iEHOA

Sam Vogel better known as JAUZ brings his shark squad to invade the waters of Santa Cruz on November 17 at The Catalyst. Based in the Bay Area, Jauz produces tracks across many genres such as future bass, dubstep, and his main genre bass house. Most people would recognize him for his song “Feel The Volume”. He has also collaborated on many tracks with superstar DJ’s Skrillex, Marshmello, Tiesto, DJ Snake and Diplo.

After many years of producing hit dance singles Jauz in November of 2017 he announced that he would become the CEO of his own record label Bite This and in August of 2018 would release his first studio album “The Wise and the Wicked”. Shortly after the release of his album he goes on his first Bite This tour which showcases Holy Goof and Skepsis (who did not play in Santa Cruz) two of many artist signed onto the label.

We open the show up with Connor Bvrns an upcoming DJ from LA who has just recently opened up for Diplo. His set slowly but surely set the mood for the night from playing many tracks across genres from trap to moombahton. One song that really stuck out to me from his set is hearing “Love Again” by Slander which immediately gave me a nostalgic vibe as I haven’t heard the song live since 2016.

Right after his set Holy Goof takes the stage. From the UK, Holy Goof was my most anticipated set for as I was very excited to hear the sounds of the UK come to the US. Holy Goof did not hold back at all unleashing UK Bass House tracks that amazed the crowd.

Unfortunately, during this set, I had experienced a recurring issue that I have had at The Catalyst which involves the crowd’s lack of spatial awareness in the middle. I quickly avoided this mess by moving towards the left side of the venue which had more space to dance without having to miss out on most of the light show.

While Holy Goof’s set was full of energy, Jauz quickly stole the show as soon as he came on. All throughout his 1 and ½ hour set, he did a good job in blending many different styles of music from Dubstep to House. Playing many tracks from his album, “The Wise and The Wicked” I felt complete when I got to hear my favorite track from the album, “Acid or Techno”.

 

In all, I would give this show a 7/9 ★★★★★★★☆☆ on my scale.

 

The show overall was great! While I still had to deal with people’s lack of spatial awareness, the energy was high and it never went down at all throughout the night. Great mixing from all the supporting DJ’s and a great set from Jauz.

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Louis The Child “Kids At Play” EP Review by Josh aka DJ iEHOA

Robert Hauldren and Frederic Kennett make up the duo Louis The Child. Based in Chicago, Louis The Child has been producing music that blends brings the sounds of  hip-hop into the electronic world. One of their most notable songs It’s Strange has been recognized all over the world by artists like Taylor Swift and has also been featured in the FIFA 16 soundtrack.

 

In the end of October they released the 9-Track EP “Kids At Play” which has plenty of tracks that will remind you of your youthful days. Their signature bouncy euphoric sounds all are felt throughout each track. With soulful vocals from MAX on Dear Sense and Quinn XCII on The City along blissful vocals from Wafia on Better Not all three which were released as singles before the release of this EP.

One of the most notable collabs on the EP features NoMBe and Big Gigantic on Save Me From Myself  which is a well produced pop-crossover track.

Some of my favorite tracks on the EP are Interstellar, LOVE, and Space Jam.

You can check out Kids At Play here.

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Ekali @ The Catalyst 10/14/18 Show Review by Josh aka DJ iEHOA

Nathan Shaw better known as Ekali took over the Catalyst on October 14. Ekali is a producer from Vancouver, Canada. He has produced tracks in various genres such as house, trap and future bass. Ekali has also collaborated with different artists such as Drake, Denzel Curry, and ZHU.

 

Ekali visits Santa Cruz on his tour to support his EP “Crystal Eyes” released last month.

The show first opened up with a DJ named Fishy who kept the vibe and crowd really mellow. After Fishy we are treated with a young producer at the age of 16 that goes by Jaron. Jaron set was full of energy with the crowd feeling the future bass within. Being able to go on tour at the age of 16 must of felt like a dream for him and everyone there was able to live it with him. One of the most memorable songs from him that night is his remix of San Holo’s, “lift me from the ground”. After Jaron, we have 1788-L which has only been around for less than a year. Even though he has not been around for long, he has already been taking over the world most recently in signing under the Deadbeats label by Zeds Dead. He brought the heat with his music, but for me, this was a low point for the show. As the crowd started to grow many of the individuals in the crowd started to not respect the space of those around them. I was struggling to deal with unnecessary pushing and shoving by people either not caring about the space around them or wanting to go to a spot which did not have any space.

When 1788-L was over the crowd had a few minutes to rest up which helped calmed the crowd down. This is where we finally get to welcome Ekali to the stage which started off with a bang. The heavy bass of dubstep took over the crowd for the first 15 minutes until he started to go back to the trap sounds that he is known for. He played many mashups of artists such as Post Malone and Sheck Wes. He played my favorite mashup as of recent SICKOMODE/HEX.

While he was able to put on a good show with his trap sound one huge let down for me was the fact that he did not play his most popular song “Forever” on his EP. Many fans who were also at that show seemed to feel the same way as I did as we voiced our disappointment at the end of the show.

Overall I give this show a 6/9★★★★★★✩✩✩ on my scale.

Even though the music was great throughout the night, the struggle of trying to tolerate the crowd and him not playing “Forever” is something I will not forgive.

You can check out Ekali’s EP here.

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Rusko’s Comeback & His “5 New Songs” by Joshua Vargas aka DJ Iehoa

Recovering from his latest battle with cancer last year, Rusko has come back in 2018 with a plan to take over the world. His awaited return began in February where he immediately picked up where he left off with a killer set at Wobbleland the Bay Area’s biggest dubstep/bass festival. Here he played lots of his old killer tracks such as “Hold On” and “Woo Boost”. After his performance at Wobbleland he shorty signed with Circus Records and debuted his single “Hot” which made it clear that he was back for good. Now he has just recently released a full EP titled Has Made 5 New Songs (which also includes “Hot”).

His song “Mind The Gap” captures why he was considered the king with his old-school wobbles. Exactly what seemed to have been missed by the dubstep community. The tracks “High” and “Emotional” explore a more melodic tone with the vocals and sounds that are implemented in the songs. In his 4 artist collab with Dangerous, Fraksure, Simskai “Walalangeleng” is a banger which involves a jungle/reggae/breakbeat style.

 

There is clearly nothing stopping Rusko from making his mark in 2018. His legacy had been revived this year and you can catch him at many festivals happening in the near future such as Deadrocks, Dancefestopia and Lost Lands.

You can listen to Rusko’s whole EP below!

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Written by: Joshua Vargas aka DJ Iehoa

Electric Adventures at HARD Summer ’16

Summer’s in LA thrive with everything from evening concerts on the beach to the weekend festivals. For nine years now, HARD Summer has been putting on one of the most well known and loved EDM, and hip-hop, raves of the summer. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to attend the festival as I have been spending my summer down south in the Los Angeles heat.

On the last weekend of July, I drove over to the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California, where I made a rather quick entrance with VIP parking (which I highly recommend!). The layout of the festival was so large it took me quite a while to figure it out. My favorite stage was hands down the HARDER stage which had some of the audience on the slanted race track and the back half of the audience sitting in the stands (which was a good dancing break without taking a music break).

I stared my adventures on Saturday with Drezo at the HARD Stage followed by the surprising Rezz at the HARDER Stage. Rezz surprised me because I had never heard of her before and she was one of my favorites of the weekend with her grinding, almost punk-rock electronic set. Hip-hop artist Anderson .Paak followed not long after and smashed it on the drums with his band The Free Nationals.

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Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at the HARDER Stage

The night closed off with Ice Cube who represented his N.W.A crew and kept the crowd bouncing with his classics. The last to go on were duo J2K and Autobot who are well known in the trap music community as Flosstradamus.

Sunday started with Slumberjack who is well known for his remix of What So Not’s “Touched”. Going into the night, Zeds Dead brought out dj Twin Shadow. Following, Dillon Francis started his set with a remix of the Pokemon theme song and then proceeded to stay true to his Moombahton style and keep the audience dancing all through his set. The last and by far my favorite set of the night was Porter Robinson who has been on my list of people I need to see for years now. He did not fail. Porter’s anime influenced visuals and unexpected tempo changes were carefully planned out and perfectly executed! I left the weekend with a huge smile on my face and ready to see what else HARD has planned next.

Keep track of the next HARD event or view the photos from past HARD events with the links below. Cheers!

HARD
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