XXYYXX (Photo: Tim Draut)
The faint smell of reefer already began to permeate the DNA Lounge as local beatmaker Nanosaur took the stage at 10pm, opening an event featuring Teebs and headliner XXYYXX as part of Thursday night’s all electronic lineup during Noise Pop Fest 2013. Teen Daze was originally scheduled to support XXYYXX with a DJ set, but the Canadian dance musician unfortunately had trouble sorting out visa issues in time. Teebs filled in for Jamison with a set of original beats, and DJ Dials MC’d the event, spinning tracks between sets.
Nanosaur was deep into his laptop during his set, positioned between two (mostly neglected) synths. The Bay Area local (whose real name is Michael Solorzano) got the club poppin’ with a bass-heavy set of sample-laden beats. Working in pop remixes with original chillwave bangers, the younger crowd passed around their blunts and shook their little asses on the dance floor while the older crowd peered down at the performer from above, hovering around the upstairs bars.
The floor got even more congested as Teebs hopped on stage, after Nanosaur head-bobbed and fist-pumped his way off his post. Teebs is the stage name of young beatmaker Mtendere Mandowa from Chino Hills, California. Busily pushing buttons on his SP-404 sampler, Teebs was calm and confident in relaying his hip hop meets dream pop instrumentals to the crowd. Mandowa looked like he was having lots of fun looping samples and firing off pop triggers, a vibe that transferred over into the dance-happy crowd.
DJ Dials announced XXYYXX (real name: Marcel Everett) as he was setting up his gear, who looked slightly more clean-cut than Teebs and Nanosaur. The headliner followed a similar formula of working club bangers and remixes in with original cuts from his self-titled breakthrough. During “Set It Off”, he did just that, as the packed dance floor erupted into a frenzy. The crowd was equally thrilled when he worked in snippets of Captain Murphy and TNGHT, before concluding his set with “About You”. Noise Pop’s Chad Salty acted as the performer’s pro tem hypeman.
A stage dive attempt was thwarted by security in a split-second tackle, and a fight almost broke out at the bottle service lounge. Professional photographers were scrambling on and around the stage for the entire event, relentlessly blinding the producers and the audience with flash photography. Overall the vibe was very positive, if a little overcrowded. When DJ Dials dropped “Harlem Shake” almost immediately after XXYYXX finished his well-received set, I realized it was time for a quick exit. At least patrons were allowed to take their slices of DNA pizza back with them into the club.