Thursday, July 7 was a work night for me but it didn’t slow me down from seeking out some new Chill Wave tunes over at La Zona Rosa. The massive included Psymbionic, R/D, Com Truise, and The Glitch Mob. I was there to see Com Truise but The Glitch Mob came in a close second. The night was long and I couldn’t make it the whole night but I got my file of the Chill Wave, leaving with a big ole’ smile on my face. The people watching was fantastic as well.
Psymbionic was on first and he tweaked and nobbed his way through a basic beat and drove it home for a good 45 minutes. I was distracted because he looked alot like the Jake Busey character fro PCU. At any rate, he decked out his laptop with a couple of hardware interfaces, a theme that would be common throughout the night, and methodically beat our ears over a slow driving jam. It was a good start to the night but nothing that flirted my skirt (no I didn’t actually wear one).
R/D was up next and he seemed a little more polished. He kept his gear at an angle so he didn’t have to crouch over. That’s a great idea because I’ve been thinking of ways of tinkering with my gear without injuring my wimpy lower back. So he had angled drum pads and a nice looking m-audio device hooked up and buzzing away. R/D did a better job building up his songs and then breaking them back down. The crowd responded dutifully as well. I’ll have to check out R/D because he both gives his music away for promotion and notched out a couple of Radiohead remixes.
Com Truise was the dude I narrowed my ears on. His style of Chill Wave is much more melodic, or at least more inventive. Sometimes just driving a beat home with minimal bleeps and creeps just isn’t enough for me. To make up for more structure, Com Truise attempts to beat things up like an early 200s DJ Shadow. Color me impressed. I’m not sure what gear he used on top of his laptop but I was intrigued by the pad he banged with the drumstick. Com Truise seems more poised than any of the other opening acts to break into the mainstream.
The Glitch Mob was up last and unfortunately this is where my wussiness kicked in. I saw about 1/2 hour of the set and all of it was really tight. The stage lit up with proper visuals for the Mob and that helped make the show more interactive. They also opened up with a remix of Daft Punk’s ‘Derezzed’, another plus in my book. The gear looked it was combination of drum pads, keys, and some sort of touch screen interface that could change on the fly. I’m thinking it’s not an iPad but a more pro audio device. Nonetheless, The Glitch Mob came through.
That was the night for me. It couldn’t be as long as I liked but I’m cool with missing 45 minutes of the 5 hour night. Every type of person, from the aged hippy to the spandexed furry, helped pass the time between yawn sets and setting up of sets. La Zona Rosa’s sound system is the best I’ve heard in Austin so far and it left me just a little wanting that laptop musicians filled it for the night. But I wasn’t wanting much more than what Com Truise came through with.