The Retrospective

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Prefuse 73 + The Gaslamp Killer Bring The Ruckus To Middle East Club

February 2nd, 2010 by

Prefuse 73
Photo Credit Krob

Guillermo Scott Herren has a lock on the rolling beats and sinewy electronic grooves he’s perfected through a career that spans more albums and side projects than there are backpacks at one of his shows. He’s one of the best known names of the glitch-hop movement, which encompasses everyone from Ghostly International’s scratchy rootmaster, Dabrye, to Herren’s own Eastern Developments protege, Elliot Lipp. On January 20 Herren rolled into the Middle East downstairs under his most famous (and my personal favorite) moniker, Prefuse73.

The Gaslamp Killer
Photo Credit Krob

Aiding him in his quest to shake up a town notorious for its stiff-armed crowds was the Gaslamp Killer, a wild-eyed, mop-topped dervish DJ from Los Angeles that I was first clued into by a friend who saw him perform a mindmelting daytime set at Seattle’s Decibel festival. At first glance the Gaslamp Killer (so named for his total disgust with the people who populated the San Diego Gaslamp District bar scene) looked like a mad beat scientist. With shoulder-length curly hair and a penchant for headbanging during a set that veered from the squealing guitars of Jimi Hendrix to the genre-bending sounds of dubstep mastermind Zomby, GLK refused to buy into the image of the lazy DJ hanging behind the decks. Even when his track selection veered a little off course, his infectious energy and obvious love of the game won the crowd (and me) over.

The Gaslamp Killer
Photo Credit Krob

After a set that included Black Sabbath and frenzied ponytail shaking, Herren’s onstage persona was as low-key as Gaslamp Killer’s was riot-inducing. With a setup consisting of himself (decked out in trademark beanie and thick black glasses) and two band members to help out on drums and various electronic devices, Herren didn’t have the luck of the sound system on his side. Though the sound was often fuzzy and distorted and it was sometimes hard to make out Herren’s rambling vocals, the music itself was warm and inviting, kind’ve like slipping on a well-worn and comforting sweater.

While some bands may bring out the latent trackspotter in all of us, causing gasps of joy at the first chords of a rare B-side or some other little-played track, Herren’s laidback style is meant to be savored and appreciated for the sum of its parts, the sonic backdrop to a moment of quiet introspection. The only time I snapped out of my reverie was to break out into a smile at the strains of the dreamily syncopated “Eve of Dextruction,” and to wonder when I’ll see him next.

Prefuse73 Myspace
The Gaslamp Killer

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