Friday night, Resident Advisor presented Blurring the Lines, a showcase devoted to merging techno and dubstep, at Neumos. With the recent trend in DJs/producers experimenting in these gray areas of electronic dance music, it was a great way to bring together artists from different backgrounds that have come to be known as leftfield for their respective genre classifications, as accurate as those can be. The bill included Cyanwave, Egyptrixx, Max Cooper, Martin Buttrich and Martyn.
Unfortunately, due to transportation issues, I missed Cyanwave and Egyptrixx, but managed to catch Max Cooper just as he was starting. Neumos had a big stage and huge screens for the colorful projections that pleasantly glowed on the artists giving them extra visibility in the dark, packed venue.
Max Cooper presented a mix of danceable minimal techno that eventually trailed away into ambient, atmospheric territories. A steady build up stoked the audience, then midway into his set he started dropping more dub tracks. This change in dynamics wasn’t the best for keeping the party going, but regardless it made for a solid set with good developments from one set of vibes to the next.
Afterwards, Martin Buttrich took the stage, prepared with a live set that started off hard and got progressively harder. His crafty layering techniques allowed him to make subtle build ups for heavy drops that never turned stale. Over the course of his set, Buttrich took the plunge for ultimate depth with a trained ear for bringing out the best in minimal techno.
Martyn, as the final act, wrapped up the showcase nicely with his eclectic tastes and his tendency to join a variety of music styles and present them in interesting and unique ways. In his set, he seamlessly layered techno, dubstep, bass and acid with an ear for a dancefloor-friendly sound, although he frequently left this comfort zone. In fact, he wasn’t afraid to switch up the dynamics often and leave the audience hanging with slower build ups and trickier drop. The confident and playful attitude that came out in his mixing was impressive, with many well-done transitions for successful experimentation. Although this sort of out-of-the-box thinking is risky, Martyn proved the strength of his voice as an electronic musician with the excellent feedback from an ecstatic audience at the end of his set.
Catch Martin Buttrich at The EndUp and Martyn with Icee Hot at Public Works tonight. Tickets are $20 (free before 11pm) and $15 respectively.