Originally, this post was supposed to be a review of an electronic music show that went down in the WestCo Café about three weeks ago; Zach of Wesleying wrote up a short version of that here. But since I put that task off until about three weeks later, when it was pretty much irrelevant, these short reflections might wander a little. For me, Groundislava's stylings already seemed perfect for the portion of the Wesleyan music scene that has thoughts on the Concert Committee and Spring Fling Committee more than once a year - centered around active bookers, promoters, fans, and more archetypes of the WestCo-to-Eclectic Pipeline. His combination of hip-hop and electronica sensibilities - more than just deep bass and video games, but those figured prominently - was a winner, and deservedly so. This was an unsurprisingly solid set of music.
Oorutaichi spoke (asymptotically close to) zero English, had little (if any) name recognition, and managed to pull off what felt like the most genuinely happy set I'd witnessed this semester. That surprised me. I think I'm just jaded; when he did that-thing-where-the-artist-reaches-out-and-everyone-touches-his-hand-and-cheers, the smile that he took back to his electronics seemed unusually genuine. The moment really captured the feeling driving the freakishly happy "space disco" frenetic dance groove, hyperactive animated visuals, and occasional primal screams that marked his set. I'll stop intellectualizing and just level with you guys: I already knew and enjoyed Oorutaichi's music, but I have no idea why anyone else, especially a sizeable concert crowd, enjoyed "dance" music as weird as this. That's a wonderful sort of happy confusion, and I want Wesleyan shows to regularly make people feel that way. That's pretty much what I wanted to say.
Sky's love letter at the end of spring semester asked Wesleyan to "keep the same intensity and passion for a vibrant and diverse musical culture alive." In short, Groundislava and Oorutaichi - and the organizers! - put on a show that, in my eyes, lived up to that standard. I'm looking forward to keeping the dream alive in the Zelnick Pavilion this Friday night, where L-Vis 1990 (along with Missteps DJs Guy Fridge and Nicholas Msall) will be playing a few dimly-lit hours of four-to-the-floor grooves. A dance party in what amounts to a glass cage is the inexorable next [mis]step.