Decibel Festival 2013: Mad Decent Presents Showcase @ Showbox SoDo

Decibel Festival, Live Reviews
Gerrit Feenstra
all photos by Brittany Brassell

As you can expect, Saturday night's Mad Decent Presents Showcase during Decibel Festival was one of the biggest parties thrown all weekend. The Philadelphia via LA label headed by Diplo (smash hit dub/hip-hop producer, founding member of Major Lazer, and unofficial god of Instagram twerking) has become a haven for up and coming producers who want to get the party started. Mad Decent hosts everything from dubstep to hip-hop to mainstream EDM to Y2K throwback R&B. Thus, Saturday's showcase, featuring Flosstradamus, Gent & Jawns, and Astronomar was a unapologetic good time.

Astronomar opened things up with a pretty straightforward EDM set. At Showbox SoDo, the volume started at a whisper. Astronomar had his beats playing at household volume out of his monitors alone, and only the front couple rows really even heard enough to get heads bobbing. But as the set went along, volume crawled upwards and the head bobs turned to dancing and rows involved kept crawling backwards. The beats were persistent, and Astronomar's set, jam packed with bass heavy, dark EDM goodness including his own "Like This", got the energy building until the end. Long Jawns (DJing alone tonight without Gent & Jawns other half Billy the Gent) entered stage right to set up his laptop for continuous transition between sets. As Astronomar exited, the volume crawled a bit more and the tone changed slightly. Bringing the tempo up past atypical 128 beats per minute, Jawns got the crowd jumping before cutting to exact half-time for a collection of trap tunes including Gent & Jawns singles "Turn Up" and "Coco". The change in pacing was well received from the crowd, as the increasingly packed house got more involved with the music. Jawns did a great job cutting between trap and full tempo dance music, keeping the crowd on their feet and constantly engaged.


Gent & Jawns:

Finally, at the stroke of midnight, Jawns said goodbye and tore down his table to make room to bring the Flosstradamus table forward, decorated with their usual exclamation point caution sign. The visuals queue switched up to show a massive "Flosstradamus" stencil across the back wall as the lights went down. Finally, Sodo turned on the house speakers to bring the bass to ridiculous levels. Turning levels up with the smash hit Baauer remix of their tune "Roll Up", they got the house off the walls and off their feet. The stencil behind them became a wall of color and light. Up front the duo, made up of DJs J2K and Autobot, kept the crowd hyped to all get-out. The beat and the energy in the house were merciless. Flosstradamus brought all of the bass-heavy, sweat-covered glory we could expect from a Mad Decent showcase. For a crowd that isn't afraid to get a little dirty, it was the best Saturday night to be seen in quite some time.


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