Wednesday night, Cervantes’ Other side was rumbling with the first installment of Two Fresh’s new monthly showcase in Denver dubbed, “Watch This”. For well over a year now, something has been missing the Denver music scene. Perhaps, this feeling was spawned by watching video after video, listening to podcast after podcast from Los Angeles’ Low End Theory. Started by residents The Gaslamp Killer, Daddy Kev, Nobody, D-Styles, and Nocando, Low End Theory brings rising names within the industry to Los Angeles every Wednesday. Low End Theory has this certain mystique. It seems underground. Brings a diverse selection of artists from across the musical spectrum to its stage. And, it seems to be at the frontlines of progressive, expermiental music. What audiophile, beat junkie, or any avid music consumer does not want that in their lives.
A couple ventures have popped up in the Denver area seeming to seek the same sort of aura. Two Fresh’s “Watch This” not only showed intriguing potential, but managed to capture at least some of the Je ne sais quoi of Low End Theory in only its first edition.
The underground, club atmosphere was in full effect upon walking into Cervantes’ Other Side. “Sultan’s Request” a banger off of Flying Lotus’ forthcoming Until the Quiet Comes. Kendo took the stage around 10 PM, his set was an up to date mix that saw one of our favorite TNGHT tracks, “Bugg’n”, seamlessy flow out of the speakers and into eager ears. Perhaps, the most intriguing aspect of Kendo’s set was him being joined by presumably a friend, who also served as the warm up act. The two tossed tracks back and forth on stage. Lips were easily read as Kendo was asked what BPM the current track was in before replying “145″. It really felt as though we were in Kendo’s basement watching him and a friend simply enjoy themselves on a random weeknight. The flow between their tracks might not have been perfect, yet this never stopped the set from keeping the crowd sharing in the groove.
HeRobust followed, and was the leading reason why it felt necessary to head out to Cervantes’ for a late Wednesday night. Not only did heRobust not disappoint, but actually managed to pull out the perfect surprise by having Colby Buckler add live drumming to this special set. Knowing that this was somewhat of an impromptu move, heRobust even noted that the two had just met, made it all the more special. Perhaps, the two did some solid rehearsing during the day; however, I suspect much of the credit is owed to Colby Buckler. The man can simply drum to electronic music unlike anyone I’ve seen Adam Deitch. Sure, mishaps happened, but live drumming makes even the crispest beat crunchier.
Aside from Buckler joining him on stage, heRobust gave everything asked of him. A couple favorites from his Late Night EP made appearances. Highlighting the evening was “When You Was on Myspace”. The track seemed to come out of nowhere, and provided a needed injection of energy into the room. HeRobust stepped over to Buckler’s drum kit to fill him in on what was up next, and the two seemed genuinely interested to see what would happen with the live banger. The result was obvious: it worked to perfection. Heads banged. Knees were getting loose.
The first edition of Two Fresh’s Watch This showcase was a genuine success. Two takeaways:
1. HeRobust is for real. The tracks sounded great live and loud. Moreover, every track seemed to have this bassy synth sound that is quintessential heRobust. What more can you ask of an artist besides that they find their sound and stay true to it? Nothing.
2. Denver needs Watch This. There is no question the strength and size of the Denver music scene. There are literally countless great musicians that call the Denver metro area home. Now, at last, it seems the city has the sort of experimental, club-esque events that make LA so appealing to music fans. The city now has at least one monthly event where the status quo can be challenged, risks taken, and new sounds find a test run.
Next month seems too far away already.