The Blue Note & Rose Blog


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5 Reasons to Catch Ekali

When: Tuesday, December 5thDoors at 7:00 p.m., show at 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Blue Note
Tickets: $15
Opener: Medasin + JUDGE

Finals are right around the corner, but here are some great reasons to skip the half-assed study sesh you might be planning and check out Ekali…

1. Significant musical past

Starting out in the Vancouver music scene as a bassist for the band Said The Whale, Ekali’s (Nathan Shaw) band earned a JUNO Award for Breakout Group of the year. As individual efforts kept him making beats, he gained SoundCloud recognition displaying a handful of tracks with over a million streams. This ability to remix all sorts of genres is most likely what paved the way to his invitation to The Red Bull Music Academy, beating out 4,000 other applicants.

RBMA is a world traveling music series where 60 hand-selected singers, DJs, producers and other musicians collaborate to further their advancement within music. Ekali is part of the 2014 Tokyo class, where he joins other notable musicians, Flying Lotus, TNGHT, Ta-ku and even Aloe Blacc, as alumni.

2. Highly hip-hop influenced

In 2015, Ekali earned the writing credits to the songs “Preach” and “Wednesday Night Interlude” off of Drake’s album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late  from samples of his original SoundCloud release “Unfaith”.

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This hip-hop involved background seems to be a direct influence on his collection of hip-hop releases like “Threatz” by Denzel Curry (Ekali & Gravez Remix) and his newest song, “Babylon”. If you are a hip-hop or trap fan and aren’t accustomed to electronic styles, this is a good show to catch.  

 3. Knows how to bring a crowd

Last semester, Ekali opened up for Troyboi right here at The Blue Note and showed how he deserves to be the main act. From the moment Ekali started, a crowd of about 100 slowly expanded to about 650 as he rounded off his set. As more and more people filled in, the set became so much more involved and you could feel the energy all around, especially in the catalyst himself, Ekali.

Among the many festivals he toured this past season, I caught his set at Middlelands.

Here he is turning a crowd from nothing to a mob:

4. The Babylon Tour

The USA production involves floral stage designs to match most of his song releases and strategic light placings that give the off a modest club vibe. The Babylon Tour contains an abundance of dates in cities all around the world, and nearly all are in venues with a capacity of less than 1,000. These two factors make for an original show that is highly dependent on both the artist and the crowd. Look to see more risks taken by Ekali to match the diversified crowd.

5. Mix master

Evident in almost all of his live sets and recorded mixes, Ekali demonstrates his ear-catching ability to mix some of the calmest trance and future bass tracks into D&B and heavier trap/grime beats. This ability to jump bass genres while staying in key and keeping the beat will blow the minds of fans of all genres. He has series of awakening mixes that convey his niche of music. He also shows his vast abilities across the entire electronic spectrum displayed in several credible live mixes like Diplo & Friends and triple j, featuring all sorts of artists and genres.

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Sax and the City: Big Gigantic on 9th

Last Thursday, The Blue Note wrapped up its 9th Street Summerfest concert series, and it was certainly no small matter.

For the first time since Girl Talk in the summer of 2012, electronic music has grooved its way back to the outdoors. This time we were graced with the headlining act of Big Gigantic who delivered their classic funk-style electronic with some halloween flare. The venue was themed to fit the part with inflatables on stage and webs in the foyer of The Blue Note.

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Seasonally, a rather warm day came to an end as St. Louis-native DJ LuSiD began the night soon after the gates opened. The early arrivers were given a dose of psychedelic funk that was key to get them ready for a long night of all varieties of electronic sounds.

As the sun set and the wind picked up, the onesies began to flock toward the venue. From all directions at the intersection of 9th and Walnut, party goers and music fans were flowing in to get a taste of the madness.

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People were stacking up in front of the stage and began to sprawl on the front steps of other local 9th Street businesses as Big Wild took the stage to “I Just Wanna” to get the crowd moving. Vast desert landscapes and ocean scenes mesmerized us before Big Wild snapped on his live drums as the beat dropped. Big Wild’s show implements his unique remixes to other popular songs with the use of his live instrumental components. Among the ones played was, “Hey Mami” by Blue Note alum Sylvan Esso, where he live whistles the chorus. Other notable remixed songs played were “For The Love” by GRiZ, “Generationwhy” by ZHU and a common fan favorite “Stand Up” by Ludacris. He even mashed up his own “Venice Venture” with “Throw Some D’s” by Rich Boy. 

Big Wild will be returning to The Blue Note on February 13! If you had a good time last Thursday, or if you missed out on the fun, be sure to come to this one!

 

 

Now a packed house, 9th Street was buzzing with people all around, inside and out of The Blue Note. At intermission, we reloaded on tall boys and laced up our dancing shoes. At around 9 pm, Big Gigantic opened up hot with their timeless jam with GRiZ, “Good Times Roll”. Rocking their monkey and blue Care Bear onesies, Dom and Jeremy joined the hundreds that made the decision to have a cozy concert experience. The crowd got up to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and got down when Dominic mixed “As We Proceed” into the halloween classic, “Ghost Busters”. Even a happy couple showed they “Got The Love” by getting engaged under the October sky.

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Last fall, Big G’s set was composed of songs off of their, at the time, new album. This time around we got a solid mix of songs from older albums in their career like “Stronger” and “Touch the Sky”. We also had the chance to hear a clean mix of “Get On Up” that segued into their remix of Kanye’s “Get Em High” while the production screen displayed live POV videos of the duo jamming out on each of their instruments.

This show was full of music and friends. The outdoor set up gives way for a wider variety of show experiences. You can rage in the front and get close to your fellow ravers, or chill towards the middle or back where you might see a few kids running around amongst the hoopers. You could also go inside to take a break from the noise and catch up with your friends. It allows for more of an overall experience on top of a live show. Big Gigantic played for a variety of people, but they still established the community atmosphere that is present at all 9th Street shows.