January 31, 2010

Don’t Go Big… Go Big Gigantic!

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It is amazing how, with modern technology, it only takes a few people to produce elaborate compositions. On Friday night, three acts from all around the country gathered at the Theta Delta Chi mansion for an evening of serious electronic music. Electric Mayhem and DJ Jaminic supported the headlining band, Big Gigantic. With such a large and enthusiastic crowd in attendance, it was difficult for the artists to disappoint.

Fellow Cornellian (Josh Stansfield ’11) Electric Mayhem warmed up the crowd. Mayhem started deejaying professionally several years ago and has played at a variety of prominent events, including the outdoor arts festival, Burning Man, in 2008. He plays a mix of House and Electro music, which can be better described as techno with a touch of funk. As Mayhem stood intensely by his turntables with a look of determination and excitement in his eyes, mixing and mashing songs, the crowd passionately danced as he performed his craft.

Next up was the Boulder-based duo, Big Gigantic. This project was the creation of saxophonist and producer, Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken. Even though the band is only two people, this band proved the old adage it’s all about quality, not quantity. The group creates intricate pieces of dance music that exhibit a large spectrum of sounds. Even though the group labels themselves as a mix of electronica and hip-hop, their songs incorporate aspects of jam and jazz as well. As Lalli overlapped saxophone solos with synthesized melodies, Salken generated slick and heavy drumbeats. While the mix of such instruments is quite inorganic, the final result was very entertaining.

The group opened their first set with a mix of their own music and the Jay-Z song, “Dirt off Your Shoulders.” The crowd was already going crazy as fans started climbing on furniture and windowsills to catch a glimpse of the band. However, soon enough, everyone in the room was moving and dancing. Every few songs, Lalli would ask “Are you feeling good?,” to which the crowd responded with loud cheers. The other DJs intervened throughout their set to provide other various harmonies, to give the band a more full sound. After an hour, the group decided to take a break, and prepare for their next set.

Boston musician DJ Jaminic followed and used the momentum from Big Gigantic to keep the crowd excited. Jaminic started to make music when he was 13 years old. Yet, after several years, he realized that instead he wanted to pursue sports and discontinued his career. However, in 2008, he started to DJ again, which ultimately renewed his passion for music. Since then, he has returned back to school where he is majoring in Audio Production. He mainly plays Dubstep, which is a type of electronic music that emphasizes bass sounds and is reminiscent of reggae. Despite having danced for the past three hours, the crowd was still very energetic and continued to dance throughout Jaminic’s entire set.

Afterwards, Big Gigantic filed back on stage and opened their next set with a remix of part of Pendulum’s song, “Slam.” The crowd seemed to be more animated than before. As fans continued to move to the music, a woman in the back started to play with a hula-hoop that lit up in the dark. Several people also broke open glow sticks and swung the contents all around the dance floor, leaving glowing stains on everyone within a six-foot radius. The scene on the dance floor could only be described as surreal. Big Gigantic provided the crowd with a special treat, as they concluded their set with several unreleased songs. Once they finished, the crowd was still hungry for more and cheered for an encore. To the audience’s delight, the two came back on stage and played their Radiohead-inspired song, “All I Do.” Mayhem and Jaminic finished up the night, blending their styles of music together.

Even though the artists played continuously for a total of six hours, there never was a dull moment. The three acts held the audience’s attention successfully and ultimately provided an experience that any music lover could appreciate.

Original Author: Matt Becker