When the cream of the Asheville dubstep scene gets together at one venue for a DJ battle royale, along with two of the top producers in the genre, the conditions are perfect for creating a bass-lover's dream.
Club 828 made these dreams come true earlier this spring, when British Columbia's Datsik and Mindelixir, who splits his time between Charlotte and Asheville, played to a packed house at a show that lasted more than four hours in celebration of local favorite THUMP's birthday. The evening began with 10 local DJs each spinning a few tracks before handing the tables to the next artist.
THUMP was up first, and he quickly got the walls shaking and the crowd moving, playing some of the biggest dubstep tracks of the past year. Asheville bass-wizards Spooky Jones, GIFT, Midnight Ace, Ape Kit and A.D.D.ict — along with Bowie with his own unique brand of up-tempo psychedelic house music — all gave truly stellar performances, but the night belonged to Asheville's Selector Cleofus, Medisin, THUMP and GalaxC Girl.
Cleofus took the crowd back to the roots of dubstep with pounding bass over classic roots-reggae hooks and hip-hop verses. Medisin came through with some great beats, and he showcased flawless transitions from song to song, throwing in classic hip-hop lines, rivaled only by the thunderous low-end that followed.
When GalaxC Girl came up, all bets were off. The VJ-turned-DJ connected with the crowd on a level that can only be called ethereal, spinning an impressive variety of bass-heavy tracks and club-style beats.
THUMP was the last DJ before Datsik and Mindelixir, and the crowd showed him a massive amount of love, including nice chorus of "Happy Birthday."
Datsik took the stage after a short break. He brought the energy right back up with remixes of some of his most notable tracks like "Swagga" and "Game Over," adding a great light show, complete with pulsating strobes and videos. The producer, who has already made a name for himself in the dubstep scene because of his industrial beats and innovative track layering, gained plenty of fans during this trip to Asheville.
Mindelixir closed the show with some serious floor-stomping dance tracks that left the crowd in a bass-trance as they moved off into the night.
If this is any indication of what the summer season holds for Club 828 and the Asheville electronic scene (and it appears it does, since the club announced two shows: Dieselboy with THUMP on July 3, and Excision with Mindelixir and Medisin on July 9) it's going to be a full season of slamming tracks and searing beats.
[Michael Gebelein can be reached at]