The Hookah Bar gave Asheville a dose of dub with Time to Get Ill a few weeks ago, presenting Dallas-based D-Queue and his slammin’ beats alongside locals faves like Quetzatl and GalaxC Girl.
Dr. Phonicle started the night off with a set full of reggae-infused dubstep. Although he wasn’t spinning tunes with the heavy, crashing bass that’s usually a staple at these kinds of shows, it was a perfect opener to get everyone in the mood for the assault to come.
Quetzatl was up next with the live PA set for which he is renowned. These sets basically consist of his signature “space bass” sound, with the DJ himself providing the vocals, primarily through a vocoder. The effect is something like coming face-to-face with a futuristic robot and having a chat with him while he bombards your ears with sound waves that seem like they’d be impossible to produce. Think George McFly’s first meeting with Marty in the first Back to the Future.
Quetzatl is a veteran of the electronic music scene, and it showed with how tight and perfectly executed his set was. On his MySpace page, he has albums and EPs listed in his discography dating back into the late ‘90s. The years have, thankfully, not translated into an evolution of sound that is inaccessible or overly polished. His sound is gritty, but not from a lack of production savvy. It’s an approach that transcends the myriad genres born of the electronic scene, and instead layers elements of the different styles upon one another. The result is an artist with a unique and innovative set of tools that, when used correctly, create a soundscape unparalleled by that of Quetzatl’s colleagues in the scene.
If Quetzatl takes the grand prize for technical prowess, GalaxC Girl wins the gold medal for stage presence and showmanship. It’s truly amazing the hype and love she gets from the crowd each time she performs. The fact is, the tracks she spins are epic and the soundsystems seems to have an increased ability for mind-rattling explosions of bass, and tremble at her sight.
This night, she brought some searing tracks along with a VJ set loaded with images that appeared to be gleaned from instructional videos, like the ones from ninth-grade health class.
She worked the crowd effortlessly, and when the set was through, a visible sigh of relief washed over her staggering fans. Not relief that they’d have to wait until next time for another round of booming dubstep — more like anticipation for what was to come. There are big things on the horizon for these artists, and we’re lucky to be here now to witness them at work.