“Daedelus is selling merch at the merch table,” my companion notes as we roll into the Music Hall Of Williamsburg. It’s not entirely surprising, seeing as though Alfred Darlington is the nicest person in the entire world and probably part of the reason why things at this stop on the Magical Properties 3 tour are moving completely on time, which we didn’t expect (sad casualty: missing Shlohmo‘s set; we heard he sang). We wade through the thick weed-infused air, seeing the hands of trainspotters raised at the front, an intimate rave circle of dudes wearing glow-in-the-dark necklaces and a chap wielding a pair of phosphorescent dagger/nun-chucks at the back (really), and the vibrations of Samiyam‘s dirty beats all over. The L.A.-based producer’s hair looks particularly tall tonight, giving him a few extra inches, although what really adds to his height is the grovelling bass-heavy cuts that he drops with a certain glibness throughout his low-slung set.
Tokimonsta decides to go the other way and very rapidly turns it up from good to hectic. Sonically she moves all over, throwing in enjoyable R&B edits, some reggae and a few bits that verge almost precariously on brostep. Toki’s redeeming/finest moment however comes at nearly three-quarters of the way through; a Hendrix riff, a Dr. Dre (or Badu, depending on your perspective) intro and then Dam-Funk’s “Hood Pass Intact.” The West Coast was staying loyal to its own, repping itself while warming up for more of the same.
Now for Daedelus and his mussed hair dandy-ism. There is a robot behind him that he’s trying out, he tells us, and he hopes that we enjoy it. What he’s referring to are a number of reflective mirrored panels that move in unison, bouncing light off of each other and sometimes glaringly into the crowd. It adds a mythical, magical property to his frenetic presence, transforming Daedelus and his efficient wrist flicks into a madman conducting rehearsed insanity. While it has been proven that he is a soft-spoken gentleman, there is something deliriously sinister about the producer’s shows. His live music is so relentless that it confuses the body. Some people are standing stoically, unsure of how to move to this layered sound, so instead we watch his gleeful smile framed by robot lights. Perhaps this is some kind of twisted masterclass where Daedelus assaults us sonically to elevate us to some sort of enlightenment, but whatever is happening right now is hard to comprehend. All we know is that Daedelus has earned his place as a master teacher, and with side chops (and musical ones) like that, you just go with it.