San Francisco-based label Tri-Angle‘s showcase performers were not afraid to let it all chillwave out at MoMA PS1 in Queens, NY, August 13. Tri-Angle’s selections starred in the seventh installment of this summer’s Warm Up series, with sets by Ayshay, oOoOO, Clams Casino and Water Borders. In true witch-house style, artists played in front of a backdrop decorated like a house on Halloween: black-and-white drapes made of gauze and trash bags hung like gloomy curtains, but the artists delivered beats in lieu of treats.
The concrete dance floor set up in front of the stage remained mostly empty throughout oOoOO’s set, which came second after Ayshay. As most sat on the steps leading down from the stage or crowded the sidelines, oOoOO provided the mesmerizing soundtrack to those who were brave enough—or perhaps already drunk enough—to show the rest of the audience their best moves. oOoOO, who chain-smoked cigarettes while spinning, started his set with a scarf wrapped around his head and obscuring his face, but he peeled it off halfway through to reveal a baseball cap with “LA” emblazoned on the front. He ended by mixing Rick Ross’ “Everyday I’m Hustling” to a methodical and heavy bass.
As the concrete filled with bodies, Clams Casino DJed from an iPad below the main decks. The energy began to transition from dark chillwave to a bass-face party during Water Borders’ set, which although trance-inducing raised the energy level at PS1 enough to crowd the performance area. “I could use some Ketamine,” noted one MoMA-goer who pledged to “drink through it” as Water Borders’ lead wailer chanted lyrics as unintelligibly as Matisyahu. Although billed as a duo, three guys shared the stage during Water Borders’ set—the Matisyahu-like singer, another guy mixing and a long-haired third rhythmically beating drum pads like a long-lost member of Prince Rama.
While Tri Angle artists took up most of the lineup, Paw Tracks DJ Black Dice seemed to garner the most enthusiasm from the crowd. More Gaslamp Killer than Salem, Black Dice jerked the amped-up MoMA-goers to guitar-charged and bass-heavy tracks that may have been too much for some; as the speakers blasted Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” after Black Dice’s set, one security guard told bystanders, “Well, I can get down to this.”