The Friday before Halloween is a good night to play in Brooklyn, NY: There are lots of drunk girls trying to find a place to pee on the way to a costume party and bros in homoerotic costumes chest-bumping in every subway car, which are two surefire signs that it is the universal time to party. Some audience members at Star Slinger‘s show at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg came in costume, and at least one fan came dressed as “a star slinger.”
Ghostly International artist Shigeto, on the other hand, kept his wardrobe casual—baseball cap, T-shirt, jeans. From behind a set of drums Shigeto mixed bass and drum-machine loops to complement and complicate his own man-made rhythms, hitting a rock beat into a drum machine jungle salad or providing the hip-hop beat for a bass-heavy track. His man-meets-machine musical style provoked enthusiastic concertgoers in the front to wave their lanky arms in at Shigeto’s face. “It’s so good to be back home for a bit,” Shigeto told Brooklyn before collapsing into his closing song.
Fans on the ground floor applauded Shigeto for his use of live drums. While other producers are tethered to Kaoss Pads during their sets, Shigeto adds a live-music dimension to his sound and performance that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries. He has the chops to weave in and out of the drum set, breaking his rhythms at the right time to layer in a melodic bassline or complementary drum-machine beat. By the time his set is over, Shigeto has worked up a sweat from fiddling with knobs before, after and during tight drum work.
Recent L.A. transplant and beat scene golden boy Shlohmo took the stage soon thereafter, diving into his well-practiced cooking dance moves. In the two months since Shlohmo played Tammany Hall, his moves have gotten tighter and his crowds have become bigger and more involved. While in July his buddies made up the large majority of enthusiastically brostepping fans, now they are all fans—fans who try to sit on the stage during his set and mime toking a zoot to him, trying to get his attention. At the end of his set the whole front row is a line of 18-to-22-year-olds trying to smoke him out, invite him to parties, shake his hand. Like a bass music Beatle-in-the-making he gives a few shout-outs to girls calling to him about his birthday as his set ends.