It's 2am and I'm walking out onto the street after an intense few hours of dancing. I look around me and see the famous theaters of Broadway, the 24 hour lights of Time Square, and the many street performers who make a living tricking tourists out of their money. I hear dialects from all over the world, the flashing of cameras, and the laughter of children. New York City is alive, and tucked into this normalized family-friendly environment is a different kind of family. In between the streets of midtown that are covered with advertisements for the biggest broadway shows, sits Playstation Theatre.
From the outside, the venue looks like another building with a line out the door and excited fans, but these fans are not dressed in their suits and gowns. Walking past the line, people are dressed in artist merchandise, banana suits, long shirts, and more scarves than you can count. This is the Ninja squad, and they are here for one reason, to headbang their asses off to their favorite artist.
Let me introduce to you a man named Troy Beetles, AKA Datsik. He's the head of one of the most popular record labels in bass music, has released countless albums and projects, and is revered as a hip-hop influenced dubstep god. Beginning his career with fellow legend Excision, the two revolutionized dubstep in the United States and became the poster children for the bass music scene. They brought heavy metal and hip-hop to dance music, and captivated crowds from the start. There has been no slowing down for either artist, and without them our scene would have no idea what it means to be a basshead.
Datsik recently released a new EP entitled Darkstar, and along with it has been tearing crowds apart on his 2016 Spring Loaded Tour. On Saturday, the tour came to New York City and provided the city's electronic music fans with a night of diverse sounds and the perfect headlining set by head ninja Datsik. Opening duties were handled by Drezo and Ookay.
Drezo was the first to take the stage, and he handled his time slot perfectly. Throwing down a mixture of Deep House, Future House, and G House, Drezo understood his role as the first opener and progressed the energy of his set from low to high over the course of the hour he played. I was extremely impressed with this up and comer, and can only imagine what a headlining set by him would be like. It seems that there is no where to go for Drezo but up.
Up next was Ookay, who's performance was unfortunately underwhelming. Ookay's ego seemed to shine a lot more than his actual skill, as the majority of his set he spent dancing, throwing water on the crowd, and asking for mosh pits rather than mixing. It showed as well, as his transitions were fairly rough and his song selection lacked diversity and any form of punch behind them. I was extremely disappointed by this performance and hope that it was just an off night for the artist. Hopefully the next time I see him he will be more focused on his performance rather than his presence.
Finally, the moment had arrived. With the opening chords of “Let Em Know” (Off of the new EP) blaring out of the speakers, Troy stepped up to the decks. From the opening song to the final beat of the night, Datsik took New York bassheads on an absolute journey through the signture Datsik sound. The set featured a large amount of hip-hop influence, plenty of old hits off of Datsik's previous projects, and classic mashups by Beetles that fans know from his other performances, and love to get down to. This was not my first time seeing Datsik, but it was easily my favorite.
The biggest reactions from the crowd during the set were the songs that most well represent Datsik's original sound that he has stuck to over the years. “Scum”, Get Back” (Also off of the new EP), and “Turf Wars” are just a few of the many tunes that Datsik dropped over the course of the night. The community of Datsik fans in the city made for a great crowd, where headbanger circles and rail squads came together even though those involved hadn't met each other prior to the night. Per usual, Troy gave us one hell of a set that we will not forget, and we are grateful that we have someone in our scene like him who can consistently help us with our necessary fix of bass. We also tip our hats to the dedicated Datsik fans who attended and made this night so special. We can't wait to wobble our way to the next time we get to see Datsik.