Although born and raised in California, Jonathan Stein is now based in Brooklyn. Stein quotes, “As for being all the way out east, it gives me a different role to play. While I don’t get to participate in all of the monthly shows in LA or absorb the direct culture of their nightlife, I get to be kind of an East Coast ambassador and work on the newly blooming beat scene out here in NY, as well as help merge my community of instrumentalists from my music school days with the producers of the beat scene.”
Just from listening to Stein’s music on SoundCloud, I could tell that he experiments with physical instruments while recording and producing.
JNTHN STEIN brought this musical element to Irving Plaza, making it one of the most unique performances I have ever seen. The combination of playing a bass and making beats off his MIDI controller in front of a crowd came together beautifully. Stein really made a performance in a way that no man has done before. All boundaries were broken.
Another defining feature of Stein’s performance was that he was created new beats on stage, from what I can understand, with a MIDI controller. Most producers wouldn’t dare do this, because it requires a brave soul and improvisation.
If you ever see a JNTHN STEIN show, just know that his dance moves in the limelight could be the show altogether. It was an incredibly fun show to photograph.
Dane Morris of GREAT DANE brought a different energy to Irving Plaza. One of the first things Morris said on stage was something along the lines of “THIS IS MY SECOND TIME USING A CDJ, BARE WITH ME.” From what I could infer, Great Dane has mostly worked vinyls while performing live. A CDJ is a Compact Disk Player used by a DJ instead of its alternative, a Vinyl.
Despite his experience with vinyls vs. CDJ’s, one would not be able to tell that there was any sort of change while Morris performed, as he adjusted flawlessly. Being a DJ is sometimes restrictive, because true interaction with the crowd can be difficult at times, being stuck behind a table and what not. What brought Morris’ performance to the next level was that he was the MC for the whole night, rapping over tracks. The “Master of Ceremonies”, and well indeed the “Mic Controller.”
His two LP’s have recently dropped – “Alpha Dog” and “Beta Cat,” and was giving away limited edition CD’s which my friend that I brought along as my +1, picked up.
My favorite off the LP “Alpha Dog” is “Mongrel” and my favorite off “Beta Cat” is “Swinger”- Great Dane truly has a distinct sound and I cannot wait to see him perform again.
Mike Parvizi and Preston Walker are a comical couple of guys who simultaneously know how to throw down some good tunes. What I loved about their performance is that although they mainly dropped their own music, they threw in a few great songs from some other producers, including one of my all time personal favorites: “At All” by Kaytranada which is a super smooth and bouncy club track.
They gave the whole venue another vibe and “turned down” in the best way possible. PENTHOUSE x2 definitely knows how to set an aura for a club setting, and it is oh-so-obvious in my favorite song of theirs, “going out (club edit)” and when they dropped it at Irving Plaza, I went a little insane.
Seeing Aaron Carmack was beyond surreal for me. His music puts me on another planet. It is so fluent and stunning that it makes me cry (sometimes.) I just get a little bit more emotional about music than the next person does. What made this night legendary was having Mr. Carmack escort me into the show. Aaron was really humble and charming, and sometimes I forget that the people that makes music that makes my heart jump are real people. He was INCREDIBLY real.
Mr. Carmack proceeded to tell me that he would be mixing in a lot of eclectic stuff into his set, which was really nice to hear, because Mr. Carmack doesn’t throw your usual rave. What sets himself apart is the way he manipulates sounds. Carmack’s makes his sound so refined to the point where an avid listener of this genre of music could pick a song “out of a hat” and say, this is Mr. Carmack.
Taking up music production professionally is something that would get easier with time. Finding your own unique sound is the most significant, but the most difficult task to handle. “Everything has been done before.” This is correct until one breaks music societies norms, and finds his/her niche. This goes for every other creative field. Creating your distinction from the rest of the world is finding your bliss.
The show reached another level of “turnt” when Djemba graced the stage for his performance. Since the crowd was 16+, many people started to filter out, but it became obvious who the true fans were that stayed through 4:00 AM, which was almost touching because I myself am the type to stay for the entire show.
Djemba is one producer that I truly admire because he takes music from other cultures and makes it his own, as well as spins the music of other cultures while he performs. I also love Djemba for his incredible transitions from song to song. I realized that I had not taken advantage of my film setting on my DSLR until the last few performances.
Djemba has stated in many interviews that he strongly believes that it is important for people to create the music they truly want to create, and the fans will go along with it. His originals that he has been releasing here and there have been exquisite, and he is one of the producers I love to follow because his social media presence is hilarious and perfect.
Team Supreme is really special to me because they strive to get up on stage and play their own music, or others’ music with a twist. I am sick of festival DJ’s playing the same stuff, and I am not apart of this culture to listen to some basic beats. I am in to this label especially because each person on Team Supreme is performing to show you what they’ve made. Attending this tour is like a little peak into what they’re working on, and what music is important to them.
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Review and Photos by Morgan Zakarin | @subculturegyal