Shades and Ivy Lab have surprisingly both been around for less than ten years. However, in the realm of bass music, these virtuosos are some of the most talented, savage, and recognized producers in the game. The musicians who form these entities have years of experience with electronic music. When it was announced, we knew we’d have to attend their highly-anticipated show at Q Nightclub in Seattle. Not only was it a experience we won’t forget, but we were totally caught off guard by how positive the crowds response was.
It was clear that most of the audience was familiar with the music, often dancing like possessed skeletons, orchestrating the explosive and unpredictable drops. The music of Shades and Ivy Lab is both familiar and surprising, even to the acquainted listener. One consistent element of the night was a constantly flowing undercurrent of deep bass. We felt like evil pieces of groovy jello in a sea of carefree yet possessed, inflatable flailing tube people.
Grooving, Hyphy, Moody Rumbling Bass Music
Ivy Lab has much less following in the states, but has seriously admirable innovative musical sensibilities. The collaborative effort of Sabre, Stray and Halogenix proudly denounced genre and went incredibly hard that night. Ivy Lab channeled elements of drum and bass, noise, future bass, jungle, house, hip-hop, grime and soundscape music. Their set sounded like the summoning of Satan or prehistoric beasts, played on malfunctioning synthesizers and broken drum kits. It’s a wonderful experience to get lost in their diverse, thumping DJ sets, especially when they’re blasting on the incredibly clear Funktion-One speakers that Q Nightclub proudly uses. Shades followed Ivy Lab’s performance and the two groups’ styles excellently complemented one another.
EPROM and Alix Perez form the prolific experimental bass music group, Shades. They’re known for their heavy ear-splitting releases over the last two years. Both artists were involved in the production of Foreign Beggars’ 2014 EP Modus. Shades is appreciably inspired by footwork, rave music and g-funk-era hip-hop. That night, Perez proudly donned a shirt emblazoned with “Satan” and the number thirteen. Their aesthetic is reminiscent of a doom metal band, with a strong twist of future, modernism, and technology. Both players were mostly covered in black and presented themselves as serious, yet clear purveyors of the party. Watching the two DJ is much more like watching the frantic conducting of orchestra. It’s a clear departure from their solo acts, which are much more mix and song selection-centric. The show took us on a journey across genres, through all of their assorted musical catalogs.
Don’t Miss Out: See These Artists While You Can!
The night included some of our favorite throwback bangers like EPROM’s Pipe Dream (2011). We were also hyped to wiggle alongside tracks from Shades’ recently announced forthcoming release, Night the Dreadless Angel EP. Shades recently announced their collaboration with Ivy Lab on a new track, Sleaze, which will be on that release, due March 24th, 2017.
Ivy Lab and Shades are touring for a little longer across the US and have a tour date scheduled at The Starlight Room in Edmonton, AB, Canada. That show is later this month (3/23/17) and you should buy your tickets soon in case they sell out. The show at Q Nightclub was very crowded for shows we’ve been to at that venue. Make sure to see these groups as soon as you can. Ivy Lab is a must-see for this summer’s Lightning In A Bottle. Eprom is also playing at Eclipse this summer on the Moon Stage. It’s only a matter of time until the tickets for a Shades or Ivy Lab show are a lot more expensive than fifteen or twenty bucks. Support for these artists is growing at an astounding and well-deserved rate.
Have you had the opportunity to see Shades, Ivy Lab or their collaborators live? Did you catch Ivy Lab at their Q Nightclub show last year? Where do you want to see these artists take their music next?