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TSURUDA & Kirby Bright Turn Charlotte into a Deep Dub Bass Factory [Review]

     I wasn’t really sure if my body could handle another night of Bass Music, but then I thought about what my Baltimore friend RDR (Rave Daddy Rick) would say to me if he heard me whine about being tired with an aching back, “That’s not very RDR Jr. of you dude.” So I grabbed my camera, snagged my GoPro, threw on my old beat up Vans and made my way to the Milestone to catch what ended up being one of the most memorable Deep Dub and Experimental Bass shows I’ve experienced in North Carolina to date. The rising concert curators, Ghost Division, have seen a lot of success in the past few months as they’ve ushered unique Deep Dub events featuring acts like Detox Unit, Cut Rugs, and the Widdler.    But flash forward a few months to a new night of music as we were given the opportunity to experience the underground style of Salt Lake City’s very own Tsuruda. I was actually thoroughly excited about this event because my buddy Sammy Citrus introduced me to the now Los Angeles based producer, a few years back. But I never caught on – I was in the midst of exploring the realms of Riddim and unfortunately overlooked the copious amount strange Bass music that was being released at the time. I was really bummed about missing Tsuruda perform at Bass Center X last year, so I was highly determined to catch his headlining show in Charlotte. It was exciting to see so many familiar faces at this special show. Not to mention another unique performance by Asheville’s very own Kirby Bright that was completely unreal. Let’s break down the evening folks.     I stepped into the building and was warmly greeted by the doorman and booking agent, Buck! This guy is always rocking a smile, even after five hours of straight Bass music and a wild crowd of crazies like yours truly. I barely turned the corner before I ran into my home girl Jenna, who smiled big for the first official photo of the night. I quickly turned the corner to find my guy Scotty who had just helped me drive from Washington DC earlier in the day. Our brains were still decompressing from the exhilarating Datsik show we had just experienced. But as I let my ears adjust to the vibes of the room, every neck cranking, headbanging, fist punching intuition in my body simply disappeared. It wasn’t long before I was settling in to the wobbly, intricate, underground sound of Asheville based badmon, Kirby Bright. Once upon a time known as Airplan3 Mod3, the rising producer was cleanly morphing the atmosphere as he brought in his strange, wild and peculiar taste in music to the dance floor. With a serious look on his face, the dreaded producer laid down funky, bass filled tracks such as “Girdle Spring” and “LSD in Our Coffee” which really got the crowd grooving. If you want the feeling of blasting off in the troposphere while you kick your feet back and bounce to the serene yet thought provoking sounds of some nice Deep Dub, the Kirby Bright is definitely your guy! I’m every excited for my next Kirby Bright experience, wherever it may be.

    Months after the festivities in Hampton were all said done, I was now finally catching the Utah bred veteran for the very first time – best of all, it happened to be taking place in my city. After having had his music shoved down my throat by Sammy, I was thoroughly excited to catch the mysterious man of the hour throw down those earnest, grungy sounds that the crowd was yearning for. A tall figure popped up on stage sporting a black hoodie that repelled his long, golden blonde hair. When my friend Scotty grabbed my shoulders, stared me in the eyes and said “Zyven, this guy has nicer hair than Bassnectar, Space Jesus, and Seven Lions,” he wasn’t exaggerating. It wasn’t long before the crowd was grooving to beat, as the headliner of the evening started his set off with “tsuruda in the house” a technological breakthrough that gives off those late night coffee-shop-dance-floor vibes that graciously took over Ghost Division’s Space Boss soundsystem. It wasn’t long before the energy in the room settled in, as we all embraced ourselves to experience another hour of solid, underground Bass.

Tsuruda isn’t really known to be a fast paced, head throbbing, leg crashing producer like Charlotte is used to. The entire night was filled with dark, grungy soulful sounds that really made me question why I don’t explore this type of Bass Music more often. I made a new friend named Andi who was really digging the sound of Tsuruda’s bass. I remember catching a clip of her hugging the speakers as the sounds of “GANG blared through the speakers. That night there was a certain feeling of comfort and peace as a room full of Bassheads rocked back and forth to one of Tsuruda’s newer tunes called “Shady,” which is filled with a series of angry, slow motion robot noises that will have you busting out some of the strangest dance moves that you never knew existed.

    It’s always a refreshing feeling whenever a producer wants to go past his alloted set time, break the club’s rules and keep spinning. This was certainly the case for Thomas Tsuruda, who kept trying to wrap up, but just couldn’t manage to leave the stage because his boastful and proud fans kept cheering him on. It felt like a whole other eternity had passed by before Tsuruda joined the crowd to take a few family photos. You tell me folks, would you have enjoyed bouncing around to the peculiar sounds found in Ghost?” How would you have reacted to hearing that filthy drop in “Peanut Butter?” I can tell you right now that you’ll feel three things. Curiosity, for why you have yet to discover this music until now; bliss, because your ears will absolutely love what they’re about to hear, and the need for more, because once you see Tsuruda perform for even just a few short moments, you will always want more. Thanks again boss man – I’m so glad I missed you at Basscenter because I couldn’t have imagined my first Tsuruda experience any other way than with my close friends in Charlotte.

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 Thanks For Stopping By!

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– Zyven

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