Who would have thought that a Thursday night in Asheville would turn into one of the most memorable experiences a group of ravers could live through. The crew consisted of a few Charlotte party animals, some mountain Bass music enthusiasts, and by the end of the night, the whole crowd had become family. Coming together and becoming a family, isn’t that what Bass music is about? New Mountain Asheville had become our playground for the evening – it’s such a great spot to host strange musical geniuses such as Yheti, DMVU and Toadface. Welcome to the first collaborative review between Ricardo (Spokes) and myself, Zyven (The Riddim Professor). While Ricardo had been lucky enough to experience the likes of Toadface and Yheti before, I have been itching to catch the two artists, along with one of the baddest producers in Colorado named DMVU, all under the same building. If Toadface could slay his performance at CLUSTXR Festival, I could only imagine what a Toadface tour set would be like. By the way, big ups to SoGnar Presents for putting together such a flawless experience. You guys done did great. Let’s break down that glorious Thursday night Far From the Tree Tour stop, shall we? Take it away Ricky!(Ricardo) Believe it or not, my younger brother was the one who told me that Toadface was Yheti’s younger brother, funny right? This was a while back, maybe two years ago. I was immediately curious about his sound design, especially given that finding other bass artists who use FL Studio can be difficult. I wasted no time diving into Todd’s bouncy world of high energy bass that leaves you wanting more and more of his deep synth wobbles, phat 808s, or eerie detuned melodies. Musically, I associate him with a special kind of dissonant heaviness that I haven’t heard executed this well by very many artists. After listening to his tunes for a while, I took some time to try and replicate his technique and found some pretty magical tricks, all because of Toadface. For those of you making music, he has a great video on using the Fruity Granulizer plugin to derive some incredible noises from audio samples.
Recently, I had the opportunity to catch Toadface in the flesh, as he was set to perform at New Mountain in Asheville, NC. The element that sounded most strikingly developed in his newest tunes was a remarkable ability to make sections complex, almost to the point of confusion. This is all thanks to the sheer number of different sounds/samples he used to express melodies, but without losing any of the energy, melodic flow, or sense of rhythm that Toadface typically carries throughout a performance (phew). Throughout his set we were lucky enough to catch singles such as Kai Wachi’s “Demons,” and surprisingly enough, Bassnectar’s “Shampion Chip.” As far his personal singles go, Toadface threw down some incredible tracks such as his collab with Levitation Jones, “Floatin and Croakin,” “Mystery Machine” which sounded incredible on New Mountain’s massive soundsystem and of course, “Sertaonin Machinegun,” a crowd pleaser, but always a good choice. He crushed it in a perfect facially-amphibian form, bringing to bear all of the wonk and wobble one could possibly wish for.
(Zyven) Up next was the Master of Disaster, the smokiest producer to ever hit the stage at New Mountain, the Backwoods champion, mister Back on the Blocc, DMVU. Here’s a special piece of knowledge. When I went to CLUSTXR in West Virginia, I met this dude named Gaige who was working diligently on his show at La Boom featuring Lord Swan3x and DMVU. He said “Z, come out to my show.” I said “Gaige, Colombus is 450 miles away from Charlotte, but both of those producers are tight, so f*ck it I’ll go.” And low and behold, seven days later, my first trip to Ohio was happening before my eyes. My midwest DMVU experience was nothing short of extraordinary. Matt (DMVU) told me about his upcoming performance in North Carolina and that I should come by and throw down, and take photos of course. You don’t have to tell me twice! Ironically enough, I was never able to meet up with Matt that night, for one reason or another, but catching his set was what mattered the most -you couldn’t imagine how stoked I was to have witnessed this performance up close and personal.
Soon enough once Toadface was through DJing, this figure sporting a Nasa themed basketball jersey made his way behind the booth and got the show back on track in just a matter of seconds. It was now the emerging wobble crafter from Denver’s turn to get things poppin’! I feel fortunate to say that this was my third time catching the unique styles of DMVU, one of the truest producers of his kind. While his Moonshine Festival and headlining Ohio sets were top notch, I had a lot more fun catching DMVU on home turf as he took on New Mountain Asheville without a care in the world. If you were to describe the lad’s sound to the average electronic music listener, you’d have to choose your words quite carefully, because DMVU’s sound design is way more intricate than your average producer. I was excited to hear DMVU drop his hit single “Bloccd” which was possibly one of the most overplayed songs at Lost Lands (View gallery here), but for good reasons. Recently the man has been dropping a lot of new music on legendary UK label Circus Records, one of those tracks being “Construction Yaper“ which got the crowd rowdier than your mind can imagine.
I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing “Blubbles“ for the first time, that’s one of my favorite DMVU tracks. He also performed this one song that repeats something along the lines of “Put on the lazer, put on the lazer,” as a series of wobbles take over, ten points for whoever can ID that song for us. And who could forget the part where he dropped his new remix of Diskord’s single “Elektrify,” my neighbors were throwing down hard to that beautiful remix. Now, don’t quote me on this factoid, but I’m almost certain that DMVU performed “West Coast Witch Doctor” off his new Cloccworcc EP. However, my favorite part of the night had to be when Matt grabbed the mic and said “Have you ever taken too much acid before?” and perfectly timed dropping his hit single “Tha Acid is Too Loud.” Needless to say, if you can ever catch DMVU live, please do yourself a favor and make that move, because this guy is growing quick, and his sound design is only getting better.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. It was finally time to catch the don of all space dons, the 7 foot mono-dread beast from Montgomery County, one of the most intricate, peculiar, and authentic producers alive, the almighty Yheti. He’s been to North Carolina a few times in the past year and for some reason, I’m just now seeing him live? What’s wrong with this picture. My friend Skylar had urged me to explore Yheti’s sounds before hitting up the show, and while I was familiar with a few singles such as “Crack the Window” and “Believe Yeah” I really didn’t know much about the Yheti. But it was time to find out! When I was outside making new friends, I had a quick moment to speak to Tyler, and I told him about the Virginia Review that Sky had written on his performance in Charlottesville just a few nights prior. His brother Todd actually introduced me to him, and I was really excited about the exchange. I said to him “Yheti man, my homegirl would be furious at me if I didn’t show you this review and give you one of these.” I handed him a freshly made Charlotte Sessions shirt that my friend Andrew had finished just hours before the show, it was the true definition of a prototype, but in the spirit of the night, we wanted Tyler and Todd to each have one. Both of them are extremely relaxed individuals and you can tell, just by speaking to them that they’re really about their hustle, and fully focused on their careers and spreading the joy that their music provides – it’s about the music and the fans.
Later on in the evening, Tyler popped up on stage with a huge grin on his face that said “I’m ready to f*ck with some Asheville minds right now,” little did he know the crowd would leave feeling newer and fresher than ever. He shouted out to his supporters, thanking us for showing up for his performance, and soon enough the Yheti was smashing that play button – it was time to get the night going again.While DMVU had us movin’ and groovin’ from start to finish, Yheti had me analyzing, thinking, and questioning how I’ve never heard half of the songs he was performing. I asked some neighbors of mine a few times about some particular IDs, and they told me one of them was some song with Esseks. Now that I look back, it must have been “Voices in the Dark.” Or was it his remix of Space Jesus and Esseks’ “Slomosapian?” Regardless of what it was, the song was beautiful. I can’t even deny that Yheti has some dirty talents in putting together that track selection; filthy, filthy, filthy, and classy too! Yheti is an absolute fan of Hip-Hop and classical music.
Lo and behold, Yheti also played out tracks by Dirt Monkey, Bleep Bloop, an Illanthropy – apparently Yheti is a big fan of Illanthropy, at least that’s what some Ashevillans told me! The crowd got amped when Dirt Monkey’s “Raw” started playing; they got even rowdier when Yheti turned “K-9 Unit” into “Space Jam“, but it’s okay to have fun right? It felt like an instant 90s throwback. I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing that catchy collab with Lost Lands headliners Um…You know, the one that starts naming off all those adjectives? “Inspiring, Intelligent, Kind, Lovely, Majestic. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful.” You haven’t enjoyed “Beautiful“ until you hear it live, trust me. My favorite part of the set was when he played these Mexican Mariachi sounds for about seven seconds before dropping some nasty bass on the crowd. I’m sure that’s another Yheti tune, but I have yet to discover it! Tyler, if you’re reading this (Which I hope you are), what is that spicy tuna called?! One last thing, be on the lookout for his new collab with Mt. Analogue, “It’s Like That,” because that track is AMAZING, epsecilla live. Thanks for showing us such a good time you amazing producer you. Also, big shout outs to all the amazing people I met that night, the Tennessee boys, my beautiful pre-show models C-money and Dills, the Greenville ravers, and of course, all the mountain folk who like to show up and have a good time. Good job Alex, you killed it with this one!
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Thanks For Stopping By!
“Never Stop Making Music” – Ricky “Stay Wonky” – Zyven
– Ricardo + Zyven