628 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA, 94117
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
For some it is a story of baffling multiples. They struggle to comprehend how thousands of singles sold each day to the tens of thousands crushing into venues every week can be so easily dwarfed by the hundreds of thousands downloading, bootlegging, remixing and uploading for a content hungry global audience that devours petabytes of data while contributing billions of views and listens through platforms like YouTube.
Others stumble on the scale and speed of achievement. Perplexed that it is possible for an artist to go from gifting music online to receiving an ovation from his peer group just twenty-four months later as three Grammy Awards are placed in his hands.
Some get hung up on the apparent ease and freedom of it all. Bewildered that someone can galvanise and ignite multiple genres of music with songs entirely written, recorded and mixed on a single laptop loaded with software and synths available to absolutely anyone with a credit card and internet connection.
But for Sonny Moore, someone you may know better as Skrillex, none of this troubles him greatly. The 24-year-old electronic imagineer focuses on little more than the story of community, creativity and commitment that has taken him from warehouse parties in Los Angeles to a defining role in the modern zeitgeist.
"To be honest my vibe gets killed the most when I'm concentrating too much on what is around me and thinking too much about it all," Moore states. "I have the most fun when I let my inhibitions check out, right at that point things just start to happen."
It started to go well for Sonny when he filtered out the noise and distraction of his world as a solo artist and started mining the ephemeral moments he had been sharing with friends in clubs and parties across the city he calls home since his mid-teen years. The restless, urgent and kaleidoscopic sounds of EDM and bass music had spoken to him for the best part of a decade, one day he just started talking back.
"Making music is the same as DJing," he offers. "You continue along the path that leaves you most inspired. When you think too much you put limits on what is possible, the best parts are always instinctual rather than something too considered or planned out."
Now with shimmering LED walls, 3D light shows, pyrotechnics and a relentless thirst to create live experiences of ever-increasing drama and spectacle, the challenge is to keep the fluidity and flexibility that hallmarked and aided his swift ascent. How is he doing it? By redefining the very nature of the phenomenon he now helms.
"Skrillex is a band when it comes to performing live these days," he admits. "Whatever room or arena we are in everyone is fully in the moment. My lighting and video guys are all working in real time while I'm onstage and the best compliment I get after a set is when someone asks about how I pre-program my set or use midi to get the audio/visual experience so tight. I love what we create because at any given moment everything could change. The people I have working with me are all so musical, we just create a vibe and feed offit along with everyone else in the club. It feels like a band jamming together most nights, but instead of the typical instruments we have lights, decks, LED, cryogenics and fire."
Moore and his crew have taken Ableton project files and made multimedia art. Skrillex is fast becoming a form of hyper-digital jazz that values the improvised and unknown while creating electronic storms of devastating force and almost unimaginable size.
"On our side of the show we have walls of lights and visuals, computers, software, hardware and firmware but that's just the beginning. The entire crowd is playing a part with all the cameras, cell phones and social networks," Moore laughs. "I wonder what all the data in the room even looks like when we are all firing."
"I'm always chasing that moment when you actually feel time stop," he continues. "Every now and then you get a second where it feels possible to step outside your own head and see what everyone else is experiencing. It usually happens to me in the most intense visceral moments when I'm playing to 40,000 people in the open air or in a tiny club where the walls are sweating, it's crazy but I love it."
And that's the key, loving but not over-thinking the madness that surrounds. Not dwelling on the numbers and riding, rather than watching, the swelling wave that is driving you forward. "It feels like being on a rollercoaster right now," Moore confesses. "It's exhilarating as it builds and builds and builds. When your stomach rises up into your throat I think all you can really do is smile. That's my plan anyway."
Craze's life is a legacy of rags to riches, geek to chic, no-name to world fame. He never had it easy – from fleeing battle in Nicaragua at the age of 3 to a geeky adolescence to Hurricane Andrew hitting Miami in 1992 – nor did have ever have any coattails to ride; his is a story that's an uphill battle, but a story that ends right at the top. "My mom always taught me I could do anything I put my mind to. So when she asked what I wanted to do with my turntables, I told her, 'Be the best DJ in the world,'" Craze casually laughs. And that he proved – 3 times at the DMC World Championships, an unprecedented record, and a title that no other solo DJ has yet to match. While Craze is regarded internationally and unquestionably as one of the best scratch DJs in the world, it's still astonishing to see his overwhelming number of titles on paper: Craze has won first place for the USA DMC Championships in 1998, World ITF Scratch Off Championships in 1998, ITF Western Hemisphere Scratch Off Championships (1998, '99), Winter Music Conference Scratch Off Champion (1996, '97, '98, '99), East Coast DMC Championships (1997), East Coast Rap Sheet Championships (1996) and Zulu National Championships (1995, '96), to name but a few. Additionally, DJ Craze claimed 2nd place in the first DMC Team Championship with his Allies' crew (which included fellow champions A-Trak and Infamous) in 1999 – and then in 2000, the Allies' won the Team Championship title, taking it from the previous year's winners the Scratch Perverts.
"I won the DMC's when I was 20. I joined the Regionals, won that, Nationals, won that, and then won the Worlds. And I took it from A-Trak – that's right! But he was only like 15 when I beat him. I was still scared. Then in that year, in '98 when I beat A-Trak in the [DMC] Worlds, I didn't wanna battle no more and I thought he'd be the icing on the cake, so instead we formed the Allies and we kicked everybody's butt. (laughs) Except the [Scratch] Perverts, they beat us once in the US, but then we came over here to London and we kicked their butt. So hey, payback's a bitch, Tony!" - Craze
On top of his untouchable turntablist skills and scratch champion showmanship, the world has also recognised that Craze is a second to none club DJ – he has toured the globe over, from Jamaica to Australia to Japan to Iceland to France to the country he was born, Nicaragua. All DJing aside, Craze is also a world- renowned producer, releasing wildly successful drum'n'bass records with labels such as Cartel Recordings, Breakbeat Kaos,C.I.A., and other hip hop inspired productions with the likes of DMC Records, Ninja Tune Records, OM Records and K7 Records. It's the respect from both DJs and audiences alike that has paved Craze's seamless move between hip hop and turntablism to drum'n'bass – both serious subzero clique/cult scenes the globe over demanding much of any artist trying to peddle their wares worldwide; to what now sounds like club-style Miami bass, formed with the technical love of hip hop with clean cuts and ridiculously dextrous scratching, but a mix up of straight up rap, ghettotech, raw booty house, old-school electro, Baltimore/Miami bass crossover and sweaty lo-end dancefloor music, making it all but impossible to keep still. Craze is currently on the road with Kanye West for the Glow In The Dark Tour featuring N.E.R.D, Lupe Fiasco and Rhianna. This is Craze – the man who arguably defined his hometown Miami turntablism scene, only to return now to reinvent this take on the Miami sound; a neo-genre of his own special blend of every which way club codes from the ghosts of discos past, present and future.
LOUISAHHH's dynamic energy behind the decks and in the studio has been captivating crowds and moving dance floors internationally since 2004. A New York City "boroughbred" now based in Los Angeles, LOUISAHHH cut her chops on "real" instruments prior to choosing turntables as her sonic weapon of choice. Since doing so, her primary purpose has been to transmit to audiences worldwide with the sheer joy she experiences from the music. This commitment to the craft has created a powerhouse on vinyl and a musical style with roots firmly planted in tradition, but with an eye to the future. As a producer, LOUISAHHH's distinct "technorganic haunted house" is taking off, as is her work as half of female DJ duo Staccato (with DJ Gina Turner).
Sharing the bill with names as celebrated and diverse as Juan Maclean and Derrick Carter, Tiefschwarz and A-Trak, LOUISAHHH continues to focus on original material while lifting hearts and opening minds on dancefloors around the world.
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