When searching for the existence of extraterrestrial life in the universe, the common strategy is: follow the water. Where there is water, there is likely to be life, maybe even intelligent life. When looking for the existence of life in today’s most current musical explorations, the obvious strategy is: follow the bass. Where there is bass, there is likely to be life; and, as was made evident by the bass-heavy MiMOSA concert held on April 6, 2011 at Skully’s Music Diner in Columbus, Ohio, such life can be assuredly intelligent.
It’s 2:30 am. The ominous, black speakers hovering above the stage have just gone shockingly silent. They’ve been roaring fiercely and breathing fire down on us since 9:30. The quiet feels wrong … like something’s missing. Something important … like my heart or my dick.
It’s the bass. Where’s the bass? I count my day wasted if there has been no bass!
In the absence of the all-permeating bass, my focus shifts. I notice that my shirt is soaked with sweat. I look around. So’s Meghan’s. So’s everyone’s. The dance floor is dense with hundreds of mostly college-aged rave kids, some wearing teddy bear backpacks, many still swirling pretty pattern trails in the air with hand-held glow sticks and blinky lights. They look like they’ve been battling dragons in a steam room for five hours, but they’re all smiling.
A minute ago, Tigran MiMOSA, a slender, vivacious, California-based DJ/producer was on stage mutating every molecule in our bodies into billions of tiny little bliss balls by the sheer swagger of his crazy-clever, grimy-glitchy, crunky-bitchy, super sonic WUB WUB. Dropping beats so sweet and bass so sour, the 23 year-old, sample-licious mix master prepared his booming musical yin and yang stir-fry perfectly: quick and hot with a lot of tossing and turning.
There is an 18th century German literary term that smack-dab-ly matches up with the assiduous virtuosity and nimble showmanship MiMOSA incarnates during his furious, howling, turbulent electronic synthphonies. The term is Sturm und Drang. It means storm and urge. Indeed, everything about MIMOSA’s torrid bad-ass-ness at Skully’s that night could be summed up as storm and urge. The bass was certainly thunderous; and every physical, emotional, and musical aspect of the performance was as gut-level as the moment Van Gogh sliced off his ear.
Actually, everything about the entire show sped us up to reach that peak of Sturm und Drang (urge)ncy. Local bass bumpers Nick Reed (DJ Carma), and Chad (Attak) Smith had a whole gang of us bustin’ moves out in the Skully’s Music Diner dinning area long before we even made it into the venue’s concert hall and finally caught sight of them laying down a solid foundation for the grooves to come. Michal Menert from Colorado who’s been touring with his Pretty Lights pals lately, joined in to build another layer of deep, dark bass. And props to the guys from My Best Friend’s Party and Insomniac Productions for bringing these ballsy bass-bolt throwers into the mix. Stellar party, dudes!
Then there was MiMOSA himself.
MiMOSA killed us. MiMOSA’s set shook the block Skully’s is built on. It registered on the Richter scale. It burned us down to ashes, reconstructed our emotional DNA, and resurrected us as transfigured beings.
… Ok. That was 5 minutes ago. The storm is over. We’re transfigured beings now, but even transfigured beings have to go home some time. So, we’re sheeping our way along the narrow passage between the concert hall and the dinning area toward the front door. We are dazed. Our legs are lead anchors. But our spirits are high. There’s a look of transcendent joy in every urge-filled face. There’s wooting and high-five-ing all along the path of our bottle-necked exodus.
My ears are ringing, but I still manage to overhear the sparsely-bearded kid in front of me say to his beige-beanied buddy, “Dude, the bass was so heavy it coulda even made Justin Beiber’s balls drop!”
Beanie boy laughs and responds (with appropriately inappropriate body language and gestures): “Dude … oh my fuck! Oh my sweet fuck! That. Was. SEXXX!
A few minutes later, I fingerslide my phone on and check Twitter. Sure enough, MiMOSA has already entered a tweet. It reads: “3:30 am. April 7, 2011. Thank you Columbus!!! Wow! That was unbelievable!”
I’ve been following MiMOSA’s tweets since March, just before the release of his banging 58 Degrees EP (which can be downloaded for free right here: http://www.falseidolmusik.com/), and I can tell you that he does not write this to every audience after every show. He obviously thought the Skully’s show was something special.
Well, I have to say I’m proud of us for having earned his thanks and respect! MiMOSA has crisscrossed the U.S. from Maui to Manhattan a number of times during the last three years building his rep as one of the leading pioneers of bass exploration … as a guy with the talent to go beyond where most DJ/Producers have gone before. The last time I saw him, he was scorching a raging crowd with musical fire at Nexus, the hottest, flame-throwing sound camp at Burning Man last year. So, the most musically sophisticated audiences in the world have followed his star in order to adore him. That is exactly why he had every reason to be genuinely impressed with us Columbus bassnicks. We were as ecstatic as any audience could ever be. We understood and appreciated every bass-geeky tweak and twirl he was knob-ifying. And we danced our asses off during every second of his entire two hour, dazzling-light-show-enhanced set. (Imagine Care Bear rainbow-light-beam-heart-power times a million.)
I can’t wait to see MiMOSA perform again at Cirque du Womp’s Blastoff electronic music festival in June (http://www.theblastoff.net/). Of course, he’s such a prolific music maker that I expect he will have created a whole new batch of itchy twitchy tracks to play by then, which is terrific! I love that he keeps it fresh; and I have no doubt that his performance there will once again be a Sturm und Drang killer.
In the meantime, I will bask in the afterglow of MiMOSA’s show at Skully’s. I totally agree with what the man himself said about it: it was unbelievable.
By James Pryor
Photos by Brian Hockensmith (to see more from this show click here)