Article by Natty Morrison
Edited by Anand Hars0068
Re-edited by Natty Morrison
Photographs by Vladimir Zaytsev
I have known Natty Morrison for well over a decade, at this point. As talented a writer as he may be, there is no better friend, guitarist, or liar. That’s right, liar. Except to me. Over the years, Natty has gotten a bit of a reputation for altering reality in his retelling of past events. This trend, dubbed NattyVision, has become quite a point of contention among his friends, colleagues, and adversaries.*
Since Natty and I have become monstrous fans of dubstep giant NiT GriT over the past year, I decided his January 29th showcase at Chicago’s Kinetic Playground would be a perfect opportunity to test the bounds of both Natty’s memory and his tendency to let loose the infamous “tall tale.”
Looking back on it, the first thing I can recall is the cold. The cold of Chicago in January cannot be described in human words; one is best off letting fly a stream of expletives and animal grunts that just freeze in the cold, freshwater air floating off Lake Michigan. Every moment spent outside is pure agony. My muscles do not react properly in such extreme elements. My knuckles feel uncrackable. My fingers are rendered inextendable. So, as we squeezed through the narrow doors of the Kinetic Playground, the warm pulsing of bass music was the equivalent of a heated fleece cover. Pure fucking bliss.
This is accurate. No bones about it. Chicago in January is the climatic equivalent of an ice water colonic. That being said, though the veracity of his statement remains intact, this whole situation could have been avoided. Upon arrival at Natty’s house, my girlfriend and I both commented on his travel accouterment: a hoodie. “Is that all you’re bringing?” We go up to Chicago on average of three times each winter. You’d think by now he’d grasp the fact that a hoodie ain’t gonna cut it. Does he think Chicago-style, deep-dish rats would take turns urinating on his stuff in coat check?**
It’s a common complaint among electronic music listeners that dubstep, along with its various offspring, can feel repetitive. To a certain extent, this is true. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just means artists have to work harder to stand out. Working within the subset of dubstep means working with that same, double-click beat, as well as the same rhythm pockets. So how do you make room for your own name? Therein lies the game.
Again, all accurate statements. A lot of the brostep we’ve been hearing lately has turned us off of the genre, to some extent. But, that makes the standouts seem even more spectacular and creative. By the way, isn’t the way he wrote “subset of dubstep” adorable? I love a good tongue twister! The seething sea ceaseth; thus the seething sea sufficeth us. How many boards could the Mongols hoard, if the Mongol hordes got bored?***
Though he didn’t play last, as most headliners do, NiT GriT made mincemeat of his talented competition. Certainly not a knock against standouts like Spankalicious or Hulk, but it’s tough to keep up with someone who keeps reinventing the genre. Letting fly with huge bass blasts, while at the same time enrapturing listeners with dub drops and skittering drum tracks, NiT (aka Danny Beall) knows when the double-kick drum beat can be used best: as the drop. It’s insane to think how young he is (not to mention how tall he is); he’s changing the game, and he only just subbed in. Exciting stuff to watch. When Beall broke out his heavy-hitters “Synthetic Heaven” and “Dimethyltryptamine,” the crowd was literally singing along with the wobbling bass and heavy drums. That’s one of my favorite aspects of the electronic world: you can be a star without ever saying a word.
Consider this myth busted. Natty is absolutely right about NiT GriT blowing his opening (and following) acts out of the water with his signature bruising synths and gut-wrenching beats. Although, we did miss the LoBounce set (thanks to some poor prioritizing by one of our good buddies), so it’s hard to tell how Carlo Pasquesi’s set compared. He could have been hammering out Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto on keytar, for all we know. Which doesn’t sound half bad, right? Carlo, if you’re reading this, get crackin’. At any rate, you’ve got to assume at this point that our gushing on The Untz for the past six months hasn’t been for nothing. This guy’s a star. Go see him, already.****
(*This is a common misconception among my friends. “NattyVision” is not a curse, it’s a blessing. Why? Because I remember everything correctly. My friends have sloppy memories. Mine is sharp and focused. Get with it.)
(**Oh, I’m sorry, Anand. I’m a light traveler. I’m a cheap date. I like to move without too much holding me back. I once saw Anand leave for a trip with eighteen hatboxes. And I don’t mean a box that kind of looked like a hatbox; I mean there were eighteen individual Victorian-style hats. In the summer. And they all sucked.)
(***Yeah, I’ve read that Calvin and Hobbes too.)
(****I agree. But still: Shut up, Anand.)
This Old Heart
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