Story By: Ellie Salrin
Photos by: Zak Littrell (axzlmedia.com)
What do you get when you cross grown men and women searching frantically for little round plastic containers, an annual stoner celebration, a trippy bunny with fangs painted on a giant canvas, and a couple of west coast boys taking no prisoners with their gangster bass?
You get my Saturday night a couple weeks back. The convergence of two holidays - 420 and Easter - coupled with uber talented Minnesota, G Jones, Manic Focus, and Filibusta taking over St. Louis’ 2720 Cherokee led to an amazing blend of music mayhem for all parties involved.
Another fantastic shindig thrown by Connector, the place was transformed into a giant easter egg hunt at the beginning of the night, each egg containing a voucher for things like Flaming Hot Cheetos and tickets to see Terravita or Zomboy. Fair enough.
Filibusta (aka Troy Probst), Connector’s favorite glitch hop- and trap-dropping producer got the party started like a boss. Not only is he busy working keytar into his sets and developing his new album, Set Lasers to Funk, which is due out in June, he was also the top recipient of our fan voting and won The Untz Challenge V, meaning he’ll play at the top festivals this summer. Touche, friend.
From there, we were treated to Manic Focus (aka John McCarten), now with GRiZ’s Liberated Music label. Classically trained in piano and having collabed with artists like Haywyre and Michal Menert, his sound has evolved into hip-hop, dubstep, and beyond. We were treated to a dose of his progressive bass sounds that vacillated flawlessly between filthy hip-hop and funky, beat-laden dance grooves. He got the place poppin’ off, and there’s no question he won’t be an opening act for long.
Enter G Jones. Holy hell. If you don’t know this kid’s music, you will, because he is going places. Delicate, decadent beats fused seamlessly with hip hop samples and melodic soundscapes. G Jones (aka Greg Jones) is literally dripping with talent and oozes a desire for sonic exploration. His take on bass music incorporates wobbles and synth lines like you’ve never heard before. This was my first time getting to see him live and I was truly impressed. The crunchiest, filthiest west coast bass fresh outta Santa Cruz.
Next up was fellow Santa Cruz resident and friend of G Jones, Minnesota. The two of them have collaborated several times over the past year or two on some outstandingly crispy tracks and shared the stage several times (like crushing the Do Lab stage with a VS set at Coachella this year). Minnesota (aka Christian Bauhofer) was beaming when he took the stage after G, who had properly set the mood for a rowdy-as-f*ck set.
He classifies his music as melodic dubstep, and he has a true talent for creating and curating a unique mix of beautiful sounds, stunning samples, and crushing bass. The sound that night was impeccable as he threw down hard, without compromising the precision aspect of his music. The dancefloor was exploding with energy, begging for more. Christian was loving it and did not want to stop when the 1 a.m. curfew hit, motioning to let him play “one more” a couple times.
Minnesota’s goal is to “make quality songwriting a more relevant factor in the genre,” and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. He is slated to play alongside Shpongle and Emancipator at Red Rocks this month, followed by Wakarusa and Infrasound festivals this summer just to name a few. He’s also about to drop his new album, Voyager, on May 20 which will feature some hot new music including some G Jones collabs.
Word up to these amazing musicians that got us all hot and sweaty that night. I get so inspired to see artists making original music that elicits such reactions from their audience. People could not enough. A late night Pleasure set at The Demo was the cherry on top of a particularly smokey, bass-filled evening. Pleasure (aka Sean McCarthy) is also about to drop some steamy summer ish, so keep an eye out on The Untz.
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