By: Emily Freeman
June in San Francisco began with a chaotic trip inside The Sound Factory for Vital Production’s Audible Assault. Since 2009, Vital SC has hosted heart-stopping events featuring some of the most hyped line-ups of the last two years. The production company has a talent for assembling a selection of DJs whose sounds blend impeccably well, creating a party that not only highlights elegant transitions within each set, but throughout the night as a whole. At Vital SC events, you can be sure the dance floor will be packed and moving.
Last week, neon costumes swarmed below the high ceilings of The Sound Factory. Vital came through in style. The production, fan base enthusiasm, and all-around talent built an energy that felt as great as that of a major festival. From the show’s 8pm kick off through the last song at 3am, relentless light shows pulsed from the main stage illuminating the tutus and lacey lingerie, while homemade candy bracelets jangled to the beats of Getter, Helicopter Showdown, Kill the Noise, Liquid Stranger, and 12th Planet.
It was no surprise that Tanner Petulla, better known as Getter, was tapped as the opener for a night of filthy dubstep. The teen’s charisma, talent for transforming mainstream music into eccentric electronica, and effortless command of the dance floor earned him a rapid rise to notoriety, taking him from his high school halls to opening for Rusko, Downlink, NiT GriT, and Borgore. His sound is definitely ‘audible,’ to say the least. His set, fashioned with girlfriend Grizzly’s edgy hairstyle and bubbly magnetism, set a high bar for the headliners with his gnarled basslines and drops in “Reptar” timed with pinpoint accuracy. Remixes of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Flux Pavilion’s “Bass Cannon” prevented the crowd from pacing themselves for the long night ahead.
Helicopter Showdown continued the night with the group’s signature low-end bass and melodic dubstep style. At Audible Assault, the ultra-masculine group of Blake Powers, Joshua Small, Devan Day, and Ryan Wade spun monster truck-sized beats embellished with unstoppable, high-energy scratches. The UltraGore clique built up expectations with their recent Wrestler release, and didn’t hesitate to deliver what the crowd was aching for, their Sluggo collaboration, “Hostages.” Their MC skills were as boundless as their sounds, building unsuppressed fervor for each unyielding drop. However, despite the other ninety percent of their set, the group killed a gnawing suspended drop with a bassline not nearly as big as the heightened spirit.
Even after each elongated set appropriately displaced the original schedule, the satisfied crowd continued partying for what was to be a toe-curling performance by Kill the Noise. Jakob Stanczak has become a respected name in electronic music. The Los Angeles native delivers an intoxicating sound that recruits new electro-heads and feeds the hunger of those already in the scene. Enthusiasm like his carries the electronic frenzy experienced these days by pushing the envelope. It’s no surprise that he co-manages Slow Roast Records with DJ Craze and has spun at HARD, Electric Daisy Carnival, Beyond Wonderland and Ultra Music Festival. There’s an insatiable appetite for his groundbreaking productions in electronic dance music. At Audible Assault, the house DJ switched up the scene from dubstep mayhem to offer a techno-based electro reprieve on the main stage. Stanczak’s style translates to dubstep, drum and bass, and house music fans alike. His set was filled with an array of sound, such as his innovative and diverse tracks “Muscle Rollers” and “Roots” that would please crowds from London to Los Angeles.
Since 1996, Martin Staaf, now known as Liquid Stranger, has been an international electronic prodigy, because his music defies flippant categorization. He has spun at some of the most notorious music festivals and clubs in the United States, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean because of his ability to create a complex and wholly unique sound. In his albums The Invisible Conquest, The Intergalactic Slapstick, The Private Riot, Mechanoid Meltdown, and this year’s Arcane Terrain, the Swedish DJ has produced stimulating tracks ranging in sound from bass heavy to melodic, tribal to trance, grime to ambient, and dubstep to drum and bass. Staaff has ascended the dance charts through sheer determination, a prolific release schedule, and a diverse style. When Liquid Stranger hit the stage at Audible Assault, the dancing crowd expanded past the dance floor and into the surrounding water stations. As personal light shows lit up glowing faces, things got fantastically messy when Liquid Stranger delivered rousing drum and bass in his tracks “Destroy Him My Robots” and “Shake My Ass.” The crowd “caught up on their beating quotas” as the pumping sounds of “Bully” heightened the night.
John Dadzie personified his DJ alias, as the 12th planet orbiting perpendicular to the solar system, when he flew horizontally across the pulsing dance floor into a swarm of raging fans at Audible Assault. Like his stage dive, 12th Planet creates original sound that breaks barriers and follows no order. His ability to synthesize systematic chaos has put him on the map as ‘America’s first king of dubstep,’ having spun at EDC, Together As One, Coachella, Ultra, Nocturnal, Beyond Wonderland. The AM Only artist has been featured in URB.com’s ’25 Now!’ creating hype around the Los Angeles DJ’s name and landing him invitations to stage dive in London, Australia, and New Zealand. The Sound Factory shook as the 12th Planet approached, releasing earthquake-sized basslines, rising temperatures on the dance floor, and slouching shoulders as Dadzie’s blasted Audible Assault through a universe filled with subtle transitions, mechanically groovy dubstep, nutty drum and bass, sexy cliffhangers, ear-aching wobbles, and satisfying drops. No human sense was left unharmed. Lights blinded as music deafened, and the crowd loved every euphorically painful moment of it. His set was uncannily rhythmic, propelling candy-covered hands into synchronized clapping to his extremely timely and danceable dubstep as he threw down remixes of Rusko’s “Hold On” and surprised the crowd with a couple new releases. After 12th Planet told the dance floor to jump and drop with the next dubstep drop in one of his closing tracks, the uncontrollable crowd let go of all restraints.
As water bottles ran empty and bar tenders closed all tabs the rowdy crowd agonized over the ending night. Those not searching for pocket-change, were planning the best way to make it to Electric Daisy Carnival next weekend and relive the sounds of Audible Assault’s lineup.
Beat Down - Helicopter Showdown
Babylon Outcast Mix - Liquid Stranger
Snack Attack - 12th Panet and Antiserum
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