After a collaborative remix EP and months on the road together, Blockhead, Yppah, and Arms and Sleepers have finished their 2018 Winter Tour. The final show was at the HiFi Music Lounge in Eugene, Oregon. All three acts brought a relaxed, hip-hop blend of electronic music to the experience and ended the group run on a phat note.
Arms and Sleepers started the show with an aggressively alert stage presence on the dance floor. He set up his equipment on a folding table, as he claimed is tradition, so that the crowd surrounded him during his steady, sampled beats. Yppah followed with a slightly more organic brand of hip-hop instrumentals, utilizing his electric guitar and a live drummer in the loops. His music evolved much in the same style as 90’s trance and techno outfits.
Manhattan-based Blockhead, real name Tony Simon, showed his stuff after Yppah, continuing the tranquil, trip-hop vibes.
Before attending a DJ show, it’s hard to imagine how different a live set will be from turning your stereo to full volume at home. Blockhead’s answer to this is mixing hit samples from his arsenal in fresh ways with new samples, usually topical or popular. The result is one extended track that blends clips and melodies from Blockhead’s entire discography, rather than a set divided up by tracks. On top of his beloved riffs and sound bytes, Simon laced famous lyrics and clips not used in his studio albums, which successfully aroused the audience. Familiar hits such as the choruses of Anderson Paak’s “Come Down” and Sisqo’s “Thong Song” embellished Blockhead’s classics such as “The Strain” and “Insomniac Olympics.”
The crowd was equally pleased to hear elements of beats from famous Aesop Rock tunes like “Daylight” and “None Shall Pass,” what with Blockhead being Aesop’s former producer. The final musical exploration of the night was a fusion of Blockhead’s most well-known song, “The Music Scene,” with the late David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” After convincing the audience that the music scene has, in fact, not got them down, and that we should all dance instead, Blockhead and friends closed out the evening and will undoubtedly be enjoying some well-deserved R&R for the next month.