Recap SXSW: Day 1 (03/13)

Published on March 14th, 2012

Even the best-laid schemes can be stymied by the sheer size of the SXSW festival — that’s the first thing I learned yesterday. After missing the panels I wanted to see due to an unfortunate mix up in press credentials and having to wait in line after line, I spent the day checking out the trade show floor (I’ll have more extensive coverage of it later in the week) and eating my way through downtown Austin. And then, last night…

Shlohmo and Star Slinger @ Mohawk

Mohawk is an awesome bar/venue in the middle of downtown Austin, just off 10th and Red River. After walking through a large barn door, you’re greeted with a “sign post” on the wall: outdoor/patio stage and bar to your left, indoor bar and stage to your right. The indoor venue is an ode to Western badassery, what with its saloon wood paneling, portraits of mustachio’d adventurers, and even a taxidermal bear (pictured above).

 Shlohmo

LA’s Shlohmo (whose excellent remix of Drake and The Weeknd’s “Crew Love” we posted about a while back) commandeered the inside stage, rocking a live set on Ableton and his APC, stringing together his airy blend of Hip Hop and R&B-infused, ketamine-medicated Dubstep. While I was worried that Shlohmo’s sound might not draw the crowd he deserves, the floor was actually packed with an army of head-bobbers; a remix of Aaliyah‘s “One In A Million” and, of course, his take on “Crew Love” set everyone into dreamy foot-shuffling mode.

Star Slinger

 

After Shlohmo, it was out to the Mohawk’s huge, double-decker patio to catch the UK’s incredible Star Slinger, who absolutely killed his set by every stretch of the imagination. Controlling Serato Scratch Live from his iPad (because, for some reason, Mohawk didn’t have usable cartridges for their 1200’s), the Manchester DJ and producer rinsed a 40 minute set that moved seamlessly from House [his second track was the classic “The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind…)” by Kenny Dope & The Bucketheads, which I’m sure the rest of you classic-House heads will appreciate] to Bass Music to Trap. The highlights of his set, definitely, were his remix of Buraka Som Sistema‘s “Up All Night” and the Flosstradamus remix of Major Lazer‘s “Original Don” — to use the parlance of our times, “Sh*t popped off!”

“Up All Night (Star Slinger Remix)” – Buraka Som Sistema, Roses Gabor, Blaya

“Original Don (Flosstradamus Remix)” – Major Lazer

After Star Slinger finished his amazing slot, I booked it across downtown to La Zona Rosa to try and catch Santigold…

How I Didn’t Get To See Santigold, Doctor P, Flux Pavillion, and What I Did Instead

I tried to get into La Zona Rosa. Seriously. I pushed and shoved my way through a two-and-a-half block line for over two hours, got to the front, and was still denied entry. All while wearing my large PRESS badge. It was part two of my eye-opener: if you want to catch a big act at SXSW, you need to get to the venue hours ahead of schedule.

The Heads-Up for Today, 03/14

Today I’ll be returning downtown to catch the Live Turntable.fm showcase, then to Lustre Pearl (early this time!) to catch Jacques Greene, Wavves, Action Bronson, and Mobb Deep. Stay tuned here for more coverage of the awesome SXSW Music Festival, all week long!

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