The Ray-Ban sponsored Boiler Room LA session celebrating the upcoming release of Hudson Mohawke‘s Chimes EP was an awkward spectacle to behold. The live stream went down the rabbit hole quickly after Oneohtrix Point Never‘s solid ambient opening set. Between the kabuki dancers, Eric Wareheim’s decidedly odd and disconnected performance as host (not in the good, Tim & Eric-absurdist way), the concept heavy unveil of QT‘s impossibly sweet debut single “Hey QT”, Busta Rhymes’ cringe-worthy, “I’m not gonna lie right now, I’m high-as-fuck” grade guest performance, Hudson Mohawke’s haphazard mixing, and the lengthy pauses due to continuous technical difficulties, this was certainly a head-scratcher for the ages. Also, is it just me or did HudMo play more songs from the new Rustie record than from the EP he was supposed to be hyping? Lunice eventually brought everyone back to Earth with one of his characteristically energetic trapped-out sets, but he also felt misplaced as the closer for the night.
In my opinion, the reps from PC Music easily stole the show as the only performers who, at least in part, actually set out to confound the audience. QT’s performance of this summer’s bubbliest, and decidedly divisive, dance-pop anthem was equal parts commentary, troll, and genuine statement. A consistent outpouring of internet adoration and rage has ensued. Sophie’s set was packed with swirling, fizzy, forward-thinking club sounds— much of it unreleased— and was laced with its own bit of performance art in that it was performed by an unnamed drag queen DJ stand-in. Some attendees reported that the actual Sophie was there, disguised as a security guard for the duration of the set. Some were so ecstatic they couldn’t contain themselves:
THE ACTUAL SOPHIE DRESSED AS A SECURITY GAURD PULLING THESE THOTS OFFSTAGE FROM THE DJ BOOTH THIS IS TRULY PERFORMANCE ART
— TWENTY-THRIVE (@BOYTWEETSWORLDX) August 23, 2014
Either way the PC Music movement is only getting more impressive and I’m glad to see them infiltrating more and more spaces that need to be challenged. As great as their tunes are, half the fun is watching the ol’ stick-in-the-muds of electronic music and music criticism explode in a ball of rage and demand to know why everyone is pretending to like these tracks. Of course, the jokes on the detractors; the vehement hatred leveled at QT, Sophie, and their ilk only makes them stronger. I’m looking forward to the next great boundary push from PC Music. Until then, I’ll keep these unreleased Sophie jams on repeat.