Tag Archives: Diplo

Koan Sound & Gemini: Bass Meditation in the Zen Soundgarden

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It was another night of Bass Music bliss for fans at Soundgarden Hall on Friday, March 1st as Steez Promo presented the latest edition of Bass Nation with LoveCityDJs, Speaker For The Dead, Billy Van, and headliners Gemini & Koan Sound.

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The crowd was somewhat smaller than at recent events when we arrived at SGH (mostly because those other events were crazy packed sold-out nights) but it didn’t take long for the numbers to build in size, filling the dance floor, and spilling over into the side platform and the Hacienda Lounge in the back (which was open to all ages, not just those 21+)

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After sold opening sets by LoveCityDJs and Speaker For The Dead, Billy Van took over at 1015pm. Rocking a Keytar (M-Audio Axiom 25 keyboard) at points during his set, his high energy sound was very well received by the crowd. This was the first time we’d seen Billy Van perform, but we highly suspect that it will not be the last.

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Gemini was up next and despite playing the set before Koan Sound, it quickly became apparent that many fans had come out on Friday night to see the English born producer/DJ. He didn’t disappoint them as he dropped several of his own hit tracks & remixes, including a brand new banger that he said he had never played before. We’ll take his word for it.

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Despite their relatively young ages, Jim Bastow & Will Weeks, the duo known as Koan Sound, are well respected and accomplished producers and DJs that have toured with the likes of Skrillex and Diplo. It’s no surprise to see the guys headlining their own shows now with their high energy funky bass-music sounds.

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Accompanied behind the tables for most of their set by Gemini, Koan Sound kept the place bumping for the rest of the night. Surprisingly, some of the people who had turned out to see Gemini left the venue before Koan Sound’s headlining set, but those who stayed were rewarded with a barrage of bass from the young guns.

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[Photos by D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view additional photos below (click thumbnails for full sized images):

Diplo at Soundgarden Hall: Things Get Expletive Expressive

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On Sunday, January 20th, 2013, superstar DJ and producer, Diplo, took his one of a kind show to the air. Not the airwaves, we’re talking about the skies… in a helicopter.

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Playing four shows in a single day, the trek (branded “Trap Hawk Down”) took Diplo from Baltimore, to Philly, to Atlantic City, to New York City.

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We caught the second leg of his tour in Philly at Soundgarden Hall. The event sold out weeks in advance with fans anticipating a night of mayhem and self expression.

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The doors of Soundgarden Hall opened at 7pm. Those of arrived early were rewarded with spots close to the stage as well as fast entry into the club. As the night pressed on, the lines outside of the venue grew to lengths we have not previously witnessed there, all on one of the coldest nights of the year.

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After opening sets from Aaron Ruxbin, Schmohawk, and LoveCityDJ’s (all of who did a great job of warming up the crowd), Diplo hit the decks at 9:30pm to play a 90 minute set.

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The next hour and a half was just what we had expected, dirty beats, debauchery, and everything else that has become common place at a Diplo show.

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He began his set wearing a hoodie, transitioned to a T-shirt, removed his shirt altogether (encouraging everyone in the crowd to do the same), and eventually dawned the T-shirt again.

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He climbed on top of the DJ table, he invited females on stage to “express themselves, and he dropped a slew of fan favorites and new tunes that had the place going bananas.

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When he was finished, the ceilings were literally dripping with condensation from the heat generated by the packed house. It was crazy.


LoveCityDJs took over again around 11pm before handing the reigns over to Ethan Dubb followed by BHB (who closed out the night).

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We can sum up the night like this: Diplo, Fly High, Get Down.

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You can view our huge photo album below (click thumbnails for full-sized slide show):

City Bisco: Two Day Jam at the Mann

The Disco Biscuits have a crazy legion of fans that follow them around the country and flock to NY every summer for their three-day Camp Bisco festival.

On October 5th & 6th, they brought the excitement of a multi-day festival to Philadelphia for two days of food, fun, and great music at the Mann Music Center.

The event featured two stages, food trucks, and an array of DJs and live acts.

Friday kicked off at 4pm with opening sets by Wyllys on the second stage and The Manhattan Project on the main stage. The venue remained somewhat empty early on but those inside were having a great time for the get-go.

While we enjoyed all of the music we heard on the day, our top three performances were the Disco Biscuits, Diplo, and Aeroplane. Aeroplane closed out the second stage with an intelligent set of funky tunes that had everyone grooving. By this time the crowd size had grown dramatically.

The Disco Biscuits then took over on the main stage and played one of their classic high energy electro-jam sets accentuated by an impressive laser light show. Diplo was up next and rocked the crowd with his signature blend of hip-house and EDM. Finally, the Biscuits returned for a second set, closing out the night.

Day two started an hour earlier than day one with another great line-up of music. Papadosio, Paper Diamond, Ott and The All Seeing I, and Tipper all put on great sets and the food trucks were again on hand providing some tasty treats.

The evening ended with the third Disco Biscuits set, followed by an amazing set from A-Trak (one of the best of the festival), and finally the fourth and final Biscuits set to close out the two day event.

City Bisco was a great blend of music and food at one of the best music venues in Philly and we hope to see it return next year!

You can view an expansive photo gallery of both days below:

Mad Decent Block Party 2012: Great Plaza, Great Party

The Mad Decent Block Party at the Piazza in 2011 was one of the best parties of last summer. In 2012, the party moved to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

The free to attend, all ages event (RSVP required) once again drew a huge crowd in 2012 as fans packed into the Great Plaza to get rowdy to some of their favorite bands/acts from noon until 9pm.

The weather was hot and steamy but that didn’t stop thousands of fans from raging in the tightly packed space in front of the stage.

This year’s line up in Philly included: Major Lazer, Bonde Do Role, Kito, Riff Raff, DJ Sega, Reptar, Lunice, PO PO, Paul Devro, and Dirty South Joe.

Diplo (who took a stroll on the crowd in a giant inflatable hamster ball) and the rest of the Mad Decent roster threw down for the crowd from start to finish, spraying them with everything from confetti, to water, to dirty beats.

This event continues to be one of the highlights of the summer in Philly and we can’t wait to see what is in store for 2013.

[photo credit: Steve Garfinkel]

You can view a full photo gallery below:


The 5th Annual Roots Picnic, Now a Two-Day Affair

The annual Roots Picnic concert celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. 2012 marked the first time that the show was expanded to two days, Saturday, June 2nd, and Sunday, June 3rd. Both days took place at the Festival Pier on Penns Landing and featured two stages.

We’ll give you a separate break down of each day (complete with its own photo gallery and recap) below. Simply click the link for each day to get the full details on what went down at this year’s event.

For ROOTS PICNIC 2012 (DAY 1) click here

For ROOTS PICNIC 2012 (DAY 2) click here

Diplo Returns Home, Sells Out Union Transfer

These days you can find Diplo jet-setting around the world to play to sold out crowds, in the studio producing for some of the biggest names in the music industry, or even staring in TV commercials.

Last night, he returned to Philadelphia to play for a sold-out, all ages crowd at Union Transfer. Many of the fans in attendance on Thursday evening were in elementary school when Diplo first started his ascension to superstardom (hosting Hollertronix parties a decade ago in North Philly).

With several other shows in the city on the same night (including Feed Me, Dark Star Orchestra, and 611’s “HO” party) there was no shortage of things for music fans to do. Diplo fans had their eye on the prize however and those who were fortunate enough to score tickets were fully hyped for the show.

We last caught Diplo in August when his Mad Decent record label hosted a free block party at the Piazza. Buzz about his Union Transfer show has been building for weeks and the show sold out (aside from about 50 tickets that were held for door sales) over a week before the show.

Union Transfer, in the old Spaghetti Warehouse on Spring Garden Street, is one of the nicest concert venues in Philadelphia, with multiple bars, a wrap around balcony, and a coat check to go along with the large main floor area. There is still some room for an improvement experience (for both fans and media) but all-in-all we love this place.

The night got off to a start around 9pm with DJ Xaphoon Jones (dressed in a giant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit) who did a great job of warming up the venue.

The torch was then passed to another local DJ, Dirty South Joe who dropped some heavy dub-step and hip-hop on the crowd. The place was bumping, literally.

Around 11pm, Diplo slid seamlessly onto the decks and rocked the sold-out sea of fans with an impressive array of new hits and timeless classics (from the Beastie Boys to Martin Solveg, Nicki Minaj to Oasis, and everything in between). The balcony was buzzing, there was mayhem on the main floor, and no shortage of girls shaking their booty on stage.

When the show ended, the crowd dispersed with many fans heading to after parties at Voyeur and Ruba.

Mad Decent Block Party Overtakes the Piazza

Sunday afternoon was another hazy, hot, and humid day in the City of Philadelphia. Enter the Mad Decent Block Party.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, the date and location of the event had to be moved when the city pulled many of the events permits over concerns for the size of the crowd on city streets. A day late and a venue change later, the event kicked off on Sunday afternoon at the Piazza in Northern Liberties.

Headlined by hometown favorite Diplo, as well as Das Racist, DJ Sega, PO PO, and several others, the free all day event was a large draw for music fans. The day kicked off at 1pm with an hour set by Luvstep (Dirty South Joe & Flufftronix).

Up next was Kito at 2pm. The crowd continued to grow, and grow. Free water guns were distributed and water filling stations constantly restocked to help beat the heat.

Mother Nature also got in on the action, dropping a heavy shower on the area. Whether it was the weather or a non-related technical difficulty, there were several problems with the sound system early in the day. It cut out completely at least three times while performers were on stage to the chagrin of both the artists on stage and the growing number of people packing into the Piazza.