Ravers, underground dance lovers and basically everyone who thought Electric Daisy Carnival was too expensive will attend Mad Decent Block Party this weekend at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Mad Decent was created in 2008 for the Philadelphia community, but the music effort grew into a cross-continental tour. The tour’s stop in Berkeley will feature more than a few big hits. Check out what the arts staff recommends!
Even though he hides behind his side-swept hair, Cashmere Cat isn’t new to the fame game. He has appeared several times on TV on the largest Norwegian public service broadcaster, NRK, and competed several years for Norway in the DMC World DJ Championships under the name DJ Final. His signature twinkly flourishes, pewpew-style laser swoops and slapping drums have become familiar to the mainstream as of late. But he still balances remixing hits and producing original tracks, maintaining his outsider-ness cool. For example, in the “Party Girls” video with Ludacris, Wiz Khalifa and Jeremih, instead of assimilating into the magenta-lit-butts-and-chandeliers aesthetic, he’s shown sitting on a white-leather couch and doesn’t even look up from his phone.
— A.J. Kiyoizumi
If the mosh pits at last week’s ASUC SUPERB show featuring Lunice were any indication of UC Berkeley’s partiality for trap music, everyone is going to get down to this unabashedly ridiculous duo. One of their first hits was a flip of a Major Lazer song, “Orig Don,” and their collaborations with rappers and other DJs such as Wacka Flocka Flame and fellow Block Party-ers such as Dillon Francis have created die-hard devotees with self-proclaimed Hoodieboyz and Hoodiegirlz fans following their tour across the country. There’s no use mincing genre descriptions with Flosstradamus — whose hybrid wordplays and collaboration names such as Dillstradamus show their mash-up attitudes — they just want you to show up and stay “plurnt.”
— A.J. Kiyoizumi
STRFKR released its first album just a few years ago, but since then, it has become a staple at music festivals and on electronic dance playlists. What sets them apart from other electronic bands is their combination of synths and heavier electronic-dance beats to create a sound that embraces pop instead of rejects it. Their music is easy to listen to and even more fun to dance to, and it is this fun-loving spirit that has made the band so successful. Through their energetic and often silly performances — last time I saw them, they threw blow-up dolls into the crowd for their cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” — the band has created the perfect persona for themselves, and one that will surely be on full display at Mad Decent.
— Anna Carey
As EDM’s crowning funnyman, Dillon Francis is one of those stars who seems to have popped out of nowhere. Now one of the most prominent EDM artists, his first full-length album Money Sucks, Friends Rule is set for release in October. Francis shot into the spotlight in 2010 as one of the first moombahton artists, a music style that combines electronic house and reggaeton. He has turned heads all over the music industry, but not just for his music. In a genre in which artists are often criticized for taking themselves too seriously, Francis has carved himself a niche as EDM’s comedian. On his website, you can purchase his music, mugs with his face plastered on them and a happy birthday song from Francis himself for just $1,000.
— Anna Carey