With Opulent Temple and Roots Society not attending Burning Man this year, there is a vacuum for the next big sound camp, and Nexus with their sphere of fire seem to be stepping up to the challenge. In preparation for their epic return to the Playa, complete with the Pyroshphere which hasn’t been since 2010, they have been throwing some pretty ridiculous shindigs in the Bay.
Their last fundraiser in April featured Freq Nasty, Knowa Lusion, and Christian Martin. On June 14th, they moved the shenanigans to Mighty with its recently souped up sound system that literally makes the dance floor vibrate. They had the immaculate Italian, GAUDI as their headliner.
It’s rare as someone who sees a lot of shows to actively anticipate a party but I was stoked for this, because the last time I’d seen him perform had been at the 2012 Envision Festival Pre-Party, and he had such a stage presence it had really stuck with me. The buzz was heightened by the fact that it was a Burner Masquerade, and people were decked out in elaborate costumes including feathered masks, jeweled faces, and scantily clad bodies.
I slunked through the maze of masked multitudes bouncing on the fog covered dance floor to get a front and center spot for Sugarpill, the LA based producer known for his super crunk beats. His basslines and oh-so-delicious wobbles teased the crowd into a frenzy of glitch-y ecstasy and left them there. Then GAUDI took over.
Looking like a mad scientist with his customary sweatband and sunglasses he seems to love wearing at night, he jumped onto the stage with an infectious energy that completely captivated the crowd. He’s recently released his new EP In Between Times, which features some serious collabs, including the track “I start to Pray” which is a dubbed out track with Lee Scratch Perry and The Orb, and he sprinkled those in along with the rest of the fruits of his ten plus years of music production. In typical GAUDI fashion, he shouted into a megaphone that he held in front of a mic and twiddled knobs looping in his counter pre-set culture motto of “No computer.”
Then out came the theramin that he wielded with the same panache as an 80’s hair band front man wields his guitar, as he infused the night with tropical, reggae-inspired electro dub. His was a hard act to follow but Digital Rust’s performance was pretty unforgettable as well. His bass is just so squishy, you feel like you’re in a bowl of bass Jell-O oozing with wobbles. If this is how they throw a fundraiser, when they team up with Audiowaska and Bass Couch on the Playa it will be some serious next level sauce.