Whose motorcycle is this?
It’s a chopper, baby.
Whose chopper is this?
Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.
This iconic sequence from the Oscar winning classic ‘Pulp Fiction’ is one that, for many years, had no outside relevance at all. However in 2009, the final line took on a larger meaning, as a duo from Canada who called themselves ‘Zeds Dead’ burst onto the electronic music scene. The duo was made up of two producers, ‘DC’ and ‘Hooks’, who since 2009 have been one of the leading names in forward thinking electronic music of all styles. Over the last 8 years, they rose to fame and reached a level of respect in the community that very few artists ever have the chance to achieve. Adding to their diverse range and extended discography, the two have been supplying dance music fans with some of the most energetic, powerful sets, combining their musical influences of rock and hip hop with their own originals and their favorite music from other artists. Seeing a Zeds Dead show is a special occasion, and one that doesn’t come around as often as we would like, but on Saturday, October 1st the bass freaks in Philadelphia got a chance to catch the act on their ‘Norther Lights’ tour stop at the Electric Factory.
Joining Zeds Dead for the night were supporting acts ‘Unlike Pluto’ and ‘Ghastly’. Up first was Unlike Pluto who we were really excited to see. His music is very uniquely produced and covers many different genres, so we were eager to hear his set and curious as to what he would play. We unfortunately were pretty disappointed with his performance. His set stayed within the genre of trap, which while we love, was not done very well. A lot of festival trap and forced drops felt awkward as we could tell that he was playing to the room/lineup he was supporting. We feel that he could have done a much better job, although his mixing was very clean which was awesome. We plan to catch him somewhere else very soon and hope (and assume) we will not be disappointed next time!
Next up was Ghastly who has made quite the name for himself over the last year. Banking in on the bass house craze that enveloped dance music this year, Ghastly has climbed to the top of the genre along names like Jauz and Habstrakt, and has gained a very dedicated fan base. His set at the show was similar to Unlike Pluto’s in the sense that we could feel him playing to the room and it almost seemed awkwardly forced. While he is known to drop some heavier dubstep between the BPM’s of 140-150, we didn’t expect the set to be dominated by it, as it isn’t the genre he mainly produces. The set was by no means bad, but again, we hope to catch him another time soon so we can see the groovier house side of Ghastly a bit more present.
Finally the moment had arrived, after a long 15-20 minute intro that seemed like forever, the lights dimmed and the speakers were turned up to what seemed like the loudest level they possibly could reach. DC and Hooks walked on stage to an incredible amount of cheering, the crowd was pumped and ready for their performance. Over the next hour and forty minutes, the duo crossed from genre to genre, sharing their original production style with a lot of music we aren’t used to hearing played out at shows. We were grateful we didn’t recognize some music in the set, and it felt refreshing to have such a range of genres to indulge in. The set was heavy, groovy, and filled with palpable amounts of emotion.
The duo made sure to play out some of their newer tracks which are planning to be released with their new album Northern Lights on October 14th. They also left room for a lot of classic hits from their earlier years such as “Hit Me”, “Eyes On Fire”, and “Undah Ya Skirt”. We left the show feeling completely satisfied and content with the performance (as per usual with the duo). They truly embody the gold standard in dance music, and never cease to amaze and surprise us with every experience. We commend you Zeds Dead, and the sooner you’re back in our city, the better.
[Photos by: Josh Campbell Photography]
[Article by Adam Leopold]
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