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Concerts

Twurkaholics: Heroes x Villians & ETC!ETC! at District N9ne

Despite the promise of late-night snow in Philadelphia, fans flocked to District N9ne on Friday, January 23rd for the latest edition of Twurkaholics. The show featured opening sets from the Twurkaholics and Moombaholics crew including Ethan Dubb, Desafinado, Love City DJs, and MC Buddy Leezle. There were also the usual bells & whistles which included an appearance by Grumpy Cat and body painting from Bodypaint.ME.

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The falling snow delayed our arrival at District N9ne as we were traveling from a comedy show in Upper Darby and sadly we missed many of the opening sets. From all indications, Desafinado’s set, chock full of Jungle Terror, Moombahcore, and Zouk, was the most memorable set of the entire night. We’re bummed that we missed it but spoke with numerous fans who raved about it.

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We were able to catch a large chunk of Love City DJs set and (aside from a Daft Punk remix that we absolutely hated) we were impressed as always with his track selection and his ability to get the entire venue dancing. It’s a good thing fans started dancing early because there wasn’t a whole lot to save their energy for later in the night.

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‘Heroes x Villains’ was up next and quite frankly, wet the proverbial bed. His set started off with a good head of steam but he soon train wrecked and then the music cut out for a solid five minutes. Thankfully Buddy Leezle was there to hold things down on the mic and keep the crowd entertained. Heroes x Villains set had lots of energy but was far from fluid. There were several train wrecks and shaky transitions. At one point he began to drop ‘A Milli’ by Lil Wayne, then cut the song out completely, and when he brought the music back up, it was another song altogether. If you’re one of those people who only care about track selection and not mixing, you probably didn’t mind his set too much.

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The young crowd (the majority of them 18 to 20 years old) seemed to get most pumped up by Festival Trap which both headlining DJs dropped. What’s better than hearing a song that you really dig? How about hearing it twice?! ETC!ETC! hit the stage next and proceeded to drop several of the tracks that Heroes x Villains had already played (including ‘A Milli’), prompting us to wonder if his entire set was pre-planned or even pre-mixed. Perhaps it wasn’t; many of his mixes were flawless, but the fact that he played numerous tunes that had already been heard by the crowd, made us wonder why he didn’t switch it up once he knew he’d be doubling down. Oddly, most fans didn’t seem to mind the repeat performances.

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The snow continued to fall fast and heavy so we opted to be safe and head home around 13o AM before the roads got really bad (as did many other people). We’re not exactly sure how the night ended but it’s safe to assume it was with a track being dropped for the 3rd or even 4th time. We’ve been spoiled by great performances at past Twurkaholics events so we’re willing to chock this up to an off night (or the fact that an outside promoter booked the headlining acts themselves). It proves why it’s so important to support the openers because sometimes they have the best sets of the night. It also shows that DJs need to be able to mix it up on the fly, an art that seems to have faded away when vinyl was replaced with digital mediums.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

[Article by David Miller and James McCormick]

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You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click images to enlarge):

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Around Town

Moombaholics: Tempo Takeover Edition at District N9ne

Every genre of music has its own rabid following here in Philadelphia. It would be fair to call the fans of Moombahton and Moombahcore, “Moombaholics”, and on Friday the 13th (of June) under a full-moon, the Moombaholics party returned to Philly.

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The latest edition of Moombaholics, labeled “Tempo Takeover”, marked the first time the event was held at District N9ne, but like past events, featured inflatable under-water creatures, body painting from Bodypaint.ME, host MC ‘Buddy Leezle’, and costumed characters like Party Owl.

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The event kicked off around 815pm with an opening B2B set from ‘Ethan Dubb’ & ‘Desafinado’. The two dudes responsible for creating the Moombaholics party, quite literally set the stage for the numerous DJs that followed through-out the night. Although very few people showed up for their set, it didn’t keep them from throwing down and those in the building certainly got a treat from this set.

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Up next was another one of the Moombaholics OG’s, Scranton’s ‘DJ Woogie’. This DJ/producer has developed quite a strong following online (like his 45,000 Twitter followers) and his personality is almost as big as some of the sick beats he dropped on Friday night. He got some sick mixes up on his Soundcloud that you should probably check out right about now. We’ll make it easy for you:

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After Woogie was Brooklyn’s ‘Banginclude’ and the first thing we noticed about him was that the way his logo is stylized, it looks a lot like ‘Bangin dude’. We discussed this for several minutes with our friends in the 21+ section at the back of the venue before returning to the stage to catch up up close. This was our first exposure to Banginclude and he definitely had no shortage of booty music to drop at District N9ne. His set was bangin’, dude.

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Up next was duo ‘Champion Rocka’, consisting of DJ, ‘The R.O.A.R.’, and MC, ‘Vice Royale’. Championing the genres of Moombahton, Zouk, and beyond, Champion Rocka put tweaked the Moombahton sound we’re used to hearing, mixing in other genres and changing things up just enough to put a nice twist on the genre originally created by Dave Nada.

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Champion Rocka gave way to another duo making big waves in the sea of Moombahton, ‘MaxX & EJ’. These sharks have released some deadly good music and have garnered support from the biggest names in the genre since they released their debut album back in 2012. Although there still wasn’t a big crowd on hand, everyone in the building was getting down and having a great time while they were behind the decks.

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Ricky Vaughn has been called the “Moombahton King” on many occasions and it was a treat to have him showcase his skills and musical stylings in Philly on Friday night. Whether you’re a fan of straight Moombahton, Trap, Bass, Hip-hop, or Twerk, Ricky Vaughn has more than a little something for you.

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Everyone at District N9ne, including the other DJs who had played previously (and DJ Sega who showed up during his set) was rocking out to Ricky Vaughn. It was Friday the 13th and Ricky Vaughn was scary good.

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The night ended with a one-hour set (2am-3am) from JSTJR. Unfortunately we had to leave the venue just before his set began but from what we heard, he closed out the night with authority. The Moombaholics crew will be back in action again later this month as part of the massive two-day ‘Trilladelphia’ festival that will take place at several venues (including District N9ne, Trilogy, and MOCA) starting on June 27th. You can check out all of the Trilladelphia details here.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

[Article by David J. Miller]

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Please let us know what you thought about the show in the comments box below the photo gallery!

You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Twurkaholics with Hucci at The TLA

2014 ushered in a new era of Actual Records ‘Twurkaholics’ party on Thursday, February 27th.

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The party, which had graduated from warehouses around Philly to Soundgarden Hall, made yet another big move to the TLA on South Street. The new venue, afforded fans two levels of partying, literally. From those on the main floor to the older crew partying in the balcony, it was clear that Twurkaholics picked up right where it left off in 2013: with everyone having a great time.

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Almost the entire Twurkaholics crew had their opportunity to rock the crowd on Thursday night. And of course it wouldn’t be the same without Grumpy Cat on stage and MC Buddy Leezle on the mic.

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The truth of the matter is that the line-up was so stacked with local talent, with everyone in attendance raging hard from the moment we entered the venue, that things got a little blurry. The opening sets by Ditchdigger and Desafinado were stout. The bar was set high and paved the way for some of our favorite sets of the night by Schmohawk, Ethan Dubb, and LoveCityDJs.

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The party also served as the CD release party for Oddzilla and fans clamored to get their hands on free copies of the disc that were distributed from stage. Oddzilla’s set was the best of the night. It was straight fire from start to finish.

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19 year old Ozzie took over around 1245am and played a stellar 45 minute set. In all honesty it trumped the headlining set by Hucci in our minds.

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That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy Hucci’s set. It’s just that the sets that proceeded it were on another level. You know who else enjoyed it? The hundreds of fans that packed the TLA to the gills. The final power hour of the party was curated by the masked UK DJ and he closed the night out on a high note. There is really nothing else that we can say about the night that would do it more justice than the massive photo gallery below. Happy viewing!

[Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel PhotographyD. Jacob Miller Photography]

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Let us know what you thought about the show in the comments box below!

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You can view the full set-list and additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Concerts

Paper Diamond, Loudpvck, and Gent & Jawns at The TLA

The TLA packed fans in on Thursday, February 6th for another great night of music featuring ‘Gent & Jawns’, ‘Loudpvck’, and headliner, ‘Paper Diamond’. The night also included an opening set by Actual Records head-honcho, Aaron Ruxbin.

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Ruxbin kicked off with a set that wasn’t quite as eclectic as some of the recent ones we’ve heard from him. Although he didn’t keep us guessing quite as much (to what he might play next) from one song to the next, his track selection was still on point (just a tad more genre specific than we’re used to from the curly haired curator of vinyl).

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He was, of course, joined by MC Buddy Leezle, who was sporting a fresh new look and spitting some even fresher verses. This paring will be back at the TLA on February 27th for their Twurkaholics party with headliner, Hucci.

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Up next was Gent & Jawns who we’ve seen a few times in the past and always enjoy. Billy the Gent and Long Jawns have some mega hits like ‘Vibrate’ and ‘TURNUP’ to their credit, not to mention a slew of remixes for everyone from Diplo, to Datsik, to Bare. When this duo is behind the decks they throw down with a ton of energy and definitely had the TLA rocking on Thursday night.

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Following Gent & Jawns was another duo who’s been making some big waves as of recently, Loudpvck (pronounced Loudpack for you novices). Kenny Beats & Ryan Marks are instrumental in running the trap, with killer remix after killer remix, and that’s exactly what they had the crowd at the TLA doing for the entirety of their set.

Finally it was time for Paper Diamond to take over for the remainder of the evening. He hit the stage basked in a mix of dark lighting and an abundance of fog. Paper Diamond’s sound is more melodic and ambient than the acts who proceeded him.

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However, the man is nothing if not versatile, and he can certainly drop the bass when it’s warranted. Don’t take our word for it, check out this recent mix he did for ‘Diplo & Friends’ below.

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With a mic in one hand and a iPad (with Touch OSC controlling Ableton) in the other, he took the crowd on a musical journey worthy of one of his larger festival performances. It was simply another great night of music at the TLA and we’re looking forward to catching Paper Diamond on the festival circuit all summer long!

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

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You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Twurkaholics with Mexicans With Guns, Willy Joy, and Just Blaze at Soundgarden Hall

The October edition of Twurkaholics was held at Soundgarden Hall on Wednesday, October 30th. The ‘Day of the Dead’ themed party featured a triple billing of headliners: Mexicans With Guns, Willy Joy, and Just Blaze in addition to Twurkaholics mainstays Ethan Dubb, Schmohawk, Oddzilla, and MC, Buddy Leezle.

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We’re not going to bore you by explaining the Twurkaholics phenomenon again. It’s been well documented in our coverage of the monthly event at Soundgarden Hall. If you need a refresher, feel free to search our archives for past reviews. For those of you already in the know, we’ll get to the specifics of Wednesday night.

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Twurkaholics tends to draw a younger crowd than some of the other events we cover. Perhaps because this edition was held on a Wednesday night, or possibly because there are so many other events going on this week for Halloween, the crowd at Soundgarden Hall was a little smaller than we’ve become accustomed to at Twurkaholics (there were still a decent amount of attendees, but anything less than a packed house seems off). No matter, the fans that did show up, most of them decked out in Halloween costumes, came ready to party.

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Bodypaint.me was on hand to paint Sugar Skulls on fans faces and there seemed to be an almost constant wait to get painted up. In addition there were Day of The Dead and Halloween themed projections, carved pumpkins, and live art paintings, and of course, limited edition Actual Records t-shirt giveaways!

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The Twurkaholics residents took care of things on the early end, giving those in attendance exactly what we’ve come to expect from each of these acts:

Oddzilla continues to impress with their original productions.

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Ethan Dubb has some serious moxy behind the decks, supplementing his stellar track selection with spot on mixing skills.

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Schmohawk (the duo of Shane Sixten and Aaron Ruxbin) are purveyors of the true art of DJing. There is no pre-planning of sets, just feeling out the crowd, crate digging, and rocking the house.

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The first of the trio of headliners to perform was Mexicans With Guns. Hailing from Texas, MWG has been making some serious bass waves with his remixes for hard-hitters like Bassnectar as well as his own filthy productions. We’d been hearing nothing but good things about his live sets for weeks (leading up to the show) and he did not disappoint.

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Dawning a Mexican wrestling mask for much of his set, he dropped some serious bass bombs on Soundgarden Hall. His set, the longest of the evening, was worth the price of admission all on its own.

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Willy Joy was the proverbial meat in the headliner sandwich on Wednesday night. Did we just make it weird? If the night had been a sandwich, it would have been a grilled panini because Willy Joy was sizzling. Willy Joy has taken bass music, crumpled it up into a ball, and thrown it as a wicked curve ball for called strike three.

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Infusing his style with the house music sound that put Chicago on the EDM map (and is still our genre of choice to this day), Willy Joy puts the soul in your bass hole. Weird again? Maybe, but it feels oh so right. This guy plays bass tunes that you can dance to, strike that, dance tunes that you can’t help but dance to. It’s no wonder he’s appeared everywhere from major festivals to warehouses, and graced the credits and radio shows of some of the biggest producers on the planet.

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If we seem like we’re gushing it’s because we are. We absolutely loved his set and the energy that overtook the venue from his first track to the last. Willy Joy to the world.

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The night concluded with a DJ set from New Jersey’s Just Blaze. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, this dude needs no introduction. For those who you who need some knowledge, he has produced countless hits for the likes of Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Talib Kweli, Beanie Segal, Cam’ron, Freeway, Talib Kweli, Kanye, Eminem, Rick Ross, T.I., Fabolous, Maroon 5, Kendrick Lamar, and on and on and on.

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When you’ve made a name for yourself producing for the aforementioned artists, how should you approach a DJ set? Own it. And that’s exactly what Just Blaze did. Dropping many of the tracks that he famously produced for others, Just Blaze took Soundgarden Hall on a hip-hop infused journey through the last decade plus.

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For rap enthusiasts, it was the perfect Halloween treat. There were no tricks here, just tracks, glorious, glorious tracks. When the party finally did end around 2am, we didn’t need any sugar skulls to tell us just how sweet the night had been.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

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You can view some additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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