You know you are a Californian when the only complaint you can think to make for your New Year’s weekend is: “There are too many events to choose from this year!”
Kicking things off with Wintersalt in San Francisco, followed by Insomniac’s LA Loves Techno and San Diego’s own OMFG, featuring Calvin Harris and Laidback Luke, there was absolutely no shortage of events for those looking to satisfy their EDM fix. But faced with the difficult task of choosing how to spend my New Year’s Eve, I decided I could not miss Fortune 421’s presentation of Drop the Lime (Live) and GRUM at The Ivy in San Diego.
Not your typical club setting, The Ivy is a maze of floors and rooms dedicated to sonic pleasure and alcoholic debauchery. Besides the Californian winter, a bone chilling 50-degrees, the only further complaint that could be recorded for the night were upsetting set times which saw both Drop the Lime and GRUM playing at midnight.
Traveling between the roof top extravaganza to the downstairs ballroom was no quick task, so fortunately for me and other electro obsessives - both GRUM and Drop the Lime had fairly long sets. Minutes before midnight, Graeme Shepard, AKA GRUM took the decks to open a fantastically energetic New Year while his headlining counterpart started the madness in the ballroom floors below.
GRUM has transcended the ‘dance’ music brand to create some wildly innovative dance floor hits that mix neo-italo influences, catchy pop choruses and disco riffs. Transitioning from the decidedly electro-house mood of his openers, he shifted toward a strong nu disco vibe.
Decending to the ballroom - through a blur of sequins, suits and chiffon - the energy shift was profound. Drop the Lime describes his sound as “dance music drunk on rock and roll” and combined with his personal fashion, a cross between punk and rockabilly, that could not be more accurate. He simultaneously controls the decks and sings, which makes for an exhausting electronic repertoire.
Playing mostly his own tracks, Drop the Lime also mixed in plenty of his quirky bootlegs that fuse trap, bass elements, and undeniable surf rock. Few other producer-DJs would think to mix electro-house bangers with old western music, but Drop the Lime does just that, and quite successfully I might add. His bootleg “Geronimo” is a dancified version of what could easily be the theme to any John Wayne film and, in the same vein, his release “Shake Baby Shake” opens with a equally nostalgic chord progression.
If Western-electro seems like a hybrid that should be left unexplored, we suggest going to a Drop the Lime show with an open mind. Sometimes it takes a live performance before learning to love a certain track or genre and we promise you will not be disappointed by a set from GRUM or Drop the Lime.