On second ACL Fest Friday at the Tito’s tent, at the dot of 1400 hours while hustling across the stage and donning a Flamingosis brand bomber jacket, Aaron Velasquez observed, “Feels like I’m back in New Jersey with this cold. Goddamn.”
The punctual producer sped through slow drives fueled by R&B, funk, soul, disco, and anything groovy. With urgency and leisure, he crammed stacks of harmonies, synth runs, and brass swells into ice-rink-slick measures of his proprietary blend of “Bright Moments.” Spartan wood block hits and thin electric piano licks thumbed a ride into lavish swirls of strings balanced by drum kit snap and closed hi-hat.
His sprints averaged under 2 minutes. Together, they mapped out a marathon of mood.
A trickle of weed and a stream of smiles vibed through the roofed space, comfortably full with enough room for festival sway. Velasquez set the lean-back pace as he stretched dust-free samples over speakers and space. He underscored the omnidirectional aspects of soulful stereophonic music instead of wallowing in nostalgia.
The occasional dub-fried segues introduced harsh midrange frequencies into chasms of reverb. Otherwise, he dished nothing but spit shine and smooth sailing as his polished glitches made the forever chemicals of vinyl gold sparkle.
After numerous grooves, he sprung “Brunch at the Bodega,” where brass and aux percussion splicing made Tito Puente go wild. After miming a flexatone sample with a jump shot, he abandoned his post behind a pristine MacBook to dance untethered – if only for a handful of measures.
That proved the climactic moment, but, still, the race hadn’t concluded. A sporting man, Velasquez glanced at the red digits displayed on the digital clock stage left.
“Let’s see how many songs we can fit in 10 minutes,” he challenged, then made it too easy to lose count.
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