Mélat, 5D, Applied Pressure Orchestra
Empire Control Room & Garage, Jan. 6
Reviewed by Kahron Spearman, Fri., Jan. 12, 2018
Talent-stacked stages running concurrently, Empire Control Room & Garage authenticated Austin's redeveloping sonic experience.
Kicking off the Control Room's ticket was a bold, stream-of-consciousness comedy set by first-timer Haris Qureshi, a known hip-hop commodity as producer. That gave way to sets by up-and-coming producer/DJ acts the Deli and DJ Tats, a growing audience sampling curated mixes at home on Stones Throw or Soulection labels. 5D – Rudi Devino and HBZ of SubKulture Patriots – then offered fresh-cut lyricism to the proceedings, including a noteworthy freestyle session to close their mini-set.
An evening standout, BoomBaptist and sweet-singing Keeper vocalist Yadira Brown combined as the Vapor Caves, a promising future-funk concoction playing live for the first time. Outside, following a dreamy set by indie-pop act Shy Beast, R&B songstress Mélat closed down the Garage with an effortless seduction, which included a wavy soul rendition of Britney Spears' "…Baby One More Time."
Back inside, local favorite DJ Kid Slyce torched the stage prior to the night's final and best act. In a one-off performance, the Applied Pressure Orchestra (Slyce, BoomBaptist, Bird Peterson, Hobo D) went back to the future with a rousing tribute to DJ Shadow's influential hip-hop patchwork opus, Endtroducing.