August 10, 2012  |  Warm Up
Critical Mass: Warm Up Hits Attendance Record

Warm Up, MoMA PS1, August 4, 2012. Photo: Loren Wohl

This past weekend, one of the summer’s most anticipated lineups led to a jam-packed afternoon. It was the biggest Warm Up crowd we’ve seen—it marked our highest attendance to date—and one of the all-around strongest lineups from start to finish. Considering the blue skies, it was fitting that the day began with two Barcelona-based artists, Austrian producer Zora Jones and Candian Sinjin Hawke, who offered eclectic sets mixing rap, shimmery electronics, and unexpected transitions. Jones DJed, Hawke offered his own productions, and (as you’d expect from artists who regularly collaborate and go head-to-head as DJs) they seemed to be finishing one another’s sentences.

They were followed by the first live act of the day, the Brooklyn electronic trio Lemonade, who offered a selection of their breezy, tropical pop (and one of the best “ugly” shirts I’ve seen in some time, on drummer Alex Pasternak). They were followed by the London-based producer Pearson Sound, aka David Kennedy, who dug into a compelling, lengthy set that layered house, dubstep, and techno.

Warm Up, MoMA PS1, August 4, 2012. Photo: Loren Wohl

The biggest sets, though, belonged to Los Angeles–based R&B upstart Miguel and the day’s closer, Jamie xx. Miguel, backed by a two-piece band (guitar, synth/electronics) performed tracks from his forthcoming LP Kaleidoscope and a cover of 2Pac’s “I Get Around” that had the front row singing along the entire time. Jamie xx, one third of the black-clad London-based group The xx, offered a patient, elegant DJ set that felt more like an extended 90-minute production than a guy in front of his laptop. It all ended with members of the crowd hopping onto the stage—the perfect exclamation point to a perfect day.

Warm Up, MoMA PS1, August 4, 2012. Photo: Loren Wohl

Warm Up, MoMA PS1, August 4, 2012. Photo: Loren Wohl

The Saturday, August 11, Warm Up brings together dance producers who offer different angles on darker sounds. It opens with Howse, the pseudonym of 22-year-old Providence, RI, composer Nathaniel Oak. Howse released his debut EP, Lay Hollow, on Tri Angle Records this past spring. It’s a collection of dense, swarming music inspired by juke house and jungle.

His set will be followed by autre ne veut, aka the mysterious R&B experimentalist. ‪Trying to explain autre ne veut’s music is no easy task. while clearly indebted to the sounds of top-40 radio, autre ne veut twists these influences into something unnerving and potently surreal, transforming the sugar of R&B and pop into something sickly sweet. in the last few years many artists have looked to the charts for inspiration and found new and inventive ways to subvert the formula, but autre ne veut might just be the strangest and most compelling of them all.

Brooklyn-via-Los Angeles producer Shlohmo will do a live controller set featuring screwed hip-hop remixes and originals, as well as tracks from his WEDIDIT Collective. (Pitchfork’s Nate Patrin did a good job describing Shlohmo’s aesthetic: “Jaggedly delicate, filled with melodic beauty but jostled by abrasive percussive hitches, undercut with sandpapery patches of ambient fuzz. It’s a deft merging of gentle, wafting electronic tones and intricately beat-to-shit rhythmic atmosphere, the sounds of old technology trying to reconcile its former gloss with its fading functionality.”)

The day will also offer a DJ set from Morgan Geist (Storm Queen). The New Jersey–born, Oberlin College–schooled producer—who works with Darshan Jesrani as the Brooklyn-based dance-production duo Metro Area and runs the Environ record label–found his sound via the UK’s revisiting of Detroit house, techno, and disco. His solo Storm Queen project is his “return to his roots with an analog approach towards modern house music with a disco pedigree.” The most recent release under that moniker came out in the middle of last month on Environ. Like Storm Queen’s earlier work, it features the vocals of Damon C. Scott, a busker Geist met on the subway.

The August 11 Warm Up is capped off by Los Angeles–based UK bass pioneer Photek, who’s essential 1997 debut Modus Operandi helped give birth to a lot of the bass artists performing before him. If you were to cite one drum and bass album as being the most influential, chances are you’d have to go with Modus, a masterpiece of the genre as a whole that still has the power to stun and perplex. A legend in the electronic music world, Photek was the man who really pushed the parameters of drum and bass with the release of a classic album and an abundance of highly revered 12″s. We’re genuinely honored to have him in the house this weekend.

You can order tickets for August 11 online now.