We've harped on Red Bull Music Academy's dedication to once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences all month, but without hyperbolizing, Lit City Trax took that sentiment to another level last night. Not only did they curate a very impressive line-up of varying solo and B2B sets across ghetto house, kuduro, grime, and more, it was a DJ Rashad tribute, a footworking performance by The Era Footworkers, and it was both DJ Marfox and Mumdance's first shows in the U.S. History was made, and not just because Lit City Trax knows what's good, but because last night they paid tribute to a fallen dance music pioneer while introducing the sounds and producers of the future.
The night began with Durban, who played songs off his new Chimes EP and primed the crowd for the big night ahead. UNIIQU3 went B2B with DJ Tiga next, bringing a mix of Jersey club, house, and trap before DJ Deeon played the ghetto house and ass-shaking anthems.
Next, it was DJ Marfox's turn, who repped Portugal proudly (more than once he yelled, "THIS IS KUDURO FROM LISBON!"). He played lots of unreleased music, likely some from his forthcoming Lucky Punch EP and at one point made the crowd yell for more. A sure highlight was when he played "Terra Badita," one of his most accessible tracks that easily transcends any genre or regional categorization. The crowd loved his set, and hopefully this was his first of more shows stateside to come (he plays with Benji B, Tessela, Duth E Germ, and Avalon Emerson at MoMA PS1 in August).
Next, DJ Manny went B2B with RP Boo for the DJ Rashad tribute that included dancing by The Era Footworkers (who wore T-shirts that said RIP Rashad on the back). Once the footwork started, everyone pushed towards the front and went nuts. The TEKLIFE t-shirts came out, and DJ Manny shouted out Rashad multiple times.
Mumdance followed and let the crowd know he was gonna slow it down a bit to start. He said, "You're tired, you need a rest," which many in the front moaned about, but his build-up was worth it. His set wasn't fully appreciated by the entire crowd, but those who got it, got it. It was also his first U.S. show, and he was playing future grime/bass sounds that aren't as immediately accessible to an American audience who are less acquainted.
The highlights were when he dropped Logos' "Steel Pulse" (remix of Youngstar's "Pulse X"), Wen's "Signals," Dark0's "Sweet Boy Pose," and once he went B2B with J-Cush, his new song with Novelist, "Take Time." He was also extremely hilarious on the mic, stopping a record to ask the crowd to dance more or just confidently (and semi-abruptly) switching to something else. It was masterful.
Dark0 "Sweet Boy Pose"
Mumdance ft. Novelist "Take Time"
J-Cush finished off the night, and nothing was the same. Lit City Trax has its finger on the pulse of world bass, and they brought the future to Westway last night.