Friday Night: Red Bull Thre3style Massive at Stereo Live
Check out photos from the RedBull Thre3style event in our slideshow.
Photos by Marco Torres A-Trak
Red Bull Thre3style Massive feat. A-Trak, Toy Selectah & RL Grime
December 21, 2012
Right around the time that EDM became the catchall phrase for any and all dance tracks, "DJ" became the label for anyone who performed dance music. No longer were DJs the people behind the turntables scratching up a storm; anyone with a laptop and a midi controller was suddenly a party-rocker, the latest in a line of performers reaching back to Grand Wizzard Theodore.
And that's OK. Words, like music, evolve. The technology may change, but the core remains the same: excite a crowd using a blend of good songs and good technique.
That said, it's always nice to see DJs that do more than just press a few buttons. Red Bull's Thre3style Massive was a celebration of DJs as more than just human iTunes playlists; these were DJs bringing serious skills to the table.
It was only appropriate, then, that the show's headliner A-Trak was a combination of the best of both worlds: A technical wizard who has worked with some of hip-hop's finest and now made the successful jump to the electro-house sounds that are taking over all music.
RL Grime's set, a heavy and steady combination of southern hip hop and trap music, was a glimpse of where EDM may be headed over the next year. Club kids and hip hop heads alike seem to be drawn to it and it hits the same way dubstep does but without all the chaos.
Toy Selectah's set, a mix of current EDM trends with traditional Mexican/Latino beats, was a potential glimpse of EDM's future further down the line. It's a sound that gets people dancing once they wrap their heads around it. They may not be ready for it now, but it's not difficult to imagine Mexican DJs refining it into chart gold over the next few years. [See an interview with Toy Selectah a little later on today -- ed.]
As for A-Trak, it almost seems unfair that he's so talented. It's more than just technical abilities with a pair of turntables; while his ability to scratch and build a routine is impressive, his ability to drop the right song at the right time to turn up the crowd is just ridiculous.