LIVE: DJ Assault & Zomby at Output
by Reginald Duvivier
Decades ago rap albums used to make national news because of how obscene they were perceived to be. Today you have pop rap stars dropping lines like, “Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign.” So for someone who’s been pushing a very danceable form of dirty rap for over a decade like DJ Assault you figure he would come off as a quaint throwback as opposed to being relevant.
You would be wrong. Stripper odes have run mainstream R&B and we’ve got Miley Cyrus becoming the official face of twerk-dom. Honestly it’s almost as if he saw the future; if “Ass and Titties” was released today it would be a bona fide hit compared to when it was played up for laughs on the Chappelle Show.
His set at Output was a high octane barrage of bass music of all kinds. He would play some x-rated house (the “Beat That Bitch With A Bat” kind), but immediately link it up to Bauer and show you how connected these bass heavy tracks are. The only thing that’s changed in the last few decade of bass focused dance music is BPM but it’s irrelevant…as long as you give the fans low frequency heart attacks they will love you forever.
With its meticulously placed sound system Output is just the place for this kind of show. The venue seems to be wired to make sure that you aren’t farther than five feet from a speaker at any given point in time. It’s got a no-photo policy that’s pretty draconian but you can’t hate when the spot is just that good.
DJ Assault pretty much fucked shit up for an hour and a half. More of a DJ set then an actual performance he played his classics and a bunch of other hit bass heavy tracks. He would take breaks to make up on the fly dirty rap ditties while the crowd gyrated and twerked along.
The headliner for the night, Zomby, is a beat creator of another kind. A mysterious figure in the scene (but funny enough quite a chatty catty on twitter) he came out to no fanfare and played a much deeper set then Assault. As rough hitting as some of the tracks can be in his discography there is this sense of nostalgia and emotion in his tracks (his current album is called With Love, before that, Dedication). It came off almost gentle as the 808 kicks caved your chest in and made you want to shuffle your feet.