Aesop Rock @ The El Rey – 7.13.12 Aesop Rock @ The El Rey – 7.13.12

Words and Photos by Justin Wise –


What do hardcore hip-hoppers, suburban white dudes, a girl in need of a haircut and Skrillex have in common? The answer is apparently good taste as they all attended last night’s Aesop Rock show at The El Rey. Joined on stage by Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz, Aes put on a display of what being a real MC is all about. Twisted, quick-paced and in the pocket, he’s got new school skills but his roots in golden era hip hop technique are unmistakable. Rob Sonic ping-ponged counterpoint and the rhythm they created as a team was a whole greater than it’s parts. This would all be well and good of course except for one thing, the sound was horrible. A muddy blend of midrange with no frequency separation, clarity or boom. It wouldn’t be too far off to question whether a soundcheck took place and, unfortunately, the result was that many people left early complaining of Aesop Rock ‘not bringing it’. He did bring it, though. Front of house just hit them with all with an epic fail.

Opening duties were deftly handled by Dark Time Sunshine and the quirky but fun, Edison, who brought turntablism into the new decade by replacing the 12’s with a monome. What is a monome, you ask? Simply put, it’s a 256 button midi controller that looks like a box with a bunch of lights on it. It connects to a computer via usb and allows for triggering of loops,
one-shots and fx. While interesting and certainly a valid tool for the job (Edison was a champ with this thing), the novelty of watching a dude bang on a box with a bunch of lights on it wears off pretty quick. After 45 minutes the crowd was getting restless and Edison felt the pressure. He handled it well but next time cut the set to 30 minutes max.

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