Festival Review: Mad Decent Block Party Ignites The First Weekend of August

I am HUGE fan of Diplo, and still dream of him doing some heavy mixes again with M.I.A. Thus, when I heard Mad Decent was coming to NYC, I felt honored to review this touring music fest. Now in its second year criss-crossing across the states, I love the idea of major electronic stars touring America under one EDM flagship. Luckily, the idea manifested into a great reality.

Mad Decent Block Party was held in MCU Park in Coney Island. If you read any of my BRIC reviews, setting is so important to the dynamic of an event. The ambiance of a party rides on the visuals of it. Thus, Mad Decent Block Party picked one of the most befitting locales for its “block party” feel: Coney Island. Amongst the crowds of rollercoaster- goers, hot-dog lovers, and beach body swimmers, were a pack of EDMers ready to cause a synthetic ruckus. It was an oddly wonderful ,perfect blend. Between wild, frenetic dancing was the “Coney Island” family food and fun to make you feel like you were the rebellious youth that had invaded the “block party”. The open space of the “beach meets theme park” elevated the slight anarchic, blazing feel the Mad Decent, an electronic music label, is driven on.

Electronic music is based on a driving sentiment of infusing your soul with a surmount of energy that could turn even the quietest person into an agent of chaos. While some may judge the most recent of music genres as noise, the Mad Decent line-up proved that it is very good noise. Moreover, the light shows that enveloped the stage, as each artist crossed to drop their beat, made everyone feel like they had been swallowed by an arcade game. In it, they were the winners as electric tricks and visuals blasted by them to some of the sickest beats EDM has to offer.

Here are Some of Festival’s Saturday Highlights:

Alison Wonderland 

Alison Wonderland is a fierce lady. Not only were her beats some of the best of the day, but she was so into her own set, you could not help but join her. She bopped around her mix-table as if she were ready to jump in it. Literally, she was the woman in the party that commands people to the dance floor. There is no sitting with Ms. Wonderland, and you can forget about tea. In her rabbit hole of rhythms, you better STAND UP!

Alison Wonderland MixMag Mix

I had mentioned it in my Unknown Mortal Orchestra review, but something about rain elevates a musical experience to a spiritual one. While many hid from the rain during Gryffin’s DJ set, for the brave souls, like myself, we were ready to be drenched by both the sonic and celestial offerings. While I enjoy Griffin’s music for its up-tempo capacity to ignite a listener’s dance impulse, it was the chance to “dance in the rain” that made his set so memorable. Nothing like EDM in a downpour to make you feel truly electric. Though the rain eventually interrupted his set, I soaked in the moment of rain and rhythm as a Mad Decent highlight.

Heading Home 
Neo Fresco
I would like to thank Mad Decent Block Party for introducing me to this artist: Neo Fresco. Neo is basically the EDM version to the soundtrack to Drive. I felt like putting on a golden jacket with a scorpion etched on it and calling myself The Driver after hearing Neo’s dark, electric mix. He makes rhythms that feel they were born in a gritty alley and have been hustling their whole life to get to your ears. He definitely brings out a vivid, neon look to sinful beats; i.e. my cinematic references. 
Sublimination (Stream) 
Tory Lanez

Tory Lanez definitely brought a Caribbean flare/ freedom among the EDM line-up. His mixes were the funnest, for me, as they inter-mingled some of the best Caribbean tracks with electric vibes that made everyone feel like someone had thrown a palm tree filled with fairy dust at their ears. The energy of his mix and himself brought a level of cool ease that made you want to actually dance and not happily lose your mind, which some of the other mixes sparked said sentiment. 

Diplo, whom founded Mad Decent Record Label, closed out the night with a supernatural bang. By the time he came, everyone was pretty much on a natural rush/ high. With so many awesome acts that had come to inspire, Diplo felt like a giant cloud of sonic light had dropped upon us. What is great about Diplo, as a DJ, is that he is basically a seasoned vet. He is the Aretha Franklin of the EDM line-up as most DJ’s appreciate his soul and influence as a person that has given electronica its stardust and fame. Thus, although his energy is high and confident, it is more about your energy towards him. He is freaking DIPLO! Hello! Major Lazer Much? Should you not be impressed? His mixes were like rushes of gold to our already wealthy sprit. Just a perfect cherry on an EDM sundae!
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