Conspirator, Break Science, & Cosby Sweater Crush The Vic
By: Aaron Gi
There was an eclectic gathering of ragers in attendance at The Vic Theater on Friday February 22nd, showcasing three of the most distinctive and unique acts in electronic music today. Cosby Sweater, Break Science, and Conspirator were set to take the stage by storm and did they ever. Doors opened at 8 and people began filing into the theater. The Vic is not known for accommodating shows of this genre and it was my first time attending this distinctive theater since a Bela Fleck and The Flecktones show years earlier. Nevertheless it is a beautiful venue, comparable to House of Blues (Chicago) with a 4-tiered theater style dance floor and balconies all around. It was the perfect setting and size for the crowd in attendance, never overcrowded, but definitely raging throughout.
Music began at 8:30 with Cosby Sweater, the Indianapolis trio comprised of Richard (Sleepy) Floyd on drums, David Embry on vocals and production, and Nick Gerlach on Saxophone and EWI. Their sound ranges from heavy glitch, to smooth jazz, to hard electro. They raged onstage for an hour and busted out songs off their EP “Hey Girl Hey”, an original mash-up of OutKast and SBTRKT, and even a remix of The New Deal’s “VL Tone”. They have a special way of mixing several genres and combining them all into one, which seemed to be a theme of the night. They have an upbeat energy that makes you want to keep dancing and the smooth jazziness from Gerlach’s sax and EWI brings it all together beautifully. Look for Cosby Sweater on the summer festival tour playing at some big ones such as Summercamp and Electric Forest.
Next up was Break Science, who seemed to bring out just as much of a crowd as headliner Conspirator. People were packed on the dance floor ready to get down to Break Science’s magical blend of smooth synth melodies, hip-hop samples, heavy bass, and break-beats. The duo consists of Borahm Lee on keys and production, and Adam Deitch on drums, the combination of the two is truly a sight to see.
With Lee controlling the vibe with his seamless mixing and skillful keyboard abilities they came out strong, dropping it hard for the undeniable “Pretty Lights Family” members throughout the crowd. Adam Deitch is an absolute beast on the beats, one of the best in the business, having drummed previously for Pretty Lights, and also still with the prolific band Lettuce. You can see the fusion of his skills come alive during a Break Science set. Switching up from a snare heavy hip hop groove to a cool jazzy flow with what seemed like little to no effort, the man is truly a natural.
Throughout the entire set they kept the crowd moving, their beats are soulful and funky yet still always have that extra bass drop that the crowd is craving. They came out hard with their nasty “Talk that Talk” Rihanna remix and played several tracks off their newer EP’s “Monolith Code” and “Twlight Frequency” and closed with a new track that featured original vocals from Redman himself. Break Science raises the bar on electronic music and continues to inspire masses all over the country; can’t wait for what they have next.
Up at around 11:15PM was Conspirator, the super group known for their hard rock jams, bass bombs, dirty glitch, and dancey synths, you never know what your going to get from one of their sets. Comprised of Marc Brownstein (Bass), Aron Magner (Keys and Synths), Chris Michetti (Guitar), and KJ Sawka (Drums); all of the musicians in the band have very specific skill sets and have played for some of the biggest names in music before joining forces to combine for an experience like no other. Their sound is all over the place and defies all odds of a ‘normal’ electronic group. One second Michetti is bringing the heat with his prolific metal riffs and the next Magner is jumping up and down dropping dirty bass that would even make Bassnectar grind his teeth.
Conspirator has a way of creating composed chaos, one second it’s hardcore rock and roll and the next Magner’s smooth synthesizers induce a friendly bro-ment with the dreadlocked wook standing beside you spilling his beer on your girlfriend. They played out pretty much their entire new EP “Unleashed” which features a multitude of genres and different styled tracks. My personal favorite, “Pow Wow” has a reggae-tone style and tempo with a high-pitched synth that never fails to make the crowd go nuts. The first time I heard this track was at their House of Blues show and it was a pleasure to rage it again. They played some other favorites such as “So Much More” and “Feed The Wolf” which have a heavier style to them while still having the gritty electro bass that separates them from every other “jam-band.”
I don’t know how anyone could categorize Conspirator other than to say that they are a unique and awe-inspiring experience. This group has been making leaps and bounds ever since officially forming in 2004, and now that they have a permanent crew to tour and produce with, the sky is truly the limit for these guys. As electronic and jam music progresses and grows with the scene Conspirator is right at the core of both and who knows what they have up their sleeve for us. Word on the street is they’re currently working on a collaboration track with tour-mates Break Science which could only be something special. Thanks to Silver Wrapper for a spectacular event and to all the amazing artists that played their hearts out to Chicago.