April 23, 2011 | Carlos Villarreal | KPCC
Carlos Villarreal/ KPCC
In a tiny Silverlake gallery, a ragtag group of artists and DJs come together twice a month to showcase a new breed of experimental, beat-driven hip-hop that has begun to flourish in Los Angeles.
Held inside Santa Monica Boulevard’s Ronin Gallery, Sound Wavs features a hybrid of hip-hop that relies more on a complex arrangement of fast pace beats mixed with quickly changing rhythms, with the emphasis on instrument tracks over lyrics.
At its last incarnation earlier this month, a standing-room-only crowd gathered in the gallery’s showroom as a young DJ, bathed in the blue light of a video projection, was hard at work.
“I think right now, what’s going on with this type of music, is that there is no real genre to label it as,’” said Anthony Jusi, a resident DJ for the event who goes by the name “Teams.” “My music in a nutshell is hip-hop influenced, with some weird stuff thrown in.”
Damon Minaey, one of the gallery’s curators, said the event took hold at the Ronin more by gravitational pull than by planning. “These guys just started to loiter here all day and we decided to connect the dots,” said Minaey. “It all just made sense.”
Minaey hopes that event will grow in popularity and be an outlet for people interested in this music, and indeed, the event has been gathering force.
“I think that the sounds are big, loud and boisterous, sort of like all these hipsters,” said David Lesnik, who came to see a friend perform.“I think it speaks volumes about this tight little circle.”
“This is a good private venue, where you can come see people making beats and non-traditional music,” said Minaey. “People can come dance, rap, listen to music. I think also people are not intimidated by it. You get to see really cool stuff. And who knows where this can go? People may talk about who they got to see perform here someday.”
Sound Wavs will be held Saturday, April 23, at the Ronin Gallery, 4210 Santa Monica Blvd. Silverlake, CA.
Originally published on Southern California Public Radio