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Mark Redito, Great Dane and Mike Gao to finish up Concerts

Photo contributed.
Photo contributed.
Photo contributed.

Halley Freger

Grinnell Concerts is hosting the last show of the semester tonight at 9 p.m. in Gardner Lounge. The fall lineup concludes with LA-based producers Mark Redito, Great Dane and Mike Gao.

DJ and producer Mark Redito makes music that is powerful in its ability to be playful and hype as hell. His 2013 release “Desire” concludes with the track “Forgiveness.” The song ends with an infectious combination of twinkling 8-bit and chips. By “chips,” I’m not talking about sound chips, but actual chips. Redito flawlessly blends the sound of someone eating chips into a hard-hitting beat. But this was years ago when Redito still went by Spazzkid. In the past couple years, he has shed this moniker and undergone a period of personal and artistic reflection. It was during this time that he launched Likido, an event series that showcases POC, women and LGBTQ artists and DJs. As an artist and activist, he passionately creates space for these marginalized communities.

This fall he released the first single under his own name “You’ll Only Love Me When I’m Gone.” The track hints at Redito’s melodic J-Pop sensibilities but mainly showcases his advanced, futuristic production style. Chopped vocals flutter throughout the bouncing track. And he still maintains a sense of playfulness — his recent remix of 21 Savage’s “SKRRT” samples Squirtle from “Pokemon.”

Great Dane’s music similarly pulls from a diverse range of influences. Great Dane is the project of Dane Morris, an important figure in the LA beat scene that has become increasingly popular in the past few years, with the success of acts such as Flying Lotus. The beat scene is a unique community with connections to both experimental electronic music and underground hip-hop.

Like many artists in this scene, Dane constantly pushes the boundaries of electronic music. In addition to having releases on the well-known beat scene label Alpha Pup, he founded the music collective TeamSupreme, which has been an important site of artistic growth and innovation. The collective often creates music under specific constraints — composing a one-minute beat in an hour, making a beat with only an 808 drum kit or adhering to odd time signatures.

Unsurprisingly, Great Dane’s own music is exceptionally imaginative. His most recent release “Lost & Loved” is a four-song EP with a distinctive darkness to it. Each track is packed with an emotionality that comes out of a bold blend of melodic synths and pulsing beats.

The evening will conclude with producer and music technologist Mike Gao, another Alpha Pup artist. Mike Gao is truly an audio innovator of the beat scene. In addition to his music, Gao has created iOS apps and plugins and completed research for Native instruments. As an artist, he explores the past — such as the idioms and conventions of hip hop and bass music — but is constantly using technology to look towards the future.

Don’t miss this exciting show from three artists pushing the boundaries of electronic music and the communities surrounding it. Learn more about their innovative work at a production talk and panel discussion in the DLAB in the Forum tonight at 4 p.m

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