AceMo Redshift

[Bootleg Tapes; 2015]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: post-DJ, futuristic footwork, NY swag
Others: Swim Team

You on this? Get on this, bro. All these players coming out of the pipes, all this graffiti, these empty beer cans, this amorphous Bushwick squalor. AceMo comes out from amongst these party-types dropping gems, keeping it real. He hits us with some hi-hats and a thick bass line, as we cruise amidst drugs flaunting our most dangerous swag. We call that style, ya bish.

Redshift’s got this Chicago thing, but it’s also New York, so New York, its vibe, that menacing, threatening, treacherous, savage, wild, vicious, murderous, hazardous, perilous, unpredictable, precarious, hairy vibe. But don’t get scared. Get high. Get so high you think you can Spiderman yourself across these rooftops. Get in, into this club, into this room with musical equipment, into this deli. Get out. Outside amongst these warehouses and these bus routes and these motherfuckers on the corner hustling their candy boxes at you. But don’t buy that shit. Buy this tape instead. And then bootleg it, ya bish.

Fuck, man. Walking along these housing projects in camo. You start off with this tape in your Walkman, and it’s an intro, an appetizer, a streetscape caught on a moment, what sounds like a basketball game, and then a Selected Ambient Works II synth riff drops in, followed by drums and vocals, as we enter Ace’s world. We’re in with it, skittering, swerving; call it New York trap, call it out, call the shots, shots blasting out on the street like handclaps. Count those up, one after the other, up the street, there, below, surrounded by its surround-sound. Enter those 707s, 808s, 909s, and all the rest.

You hear these voices on this tape. They sound like people from the neighborhood, people AceMo knows, overheard snippets on a bus or at a party or on a stoop with an iPhone, ready. Is this a DJ session or is this a production? Is this an album or a live set? A tape or a “record”? 1995 or 2015? It’s hard to tell; the lines get blurred, and that’s good, because it sounds futuristic, which is why Bootleg Tapes is important. Because most DJs have a utilitarian mindset: get in, make people dance, maybe do crazy incognito stuff in a bathroom (the stereotypical stuff), but also be knowledgeable, be a library of music, match beats on Traktor, use Pioneer turntables, or go 100% old school and look pretty, look ghostly, or look ugly, look unknown, look like a DJ. But AceMo challenges what a DJ today can aspire to.

It’s like, after the glamorization of chefs came the glamorization of DJs, and now in this post-chef post-DJ InterPhoneGramLife, we are looking for people who just keep it real, who challenge it, devoted like monks are to Biblical text. Fuck the TVs and fuck the press; just go into your dungeon like it’s 95, into a courtyard of musical equipment and do it, challenge it, get out of the internet and into the night, ending electroacoustics altogether on the repeating lip of a hiccuping beat. DJ and make a tape. DJ and make a secret tape. DJ and make a SoundCloud mix. DJ and make only found sound. DJ and actually never actually DJ. DJ and have a conversation, or work through things, through the fire. Work with sounds, some given to you — immortal and free — others worked out on only the healthiest of mice. Use the Amen Break to engage in wraith-like material, that fourth wall called history oozing out subtly, telling us that you’ve studied up.

Like, this shit has a beat on it, but are you dancing? You in your room, but are you dancing? Drums these days, man; they don’t make you dance in your bedroom anymore, but they make you think about what it means to dance to them, and what it means to dance in a coded landscape like a club. These snippets of voice, these vocals, they resonate out, a line in a poem or a jock jam vocal mixed with the outmoded remnants of jazz and salsa; li’l drum breaks mixed with 100mph synths. AceMo transforms the dancefloor, migrates it, transposes it, translates it. From Ibiza to Berlin to The Bronx to Brooklyn. Redshift doesn’t drive directly into any style, a New York gesture you could say, because he knows that today’s electronic world has metaphysical connotations. You drop a trap beat and get Atlanta, drop a trumpet and get New Orleans, drop a fat pad and get Los Angeles. You drop all this shit at once and get New York: multicultural digital-DJ swag. So drop it all, ya bish.

I’m dancing tho. Yeah, I’m off that loud, dancing. Alone, with my window open as I hear the subway zoom into the station. Later on, at the party, I see all these heads dancing too, and it’s a little strange. There’s a satisfaction in it, of something that I thought required solitary involvement becoming an infectious community-driven implement. Behind Redshift, there’s that drive to share this with other DJs, to share this with music heads, to blast this in a car or in a room. It works. You do what you want with it, cuz we’re living in post-DJ times and its futurism is worth listening to.

Links: AceMo - Bootleg Tapes

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