Review Mark B.
In all the years spent going to clubs, concerts and festivals, I can’t recall many times that I have been over-elated or rabidly eager to hit the event as much as when I go to see BT. Whether a simple DJ mix, live performance (meaning instruments, synthesizers, etc.) or laptop symphony, it’s always a great pleasure to see the live works of the great Brian Transeau. So it was an extraordinarily rare treat when he finally found the time to make an exceedingly rare appearance within the tri-state area at Mixx night club in Atlantic City, NJ on a Sunday night of all nights.
Mixx itself is a smaller, cramped club with a powerful sound system that can be found dead center in the Borgata hotel. Although everything in the casino literally revolves around it, the club somehow gives off an anonymous, almost exclusive feel so any guest will feel slightly special walking up the ramp to get inside, at least until you order your $8 beer. I have read about how it is one of the best nightclubs in Atlantic City, with two floors of dance madness. Unfortunately the second floor seemed to be off-limits for the evening, as all of us were relegated to the first floor.
The night was kicked off by DJ Paul Castro, spinning the expected mix of remixed top 40 cuts and other popular dance floor hits. Although he rolled out a decent set, he seemed to be slightly off his game that night, as his mixing and transitions weren’t exactly the smoothest (not that any of the slowly trickling in crowd noticed.) That being said, he certainly did a decent job of getting the non-responsive crowd closer to the dance floor than the bar over the next two hours.
Slightly after 1am BT magically appeared in the DJ booth, like being beamed in by the same extraterrestrials who supply him with his highly advanced array of musical equipment. The crowd had hit its peak by then, which was smaller than one would assume for someone on the level of BT. Then again, it could be considered a massive crowd for a Sunday night, and a fairly fun one at that. Following the lead of his newly released first Laptop Symphony mix album, he led-off with his club hit collaboration with Adam K. “Tomahawk, ” a tune that quietly draws the listener in by slowly swelling into a glitched out dance assault, which instantly rocked the dance floor as it faded in. And he would lead the receptive audience on a similar musical trajectory through the complex depths of his Laptop Symphony for the rest of the evening, constantly throwing up his hands at the crescendos of each song, dancing to the parts of the music the crowd barely reacted to and throwing up his hands in pure sonic bliss. BT is a man who not just visibly enjoys what he does, but seems to crawl inside Ableton Live before a witnessing crowd and kick back during each performance.
And suddenly just 20 minutes after 2am, after throwing a prayer-handed bow to the audience, he was gone as instantly as he had arrived with Paul Castro picking up the slack to bring tonight home. It was a set that was far too short (barely an hour and twenty minutes,) but one that brought me to another solar system and made me dance while I was there; I am grateful for that. Come back soon Mr. BT.