We’re only a week away from one of this spring’s most anticipated Sub.mission shows. Thursday, May 10th marks the return of Goth Trad. The Japanese DJ and producer is a long-time dubstep staple and pioneer of the genre’s progressing sound. If you caught either of the artist’s previous appearances at The Black Box, you know how special Goth Trad’s sets can be. The smooth selector is a seasoned resident of the world’s most impressive sound systems; his masterful utilization of the Basscouch system amounts to a sinister form of crowd control.
But the 5/10 event promises more than a killer headliner performance. The night boasts one of the most unique and cutting-edge lineups featured in Denver to date. Joining Goth Trad on the bill are Tsuruda, Trisicloplox, and Retina: three forward-thinking American artists, each with their own innovative approach to sound system music. This is far from your typical dubstep party - if it can be described as a “dubstep party” at all.
Anybody familiar with Goth Trad is aware of the artist’s affinity for noisey, industrial-flavored vibes. We got a taste of this dark, convention-baffling sound in his set at Electronic Tuesdays last fall. If you attended the electric performance, Trisicloplox’s place on Thursday’s lineup makes perfect sense. The Denver producer and Sub.mission DJ is responsible for the most explosive moment I’ve personally experienced in the dance, when the sold-out crowd collectively lost their pants to the local hero’s track “Iaido,” absolutely demanding that the selector pull the record back. Goth Trad has been cutting Trisicloplox tunes to acetate for years now; it seems the world is finally ready for the young producer’s evil, chaotic sound.
Fellow Denver artist Retina shares Trisicloplox’s subversive approach to sound system music. As part of the emerging cohort of young producers challenging conceptions of not only dubstep, but music itself, Retina is a natural fit on Thursday’s bill. The artist’s disturbing, distorted style is recently featured on releases from Silent Motion Records and Version Collective. As a DJ, Retina possesses unique selection and a special intuition for leading his audience - the kind of touch that can’t be taught. Retina is opening the night, so don’t be late. His main room debut at The Black Box is not to be missed.
At first glance, Tsuruda’s name seems out of place on a lineup defined by darkness and distortion - but for a comprehensive exploration of bass music’s full spectrum, Tsuruda is the missing link. The future bass producer is known for his energetic and imaginative take on today’s dance music. While Trisicloplox and Retina deal exclusively in shades of black, Tsuruda is a connoisseur of color. His contagious tracks showcase another side of sound system music. His disjointed melodies and captivating rhythmic structure promise to bring out the best of the Basscouch; alongside the night’s other artists, Tsuruda’s set will give total gravity to the power of a proper sound system.
May 10th’s event gives us a rare glimpse into the fast-approaching future of sound system music. It’s a melding of creative brilliances and sonic influences that can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world. This is the kind of lineup that truly defines The Black Box’s invaluable role in artistic innovation. Doors open at 9, and don’t be late. This show signals a new chapter in electronic music’s future history. You won't want to miss a minute of it.