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Show Review: Borgore

If you have a passion for big dubstep basslines, modern EDM theatrics and scantily-clad dancers, Borgore (AKA Asaf Borger) is definitely the DJ to see. The man is not on a mission to teach his audience any complex philosophical lessons; he simply gets up there to make people lose their minds for a few hours, and he does it well. His sexy-dessert-themed “Christmas Creampies” tour comes at an opportune moment, after three EPs and several remixes within the past year.

Borgore and his dancers, before they took off their clothes

This was my first time at a Borgore show; still, I have listened to a fair amount of his music and seen a couple videos so I recognized several tracks. Now, not to knock Borgore’s skills here (I still like him as a DJ), but it’s interesting to note that my favorite track in his set was actually not one of his own productions: Prodigy’s “Smack My B*tch Up,” remixed by Noisia.

I didn't know it was Noisia's remix until the next day, upon further research—when it dropped, I just thought “Wow Borgore, hot tune!”). The point is, big ups to Noisia—because this is the second time that their work has significantly elevated my enjoyment of a DJ’s set, without my realizing it! The first time was at Outsidelands 2011, when Deadmau5 (yeah yeah, I know he says he’s not a DJ) played “Raise Your Weapon” (Noisia Remix) and all I thought at the time was “Damn Deadmau5, you got better at dubstep!” Of course I learned the next day that it was Noisia... what would DJs do without those talented mad bass-scientists?

 

Anyway, Noisia tangent over now. Borgore still deserves plenty of credit for selecting that sweet remix, and for mashing it up perfectly with Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.” And he played plenty of his own remixes as well, taking his audience through a variety of humorous, aggressive, sexually charged and straight-up beastly sonic realms. Most of the set consisted of the wub-wubby, bitcrushed, frequency-modulated-synthesis basslines characteristic of the Borgore production style, but things took a turn for the trappy at the tail end. The dubstep rage gave way to hip-hoppy grooves, sending the audience reeling with bouncy 808 kicks and wonky synth lead lines. Although part of me sighed at how rampant trap music has become in just about every DJ’s set—it’s almost like the new party default—I have to admit that Borgore picked some solid trap tunes that kept me dancing the whole time.

 

One particularly high-energy moment occurred when Borgore played his recent single, “Decisions,” and called Miley Cyrus out on the stage to sing her part.

My immediate thoughts on Miley: Wow her hair is short… Hey, she can actually sing! My, how things have changed since the Disney channel days. Too bad I'm standing behind too many tall people to get a good photo of her...

But really, this celebrity guest appearance injected some much-needed humanity into an occasionally flat performance. The stripper/pole-dancers looked sort of bored at times and Borgore himself was a distant silhouette in headphones, looking tiny in comparison to his giant neon-light ice cream truck display.

The ice cream trucks around USC might get more business if they looked like this.

 However, he did leap out into the crowd at one point, so it’s not like he ignored the audience...

Borgore’s show was over-the-top with glamour; the man is a showman if nothing else. It was no symphony orchestra concert, but I was thoroughly entertained... Christmas Creampies for all! 

 

Confetti explosions aplenty!

--Connor, SONIC SHAMANISM