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Tuesday, December 12

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Review Tue Oct 13 2015

An Informal Introduction to Kane West

DJ Kane West
The weather on an early October night in Chicago felt a little different from what I'm used to. It was just a little too warm, and the streets of Logan Square were more tame than usual, which made me question whether I was at the right place. I was standing slightly off of the corner of Milwaukee and Medill avenues, and I quickly double-checked the directions on my phone. Siri comfortingly reassured me that I was here -- at the East Room.

A black door embellished with indecipherable graffiti and musicians' marks lied against a seemingly vast brick wall. A glaring red light flickered right above the door, matching the rain that fell into a habit of turning on and off. The red light continued to haunt me, as I traveled up a narrow staircase, but a comforting, cozy darkness soon confronted me when I reached the last step. Tiny tea-light candles strategically placed on two-seater tables and booths provided a pathway to the bar.

The event was RSVP only, and the invite indicated the doors would open at 9pm. It didn't say when London-native DJ Kane West would perform, nor did it list who his special guests would be. A couple hours passed before small tight-knit groups traced the walls of the venue, leaving the dance floor open to anyone who dared to show off their moves.

In due time, West's guests were revealed. Similar to the smooth transitions splashed into their sets, resident DJs Bobby Swan and Solaris Hilton seamlessly traded places behind the performers' workstations. Swan flexed his strength in fusing together ominous, bass-heavy beats with occasional nods to hip-hop's finest, while Hilton crafted an eclectic vibe that crescendoed into a pop-infused party.

The two transformed the dance floor into an intimate setting, casting a spell on the audience who are entranced by their reflections underneath a purple haze and a glimmering disco ball. Twenty-somethings took the liberty to couple up or hold their own with moves that felt rehearsed, while others explored tricks they did not know their bodies could entertain.

There were subtle moments throughout Swan's and Hilton's sets where you felt like you were in a still shot from a scene of "Skins" -- the US version -- and you just felt cool and collected. That sensation left an opening for Kane West, who stepped onto the scene by midnight. No introductions were needed, and the growing crowd welcomed his presence.

West is also known as Gus Lobban and makes up one-third of another London-based project Kero Kero Bonito, an electrifying group that has a knack for fusing J-Pop, electronic and arcade sounds together. He had just come from performing with KKB at Schubas on Southport Avenue.

Even though a quick Google search might tell you that you've misspelled Kanye West's name, a closer look at the top searches shows West as a solo artist who was dubbed as "Turbo's new pupil" by Vice in August and recently caught The Fader's attention. Right now, his Soundcloud is the only place you'll be able to stream his music.

At the East Room, he didn't waste any time.

His casual attire -- a blue Adidas soccer shirt -- complimented his blue Beats headphones. West's string of songs encompasses a new voice for PC Music and reconstructed a blend of street-inspired, industrial and dancehall sounds with hints of classic Chicago house.

There's a certain playfulness that exists in his concoctions, and he isn't afraid of showing that. A few noted fans followed his movement closely.

His calculated dance moves and sudden jolts disclosed that the beat had either dropped or he was ready to divulge into another creation. West's conscious effort to keep up with the crowd's energy heightened his ambition, and he was down to get down.

That performance was just another memory cashed into his budding music career. While predictions for his future success have been recorded, the evening's private show revealed that West was simply a boy who just wants to have fun, and the party has just begun.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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