Published on September 7th, 2012 | by Alessandra Calderin2
Electric Zoo 2012 Fool’s Gold Tent: A-Trak Slays With Scratches
If record labels were religious sects, then I would have officially been converted under the altar of Fool’s Gold by the prophet A-Trak. On the hottest day of Zoo (and I mean that literally and metaphorically), the perfectly curated Fool’s Gold Clubhouse served some of the freshest sets of the fest. From co-founders Nick Catchdubs to A-Trak and everyone in between, the Fool’s Gold takeover rattled Riverside non-stop, complete with that lovable caped and gold faced mascot.
Gesaffelstein pumped the tent with deep house grooves. Nadastrom gave midday festival goers a reason to bounce. After A-Trak introduced him and his hair, Dillon Francis slayed with a diverse set littered with Sour Patch synths, moombah madness and a sort of obligatory amplification that left no room for down time. As usual, he threw in a crowd pleasing throw back, a Vengaboys classic, which clearly hit the right chord for all in attendance. Including “80s Fitness,” an at the time unreleased and highly anticipated nugget of bass madness by Koan Sound, was the icing on this cracked out cake of a set.
Following up with a glitchy genre defying spasm hour was Jack Beats who delighted with booms, pops, whoops and plenty of recently released Careless EP. As the sun set on a magical first day, the long locks of Tommy Trash whipped back and forth through out a trashed out set that went hard with bumps and grinds of beats and bass.
After hours of jumping and bumping, the time came to put on our 3D glasses (because we live in the future and all the Riverside headliner visuals were in 3D) and await the turntable god. From the moment he approached the decks, A-Trak had as much control over his audience as he did the needles he scratched so artfully over vinyl. It was game over from then on. He sang along to his remix of Martin Solveig’s “The Night Out,” and the crowd bounced with him as he loomed over the decks. He encouraged the audience to let out their inner beast during “Big Bad Wolf,” and the tent exploded with howls. He indulged tired ears with a freestyle scratch set over Zinc collab jam “Stingray” and transitioned through a drum and bass tempo into trap and back. For lovers of his monthly Fool’s Gold Radio mix, he closed out the set with last month’s tastiest tracks, Boys Noize’s acid house boomer,”XTC,” and Funkin’ Matt’s “I Wish.”
And what’s an A-Trak set without a final foray into the land of supreme scratching. The way he fidgets and caresses the turntable is, in a word, cool. The comparison has been made that DJs are the new rock stars, and of course every one of them can be analogous to a front man, but only true turn-tablists can achieve the same aesthetic that, say, a Jimi Hendrix could through a guitar solo. That fluidity of motion through the fingers doesn’t happen at every set and it make for an awe-inspiring, dare I say mind altering, experience.
I don’t believe in much, but after last weekend, I believe in Fool’s Gold.