A NGHTMRE Before Xmas at the Observatory North Park

Although Halloween has passed, it was most definitely a NGHTMRE before XMAS at the Observatory North Park.

The American EDM DJ/producer NGHTMRE, made his anticipated NGHTMRE before Xmas tour stop in San Diego the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, bringing a crowd of headbangers to break their necks to the electrifying drum and bass, trap, bass house and dubstep bass lines.

Coming from a college student who was glad that Thanksgiving break was finally here, Wednesday night felt more like a weekend night out with NGHTMRE providing the sounds such as his classic “Street,” to his “GUD VIBRATIONS” collaboration with Slander, to his more recent work with The ChainsmokersSave Yourself.”

He definitely brought the atmosphere to the crowd with the LED panels behind him displaying his zombie, pumpkin head skeleton and demon visuals, the synchronized lights and strobes flashing right in front of your face and even the vibe he would put out either by talking into the mic, or just him moving and dancing to his own music.

As all other DJs/producers, NGHTMRE had some in developments (IDs) that he teased the crowd with. One that stood out was his surprising collaboration with A$AP Ferg. Although he completely stopped the music and brought the room to a blackout to announce the collab, Ferg’s voice is definitely one you cannot mistaken.

As he starts playing the track, you start hearing Ferg rap over the beat and into the buildup, adding to the intensity when all of a sudden, the beat drops. Right away, you realize the utter filth of bass, brass and synthesizers that was just unleashed to your eardrums; filth that you want to be released already but probably will not happen until another six months from now (EDM DJ/producers take a long time to release their work).

Overall, NGHTMRE did not disappoint and brought some light to the souls of the undead and told his story of the NGHMTRE before XMAS.

Review by: Gustavo Cristobal

Performing at AMG’s Silent Disco

As a natural introvert, being intimidated in front of crowds is nothing new to me.

It’s something that I have always disliked throughout my life, even when it just involves presenting in front of five people. Recently, I got to perform a DJ set at Aztec Music Group’s Silent Disco here at San Diego State University.

Before the event even started, I was somewhat nervous, for the most part because I wasn’t sure if people were going to like what I was going to do. This over thinking always happens to me and it is somewhat of a curse and a blessing at the same time.

For starters, this over thinking let me believe that my first track choice was not the right one. I kept on changing my track selection because well I kept on looking at the worst case scenarios – people tuning out of my channel at the Silent Disco.

But at the same time, the blessing part of this whole process was that I kept on improving my track list to the point where I exhausted myself. At the end of it all, it took me about seven track lists to filter 60 potential songs out of 220 that I wanted to play within the 55 minute time frame that I was given.

Still, I wasn’t satisfied, even though my friends here at State told me that I was going to kill it regardless. Of course, there was always the occasional little “fix” that I would make to see of that would do it.

When hanging out at the event before my set, it got to the point where I was so nervous that I made a backup track list that was completely different than what I had planned. I did not end up using it because I decided to go with my first instinct, which was that what I had was good enough.

I went up on the stage and started playing my set, which started with Tiesto and The Chainsmokers’ single, “Split.” The beat progressively built up to 128 beats per minute and once it dropped, a sea of green headphones (there were three channels playing all at once), appeared right before my eyes. My channel was green.

Throughout my set, that green sea kept on appearing, although I myself don’t completely recall because I somewhat blackout (not due to alcohol or anything of that nature) whenever I perform in front of people.

What I do remember though, was seeing my friends who I first met here at State, supporting me and what I was doing. This meant a lot to me because they’ve been there supporting me from the very beginning of my DJ hobby, which started at an apartment party in BLVD63 (it got shut down right away).

Once my set was over, I was told that I “killed it” by multiple people who I didn’t even know. This made me happy because I put a lot of time into my set, and I was relieved that people vibed with what I believed in.

Now here I am,  about to repeat the whole process over again at my first official gig during the weekend.

I don’t know what to expect at Bassmnt (an EDM nightclub in Downtown San Diego), but now I know to go forward with what I believe in.

Devin Dawson finds his home in country music

After touring with his rock band nonstop, Devin Dawson decided to go back to his country roots with a dark and bold sound, where he is currently finding success within the music genre.

The 28-year-old California native’s hit single, “All on Me,” debuted about a month ago in Billboard’s top 100 at #98 and currently resides at #93. Narrow down the spectrum to only “Hot Country Songs,” and Dawson’s single can be found at #19. It also currently has over 35 million streams on Spotify.

Vocals that are very distinguishable, depicting romance and vulnerability, become one with the catchy chords Dawson composes. The combination of the lyrics and chords make for a song so sleek and raw that it will keep your attention from the beginning to end.

His approach to country music is one that is unusual to the more common formula that his colleagues use. It’s has a different purpose and that purpose is what makes Dawson a modern storyteller through his work. It’s easy to see why the singer is named in PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch list for 2017. Not only that, but he has also received praise from Entertainment Weekly, ELLE and Rolling Stone, and made his TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

With his song “Dark Horse,” Dawson does an amazing job depicting a passion for country music that comes straight from his heart, with clever phrasing that allows you to easily see who he is and what he believes in.

“Honest To God” is another one of his great songs, which is featured in the original motion picture, “The Shack.” Yet again, Dawson speaks through a smooth rhythm that does not at all sound like the typical country song one would imagine.

Signing with Atlantic Records / Warner Music Nashville in 2016, Dawson was peaked to expand his presence in country music. Why the singer decided to name his debut album “Dark Horse,” which is set for release on Jan. 19, can be easily seen. The album is currently available for pre-order with “All on Me,” “Dark Horse” and “Secondhand Hurt” currently available to download.

The “Dark Horse” artist is currently on the road and information regarding tour dates can be found on his website.

Discovering New EDM Sub-Genres and Artists

Exploring new Electronic Dance Music is something that I like to do during my free time. I become thrilled when I discover any new, refreshing sound that catches my attention.

Because I enjoy finding new sounds within the EDM genre, I have a whole bunch of music streaming apps such as SoundCloud, Spotify, Shazam, MixCloud and Apple Music. Usually, my whole day revolves around these apps – literally. From when I wake up all the way to when I go to sleep, I play a constant flow of refreshing tunes for my ear drums to enjoy and to add a hint of spice to my day.

When I was first introduced to this genre, which happened to be in the year 2013, I stuck to two sub-genres: trance and electro-house. I was very loyal to these two sub-genres, which feature artists such as Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Above & Beyond and W&W. I refused to listen to anything else other than sounds that were of the these categories.

This all changed right around the time when I started going to EDM festivals, because I would literally stay at these events from start to finish (the main artists that I wanted to see weren’t going to play until the very end of the shows). Although I always wound up exhausted from being on my feet, jumping and dancing for 8-12 hours, I found it to be worth it.

Experiencing the different sounds brought by all the diverse artists that fall under the EDM umbrella completely changes your perspective on their work. All of a sudden, I was exposed to new names, such as Will Sparks (melbourne bounce), Yellow Claw (trap), Eric Prydz (techno house), Oliver Heldens (deep house), Illenium (bass house) and Don Diablo (future house).

I started becoming more open and embraced their unique work. I suddenly had the desire to become more familiar with these new genres, and with artists similar to the ones that played the festivals. A more recent example of this sense of discovery happened at Escape: Psycho Circus 2017, where I became exposed to Rezz. I did not know who she was or what genre she fell under, but she blew me away with her performance. Her sound is so unique that it literally falls into it’s own sub-category.

Overall, when going to the events your choice, go at the beginning and support the openers and their work. They got booked for a reason. And who knows, maybe you too will find excitement in discovering something new.