Camo & Krooked @ U Street Music Hall
by Michael Hogan
Every March, around 150,000 EDM fans from all across the world flock to Miami to mark the start of the summer festival season at Ultra, the biggest EDM festival America has to offer. And those of us that are left behind feel like the family dog, staring out the window as our family pulls out of the driveway, and off to some great vacation that we weren’t invited to. So we spend the next week moping around the house, and eating the sofa cushions. Only we know exactly what we’re missing out on, a vacation filled with warm weather, beaches, and an incomprehensible amount of amazing music. That feeling of missing out on something so huge is a hard one to quell, turns out said feeling was only numbed by an entire weekend spent watching the UMFTV live stream on YouTube. There are really very few things that could actually make up for missing out on such a monumental event, and a fat stack of shows that even the kids that made it to Ultra can be jealous of. And there was no better way to round out this marathon of compensation than with Austrian (mostly) drum & bass duo, Camo & Krooked at a venue truly deserving of their excellence, U Street Music Hall in Washington DC. Camo & Krooked are not only a part of what I consider to be today’s top tier of producers, but also in a more allegorical sense, ambassadors of Ultra, bringing a bit of the festival back home to DC.
Of course, this was DC, we weren’t just going to let a couple of guys from Austria turn up and show us how much fun everyone was having in Miami, we had Fringe and Bassdread on tap to remind us that living in DC is still better than three days in Miami. Fringe and Bassdread are both absolute staples in the DC/Baltimore scene; the undisputed kings of local DJs, and both their sets left no question as to how the two groups earned that title. Fringe played a fantastic set, which comes as no surprise, they did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd as everybody filtered in for the night, getting everyone in the mood from the moment they walked through the door. And of course, Bassdread had absolutely no problems keeping the energy going. These two have really evolved well beyond what can be considered ‘local DJs’, and labeling them as such just doesn’t seem fair. They are a pair of the nicest, and hardest working guys to ever hit Baltimore; they know everybody at their shows personally, and if they aren’t playing a show – which is extremely unlikely, given their stacked schedule – they still come out to show their love and support. They are more than just DJs, they are the poster-boys for the local scene, they represent what the EDM scene in DC and Baltimore is really about. So naturally, they’re going to draw a crowd, whether it be for the music, or just a bunch of people that came out to watch their buddies spin. And on this occasion, even if the fans came out for the latter, they were all hooked by Bassdread’s drum n bass set, rounding everything out with a bit of their signature dubstep. Drum n bass isn’t exactly what we’re used to hearing from Bassdread, but they rocked it like it was their one and only. A better set of openers for Camo & Krooked simply doesn’t exist, they really showed the Austrian powerhouse what DC has to offer.
Camo & Krooked came out hard from the start, which should come as no surprise, these two are a seriously hot commodity all over the EDM scene, thanks to their top notch production work, amazing versitility, and renowned DJ work. These guys are getting recognized all over the scene, with remixes from Funtcase, Dead Battery, and AaA, all for just their hit “Hot Pursuit”, and that sort of recognition doesn’t come about for no reason. Camo & Krooked may be known for their drum n bass work, but they don’t stop there, and the well-rounded sound we all hear from the studio translated perfectly into their DJ set. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they have earned every ounce of the hype they have received, they are really setting a new benchmark not only for producers, but for DJs as well, proving beyond question that in the rapidly expanding world of EDM, genre boundaries simply have no place, especially when backed up by such a high caliber of talent. One of the most common complaints I hear about DJ/producers is the old standard, “They’re a great producer, but they just aren’t a very good DJ.” or vice versa, but no one dared say such a thing about Camo & Krooked, they have proven what it really means to be well-rounded in every sense of the word.
As far as I’m concerned, there is no better way to spend a Sunday night; hanging out with a bunch of friends, and watching the hometown boys spinning with some international scene leaders. And hearing the whole thing through the world famous sound system at U Street Music Hall, brought to us by club owner, and DC EDM royalty, Tittsworth. Ultra is all well and good, but Miami can keep it, I’ll stick to DC; we do alright here. And after a show like this, I can’t even be upset that I didn’t get to spend the weekend at Ultra, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this show for anything. I’ll take some good drum n bass, with some good friends, and great musicians over Madonna any day.
NEW MIX FROM CAMO & KROOKED!