The Brighter Future of EDM
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There is no way watching a guy with a laptop on a stage could be exciting, right? Well, at least one band, Boulder, Colorado’s Big Gigantic, hopes to change your mind.
Big Gigantic are actually two guys on a huge stage, not just one, but they are often playing in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of fans. That’s a lot of pressure to make something happen when you are armed with just a computer, a saxophone, and a drum kit, but that’s Big Gigantic, a duo who have been making their mark in the EDM scene since their formation in 2008.
The band have released six albums in the decade since their birth, but more importantly, they have become a giant on the EDM live circuit, touring incessantly and playing some of the biggest festivals in the world.
The brainchild of saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken, Big Gigantic quickly made people stand up and take notice as they combined jazz melodies over pulsating dance beats, creating a niche that delivers an innovative, distinct sound that’s truly all their own.
Big G’s newest album, Brighter Future, and the subsequent Brighter Future Remixed and Brighter Future Deluxe, showcases their uncanny ability to incorporate vocals and instruments into their mix of pre-recorded music, highlighting the band’s ingenuity and creativeness. The album takes the band in a new and more sophisticated direction than their earlier works, a direction that seems to agree with fans as it has been their most successful album to date.
There is a message of hope and unity on Brighter Future that seems to conflict with most of the genre’s themes of simply having a good time, which is precisely why the album holds such a special place in the hearts of fans. On their website, Lalli explains that the title and concept popped into his head one day as he was feeling unsure about what he was doing with his life and unsure about humanity and the volatile state of the world we live in today.
“As human beings,” he explained, “we all have low points in our lives where we question everything and are truly shown how shocking and just plain difficult the world can be. But at the same time, our high times wouldn’t be as extraordinary without the low times giving us a grand perspective on our lives and the world around us.
“So many things in the world as we know it are more beautiful and incredible than we’ve ever known. At the same time, so many things in the world are worse than we’ve ever seen in my lifetime. So much fear, anger, hate, insecurity, confusion, and outright evil are at their most boiling points. The list goes on and on. Human beings are fighting each other on so many different fronts, and in so many different ways, it’s honestly hard to keep up these days.”
It’s likely Lalli and Salken are proud of the attention Brighter Future has received, but they know, and fans know, that the live setting is where the duo really excels.
With Lalli playing saxophone and mixing on his laptop and Salken adding beats and fills on the drums, what you get is an unforgettable two hours of music and lights that will leave you on the brink of sensory overload. Because they do what they do in the way they do it, watching them perform truly provides the sentiment of watching an artist create brand new music right in front of you, making each of their performances a once in a lifetime event.
For lack of a better description, a Big Gigantic show is a non-stop party. Stage production and lighting are a frenetic feast for the senses, and Lalli and Salken take turns whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Sure, there will always be those people with the thought that a band playing a lot of pre-recorded sound in front of a crowd isn’t really a band performing a concert, but they’d be missing the point. Even a music purist shouldn’t try devaluing the authenticity of what artists in this genre are accomplishing simply by trying to fit these artists into some neat little box, because it doesn’t work that way with EDM.
Without a doubt, those in attendance when Big Gigantic visits The Clyde Theatre November 8, with special guests Flamingosis, are going to come away feeling like they’ve witnessed something special.