The Belgian dubstep maestros in Ganja White Night have been leveling audiences worldwide. Two years ago marks the first time they graced fans with the introduction of mascot “Mr. Wobble” and their unmistakable orange tracksuits. “The Origins” LP they’re touring behind now was one of our favorite albums of this year, impressively primal and cinematic, and at its best with collaborations from dubstep’s finest.
Their upcoming two-night throwdown at New Orleans’ Joy Theater is a victory lap, backed by a stunning support roster to pave the way for their bass-laden sledgehammer performances.
We put together a guide to bring you up to speed with this star-studded cast, many of whom exist in far-flung corners of the electronic music underground. If there’s anything we can promise, it’s that you don’t want to miss a single act.
August 3rd: NIGHT 1
Favorite tracks: “what’s a dubstep,” “Frawg,” “ting”
Louisiana’s criminally underrated Devin Danos has honestly been one of our favorite acts locally and beyond. A week ago, I saw him perform a huge B2B set with BOARCROK. We’ve seen him open the floor for Figure, Blunts and Blondes, and more. His sound is experimental and fresh, bearing all the best wallop of his Subcarbon Records labelmates like kidway, Boogie T, and Ganja White Night themselves while bringing new elements to the fold. We’re itching to see what he’s working on for the first night at Joy.
Favorite tracks: “Dub Killer-India (The Widdler remix)”, “Lost in Space Pt. 2,” “Badmon”
Jonathan Oron’s range is just astounding. As The Widdler he’s done everything from deep, dark dub, to Aaliyah flips to System of a Down bootlegs and collaborated with everyone from Yheti to G Jones. A heavy, raffish reggae influence to his productions takes harkens back to old favorite dubplates from UK producers like Kode9 and Digital Mystikz. At a late, late show of his at Eiffel Society Uptown this year, we were left wondering just how sludgy and dense one guy’s set could get while still flowing so well. It speaks to years and years of experience, and we’re hoping to get fully enveloped in his Night 1 set again.
Favorite tracks: “Sneakers,” “Quack Fat”, “Bill Bro Baggins”
In a nice change of pace, we have this funky madman. We can’t stress enough how much fun this man’s shows are. Our problem with glitch-hop sometimes is a tired template of sounds, and on every song Opiou defies the cliches to deliver devious, bounding anthems that play firmly outside the box. Imagine Tipper’s squelching spirals rinsed through a fierce house beat and then throw that comparison out the window and start dancing. We’re unbelievably excited for this Night 1 funk party.
August 4th: NIGHT 2
Favorite tracks: “trill,” “fresh produce,” “fuq dat w/purge”
Michael Pearson and Jacob Hoerner are hometown heroes. They somehow seem to be on the best New Orleans’ shows this past year while consistently releasing some of the most creative sounds we’ve heard through Quality Good Records. Nationally, their song “hallows” has been a favorite of Bassnectar’s sets and they’ve just announced a late-night sound camp performance at Excision’s Lost Lands festival. We’ve heard their sound go from straight-ahead dubstep to a wonderfully slinky, experimental bass music style that’s exciting and inventive. With a backlog of unreleased music we can’t wait to see what they play for a packed Joy Theater crowd.
Favorite tracks: All of them
What hasn’t been said about Peekaboo this year? I don’t know if there’s been a more hyped producer in 2018 that’s deserved such praise. Wakaan’s newest heavy hitter produces a signature, skull-rattling style that’s somehow between his weird bass labelmates like Space Jesus and Liquid Stranger and older heavyweights like Caspa. The release of EP’s “Imposters” and this summer’s “Maniac” have scored him legions of new fans, and he’s primed to earn many more in his first New Orleans performance on Night 2. Best to ice your neck after his show before our next artist and Ganja White Night.
Favorite tracks: “Get Down,” “Absolute Fire,” “Bass War”
Longtime heavyweight producer Downlink is going to be equal parts satisfying and overwhelming before Ganja White Night. Listen to some of his classic Excision collaborations and 2017 Lost Lands set for an inkling of how nasty his shows are. With close to a decade in the electronic music community, a huge fanbase and a no-nonsense, aggressive sound, we predict some of the biggest crowd engagement during Downlink’s furious Night 2 set.
…you thought we forgot?
Two Ganja White Night sets to cap off either night. That’s worth attending even if none of the cast above strikes your fancy. So what’s the best place to start if you’re unfamiliar with duo’s trademark low-end skullduggery.
My true introduction was the Mr. Wobble Promo Mini-Mix that dropped in 2016 as I fought to make my way to the streetcar to reach my job waiting tables, it’s going to be surreal experiencing those rumbling sounds as I see them live a few blocks down the line. I was sold when an innovative music video produced by the famous Belgian artist Ebo accompanied the “Wobble Master” track a few weeks later. It’s as good a jumping off point as any.
Mr. Wobble is an enigmatic, hilarious defender and tells something of a concept album around him. Ebo’s visual animations have made up a considerable visual portion of Ganja White Night’s impressive live show production.
For about a decade of releasing music, “Mr. Wobble” was what really broke the duo into the American festival mainstream, and opened the floodgates for landmark shows at Electric Forest, Spring Awakening, Buku and many more.
For older tracks that really deserve your attention we recommend “Strawberry Cough,” “Champagne,” and “Scotch” for a great picture of how far their production has come.
For their newer material, “Chak Chel” and “Blood Shower” from “The Origins” LP are astounding, showing thematic nods to classical composers and world music.
No matter what state you’re coming from, or what artists you came to see, we hope this guide gives you even a sampler for the very special event hitting Joy Theater this weekend.
Photos courtesy of artist facebook pages