Mad Decent Block Party review by Vittorio Carli

The traveling Mad Decent dance music festival came to the Hideout on Saturday, August 21. It was the closing performance of the tour.

The dance focused festival replaced the Hideout’s usual annual rock oriented block party. The whole thing was initiated by Diplo, the creative producer of MIA’s massive, break through hit, “Paper Planes.”

The Mad Decent party with varying lineups also went to Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia.

Unlike the annual hideout block parties of the past there was no entrance fee but, music fans had to pre register for the fest on-line

The fest featured some engaging acts such as Reggie Gibbs, Maluca, Po Po, and the headliner, Kid Sister, but overall the festival was a bit of a disappointment compared to previous Hideout fests. There were no acts as exciting as Art Brut, the Plastic People of the Universe, Jon Langford, or Neko Case this year.

Also there were too many DJs, and not enough live music. There’s nothing inherently exciting about merely seeing someone spinning discs on stage.

Also there was a power failure during one of the best acts, and audience members had to wait over an hour to see the end of Reggie Gibb’s set.

Po Po (their myspace bio says they love pizza and beer) delivered a blistering set of danceable drum based rock which were clearly influenced by ‘80s synth pop as well as noise music. There set included energetic renditions of “Final Fight,” Don’t Want U, Just Want it All,” and “Bhangra Jam,” But the set was so short, that the audience just got a small taste of what this promising band can do.

Even more impressive was the set by the Dominican born singer, Maluca, who happens to be married to the drummer from Po Po. Since her music is somewhat faster than most dance music, and it features elements of techno, house and hip-hop some critics have labeled her as a ghettotech artist, but there are also reagaetone and samba elements in her sound.

***

In “Hector,” Maluca railed against disapproving relatives of a lover singing, “You can go to hell, “as she was angrily gyrating. It was one of the most venomously potent dance music performances I had ever seen.

***

Another high point was an irresistible rendition of her rhythmic hit single, “El Tigeraso” which was sung in Spanish.

Her infectious, spicy set showed the influence of Shakira, and it was a perfect combination of tribal and techno music.

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